If you look at the stats, the tight end position wasn’t an integral part of the Washington State offense last year.
After all, Andrei Lintz was the only tight end that caught a pass, a 4-yard touchdown against Montana State.
But the tight ends on the roster team with the fullbacks to fill not only the role of short-yardage blockers or receivers from the line, but also cover the H-back role, coming from the backfield to either block or catch passes.
That spot took a hit last season when Jared Byers suffered a major knee injury in the opener against Oklahoma State and missed the rest of the season.
But Byers is back, Lintz has been mentioned by more than one of his teammates as the most improved player over the offseason and heralded freshman Aaron Dunn, who redshirted last season, has been having a strong preseason.
“We’ve matured at the position,” said tight end coach Rich Rasmussen, who also is the Cougars recruiting coordinator.
“Andrei had a great spring and is continuing to have a really good fall,” Rasmussen continued. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in his ability from what he’s shown on the practice field – he’s got to carry it over into a game for us now.
“Having Jared back has been huge. He’s a guy whose played a lot of football for us and we missed it last year.”