Indiana tight ends push each other to contribute #iufb

From Nate Sudfeld’s view, Indiana’s tight ends represent the biggest clique on the team.

“They do everything together,” the IU quarterback said.

There’s a reason for that. This year brings the deepest group of tight ends since Indiana coach Kevin Wilson started in 2011, with a handful of players looking for ways to integrate themselves in the IU offense, whether as blockers or receivers.

So, as Anthony Corsaro tells it, the bond between the tight ends isn’t simply a product of friendship. They’re also trying to push each other.

“I think on a lot of teams, if you have the level of talent, depth, competition that we have at our group, it could tear the group apart,” Corsaro said. “But we’ve looked at it as it making everyone better. I’ve told a lot of people that we’re each other’s biggest fans and we’re each other’s biggest critics. I think that mindset has allowed us to be better friends and better teammates.”

The tight ends could be an underrated part of the Indiana passing game this season, but their most valuable contributions might show through blocking. After Indiana finished with 246 rushing yards in Saturday’s season-opening win over Southern Illinois, Wilson lauded the offensive line and, especially, the tight ends for their work up front.

That praise has been consistent for at least the last year.

“If a tight end caught six balls in a game, that’s 72 balls in a year and that’s almost like All-American status,” Wilson said. “But what are you doing the rest of the game? Game is 70, 80, 90 snaps, so if you only catch six balls, what is the rest of the game?”

Corsaro and Michael Cooper both showed up in the passing game last week. Corsaro caught one ball for 19 yards and Cooper made another reception for 10 yards. Jordan Fuchs missed the game with an undisclosed medical issue, but he’s expected to receive an expanded role this year, along with Danny Friend and Sean Damaska.

A bulk of the tight end production will come through their ability to aid the running game, like this week against Florida International, but there remains potential for coach James Patton’s group to become bigger targets in the passing game, too.

“The ability is there,” Patton said. “The more that’s earned, the more that’s given. We’ve yet to do it and we’ve got to do it.”

One comment

  1. I would like to see the TEs run some vertical routes with slot receivers coming underneath as safety valve passes. I thought the TEs caught the ball well last week and their blocking was a very important part of the running game.

    I wonder when we will see Brookins in the game as he has real breakaway speed. Will we see more crossing routes this week?

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