Now that David Thomas is a Patriot, it's time to start assessing the tight end situation at Texas.
Once again, in order of least to most significant...
Britt Mitchell and Greg Smith Part of the excellent 2006 incoming freshman class, Mitchell and Smith are big tight ends from Kilgore and Montgomery, Texas, respectively. Smith will undoubtedly redshirt, but Mitchell could see a little action this year as a reserve. He's nothing to write home about, but not many tight ends are. That said, the tight end has become a more and more important position with all the Cover 2 that teams play these days. Vince Young had a lot of success finding a streaking David Thomas down the middle of the field. Arkansas 2004 anyone?
Neale Tweedie The fifth year senior is a versatile player: he can play a little defensive end in a pinch, or give you a nice little option as a tight end. He's best suited in a backup slot, but as a role player, he's the kind of guy you want to have around. He's got better pass catching skills than many realize, and he's a sound blocker. Depth and versatility are the hallmarks of great teams; few are better at assembling such teams than Mack Brown.
Jermichael Finley Hello, superstar. 6-5, 220 pounds, freaking fast, sick hands. After redshirting his freshman year, Finley is ready to step in to the void left by David Thomas. He may not replicate Thomas right away, but it won't take long. He showed UT fans a glimpse of the future in the spring game when he erupted for seven catches and looked like the best player on the field at times. Let's get to know "J-Mike" a little better, courtesy of the TexasSports profile:
I can't live without: Food
Favorite movie(s): Boyz in the Hood
Favorite actor: Chris Rock
Nobody knows how much I like to : Eat
Favorite TV show: King of the Hill
After my football career is over, I hope to: Pursue a career in business
Favorite music group: Freestyle Kingz
My sports hero as a kid was: Roy Williams
My dream as a college football player is to: catch everything
Well, that's good to know. He loves food! Judging by the spring game, that last goal doesn't seem totally infeasible. As Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead compete to take control of this team, as young quarterbacks they're undoubtedly going to try to latch on to a favorite receiver. Even money says both gravitate toward Finley, and for good reason. He offers a big target and great hands, and should be a tremendous asset as the two young throwers adjust to the college game.
Looking Ahead: Tailbacks, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends