Thank you to Jesse and Thomas for the generous Paypal donations!
Name: Nick Eubanks
Weight: 252 lbs.
High school: Plantation (FL) American Heritage
Position: Tight end
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #82
Last year: I ranked Eubanks #54 and said he would be a backup tight end (LINK). He started four games and made 8 catches for 157 yards and 1 touchdown.
TTB Rating: 44
Going into his redshirt sophomore year, Eubanks looked destined to be the third tight end in an offense that might be de-emphasizing the tight end position altogether. With a new, more spread-oriented quarterback, along with the return of a third talented receiver (Tarik Black), it made sense to put more receivers on the field and lessen the reliance on multiple tight end sets.
A funny thing happened with the #3 tight end, though: He became the big-play guy.
Hit the jump for more.
Eubanks only had 8 receptions on the season, but 5 of them went for 20 or more yards. In fact, of 10 career catches, 2 of them have gone for 40+ yards. He wasn’t outrunning bad teams, either. He made big catches against Northwestern, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan State.
Now that the new season is on the horizon, Eubanks is one step higher on the depth chart (thanks to Zach Gentry’s graduation). Being #2 on the depth chart in a Josh Gattis offense may be an okay thing, but it’s almost never a good thing. Consider #2 tight end performances from offenses in his past:
- 2018 at Alabama: 4 catches for 34 yards
- 2017 at PSU: 4 catches for 27 yards
- 2016 at PSU: 0 catches for 0 yards
- 2015 at PSU: 13 catches for 125 yards
- 2014 at PSU: 16 catches for 153 yards
- 2013 at Vanderbilt: 10 catches for 100 yards
- 2012 at Vanderbilt: 0 catches for 0 yards
- 2011 at WMU: 6 catches for 31 yards
That’s an average of 6.6 catches and 58.8 yards per season for the #2 tight end, which hardly seems promising for a guy who averaged over 19 yards per reception in 2018.
Starter Sean McKeon has reportedly lost a few pounds and turned some heads this spring, but even so, he’s never been mistaken for a Mike Gesicki-like freak athlete. Gesicki put up pretty good numbers during his last couple seasons at Penn State. His backups did not. Of course, Gattis has popularized the #speedinspace theme at Michigan, but it’s unclear whether he thinks a tight end with explosive play ability qualifies.
I imagine Eubanks will have a season somewhere in between the explosiveness he had last year and the unimpressive numbers of the Ghosts of Gattis’s Past.
Prediction: Backup tight end; 15 catches for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns
You need to login in order to vote