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July 16, 2012

Ranking the ACC: Tight Ends

EagleAction.com is getting you ready for the upcoming season by breaking down each position in the league. Today, we look at the top tight ends in the ACC heading into 2012.

1. Chris Pantale , Boston College, 6-6, 255, Sr.
Pantale is one of only two tight ends in the ACC that was put on the John Mackey Preseason Watch list. At 6'6", 250+ pounds, with decent speed and good hands Pantale is a mismatch for most safeties and linebackers that he goes up against. Look for Doug Martin to use Pantale in the offense a lot more this year than he was used in past years.
2. Matt Furstenburg , Maryland, 6-4, 245, Sr.
Furrstenburg is the other tight end from the ACC that was put on the John Mackey Preseason Watch list. The senior tight end is the returning leader in receiving yards for tight ends in the league with 348. Maryland's quarterback situation doesn't lead me to think that Furstenburg is going to be able to raise that production much this season.
3. Nick O'Leary, Florida State, 6-4, 240, So.
O'Leary came to FSU with a lot of hype last year, as he was the #1 ranked tight end in his class, and a top 50 ranked player nationally. As a true freshman, O'Leary caught 12 balls for 164 yards. Look for him to double that production this year and make a run at Pantale and Furstenburg as the best tight end in the ACC.
4. Eric Ebron, North Carolina, 6-4, 230, So.
Ebron wasn't the top tanked tight end in his class like O'Leary, but he was the 21st ranked tight end, which isn't too shabby. Last season, Ebron had similar production to O'Leary catching 10 passes for 204 yards, and I expect him to double his production as well this year.
5. Brandon Ford, Clemson, 6-4, 235, Sr.
In somewhat limited playing time, Ford had 14 receptions for 166 yards last year. Now with Dwayne Allen and his 50 receptions and 598 yards gone, Ford has the chance to take on a lot bigger role in the office. Clemson returns so many weapons on offense, so Ford should get some favorable 1-on-1 match-ups.
6. Clive Walford, Miami, 6-4, 250, So.
It seems like a popular trend in the ACC last year was teams letting young tight ends getting playing time. Walford is another player who fits that description. As a redshirt freshman, Walford had 172 yards receiving and 18 receptions. Now the position is his to control..

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