Jackson State football moving a running back to tight end may be answer – Selambe

Last season, Jackson State football coach T.C. Taylor counted on the stability of the tight end position.

Jency Riley, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder, was the presumed starter but entered the transfer portal after the spring game. In doing so, he took six games of experience, seven catches for 88 yards and one touchdown with him. Now, Taylor must find some tight ends to compete with Kendarrius Smith, Sebastian Saint-Louis and Derek Scott, who have not seen game action at tight end for Jackson State in their only season with the Tigers.

One of the remedies to the tight end situation could be moving running backs Desmond Moultrie and Ahmad Miller to tight end to add depth.

Senior running back Irv Mulligan could be the front runner for The Deacon Jones Trophy which is given to the outstanding all-around football player of the year among teams from HBCUs. And should he need a breather, look for senior J.D. Martin to fill in.

Returning tight ends

  • Saint-Louis, who is a 6-3, 225-pound freshman, played in five games on special teams.
  • Kendarrius Smith, who is a 6-4, 230-pound junior, played in two games on special teams.
  • Derek Scott, who is a 6-3, 215-pound freshman, did not see any action last season.

In 2023, JSU used three tight ends in Hayden Hagler, D.J. Stevens and Riley. Together the trio combined for 39 receptions, 402 yards with eight touchdowns and 16% of the passing offense. 

Moving running backs to tight end

By moving Miller, a 6-foot freshman, who carried the ball 34 times for 216 yards, for one touchdown. He had five receptions for 10 yards. Miller, at 210 pounds, has the build to add weight and the blocking ability to help in the run game.

Moultrie is a 6-foot, 200-pound senior. By switching positions, Moultrie will have a chance to start. Last year, he ran the ball 52 times for 224 yards and three rushing touchdowns. He had 14 catches for 55 yards.

Both players can block and catch the ball, giving the offense more speed and versatility. One play JSU can run is the tight end, end around, or the tight end screen which Jackson State used successfully with Stevens. 

THREE BOLD PREDICTIONS: Three bold predictions for Jackson State football ahead of the 2024 season

Another look JSU can give opponents is having Moultrie or Miller line up in the Wildcat formation.

With three tight ends on the roster, moving Moultrie and Miller to the tight end could be the solution to adding depth.

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