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Purdue Football: Looking Ahead, Tight Ends

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We lose a couple, but we return the best of the group.

NCAA Football: Purdue at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue has a nice group of tight ends for 2019. With a nice mixture of newcomers and returnees, Purdue should have one of the better tight end groups in the conference.

Lead by Brycen Hopkins, the lone senior, the group is pretty young, with a redshirt freshman and two true freshman, as well as a junior in Pittman. Though, Pittman is used as a blocking tight end primarily.

Hopkins and Bilodeau will make a nice duo at Tight End for Purdue and will give us solid production on the field this fall.

Losses:

Cole Herdman (Graduation)

Jess Trusssel (Transfer)

Returning:

Brycen Hopkins - 5th Year, 6’5”, 245 Pounds, Career Stats - 69 (nice) Receptions, 1115 yards, 9 Touchdowns

Pros: Brycen clearly passed up Cole Herdman this season, even with being a year younger. He is a great receiving tight end that Coach Brohm loves to implement into the game plan. He has the body of a NFL Tight End and will continue to get better with more time.

Cons: His blocking still needs some work, but he has gotten much better since he arrived as a freshman.

Prediction: Starter for 2019

Payne Durham - RS Freshman, 6’6”, 250 Pounds, Career Stats - N/A

Pros: Payne is a big, athletic tight end that will create mismatches against linebackers and safeties. He showed the ability to be tough across the middle in high school.

Cons: From his high school film, he needs to refine his skills as far as route running, but that is what the redshirt year was for, that and to get stronger.

Prediction: 3rd String Tight End

Darius Pittman - Junior, 6’3”, 255 Pounds, Career Stats - 2 Receptions, 23 Yards

Pros: Darius is not the route runner of this group, or the receiver. He is a great blocker and he knows his role on the roster.

Cons: Obviously, his catching ability, but he is not asked to do that during a game.

Prediction: Starting “H-Back” - Lead Blocker

Newcomers:

Kyle Bilodeau - Freshman, 6’6”, 245 Pounds, 4*, Career Stats - N/A

Pros: Kyle is a solid all around prospect at Tight End. The Army All-American has shown his skills in high school, but will they transfer to college right away? I think yes. His pass catching ability is nearly as good as Hopkins, already.

Cons: I will need to see him be an effective blocker early on to make sure he earns the reps he deserves in terms of catching the ball. If his blocking is skeptical, it will be hard to give him a bunch of time, but if the blocking is fine, which I think it will be, he will play.

Prediction: Back-up Tight End

Garrett Miller - Freshman, 6’5”, 225 Pounds, 3*, Career Stats - N/A

Pros: Miller is a solid route runner and pass catcher out of Texas. We held on to him late in the signing period as TCU made a strong push for the in state player. Overall, he is a solid pass catcher.

Cons: He will need to get stronger to be an effective run blocker in the Big Ten. He will need a year to get stronger.

Prediction: Redshirt for 2019.