Tight end has been a pretty stable position for the last four years. Following the Orange Bowl season of 2007-2008, Kansas was fortunate enough to snag a player out of Nebraska by the name of Tim Biere. Biere turned into a solid blocker from the tight end spot and probably could have been used much more effectively in the passing game due to his talent level, but it just never materialized. In a rather disappointing era of Kansas football, Biere was one of the players that garnered a lot of respect and now Charlie Weis steps in looking at a clean slate.
Fortunately for Kansas, Weis has a reputation as someone who is pretty good at utilizing tight ends and someone who has experience in helping them succeed at the next level. That afforded Weis the opportunity to retain one recruit and add another of his own with this initial 2012 tight end class.
TE | 6-5 | 225 | Waco Texas / Reicher
Smith is another player that initially committed to play for the previous Kansas staff. He was the top target for Turner Gill and his staff at the position and fortunately for Kansas and Smith, he fits the mold of what Charlie Weis might look for as well.
Smith has good size, a solid frame and great athleticism. So much so that he competes in the hurdles and touts a decent forty time at 4.7 and a pretty respectable vertical at 32 inches. Early on Smith was recruited by Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State. He received offers from Kansas, Cincinnati, Air Force, and UTEP and committed to the Jayhawks in August.
Smith has experience playing both tight on the line as well as split wide in more of a flex position. With Weis he'll likely see both but he'll need to work to develop his skills on the line with a more traditional pro-style offensive set. That said, Smith is quoted as someone who was pretty excited with the change and when it's all said and done he might benefit quite a bit from the shift in philosophy.
It's hard to say what it was that kept many of the bigger programs from offering but his recruitment was pretty hot last Spring but he just didn't see the offers from some of the programs closer to home. That's exactly the type of player Kansas can be successful with so that's a good thing for the Jayhawks.
TE | 6-5 | 245 | Scottsdale Arizona, Scottsdale CC
A player that might figure more immediately into the mix is junior college transfer Charles Brooks. Brooks was part of the initial wave of junior college prospects targeted by Weis upon his hiring. Brooks was targeted specifically by Rob Ianello who was competing against Florida International, Ole Miss and Middle Tennessee who were all working on Brooks as well.
Brooks is a raw talent that only started playing football during his senior year of high school. Like Smith he has played from the flex position as well as tight on the line and he can prove productive in the passing game.
It's hard to say exactly where he is at because much of what people like about him is based on potential. He was playing behind a junior college All American at the position in Scottsdale so that might have prevented him from fully maximizing his opportunity. Regardless the new staff has gone out and identified him as someone they can work with and physically Brooks is certainly a player that is well positioned to take advantage of a division one training program. If he comes in and puts in the work he should compete with several players currently on the roster for minutes this coming fall.