Friday, November 25, 2016

'If you've got a good one, he's a matchup nightmare' Southern's not so secret weapon? The tight ends

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- The Grambling defensive video room has probably spent a large amount of time poring over the work of the usual Southern standouts, Lenard Tillery and Willie Quinn.

But the Tigers are also likely keeping a close eye on the Southern tight end group, led by junior Dillon Beard, whose 35 catches for 452 yards and six touchdowns are all the second-best marks on the team behind Quinn.

“We use them a lot,” quarterback Austin Howard said. “They’ve played a big part in our offense this year.”

That position group in particular is key to Southern’s balanced offensive attack. Not only have the tight ends been effective catching passes from Howard, but they have also created space for Tillery and the Southern running backs.

It’s the sort of dual threat at the position that Southern coach Dawson Odums said most teams in the league do not possess.

“We are an up-tempo, multiple-formation type of team,” Odums said. "The tight end stretches the box, so it widens out the defense and creates gaps. You are able to get more done with that tight end.


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