ACC Top Tight Ends: Through Week 2


Aug 29, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) makes a reception in front of South Carolina Gamecocks cornerback Victor Hampton (27) in the fourth quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

We are still early in the 2013 college football season, and even earlier in the 2013 ACC season. Everyone except Florida State has played two games so far, but not everyone has played an ACC game. Also, teams like Virginia Tech (Alabama), Clemson (Georgia), and North Carolina (South Carolina) have faced tougher opponents then Duke, Maryland, and North Carolina State.

Even though the season is still young, we can still begin to rank the top position players in the ACC. There will be movement throughout the season, but these ten players have already begun to distinguish themselves from everyone else.

1) Eric Ebron – Junior, North Carolina: Through two games Ebron has found his way into the North Carolina high tempo offense with seven receptions. He has yet to find the end zone, but is averaging 13.1 yards per reception. He bounced back from a slow game against South Carolina with four receptions for 60 yards against Middle Tennessee State.

2) Braxton Deaver – Junior, Duke: He has already matched his season total for receptions last year with 8. He bounced back from a slow start in week 1 against North Carolina Central with a good game at Memphis. This past week he scored his first touchdown, while hauling in five catches for 66 yards.

3) Zach Swanson – Junior, Virginia: With a new quarterback in Charlottesville, the tight ends have become a big part of the Virginia attack. I gave Swanson the edge for the three spot because of his better average per reception. He has yet to find the end zone, but has seven receptions so far compared to eight last year.

4) Nick O’Learly – Junior, Florida State: The Seminoles have only played one game so far, but it was a big one for O’Learly. He had four receptions for 47 yards, but most impressive was his three touchdown game against Pittsburgh. O’Learly has scored as many touchdowns as he did all of last year. With a freshman quarterback, it is clear that he looks for the tight end in the red zone.

5) Jake McGee – Junior, Virginia: McGee was a major part of last year’s Virginia team, and has had some difficulties getting going this year. He has eleven receptions so far, but only has 62 yards and no touchdowns. That’s good for an average of 5.6 per reception, after averaging 13.4 yards last year.

6) Clive Walford – Junior, Miami: After a slow freshman year, Clive began to hit his stride last year. It’s early this year, but Clive has started slowly compared to his season last year. He has grabbed five receptions for 54 yards so far, but down have a touchdown already. Clive scored four touchdowns last year, which is a good benchmark for him.

7) Kalvin Cline – Freshman, Virginia Tech: After sitting out the season opener against Alabama, Cline bounced back with a solid debut against Western Carolina. In his first game as a Hokie, Cline caught four passes for 46 yards. Logan Thomas needs a targets to help move the ball, and at 6’5″ Cline has great size for his position.

8) Jack Tabb – Junior, North Carolina: Tabb is behind Ebron at North Carolina, but he has made sure to take advantage of his limited opportunities. With the speed that North Carolina moves, there will be opportunities for Tabb. Last game he had two receptions for 39 yards, after having one reception for 11 yards in the season opener. He has yet to score, but he does make sure that when he touches the ball that he moves the chains for the Tar Heels.

9) Dave Stinebaugh – Senior, Maryland: After a slow game against Florida International, Stinebaugh bounced back with two receptions for 36 yards against Old Dominion. Stinebaugh has made sure to take advantages of his opportunities to get ball in a potent Maryland passing attack. The Terps have gone to him pick up a couple of first downs on third down attempts.

10) Spencer Bishop – Senior, Wake Forest: Bishop took advantage of his one reception in the season opener against Presbyterian. He scored a 20 yard touchdown on his one reception that game. At Boston College, Bishop had two receptions but for 18 yards and no touchdowns. Not sure how many chances Bishop gets with Wake Forest running more of an option read offense.