The college football season is approaching. There is always debate over ranking the best players in the sport. Here are the top 25 college football tight ends heading into the 2023 season.
Note: While projection of what a player can be is taken into account, most rankings are from what has been seen on the field so far. These are not NFL Draft rankings, but rather focus on the best players in college football.
Top College Football Tight Ends
25. Gavin Bartholomew, Pittsburgh Panthers
Pittsburgh’s offense took a step back from their great 2021 season and that changed Bartholomew’s production. He still finished with 283 receiving yards and two touchdowns, but has the talent to outrank this position by year’s end.
24. Isaac Rex, BYU Cougars
Rex is one of the more experienced players in all of college football. He had 320 receiving yards in 2022, which brought his career total up to 963. His presence will help the Cougars transition to the Big 12.
23. Theo Johnson, Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State got use out of two tight ends last season, but now Johnson should be the go-to-guy at the position. He had 20 catches for 328 yards and four touchdowns last season. New stating quarterback Drew Allar can help get the most out of him this season.
22. David Martin-Robinson, Temple Owls
Temple didn’t have too many bright spots last season, but Martin-Robinson was one of them. He tallied 362 yards and two touchdowns. If E.J. Warner can improve, so too can Martin-Robinson.
21. Brady Hunt, Ball State Cardinals
Hunt may play at a smaller school, but he had great production in 2022. He had 46 catches for 498 yards and five touchdowns. Hunt is a player to watch during MACtion.
20. Michael Trigg, Ole Miss Rebels
Trigg transferred from USC to Ole Miss last season. An injury hurt his chance to get momentum last season, but he still finished with 156 receiving yards and three touchdowns in seven games played.
19. Terrance Ferguson, Oregon Ducks
In 2022, Ferguson pretty much doubled his statistical production from 2021. His play helped Oregon have a great offensive season and he’ll be working with quarterback Bo Nix again.
18. Thomas Yassmin, Utah Utes
Yassmin is one of two Utah tight ends on this list, but they use multiple in their offense. Last season, he had 301 receiving yards, but also made some highlight plays for the Utes. He’ll make Utah one of the best tight end rooms in the country again this season.
17. Rivaldo Fairweather, Auburn Tigers
Fairweather put up great stats at Florida International over three seasons. He finished his time there with 54 receptions for 838 yards and five touchdowns. Now he gets the chance to challenge himself in the SEC.
16. Tanner McLachlan, Arizona Wildcats
Arizona has one of the more underrated passing attacks in the country and McLachlan aids them in that. He had 456 receiving yards in his first season at Arizona after transferring up from Southern Utah of the FCS level.
15. Jalin Conyers, Arizona State Sun Devils
After starting his career at Oklahoma, Conyers transferred to Arizona State. In 2022, he had his first big season with 422 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He’ll help new quarterback Drew Pyne, who transferred in from Notre Dame for this season.
14. Luke Lachey, Iowa Hawkeyes
Even with Sam LaPorta starting last season, Lachey had the chance to show what he could do. He had 398 receiving yards and now that LaPorta is with the Detroit Lions, Lachey can be the best pass-catcher in the Iowa offense.
13. Ben Sinnott, Kansas State Wildcats
Sinnott is a tight end-fullback hybrid, but he counts here. He can affect the game in many ways, but still has the receiving stats to fit in on this list. With 447 receiving yards and four touchdowns, he’ll be looking to improve this year, as the offense lost some key playmakers from last season.
12. Mason Fairchild, Kansas Jayhawks
Fairchild, like several other Jayhawks, really picked up their games last season to get Kansas to a bowl game. He finished the year with 35 catches for 443 yards and six touchdowns.
11. Trey Knox, South Carolina Gamecocks
Knox is a former receiver who went to Arkansas, but is now at South Carolina as a tight end. He had 287 receiving yards and five touchdowns last season. It looks like the skills from being a receiver can help him be even more productive in 2023.
10. Cade Stover, Ohio State Buckeyes
With how many good receivers Ohio State has, Stover can be lost in the shuffle. He did still have 406 receiving yards last year. This season, he’ll have to improve in his role as a security blanket for a quarterback to utilize, as the Buckeyes will have someone new at the position.
9. Mason Taylor, LSU Tigers
It took just one season at LSU for Taylor to show off how much talent he has. He had 38 receptions for 414 yards and three touchdowns, which helped LSU win the SEC West. It was a great start to a career and Taylor has a lot of potential left in the tank.
8. Benjamin Yurosek, Stanford Cardinal
There haven’t been as many great players over the last two seasons as in years past, but Yurosek is worth checking out. He had 658 receiving yards in 2021 and 445 in 2022. Stanford will need him to produce more again if they want to improve this season.
7. Brevyn Spann-Ford, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Spann-Ford is a big tight end at 6-foot-7 and 270. Minnesota uses him as a mismatch well, as he caught 42 passes for 497 yards and two touchdowns in 2022. With a new quarterback stepping in, Spann-Ford will greatly help them out.
6. Bryson Nesbit, North Carolina Tar Heels
Drake Maye broke out last season and Nesbit benefitted and helped him too. He was one of the more productive tight ends in the country with 507 receiving yards. Nesbit could be a key to Maye being a Heisman Trophy Finalist this season.
5. Jaheim Bell, Florida State Seminoles
Bell is a little bit of a hybrid player, as he runs the ball, catches passes and blocks. It makes him a good chess piece for an offensive coordinator to use. Last season at South Carolina, he had 261 rushing yards and 231 receiving yards.
4. Brant Kuithe, Utah Utes
Kuithe has had a long college career, but only played in four games last season. He still had 206 receiving yards, but he has two seasons of over 600 yards in his career. Getting back healthy this season should help him show how good of a player he can be.
3. Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas Longhorns
Texas has so many talented pass-catchers on their roster and Sanders is one of the best. He had 613 receiving yards and five touchdowns last season. Texas improved a lot last year with some credit going to Sanders and they can do the same thing this offseason.
2. Oronde Gadsen II, Syracuse Orange
In reality, Gadsen is more of a receiver, but Syracuse is listing him as a tight end. He had 975 receiving yards last season. That may not hold as a tight end this season, but if it does, it will have him in the running for the Mackey Award as the country’s top tight end.
1. Brock Bowers, Georgia Bulldogs
There is no question that Bowers is the best tight end in college football. He is the best player for Georgia and has been the best player in plenty of tight end rooms during his time there. He had 942 receiving yards and seven touchdowns last season. Bowers is so talented, Georgia uses him as a runner as well.
Other Notable Tight Ends not in the Top 25
Jake Briningstool, Clemson Tigers
He had 285 receiving yards last season with Davis Allen on the team, but now he should get most of the tight end snaps.
Maliq Carr, Michigan State Spartans
Carr has made some highlight catches for the Spartans as a former wide receiver and can get on this list next year with a little more production.
Alec Holler, UCF Knights
He had 276 receiving yards last season in the AAC, but now has to adjust to the Big 12.
Austin Stogner, Oklahoma Sooners
Stogner has gone from Oklahoma to South Carolina and now back to Oklahoma with 864 career receiving yards.
Treyton Welch, Wyoming Cowboys
He had 308 receiving yards last season and now Welch is trying to build on that in 2023.
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