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TCU TE Jared Wiley seeing increased role on offense

The 6-foot-7 transfer from Texas led all Horned Frog pass catches with five receptions on Saturday.

TCU v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston has been the No. 1 target for the Horned Frog offense this season. Throughout TCU’s 7-0 start, however, several players including wide receivers Derius Davis, Taye Barber and Savion Williams have had their moments in the sun, catching key touchdown passes or extending drives with big-time receptions down the field.

It was tight end Jared Wiley’s turn to soak up the spotlight on Saturday, when the 6-foot-7 transfer from Texas hauled in a team-high five catches for 74 yards and one touchdown as TCU rallied for a 38-28 win against Kansas State to remain undefeated. Wiley’s score came on a well-designed play-action pass near the endzone, where Duggan went under center and faked the handoff to running back Kendre Miller before hitting a wide open Wiley.

Wiley has made the most of his opportunities with TCU, scoring four touchdowns in seven games despite totaling only 12 receptions for 136 yards. Wiley’s size and length have made him an excellent target near the red zone, where the Texas transfer has hauled in all four of his scores including a huge fourth-quarter touchdown against Oklahoma State.

Saturday’s win over Kansas State was Wiley’s highest usage of the season, however, with the 6-foot-7, 255-pounder springing open over the middle for multiple big gains near midfield and in Wildcat territory. Wiley’s longest reception of the game was a 30-yarder near the start of the third quarter, where Duggan hit him on a post route from the slot for a first down. After three seasons with the Longhorns, Wiley is on track to set new career highs in several categories including receiving yards, touchdowns and receptions.

It’s rare to see tight ends having big games for the Horned Frogs, who had very seldomly used them under former head coach Gary Patterson. Between Wiley and Geor’quarius Spivey, who caught a 16-yard pass on Saturday and has five catches for 72 yards this season, tight ends have seen greater usage under new head coach Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Garrett Riley. With the 6-foot-5 Spivey serving as the Y-slot receiver, a hybrid role for bigger receivers or tight ends like former Horned Frog Pro Wells, TCU has four starters including Johnston (6-foot-4 X), Williams (6-foot-5 Z) and Wiley (6-foot-7 TE) with tremendous size and length who can catch the ball anywhere on the football field.