TideSports College Football Preview

Returning starter: Hale Hentges
Starters lost: None


Hale Hentges caught seven passes for 75 yards and three touchdowns, playing mostly as a blocker and often lining up as an H-back. Irv Smith Jr., who can also line up at either H-back or on the line, hauled in 14 receptions for 128 yards and three more scores. Perhaps most promising, Miller Forristall, a more traditional big-target tight end who was injured early last season, is back after catching five passes for 73 yards two seasons ago as a freshman. At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, he showed flashes of playmaking ability before his injury and could be a factor in the offense.

Providing depth will be sophomores Major Tennison and Kendrick James along with Ronnie Clark, a reliable backup running back now listed at H-back.


Michael Parker was the only tight end signee in this year’s freshman class. The 6-6, 225-pound rookie caught 73 passes for more than 1,300 yards with 14 touchdown receptions over his sat two seasons of high school. It will be hard for him to break through at a crowded position, and a year in the weight room will benefit his chances.


Tight ends under new Alabama play-caller Mike Locksley in seven previous seasons as offensive coordinator at other schools averaged a little more than 17 combined catches per year.


This may be Alabama’s deepest position. There’s no obvious OJ Howard-type threat in the passing game among the many players on the depth chart, but Forristall could emerge as a difficult matchup for opposing defenses. Aside from what they provide in the passing game, Alabama’s tight ends and H-backs will contribute mightily as blockers and in pass protection.


Fully 25 percent of passes caught by Crimson Tide tight ends last season went for touchdowns. Players at the position caught 24 passes for 245 yards and six scores.


“I think tight end is one of our deepest, most experienced groups this year, and hopefully something our offense is going to hang their hat on.”
– Hale Hentges

TideSports College Football Preview