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Dark Hoerst: Missouri’s secret tight end weapon

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The Tigers have seen some playing time open up this offseason. Does Hoerstkamp have the ability to play right away?

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama is pretty good at this football thing. They tend to get the players they want, and when they don’t, it’s worth taking note.

That was the case last year when Ennis Rakestraw committed to the Tigers over offers from Alabama and Texas, and it remained the case this offseason when Washington (MO) 3-star tight end Ryan Hoerstkamp stuck with his commitment to Missouri instead of giving serious consideration to an offer from Alabama.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound tight end has the potential to come in right away and make some noise, especially with the news that Logan Christopherson has decided to medically retire.

Mizzou 2020 TE Snap Counts (via Pro Football Focus):

  • Niko Hea - 400
  • Daniel Parker Jr. - 270
  • Logan Christopherson - 139
  • Messiah Swinson - 60

Hea and Parker are likely solidified as the Tigers’ top two options at the tight end position. After that, your guess is as good as mine. And, as you can see, that means snaps are available.

The options are somewhat limited. Swinson saw limited opportunities last year and his 6-foot-8 frame has always made him an intriguing red zone option. Gavin McKay, a freshman out of Memphis, is more of the “move” tight end in the Chase Coffman mold.

Hoerstkamp is probably the Tigers’ best option to blend the run blocking with the pass catching ability. One watch of his high school film will have you convinced he has the talent to play right away.

Hoerstkamp’s film has it all. He lines up in line as a blocker, he’s used outside as a true wide receiver threat and he consistently wins by going up and high pointing the football.

That doesn’t mean everything will translate right away. It’s hard to get on the field early as a tight end because of all the responsibilities you take on in both the run and pass game. But if you’re looking for someone who could emerge as an x-factor in the passing game this season, my money is on Hoerstkamp.