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2020 TCU Football Preview: Tight Ends

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Pro Wells emerged as a big-time target for the Horned Frogs this past season. Will TCU utilize him and its other tight ends more often in 2020?

TCU v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The TCU offense has seldom used tight ends in the passing game over the last several years. In fact, when Pro Wells scored on a 12-yard touchdown reception against SMU this past season, he became the first Horned Frog tight end to catch a touchdown pass since Cole Hunt brought one down against Oklahoma in 2016.

Moreover, Jeremy Clark of 247 Sports noted it was the first time a Horned Frog tight end caught two touchdown passes in the same game since 2011. Wells finished with 196 receiving yards in 2019, the most for any Horned Frog tight end since Shae Reagan totaled 237 yards in 2008.

That’s quite a long time for a fairly modest amount of production, but Wells will return this fall as one of TCU’s top targets after emerging as a red-zone threat this past season. Wells showcased his versatility as the season progressed, occasionally lining up in the slot and attacking defenses up the seam.

After losing Jalen Reagor to the NFL Draft, TCU will be looking for a pass-catcher to step up, and Wells will be an early candidate to be that player. But the Horned Frogs have two more tight ends returning this fall who not only saw game reps this past season, but could see their roles increase in 2020.

One of those tight ends is senior Artayvious Lynn, who possesses NFL-caliber size with a 6-foot-6, 265-pound frame. The former second-ranked prep school tight end started five games in 2019 and appeared in all 12 games, finishing with 11 catches for 118 yards. Both Wells and Lynn nabbed their first collegiate touchdown catches this past season, with Lynn notching his on a 4-yard scoring grab against Texas Tech.

Another player to keep an eye on will be Carter Ware, who has appeared in 24 games over the last two seasons with three total starts. Ware started his first collegiate game in the Cheez-It Bowl, setting key blocks as the Horned Frogs rushed for 262 yards in their thrilling 10-7 win over California. Ware had only two catches for nine yards in 2019, but the former two-time all-state high school defensive end has lined up at fullback in certain scenarios.

The tight end group will arguably be TCU’s most experienced offensive position this fall, as the Horned Frogs will look to replace two running backs (Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua), three offensive lineman (Anthony McKinney, Cordel Iwuagwu and Lucas Niang) and two wide receivers (Reagor and Tre’Vontae Hights). 2020 will be Lynn’s fifth season, Ware’s fourth season and Wells’ third season with the Horned Frogs.

With up-and-coming talents at the wide receiver and running back positions, TCU could be poised to see and uptick in production from its tight ends this fall.