MVP Sports Channel

Tight end depth important for Govs in 2012 | APSU

Courtesy: Brad Kirtley, APSU Sports Information


APSUFor the first time in Rick Christophel‘s tenure, he has a coach devoted to working with tight ends. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Thanks to James Hite, the APSU alum who retired last year after a long and successful high school coaching career in the southwest, the tight end position again could become relevant in the Govs offense.

Austin Peay has three freshmen tight ends to go with a trio of returnees, led by seniors Ashlon Adams and Preston Rouse.

“Jim has done a great job with them,” Christophel said. “The guys now have someone who is watching them all the time, somebody they can go to and talk to about what is going on out there. They are excited to have him coaching them.”

After getting up to as much as 270 pounds previously, Adams has slimmed down to 245 and again is a potential downfield target after catching 10 passes for 114 yards in 2011. Rouse is the hard-nosed blocker who caught a career-best seven passes last season. Xavier Norman, a 6-4, 230-pound sophomore, is a third veteran who has experience.

“At (that current) weight, Ashlon is a much better tight end for us, a guy who can make things happen,” Christophel said. “Preston is just a good football who understands what his role is.

“Xavier is a guy who can really help us. He has the athletic abilityand he is really catching the ball so much better this year.”

The Govs have three freshmen in Dustin McPhetridge (6-2, 230), of Powell; Samuel Cooper (6-4, 230), of Kingston Springs, and Murfreesboro walk-on Brad Hughes (6-4, 230) who are going to push the trio ahead of them on the depth chart.

“I am really excited about these freshmen-Dustin McPhetridge and Samuel Cooper while Hughes has been just a pleasant surprise,” Christophel said. “They really fit into what we want to do with that position in our offense.”


Facebook Twitter Email