The tight end is a position in American football, arena football, Canadian football, on the offense. The tight end is seen as a hybrid position with the characteristics and roles of both an offensive lineman and a wide receiver. Like offensive linemen, they are lined up on the offensive line and are large enough to be effective blockers. On the other hand, unlike offensive linemen, they are eligible receivers adept enough to warrant a defense's attention when running pass patterns; because of the hybrid nature of the position, the tight end's role in any given offense depends on the tactical preferences and philosophy of the head coach. In some systems, the tight end will act as a sixth offensive lineman going out for passes. Other systems use the tight end as a receiver taking advantage of the tight end's size to create mismatches in the defensive secondary. Many coaches will have one tight end who specializes in blocking in running situations while using a tight end with better pass-catching skills in obvious passing situations.
Offensive formations may have as many as three tight ends at one time. The advent of the tight end position is tied to the decline of the one-platoon system during the 1940s and'50s. A rule limited substitutions. Players had to be adept at playing on both sides of the ball, with most offensive linemen doubling as defensive linemen or linebackers, receivers doubling as defensive backs. At that time, the receivers were known as either ends or flankers, with the end lining up wide at the line of scrimmage and the flanker positioned behind the line on the opposite side of the field; as the transition from starters going "both ways" to dedicated offensive and defensive squads took place, players who did not fit the mold of the traditional positions began to fill niches. Those who were good pass catchers and blockers but mediocre on defense were no longer liabilities. Many were too big to be receivers yet too small for offensive linemen. Innovative coaches such as Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns saw the potential of having a larger receiver lined up inside, developing blocking techniques and passing schemes that used the unique attributes of the tight end position.
Greater use of the tight end as a receiver started in the 1960s with the emergence of stars Mike Ditka and John Mackey. Until most teams relied on the tight end's blocking as a sixth offensive lineman using them as receivers. In addition to superb blocking, Ditka offered great hands receiving and rugged running after a completion. Over a 12-year career, he caught 427 passes for over 43 touchdowns. Mackey brought speed, with six of his nine touchdown catches in one season being breakaways over 50 yards. Starting in 1980 the Air Coryell offense debuted tight end Kellen Winslow running wide receiver-type routes. Tight ends prior to Winslow were blockers lined up next to an offensive lineman and given short to medium drag routes. Winslow was put in motion to avoid being jammed at the line, lined up wide, or in the slot against a smaller cornerback. Former Chargers assistant coach Al Saunders said Winslow was "a wide receiver in an offensive lineman's body." Back defenses would cover Winslow with a strong safety or a linebacker, as zone defenses were not as popular.
Strong safeties in those times favored run defense over coverage speed. Providing another defender to help the strong safety opened up other holes. Winslow would line up unpredictably in any formation from a three point blocking stance to a two point receiver's stance, to being in motion like a flanker or offensive back. Head coach Jon Gruden referred to such multi-dimensional tight ends as "jokers", calling Winslow the first in the NFL. Head coach Bill Belichick notes that the pass-catching tight ends that get paid the most are "all direct descendants of Kellen Winslow", there are fewer tight ends now that can block on the line. In the 1990s, athletic Shannon Sharpe's prowess as a route-runner helped change the way tight ends were used by teams. Double-covered as a receiver, he became the first tight end in NFL history with over 10,000 career receiving yards. Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates pushed the position toward near wide receiver speed and power forward basketball skills. At 6' 6" Rob Gronkowski brought height, setting single-season tight end records in 2011 with 17 touchdowns—breaking Gates' and Vernon Davis' record of 13—and 1,327 receiving yards, surpassing Winslow's record of 1,290.
Jimmy Graham that season passed Winslow with 1,310 yards. Six of the NFL's 15 players with the most receptions that year were tight ends, the most in NFL history. Previous seasons had at most one or two ranked in the top. In the Arena Football League the tight end serves as the 3rd offensive lineman. Although they are eligible receivers they go out for passes and are only used for screen passes when they do. However, in Canadian football, tight ends are, in general, no longer used professionally in the CFL, but is still used at the college level in U Sports. Tony Gabriel is a former great tight end in Canadian football. There remain some tight ends in use at university level football, he was drafted by the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2017, but instead signed with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent that same year. Some plays are planned to take advantage of a tight end's
Virginia State Trojans
The Virginia State Trojans are the athletic teams that represent Virginia State University, located in Petersburg, Virginia, in NCAA Division II intercollegiate sports. The Trojans compete as members of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association for all 14 varsity sports. Virginia State has been a member of the conference since 1920. Official website
Folorunso "Foley" Ifeyinka Fatukasi is an American football defensive end for the New York Jets of the National Football League. He played college football at Connecticut. In 2015, Fatukasi was named as an honorable mention on the 2015 All-American Athletic Conference football team. Fatukasi was drafted by the New York Jets in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Fatukasi is of Nigerian descent. UConn Huskies bio
Samuel Richard Darnold is an American football quarterback for the New York Jets of the National Football League. Darnold played college football at USC, he was selected third overall by the Jets in the 2018 NFL Draft. Darnold was a two-sport athlete at playing football and basketball. Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, he joined the football team. After redshirting his freshman year, he served as the second-string quarterback in 2016 before being named the starter after three games; as a redshirt freshman starter, he set multiple USC freshman records and led the Trojans to nine consecutive wins that culminated with a victory at the 2017 Rose Bowl. Darnold declared for the 2018 NFL Draft at the conclusion of his redshirt sophomore season. Darnold was born in Capistrano Beach, California on June 5, 1997, he started playing basketball. Darnold attended San Clemente High School in California. After playing baseball in his freshman year, he played basketball. During his high school basketball career, Darnold excelled, was named South Coast League Most Valuable Player twice, along with being named to the all-CIF team.
