Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the recruit: Darius Redman

Name: Darius Redman
Position: TE
Hometown: Washington, DC
School: H.D. Woodson
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 235

ESPN: 75; three stars; #65 TE
Rivals: 5.4; two stars
Scout: three stars; #66 TE

Other offers: None

Mike London looks even more tight-end happy than Al Groh did. We've seen three of them play roles this season, and 2010 recruiting turned up a pair of them. But you can't keep expecting 6'6" players from Texas to fall into your lap at the end of the year, and you can't turn all your QBs into TEs, so recruiting at least one was a priority this year. Enter Darius Redman.

Redman's recruitment was a slow one. When he committed to UVA it was without any other offers in hand, though a couple programs gave him the "verbal-but-if-you-camp/visit-we'll-put-it-in-writing" offer. By the end of June, none of those had materialized yet; Redman had his UVA offer and wasn't interested in playing out his senior season to see what would show up afterwards, and he was a Hoo long before July.

Even as a sophomore/rising junior Redman looked the part of a tight end, "passing the eye test" at the Under Armour camp in spring of 2009. Since then he's put on some weight, an encouraging sign because the biggest difference between the tight ends who are seeing the field right now and the ones who aren't is about 25 pounds. Had he played the recruiting game to its fullest and waited til the end of this season, other offers probably would have shown up. Last year he caught just 11 passes, two for touchdowns; he's got a pair of touchdowns already this year. As H.D. Woodson - defending champion of their conference - settles in to their regular schedule, his production should start getting a boost.

When it comes to evaluations, on the one side you've got Scout and ESPN calling him a pretty decent prospect, and ESPN says Redman is solid all aroud - "can block, catch, and run," though their evaluation likes him best as a blocker. On the other there's Rivals with a really fringe-type kind of evaluation and the total lack of offers. Having only about a catch a game in 2009 probably contributed to that. Coaches at every level, trying to find a tight end from the ranks below, look first for the guys that catch and have flashy stats, and then see if they can block. More clear evidence that Redman isn't "the guy" in the sense that guys like Tom Santi were do-it-all, all-the-time TEs is that London is still recruiting guys like Rory Anderson.

But there are also a lot of walk-on TEs on the roster and we've seen a lot of two-TE formations and plenty of PT for Joe Torchia, Colter Phillips, and Paul Freedman so far this year. There's no shortage of evidence that the offense plans, going forward, will lean heavily on the tight end. So there's room, to put it mildly. Redman is already pretty close to a college playing weight (contrast with the aforementioned Anderson, who is more highly rated but has barely cracked 200 pounds) and his ceiling is probably lower than most, but he's also closer to the field than most. The thing to expect here is a player who'll likely never be the focus of the offense, but who'll redshirt a year to give him some separation from the guys in front and then carve out a good long career as a second tight end.

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