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Addition of Syracuse grad transfer Kendall Moore gives TE position needed lift

With Kendall Moore now set to join the 'Horns for fall camp, the 'Horns have much better depth at the tight end position.

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Texas hasn't had a star tight end since Jermichael Finley, and the offense that Sterlin Gilbert ran in 2016 hardly utilized the position at all.

Coming to Austin didn't appeal to pass catching TE prospects under Charlie Strong, and as a result, the cupboard is pretty bare for Tom Herman.

Herman is attempting to bring back the position into Texas' offense, but he's had a rough go of it to say the least.

With Texas 2016 starter Caleb Bluiett graduating, Texas needed to land a tight end at the end of last year's recruiting cycle.

Herman nabbed three-star tight end Reese Leitao in late December, but the Jenks high schooler was arrested on drug possession charges and will be suspended for the first two games of the season.

In April, Texas tight end Peyton Aucoin announced he would be transferring from the program.

Furthermore, Texas senior Andrew Beck has undergone two foot surgeries this offseason.

So, the fact that Syracuse graduate transfer Kendall Moore is now officially cleared to join the 'Horns for fall camp seems like only a small victory, but it's been a long time coming for a little good news at the TE spot.

True, Moore only had 14 career receptions and two touchdowns to his name at Syracuse. The Chicago native, however, has solid size at 6'5, 245 pounds and should compete for a starting role.

So where does Herman go from here with the tight end group? Texas is set for five scholarship players at the position for 2017 — freshmen Reese Leitao and Cade Brewer, redshirt junior Garrett Gray, and seniors Andrew Beck and Kendall Moore.

Gray is a former wide receiver who Herman has stated is not physically ready to compete at the tight end spot yet. Don't expect him to see the field as a heavy contributor.

Beck, in addition to have the aforementioned two foot surgeries, has also only caught fourteen passes in his career. Still, Beck was highly praised by Charlie Strong for his pass catching ability and athleticism. If he can stay healthy, he could enjoy a breakout senior year as a starter.

Moore could challenge Beck for that starting position. Beck and Moore have similar stats up until this point, but there is ample time for one to develop and become Herman's favorite from now until the start of the season.

Leitao is the most highly touted player out of the group, as he was the No. 19 overall tight end for the 2016 class. Sitting out two games due to suspension, however, could lead to the freshman losing his chance at starting if either Beck or Moore can step up as serviceable.

USC will be the first game that Leitao is eligible to play. It will be interesting to see if Herman rolls with the inexperienced Leitao against the Trojans despite it being his first college game.

Cade Brewer is also a three-star prospect, but is probably more raw than Leitao. Despite being late adds for the 'Horns, Texas' two freshmen TE's are a solid framework for the future of the position at Texas.


Though Leitao may be the most talented scholarship tight end, the position is Beck's or Moore's to win for now.

The USC game could highlight if the tight end position is truly as thin as it looks on paper. It could be Leitao's coming out party, or a reminder that Herman still has some work to do on the recruiting trail for the position.