August 24, 2012

Positional breakdowns part eight: Tight Ends and Fullbacks

In 2003 Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe gave Steed Lobotzke additional responsibilities when he promoted him to offensive coordinator to go along with his duties as offensive line coach, but the former Air Force offensive lineman switched from the trenches to coach the tight ends and fullbacks during the off-season after Jonathan Himebauch took over up front.

"You coach less guys, but I'm coaching more things now too," Lobotzke said. "It used to be when I coached o-line I didn't watch seven-on-seven tape, the pass skeleton, but now my tight ends are in that, so I watch that. That takes time. I used to have a lot of guys to coach, but I didn't coach any special teams except field goal. My tight ends are on every special team, because they have that body type, so it's funny."

"You think you're going to gain a lot of time, but then end up coaching other things, because of the nature of the position and the body types you're coaching. I'm a lot more involved in special teams than I ever have been before, because linemen don't cover kicks, linemen don't cover punts. Now my tight ends are on almost all of those. It's interesting. It's freeing from some things, but other things are pulling on me still."

Lobotzke takes over two position groups, returning only one player with significant experience in fullback Tommy Bohanon.

In three seasons at Wake Bohanon, a 6-foot-2 and 245-pound senior from North Fort Myers, Fla., has rushed 48 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns, and has caught 29 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.

Jordan Garside, a 5-foot-10 and 235-pound redshirt sophomore from Jacksonville, Fla., who played in all 13 games last season as a part of Wake's kickoff return unit will back up Bohanon.

Backup fullback and special teams contributor Ben Emert, a 6-foot-1 and 235-pound redshirt sophomore from Ball Ground, Ga., has been hampered by a shoulder injury since the spring.

"Spencer Bishop is the starting tight end, and Tommy Bohanon is the starting fullback," Lobotzke said. "They've both been playing good enough to be out there at this level."

Redshirt sophomore tight end Neil Basford is out for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon in practice Wednesday, Aug. 15. Bishop was already the starter, but Basford's injury makes what was already a lean group of tight ends leaner.

The Demon Deacons lost tight ends Cameron Ford and Andrew Parker, who for their careers amassed a combined 62 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns, to graduation, leaving big shoes for Bishop to fill. Bishop, a 6-foot-2 and 240-pound redshirt junior from Pinehurst, NC, spent his first two seasons as a contributor on special teams.

Jordan Pineda, a 6-foot-4 and 230-pound redshirt freshman from Boone, NC, switched from the defensive line to tight end to add depth.

Wake Forest signed two tight ends in its 2012 recruiting class, Zach Gordon and Anthony Rook, who Grobe and Lobotzke hoped to redshirt, but may have no other choice than to play them as true freshmen due to Basford's injury and a lack of depth at the position.



 

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