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May 18, 2012

Martin and Dunn lead the pack at the tight end position

By: Jimmy Robertson

Tech’s tight end position features a lot of players. It features a lot of athletic ability. It features a lot of potential.

But at the moment, it doesn’t quite feature that one player, or two players, with the ability to do everything the position demands.

Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, who doubles as the tight ends coach, said he listed Eric Martin and Randall Dunn as co-No. 1’s on the depth chart, with Ryan Malleck as the No. 3. But the competition for the starting job will continue into August.

“I thought we had a good spring overall,” Stinespring said. “There were certain aspects where I thought we’d be further along than we were. Each guy was inconsistent at times, but also played to where I thought they could get to in terms of helping us win.

“It wasn’t a great spring for us. I had high expectations for us. Overall, I was pleased, but I know we can get to another level in terms of our play. We didn’t quite get there this spring. I don’t take anything away from them. I just have a lot of expectations for the position.”

Martin got limited reps at the beginning of spring practice because Stinespring knew what Martin could do and wanted to get some of the others more reps. Dunn turned out to be a beneficiary and showed his talent in the Hokies’ April 14 scrimmage when he caught two touchdown passes.

“That was the best I’ve seen him play, and not just in the passing game,” Stinespring said. “In every facet, that’s the best he’s played, and that was rewarding for me because the things we talked about him being able to do, he did. He’s been good, and he’s earned the right to compete for that starting job. I like where he finished this spring.”

Stinespring wants to see Malleck improve his footwork over the summer, but said he possesses all the ability to be effective as an H-back and strong enough in the running game. As for the rest of the group, George George provides experience in two tight-end sets, while Duan Perez-Means and Darius Redman are still grasping the nuances of the position. The latter two need to have good summers to enhance their chances of getting on the field next fall.


86 Eric Martin (6-2, 264, Sr.)
9 Randall Dunn (6-2, 244, r-Sr.)
88 Ryan Malleck (6-4, 250, Soph.)
81 Duan Perez-Means (6-4, 235, r-Soph.)
48 George George (6-4, 264, r-Sr.)
33 Darius Redman (6-3, 257, r-Fr.)