As you know, there will be a dearth of experience at tight end next season. Kyle Adams and Jeff Lindsay have graduated. Jeff Panfil never worked out due to injuries. De'Ron Flood has left the program. Gabe Holmes, with one catch for 14 yards, returns as the tight end with the most experience. Since Adams led the team in receptions this season, it is safe to say we need a tight end as a safety valve.
I am a fan of Holmes. I think he has a lot of promise as a player. To be safe, however, we need some depth. Justin Sinz and Crosby Wright are on the roster as returnees, but it looks like we are going to dip into the junior college ranks once again with Sterling Carter coming to us from Harbor College in Los Angeles. It is the same school that produced Jaycen Taylor.
Carter will have junior eligibility when he gets to Purdue. He had 10 catches for 109 yards this past season. From the research I conducted it looks like Harbor was his second junior college. He was originally at Cerritos College in 2009. Before that, he caught four touchdowns as a senior at Torrence (CA) High, where he also played defense, basketball and volleyball. It's not often that we see a tight end as a former volleyball player, but this could be an added benefit in the long run when it comes to catching high passes. That, or I am grasping at straws.
He is one of the biggest tight ends we have had in recent memory, checking in at 6'5" 230 pounds. Out of high school he was a two-star prospect with offers from UCLA and San Jose State. Southern Miss and Tulsa were interested this time around. He will be able to enroll in January and take part in spring practice, which is a nice benefit considering the lack of depth at the position. It looks like he was key to the Harbor offense as they won their conference and he earned all-conference honors.
As usual, I have some video of Carter. He looks like a solid pickup that can contribute immediately.