Like Wide Receivers, But Stronger
The tight end qualifies as the most uniquely versatile player on the offensive side of the football. From its ability to catch like a wide receiver to being able to block on the same level as a lineman, there’s arguably no position that enjoys getting in on the dirty work more.
Stability, strength and swiftness-along with the usual prerequisites of football-are all a must. Only those who can learn to dish out and receive contact simultaneously meet the standards needed to play at such a heavy-hitting field status.
The biggest names in the game (such as Cincinnati’s own Travis Kelce) earned their reputation through continuously hard work. Through brutal tackles, speed bumps and having to sometimes switch one’s purpose on the field, Kelce among others emerged to make the position what it is today.
And while he’s no superhuman, the Super Bowl winning UC graduate sure has left some big shoes to fill for the remainder of Bearcat TE’s-now and in the future-to come.
TE1: Josh Whyle
What word best describes Josh Whyle?
Hmm... this is a tough one. Maybe energetic? Possibly talented? Or how about battle-driven?
Yes...that last one definitely fits the bill.
2018 saw Whyle go down to injury before his true freshman season got underway. 2019 watched him take the field for quite a few games, but he still never managed to get his foot in the door receiving wise.
It wasn’t until this past season-2020-when he finally started to put up some big numbers. The 6-foot-6, 235 pound strongman lead the Bearcats in air yardage (353) with 28 catches and six touchdowns. He received Second-Team All-AAC honors and has been listed to the John Mackey Award (Most outstanding collegiate tight end) watchlist for this upcoming season
An Ohio product, he earned a three-star recruiting ranking by 247 Sports and a whopping 30 offers from other FBS programs such as Louisville and Kentucky.
TE2: Leonard Taylor
You know that one guy in high school who could excel at just about any sport? That one guy, who, if given the opportunity, could pick up a new talent and out-perform someone who possessed years of hard work and experience in that field?
Yeah, that guy is basically Leonard Taylor.
The Springfield, Ohio, product achieved playing time immediately at UC as a key contributor on offense and special teams. His big overall stats didn’t come until last season, but an improved performance in 2020 has led Bearcats fans to believe in him producing a breakout performance for the 2021 campaign. He totaled 16 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown throughout Cincinnati’s magical season last year.
247 Sports gave the local four-star stud a top ten recruit ranking in the state of Ohio during the 2018 cycle. He captured offers from multiple top programs including the likes of Alabama and Ohio State.
TE3: Noah Davis
It’s certainly an odd situation when one of your top three TE’s hasn’t served as a factor in a football game for nearly four years. It’s even weirder when those stats didn’t come for your team. And yet that’s the case with Noah Davis.
Hailing from Cincinnati of all places, Davis began his career across the state border in East Lansing, Michigan. He played in 11 games for the Michigan State Spartans in 2017 and recorded three receptions for 22 yards. However, injuries kept him off the gridiron in 2018 and a next-to nothing showing in 2019 landed him back in his hometown as a transfer.
Now entering 2021, the old-and yet under experienced-grad will have one last chance at making his mark on collegiate football.
247 Sports ranked the 6-foot-4, 256 pound talent as the 28th best TE in the nation and 23rd best senior in the state of Ohio during his high school recruiting cycle.
TE4: Payten Singletary
Aaaanddd it’s time for round two of our fun facts series! Didn’t catch our first version with Bearcats RB Ethan Wright? No problem. Click here to read.
This time it’s Payten Singletary, the 4th highest TE on the Bearcats’ depth chart. Singletary is coming off of a redshirt year after enrolling with UC in January of 2020.
He’s a fairly interesting player both on and off the field.
Anyway, here we go: his superstition is to wear the exact same pair of gloves throughout the entirety of a football season, he models his game after Travis Kelce and his dream job is to be a security guard.
On a more serious note, the youngster’s senior season in high school saw him finish with 35 catches for 446 yards and seven touchdowns.
247 sports gave him a three star recruiting ranking in the 2020 cycle.
Other Notable Names: Caleb Schmitz and Chamon Metayer
Trailing behind Singletary are Caleb Schmitz and Chamon Metayer, a pair of true freshmen.
From Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Schmitz qualifies as a three-star recruit and top 30 player in his respected state. The versatile athlete played on both sides of the football as a tight end and linebacker. His highlight reel shows that he loves to embrace heavy contact and can break a tackle (if not multiple at a time) like it’s nobody’s business. He’s fairly quick on his feet and actually favors going deep rather than staying back and producing short yardage plays.
Metayer, on the other hand, serves as your usual tough as nails Florida man.
You know, that type of guy who isn't afraid of anything? Mm-hmm, that's him.
The 6-foot-5, 220 pound Northern Miami resident owns the sheer size of a beast and serves as a force to be reckoned on the gridiron. He contributed in leading his team to a state title victory through his absolute strength and dominance at the TE position.
We’ve heard he plays linebacker and likes to wrestle alligators too, although we can’t confirm the latter.
With the tight end position group now covered, fans of Down the Drive and the Cincinnati Bearcats can look forward to a wide receivers preview to be released in the near future.