Florida will need production from freshman tight ends – 247Sports
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With the Early Signing Period over, GatorBait.net stops to take a look at each position on the roster to identify remaining needs and look at strengths and weaknesses of the players at the position. Today we continue with the tight ends.
Overview: The Gators lost DeAndre Goolsby but return a pair of veterans who were just as productive last fall. The problem is just as productive didn’t really mean much as the position was a huge disappointment. New coach Dan Mullen will have to do some work to get this position up to snuff, but there are three talented youngsters to work with.
Strengths: Athleticism, Size
Lewis and Stephens aren’t much to write home about in terms of size, but Lewis is a tremendous athlete who could see a big uptick in receptions in 2017 as a matchup problem. The size comes from some of the younger guys. Both Pitts and Lang are in the 6-foot-5 to 6-foot-6 range, while Gamble can serve as an H-back or in-line tight end type at 255 pounds.
Weaknesses: Lack of a Proven Option
Stephens and Lewis are going into their fifth seasons, and at this point it’s unrealistic to expect a huge change from either. Stephens is the more well-balanced of the two, with Lewis a good blocker but a guy who has struggled with drops. The bottom line is Florida probably needs one of the true freshmen to play right away, and that’s usually less than ideal at the tight end position.
What Needs To Happen: Florida needs to find a way to try to improve Lewis’ hands. If he can do that, there’s a ton Florida can do with him as a blocker in