Wtih the recent injury to sophomore tight end Blake Whiteley and the news that the NCAA did not clear tight end signee Devonaire Clarington, the Texas Longhorns desperately needed to find another player at the position, so the coaching staff moved junior defensive end Caleb Bluiett, according to Horns247's Jeff Howe and later confirmed by multiple other outlets.
The 6'4, 258-pounder spent time on offense earlier in his career -- though the Horns recruited him as a defensive end, he moved to tight end during fall camp in 2012 and redshirted that season. Bluiett also spent a brief period of time as a tight end in 2013 due to injuries, but made his first impact back at defensive end against Texas Tech in 2013, when he recorded his first career tackle, tackle for loss, and sack.
The 2014 season saw him produce consistently, starting two games and tying for fifth on the team in sacks (3.5) and sixth in tackles for loss (7). However, his season ended prematurely due to a knee injury sustained against TCU and he's still not back to full health, so don't look for him to make an immediate impact at his new/old position.
Once he's acclimated, though, Bluiett could be an impact player because he was a good enough athlete to play the Fox position at times last season and was nicknamed "The Weapon" in high school because he played multiple positions -- defensive end, defensive tackle, middle linebacker, outside linebacker, tight end, and long snapper, while also serving on kickoff return and kickoff coverage.
What does the move mean for Whiteley? The initial reports indicated that he tore his ACL late last week in practice, but head coach Charlie Strong said that the team had not yet confirmed the initial diagnosis as of Saturday, but the need for Bluiett suggests that the odds aren't high that Whiteley plays this season.
A native of Beaumont, Bluiett is now the third player to move to tight end in the last several weeks, joining former wide receivers DeAndre McNeal and Garrett Gray. Since sophomore Andrew Beck came to Austin as a linebacker and senior Alex De La Torre spent his first three years as a fullback, Whiteley is the only tight end on the roster who was recruited to Texas at that position.