Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Irish Recruiting Recap: Tight End

With the departure of John Carlson to graduation and Konrad Reuland to transfer, the Irish entered this recruiting season looking to secure 2 TEs. They certainly succeeded, as they landed 5 star TE Kyle Rudolph and solid TE Joseph Fauria. Rudolph and Fauria are different players, but both are extremely talented and will help the Irish.

Kyle Rudolph: In my view, Kyle was the #1 TE recruit in the country this year. He is another of those "he can do it all" type of guys. Kyle is probably most known because of his ability to run and stretch the field and make plays catching the ball from the TE position. He certainly can do that. What I think is underrated is Kyle's size and blocking ability. The comparison most people make is saying that Kyle is like John Carlson when he came in. While many of their skills are similar, Kyle is MUCH bigger than John was a freshman. People forget that John came to ND weighing no more than 215 pounds. By contrast, Kyle will arrive at ND weighing at least 235-240 pounds. Kyle is also much taller than John. This is a good thing, because the Irish will need Kyle to give them some minutes at TE this year. While I expect Will Yeatman to return from suspension in the fall, either Rudolph or Fauria will likely have to give the Irish some snaps in the fall. On film, Kyle shows a good understanding of route running, he is solid at finding holes in the zone, and has good hands. Like any other freshman TE, he will need to work on his blocking technique. The good part is for a "pass catching" TE, Kyle shows excellent attitude and desire in blocking. You don't do much better than landing the #1 prospect at the TE position.

Joseph Fauria: I must admit, when I first watched Joseph Fauria on film, I thought he was a decent player, but not great. However, the more I watch him, the more I see that his future is going to be a lot brighter than his present. He has all the tools to succeed, he just needs to refine them. I think when some fans look at Rudolph and Fauria, they pigeon hole Rudolph as the pass catcher and Fauria as the blocking TE. I am not sure this is accurate. I think Rudolph is a better blocker than he is given credit for and Fauria is a better pass catcher than he is given credit for. Actually, I believe Fauria needs to improve more in the area of blocking than in the area of receiving. At a full 6'7'' 250, Fauria is a huge guy, and right now his size makes him a little awkward. He will get used to playing at that size and then he will become much more fluid. With his size, Fauria is going to need to work really hard at staying low in his base when blocking and not leaning on guys. I know some sites projected that Fauria could grow into an O Lineman. I don't see it. He has the frame to get that big, but I don't know how good an O lineman he would be. He would need a TON of work on technique and I think his skill set is much better suited to TE than OL. Fauria is going to be a good player at ND before he is done and in some respects, he reminds me of a bigger Will Yeatman.

Your thoughts?

Next Up: Offensive Line


Anonymous said...

i was impressed by rudolph's blocking in the AAA game. i didn't expect him to be that good at blocking. i just assumed he was, as you said, a "pass catching TE."

Anonymous said...

Very talented TE's but it's very hard for a freshman TE to be an impact player. Hopefully, Yeatman will be back and Ragone has put on needed pounds. The freshman will be good subs. Wouldn't be surprised to see Schmidt playing some TE or hback.

Sir John said...

Nice Golory. I anxiously await your thoughts on the O Line. BGS has a good article on the Mendoza factor. I Think it more they were too timid, tenentative and couldn't jell as a unit

IrishGlory said...

Great comments guys.