Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a closer look at some of the top early targets for the Tigers in the 2022 class.
If there’s one thing I know my audience loves it’s tight ends. So today we break down some names to know at this beloved position. Auburn has a very young but talented tight end room but both Bryan Harsin and Mike Bobo feature them heavily in their offense so I expect the Tigers to continue to sign at least one every class.
Here’s a look at some early top targets.
4-star Holden Staes | 6’4” | 220 lbs | Atlanta, GA
First off, if you can get two guys named Holden from the state of Georgia you have to do it. It helps too that Staes is an elite pass catching tight end. The Georgia native committed to Penn State last August but decided to reopen things when Urban Meyer hired away the Nittany Lions’ tight ends coach Tyler Bowen. Now the Tigers are expected to make a serious push but they won’t be alone. In just the past couple of weeks Texas, Ole Miss and Notre Dame have all offered.
February 5, 2021
Staes is an elite pass catching tight end prospect. Incredibly versatile, you can line the 4-star up all over the field. He’s got elite hands if you can get the ball anywhere near his big paws. Will likely need to improve as a blocker at the next level but has the potential to be an All-Conference performer.
4-star Oscar Delp | 6’5” | 220 lbs | Cumming, GA
There’s a lot of elite tight end talent in the Atlanta metro area this cycle. Delp is another stud from that area that Auburn has prioritized. Unfortunately, their chances took a major hit when Gunner Stockton chose Georgia. In fact, it wouldn’t shock me if Delp is already a silent commit to the Dawgs. We will see though if Auburn can turn the tide. He was one of the first prospects new Auburn tight ends coach Brad Bedell contacted upon being hired.
In my very fake expert opinion, Delp is a top 5 tight end prospect in this 2022 class. An elite athlete for his size, Delp can make plays all over the field. He’s versatile enough to line up anywhere pre-snap. He’s got plus route running ability and excellent hands. Big time player.
3-star Micah Riley-Ducker | 6’6” | 235 lbs | Bellevue, NE
The NCAA continues to restrict visits for recruits which has limited many players from getting a chance to see their top schools. Some players, however, have taken matters in their own hands. Riley is one of those players. The rising senior has been taking self guided tours at all of his top schools including Auburn. He wants to make a decision in July so that visits will likely prove big for Auburn’s chances. The Tigers are a top contender along with Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Georgia Tech.
Four-star TE Micah Riley-Ducker has toured Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Missouri recently, and will be at Iowa tomorrow https://t.co/IJ4MKRltuW @micah_r_d https://t.co/U23gFhovaQ— Blair Sanderson (@BlairRIVALS) February 15, 2021
Riley-Ducker is an intriguing TE prospect. A long, lanky athlete at 6’6” 235, he’s got the frame to play at 260+ without losing any athleticism. Obviously enjoys the blocking aspect of being a tight end and shows ability to be dominant on the edge. Good hands paired with solid route running ability makes him a solid option in the passing game at the next level as well.
Darren Agu | 6’7” | 235 lbs | Rabun Gap, GA
Agu was one of the first new offers Brad Bedell sent out after being hired. The Georgia native is originally from London, England and put together a solid junior campaign last fall. His offer list has exploded in recent weeks with Miami, Louisville and Penn State all jumping into the race.
Agu had 218 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in 2020. He’s got a massive frame that could honestly make him an offensive tackle prospect down the line. He spends a lot of time lined up as a traditional tight end giving him experience working as in line blocker. Also flashes athleticism to flex out and make plays in the passing game. A developmental prospect with exciting upside.
Sawyer Burt | 6’4” | 220 lbs | Fort Payne, AL
I’ve typically had someone on these lists that doesn’t yet have an offer but could later emerge as a target. My guy to watch at tight end is Sawyer Burt out of Chief’s old stomping grounds. He’s on the radar for a number of programs including Air Force, Coastal Carolina, Army, and Kansas.
Burt is a big kid with a reported wingspan of 82 inches. He’s a strong blocker who is very physical at the point of contact. As a receiver, flashes good hands and the ability to get open.