The list of the leading tight ends in the nation is headed by two who have committed to Oklahoma, two who have committed to Notre Dame and Jay Rome of Valdosta, Ga., a 6-6, 230-pounder with 4.5 speed who is the No. 1 player in the nation at the position.
Rome is a superior athlete. He caught 39 passes last year. Where will he go? His father played at Clemson.
Oklahoma has commitments from 6-6, 255-pound Chris Barnett of Dallas, Texas, and 6-5, 220-pound Max Stevenson of Klein, Texas. Barnett is a very physical blocker who could be a defensive end in college. Stevenson is very athletic. He played wide receiver last year but was recruited as a tight end.
Notre Dame has commitments from 6-6, 270-pound Jordan Prestwood of Plant City, Fla., and 6-5, 230-pound Ben Koyack of Oil City, Pa. Koyack is one of the top three tight ends in the nation. He has 4.59 speed and averaged 17 yards per catch last season. Prestwood caught 25 passes for 300 yards as a junior but was recruited by Notre Dame as an offensive tackle.
The top-rated tight end in California is 6-6, 260-pound Troy Niklas of Anaheim, who likely will play defensive end or offensive tackle in college. He is one of the most muscular kids in the country. He also is a good basketball player. He is too big to play tight end in college. USC, UCLA and Notre Dame are his leading suitors.
The premier tight end in Florida is 6-4, 225-pound Nick O'Leary of Palm Beach Gardens, whose grandfather is golfing legend Jack Nicklaus.
The No. 1 player in Massachusetts is 6-4, 230-pound tight end Richard Rodgers of Shrewsbury. He caught 46 passes for 697 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He has the size to be a tight end in college but could be a defensive end or outside linebacker. He also is an outstanding defensive player. His father played at California, which could be his choice.
Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State are in the hunt for 6-5, 240-pound Dan Tapko of Kansas City, a two-way player who also plays defensive end. Very athletic, he can run and catch.
Austin Sevarian-Jenkins, a 6-6, 265-pounder from Gig Harbor, Wash., insists on playing tight end in college. So much so that he has dropped Oklahoma and Notre Dame from consideration because they were recruiting him as an offensive tackle. He is one of the three best players in Washington, a top 100 prospect. Washington doesn't want him to leave the state. USC and UCLA also are in the mix.
Others to watch are 6-7, 235-pound Charlie Hopkins of Spokane, Wash., who originally committed to Washington State but has decided to continue looking; 6-5, 235-pound Eric Ebron of Greensboro, N.C., an exceptional athlete with 4.6 speed; 6-5, 270-pound Eric MacLain of Fayetteville, N.C., who has committed to Tennessee; and 6-6, 230-pound Nick Vannett of Westerville, Ohio, the best tight end in Ohio who was offered by Ohio State but hasn't made a commitment even though he figures to go there.