The majority of voters (55%) said, “Yes,” now that Marcus Mathews has bulked up 30 pounds and is now the size of a traditional tight end, he will be the Brigham Young Cougars’ primary tight end in 2012. Just 31 percent of voters thought Mathews would be BYU’s number two tight end. The remaining votes were cast as follows: tight end number three, 7%; tight end number four, 2%; tight end number five, 1%; and four percent were undecided.
I have been touting Richard Wilson and Austin Holt all offseason. In light of recent events, I am going to change my position and agree with the majority. Marcus Mathews will be BYU’s primary tight end.
The last two years it has been hard to wrap my mind around Mathews as a tight end. On the official roster, he was roughly the same size as wide receiver Cody Hoffman. That meant, Mathews came in handy when the Cougars needed a tight end to catch passes, but not when they needed someone coming out of a three point stance and blocking. Playing in a wide receiver-tight end hybrid role, the question always existed in what position group does Mathews belong?
Mathews is clearly a tight end now. Given the way the last two years have gone, Mathews is the most experienced Cougar tight end. He has 35 receptions for 435 yards the last two seasons. No other tight end has even half as many. At BYU, where pass catching comes first, this is significant.
Mathews is also at an advantage because he is not recovering from a major injury. Both Holt and Wilson blew out their knees last year, and head coach Bronco Mendenhall has commented on how that has slowed them during camp.
The final reason I feel Mathews will be BYU’s primary tight end this year is found in this YouTube video published by BYUtvSports just seven days ago. Mathews and quarterback Riley Nelson were roommates last year. The extra time together at home augments the chemistry they have developed in practice, and should result in increased output during games.
Added weight, more experience, better health, and more time with the starting quarterback will all lead to Mathews becoming BYU’s primary tight end in 2012.
Thank you to everyone who voted. Don’t forget to vote in this week’s poll: “Is BYU better off practicing without pads/hitting?”
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