A position-by-position analysis of the 2015 Washington Huskies roster before national signing day on Feb. 4. Today: Tight ends. Monday: Offensive line.
2014 review: Much like it was at quarterback (with Keith Price’s graduation) and at running back (with Bishop Sankey’s early departure to the NFL), replacing the most productive tight end in school history proved difficult for the Huskies this fall. Certainly, some of that had to do with the struggles in the passing game overall. UW’s group of tight ends were targeted less than Austin Seferian-Jenkins was the previously three seasons, but it’s also hard to say if that’s a case of the tight ends underperforming or being underutilized in the passing attack. It’s probably a bit of both. Even so, Joshua Perkins ended up second on the team in receptions, with 25, and touchdown catches, with three. He played in 12 games but was banged up a bit early in the season and had to sit out the first half against Oregon after his (bogus) targeting ejection a week earlier. Senior Michael Hartvigson (five catches) continued to be a solid second tight end, used mostly as a blocker. As a sophomore, Darrell Daniels (11 catches, 15.5 yards per) showed flashes of the raw potential that had many excited about him. That was especially true on his 68-yard catch-and-run touchdown against Oregon State in November, the rare explosion play from the group this past season.
— Michael Hartvigson, 6-6, 251
— Mike Neal*, 6-4, 225, Etiwanda HS (Etiwanda, Calif.)
— Joshua Perkins, sr., 6-4, 227
— Darrell Daniels, jr., 6-4, 235
— David Ajamu, so., 6-5, 242
— Drew Sample, r-fr., 6-4, 236
2015 outlook: It feels like there’s still a lot of untapped potential with both Perkins and Daniels, the two tight ends figured to be counted on most next season. They can become key cogs in the passing game, and there’s certainly reason to be optimistic about that. David Ajamu played almost exclusively on special teams as a redshirt freshman; at his size, it seems like he could take over as the second (blocking) tight end when needed. Drew Sample, during his redshirt season, showed good hands in August’s open practices. He looks like a well-rounded tight end, with size to block and good-enough speed to be a factor in the passing game. Mike Neal is a redshirt candidate because of the good depth at the position.
— Washington Huskies (@UWAthletics) November 23, 2014
*Has made a verbal commitment to sign with UW on Feb. 4.