The Spring Prospectus is a daily series taking a quick look at each position group before UA beings spring practice. This list of position groups will be updated with links as each one posts: quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, offensive line, defensive line, inside linebackers, outside linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties and special teams.
Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian got creative last year in boosting the University of Alabama’s tight end position: he moved two offensive linemen out there, using Kendall Randolph and Chris Owens as tight ends in specialty packages.
UA got its tight end fix in the offseason this time.
The addition of North Carolina grad transfer tight end Carl Tucker adds a layer of intrigue to the position, but one that won’t be seen in UA’s spring practice, beginning March 13. Tucker will enroll in the summer, giving the current crop of tight ends the spring to jockey for position and give Tucker series competition upon his arrival.
Top returners: Miller Forristall (15 catches, 167 yards and four touchdowns) and Major Tennison (three catches, 21 yards and a touchdown).
Returning depth: Jahleel Billingsley, Giles Amos and Cameron Latu.
Early enrollees: None.
Forristall’s four-game absence with a throat injury gave Billingsley more opportunities to play, speeding his development going into his sophomore season. The competition in front of him may stunt his playing time more than his own skill.
Forristall was UA’s most used tight end last year, and he returns for his senior season. Tennison had a role comparable to Randolph’s and Owens’ in usage, a package that could very well carry over to 2020. Randolph is listed as both a tight end and offensive lineman on the roster, and Owens has both his tight end and offensive line jersey number assigned to him.
Forristall, Tennison and Billingsley are certain to compete with one another for the top of the tight end position this spring, but how much they play will be dependent on how much Tucker accomplishes when he arrives in the summer. His role with the Tar Heels was understated in 2019 (five catches) but he was North Carolina’s third-leading receiver by receiving yards in 2018 (265 on 16 catches, two touchdowns).