Oregon’s Tight End ‘Problem’

Kevin Cline

Last week against Tennessee, a scary beast was unleashed for the nation to see.  His name?  Johnny Mundt.

It isn’t necessarily that Mundt racked up 121 receiving yards and two touchdowns on five catches that makes him so scary, it’s the fact that he was a true freshman making his first career start in place of flu-ridden starter, Colt Lyerla.  Oregon’s backup tight end, Pharoah Brown, has been out with a leg injury since the first week of fall camp, allowing Mundt to step in and start his first game.

Mundt leaves defenders in his wake

Craig Strobeck

Mundt leaves defenders in his wake

Who is the real number-two option for the Ducks?  We won’t know until Brown is back in uniform.  But it is clear that the Ducks have serious talent at the tight end spot.

There isn’t a team in the country that would dislike the situation the Ducks have at tight end.  Evan Baylis was a four-star recruit out of Colorado, who opened eyes during spring ball in 2012, but was eventually overshadowed by Mr. Brown’s freakish talent and pass-catching abilities.  Koa Ka’ai rounds out the Ducks’ tight end group.  A converted defensive end, he appears more than capable of playing significant minutes, despite his limited experience in games.

New head coach Mark Helfrich must love his tight end quandary – especially on Saturday’s.  He has the ability to throw out five different athletes, all with impressive, unique skill-sets, on just about any play, in any situation, without having to stress about whether or not the players on the field can handle the load.

Oh, what a ‘problem’ to have.

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