By Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com -
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Sometimes a receiver, sometimes a lineman.
Always a football player. The life of a tight end.
“You look for a guy who has heart because he’s got to do a lot of stuff,” said Central Michigan tight ends coach Sherrone Moore. “He’s got to love playing football, is willing to do anything for the team, and he’s got to be a pretty football-smart guy to play the position.”
The Chippewas return a trio of veteran tight ends in junior Ben McCord and seniors Mike Kinville and Deon Butler. All three saw significant playing time in 2013, combining for 191 yards on 20 catches.
McCord was a standout in CMU’s spring game, making three catches for 78 yards and three touchdowns.
“I’m happy with the progress we’ve made from spring to summer to now,” said Moore, who is in his first year as an aide to head coach Dan Enos. “They’ve all worked very hard, they’ve all bought in to the program and what we’re doing. They’re all pushing each other. It’s competitive, every day, and that makes all of them better.”
Behind the trio of experienced veterans are several untested freshmen who Moore – like any coach at any position -- would prefer to groom slowly.
“You can play in practice, you can play in the spring game, you can scrimmage, but when you play in a game it’s a lot different than any other atmosphere,” he said. “We’ve got three guys in Michael Kinville, Deon Butler and Ben McCord who have all played in games and have experience so I’m looking forward to good years from all three of those guys.”
The tight ends will join a talented group of wideouts in forming the Chippewas’ receiving corps, a corps that is led by one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the Mid-American Conference in senior Titus Davis.
With Davis and Co. – and an experienced quarterback in Cooper Rush – the tight ends will, without question, figure into the passing-game equation.
“People know about Titus, but it’s not just one guy,” Moore said. “You double one guy, you’re going to leave three guys open. Everybody’s got to be ready to catch balls this year.”