Basketball coach Marc Popovich stated Darnold's basketball skills helped translate into football, being the "only guy had who could get a defensive rebound and launch a 70-foot pass on target, pretty much in the same motion, to a guy breaking out in the fastbreak. It was Wes Unseld-like." Popovich added that Darnold could have played college basketball in the Pac-12 Conference or the Mountain West Conference "at worst."On the football team, Darnold played wide receiver and linebacker, though he played quarterback as a sophomore after the starting quarterback was injured in a game against Tesoro High School. He threw a touchdown pass and scored the game-winning two-point conversion, but returned to playing receiver and linebacker a week later; when he legitimately became the school's quarterback, Darnold broke the school record for the most touchdown passes in a game when he threw five on two occasions. He missed much of his junior year with a foot injury. In his senior year, San Clemente reached the CIF-Southern Section Southwest Division championship game, where they lost 37–44 to Trabuco Hills High School.
He ended his senior season with 3,000 passing yards and 39 touchdowns, along with 800 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. Darnold was rated by Rivals.com as a four-star recruit and was ranked as the eighth best dual-threat quarterback in his class and 179th best player overall. However, he did not have much footage of him performing at recruiting camps, preferring to show his play in games; as a result, San Clemente head football coach Jaime Ortiz elected to provide video of his basketball career to football coaches. He received scholarship offers to play college football from schools like Oregon, Utah and Duke. During a football camp, USC coaches Clay Helton and Steve Sarkisian were impressed by Darnold's performance, extended to him a scholarship to play for the Trojans. USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, who recruited Darnold to the school, wanted him to play linebacker before he declined. In the 2015 season, Darnold redshirted for his freshman year as he was behind Cody Kessler and Max Browne on the depth chart.
Entering the 2016 season as a redshirt freshman, Darnold was the second-string quarterback behind Max Browne. In three games as backup quarterback, Darnold saw limited action, completing 14-of-22 passes for two touchdowns and an interception. After a 1–2 start to the season, Browne was benched in favor of Darnold. In his first career start with USC against the Utah Utes, Darnold completed 18-of-26 passes for 253 yards and recorded a rushing touchdown as USC lost 27–31. After the loss, Darnold's Trojans did not lose a game for the remainder of the season, including a 26–13 upset win over the #4-ranked Washington Huskies; the USC offense recorded an average of 37 points and 518 yards per game, while Darnold set the school record for most passing touchdowns by a freshman with 26, ten more than the previous record set by Todd Marinovich in 1989. Against Arizona and California, Darnold became the first quarterback in school history to record five touchdown passes in consecutive games, while throwing for multiple touchdowns in eight straight games, the first USC quarterback to do so since Matt Leinart did in 2004.
On the ground, Darnold recorded 230 rushing yards, the most by a USC quarterback since Reggie Perry's 254 yards in 1991. Darnold was named the 2016 Pac-12 Conference Freshman Offensive Player of the Year in late November. USC was invited to play in their first appearance in the bowl in eight seasons. In the 52–49 victory over Penn State, Darnold completed 33-of-53 passes for 453 yards, while setting Rose Bowl records in passing touchdowns and total yards; the 453 yards recorded ranked second in the bowl's history, only trailing Danny O'Neil's 456 in the 1995 game. On January 4, 2017, it was announced that Darnold was awarded the Archie Griffin Award, awarded annually to college football's most valuable player to his team throughout the season, an award no other freshman had won previously. Darnold was named to the Football Writers Association of America's Freshman All-America team. Entering the 2017 season as a redshirt sophomore, Darnold became an early favorite for the Heisman Trophy, a first round pick in the 2018 draft.
The season did not start the way. In six games, he had matched the number of interceptions; this was accredited to breaking in a new receiver group, numerous injuries, questionable coaching decisions. Despite this, he