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Can Florida State tight ends take another step?

Florida State has four talented tight ends that are all a bit different.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State tight ends, just as every other position on offense, will have some familiar names on the depth chart as the 'Noles retained everyone from 2015.

Ryan Izzo, who started 11 of 13 games in 2015 should remain at that same role once the 2016 season commences. The redshirt sophomore is coming off a season which he led all tight ends on the team with 14 receptions, 210 yards and two touchdowns. He earned Freshman All-American honors by Campus Insiders for his efforts. Izzo is more known for his powerful blocking ability than his offensive production, as evident by his numbers. He utilizes his 6'5 frame and great length to get his hands on defenders before they can touch him.

Another redshirt sophomore, Mavin Saunders, should also see time this upcoming season. In his redshirt freshman campaign, Saunders appeared in eight games while making two starts against BC and Miami. He recorded six receptions and 52 receiving yards. Saunders is a former basketball player who is still raw and has yet to really grasp the finer points of the game including blocking. Saunders has incredible athletic ability but is a work in progress.

Player Pos. Ht, Wt Yr Recruit Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Target Rate Yds/ Target %SD Success Rate IsoPPP
Ryan Izzo TE 6'5, 245 RSo. 3 stars 24 14 210 58.00% 6.00% 8.8 66.70% 50.00% 1.52
Mavin Saunders TE 6'5, 253 RSo. 3 stars 11 6 52 55.00% 2.80% 4.7 81.80% 27.30% 1.53
Jeremy Kerr TE 6'6, 270 RJr. 3 stars 1 1 1 100%
Naseir Upshur TE 6'2, 249 Fr. 4 stars

The 'Noles in addition have redshirt junior Jeremy Kerr, who most may remember his only catch in 2015 being a touchdown reception at Florida. He made 11 appearances last season, down from 2014 when he played in all 14 games. Kerr is primarily a blocking specialist.

If desperate enough, FSU also has 2016 four-star Nasier Upshur at its disposal. However could be redshirted this upcoming season. The 6'2 249 lb. freshman chose FSU over 51 other schools.

Whoever lines up for the Seminoles at tight end, the priority and roles will be the same as 2015. Do not expect a lot of receptions from the group as blocking will be a strength utilized this upcoming season -- especially with Dalvin Cook and a mobile QB behind the helm who has never played a collegiate game. If the group is able to contain the pass rush and allow Deondre Francois to play his style of game, the 'Noles could be in for a successful offensive season.

Still, it is reasonable to expect the unit to take another step.