Temple’s tight ends look to earn bigger roles in offense

Temple’s tight ends combined for one receiving touchdown last season.

Redshirt-sophomore tight end Kenny Yeboah (left) tries to catch a pass while covered by redshirt-sophomore defensive lineman Quincy Roche during Tuesday's practice at Chodoff Field. | EVAN EASTERLING / THE TEMPLE NEWS

After Tuesday’s practice, the tight ends worked for a few minutes on catching passes from close range.

Catching balls out front of him instead of off the shoulder pads has been an emphasis for redshirt sophomore Kenny Yeboah this spring. He dropped a few passes last season, including a wide open touchdown in the season-opening loss to the University of Notre Dame.

As a whole, the tight ends are trying to increase their versatility. They want to get as many of their group on the field at once, whether it’s at tight end, wideout or in the backfield, redshirt senior Chris Myarick said.

“We all have the same goal to go out and just make plays, so that’s really what we’re trying to do this year,” Yeboah said.

The tight ends complement each other well, special teams coordinator and tight ends coach Ed Foley said. Yeboah said Myarick is the leader of the group, and Foley said Myarick’s attention to detail is “contagious.”

Last year, Myarick, Yeboah and redshirt-junior tight end Jake Robinson combined for 23 catches for 207 yards and one touchdown. Robinson scored the touchdown on his only catch of the season, a 3-yard grab during Temple’s 34-26 win against Navy on Nov. 2 at Lincoln Financial Field.

The tight end played a larger role in the passing game in past seasons. In 2016, former tight end Romond Deloatch recorded 242 yards receiving on 18 catches. Former tight end Colin Thompson had 43 yards receiving. Tight ends combined for 332 yards receiving in 2015.

Yeboah and the other tight ends are working to be more involved in the offense. Robinson said he typically plays at “F” tight end, which involves being in motion, catching balls in the flat and running seam routes.

“I’ve been trying to work more on my receiving because when I first got here I’d say I was more blocking,” Robinson said. “But with the new offense when coach [Geoff] Collins and his staff got here, [I’m] definitely trying to improve my receiving skills.”

The tight ends are also involved on special teams. Myarick has been playing on the punt, field goal and kick return units, and Robinson is on the punt and kick return teams.

Foley said the tight ends have done well at making contested catches and running routes.

“I don’t like to ever say that I’m satisfied or pleased with them because I’m trying to push them, and I’ve got to be careful because they are playing pretty well,” Foley said. “And particularly this last scrimmage, I was satisfied with some of the things we’ve done.”

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