Who steps up at tight end for Alabama this spring?
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Alabama football’s starting tight end position is up for grabs this spring with the departure of Cam Latu.
The Crimson Tide returns a few experienced players at the position to go along with Maryland transfer, CJ Dippre.
The tight end position has not been overly productive in the passing game over the last few years for Alabama. Latu battled an injury earlier in the 2022 football season, but he did manage to put together a solid year with 30 receptions for 377 yards and four touchdowns. The last Alabama tight end to record more than 500 receiving yards was Irv Smith in 2018 when he racked up 710.
As Nick Saban and Alabama’s coaching staff begin the search to find a tight end, who can put his hand in the ground and block, and also be a weapon in the passing game, here is a look at the early favorites to be the Crimson Tide’s next starting tight end.
Ouzts has played more football at Alabama over the last two seasons than many may realize with his role as a fullback in goal-line situations and his contributions on special teams. The South Carolina native has played in 25 of the Crimson Tide’s 27 games since the 2021 football season. He came to Alabama as a physical tight end, who excelled at blocking, but lacked the tools needed to be an immediate threat in the passing game. He showed flashes of improvement late in the 2022 football season by finishing the year with five receptions for 51 yards.
Dippre is another experienced tight end. He played in 13 games for the Terrapins as a sophomore and started the entire season last year as a sophomore. The Pennsylvania native ended his sophomore campaign with 30 receptions for 314 yards and three touchdowns before transferring to Alabama. The 6-foot-5, 257-pounder has proven to be effective in the passing game and is a physical blocker. Many expect him to make an impact during his first year in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama’s newest transfer TE commit CJ Dippre @CjDippre can fly. 🚀
— Touchdown Alabama Recruiting (@TDARecruiting) December 27, 2022
Niblack was tagged as one of the top tight-end prospects in the country during the 2022 recruiting cycle. He had Alabama fans excited about his potential last season in large part due to his ability to run routes like a wide receiver. Unfortunately for the Florida product, he had to grow as a blocker, which is something Saban prioritizes at the tight end position. He did see some playing time last season, including playing in 10 games with one start. He finished the year with one reception for 15 yards.
Miles Kitselman, Danny Lewis Jr., Elijah Brown and Ty Lockwood are dark horses in this competition.
This battle could carry over to the fall.