With a running offense, your tight ends are required to be some of the most formidable blockers on the football field.
The Community Braves believe they have the best tight ends in the area. The team is led by the duo of Jackson Younger and Hayden Tanner. Younger is typically used in more blocking situations, as he had 26 yards receiving and a touchdown last season, along with also being an all-state defensive end for the Braves. However, coach Dustin Blann said he will become a much bigger part of the passing game in 2022.
“We have two tight ends that will be playing college football,” Blann said. “Jackson Younger is big, physical and does a tremendous job blocking for us, but he’s also a standout defensive player as well.”
Along with Younger, Tanner is an all-district tight end for the team who was one of the top receivers last season. He was second on the team with 269 yards receiving in 2021 and has been moved around the field more during the offseason. With the goal of getting him in more mismatches, coach Blann believes he should have a big season.
“He is a matchup problem for however we want to play him,” Blann said. “He will play tight end and wing to get him and Jackson on the field together. He can also flex out, match up against a corner and dominate that role.”
With Younger’s ability to block, he’s helped make Community one of the top rushing teams in their district consistently year after year. It’s something that the Braves coaching staff takes great pride in during games.
“I’ll go back two years and one of our marquee drives was an upset win over Glen Rose in the playoffs,” Blann said. “At their house, our unsung heroes were two tight ends lined up side-by-side in Younger and Tanner blocking guys down and moving us down the field to score and win the game. They can take over a game just by blocking and it’s not something you notice just on the field.”
Tanner has begun to attract collegiate interest this summer with his work in camps and during 7-on-7 workouts showing off his athleticism. With his skill set so appealing to many teams, he was one of the driving forces behind Community’s interest in expanding their offense beyond the traditional wing-T looks.
“A huge emphasis for us is to chart our touches and when you have a talent like Hayden, you want to get him opportunities,” Blann said. “It comes down to what our offensive coaches can do but we have an emphasis to get him on the field and give him the ball.”
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By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]