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What does Tre’ McKitty bring to Florida State?

Can the 3-star tight end contribute early?

Tre’ McKitty
The Oregonian/OregonLive

Overshadowed by some of the more highly-touted members of Florida State’s 2017 early enrollee class is tight end Tre’ McKitty.

McKitty, a three-star tight end prospect according to all outlets except ESPN, which has him as a four-star, is a three-star per 247Sports’ composite rankings with a .8779 rating. He is ranked as the No. 426 overall recruit in the 2017 recruiting class, the No. 15 tight end, and the No. 55 player from Florida. He comes to Florida State after finishing his high school football career at IMG Academy (Fla.) in Bradenton and measures in at 6’4, 235 pounds, fitting into the ideal tight-end mold.

Florida State used a late surge to secure McKitty’s commitment. He received an offer from the Seminoles in December of 2015 when he was committed to Miami. Just 10 days after receiving the FSU offer, he decommitted from the Hurricanes before announcing his new commitment to Oregon in July of 2016.

However, thanks to an official visit for the North Carolina game in September, an unofficial visit to the Florida game in November, and visits from Lawrence Dawsey and Jimbo Fisher late in the process, McKitty flipped his commitment once again, decommitting from Oregon and committing to Florida State on December 16th of last year.

In addition to Oregon, Miami, and FSU, McKitty held offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Auburn, Georgia, USC, Texas A&M, Florida, LSU, and Louisville, a true example of the fact that star power does not always determine how valuable a recruit may be.

With Florida State returning a pair of talented tight ends next year in Ryan Izzo and Mavin Saunders, McKitty is not pegged for early playing time, at least on offense. He will fight for special teams reps while Izzo and Saunders play out their final two years of eligibility. However, when the 2019 season hits and those two are out of the picture, expect McKitty to be very much in the hunt for playing time alongside 2016 enrollee Naseir Upshur and fellow 2017 commit Alexander Marshall.

A high-school coach on our staff made the following evaluation of McKitty.

Tre McKitty is one of my favorite prospects in #Tribe17. The tight end is a diverse player who even has the talent to play the defensive side of the ball if he really wanted to.

The first thing you see when watching McKitty’s film is his athleticism and the matchup problems he creates. Who doesn’t get excited about a well-sized TE who can run a 4.5?

On video, McKitty flashes the spectacular catch, shows the ability to separate from linebackers and safeties, and uses his skills to box out defenders and come down with it. This is a big, physical wide receiver in a tight end’s body. He has the ability to use his size to win against defenders, including going over the top to catch 50/50 balls.

McKitty also shows a willingness to block second-level defenders. He plays with a good base when he engages these blocks and works for leverage.

McKitty will need to be able to play on the line at FSU, and he flashes the ability to be able to do that. He was a true steal from Oregon, but keeping him out of the hands of the ‘Canes was equally important.