Conrad, Long look to make tight end a factor again at UK

first_img Session ID: 2020-09-19:80f78d31d028ebe2485c440d Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-895117-4142478592001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Kentucky’s two rookie tight ends agree with their coach on that. Despite what recent stats say, both were sold on an opportunity to be heavily utilized in the passing game.“It’s been really cool so far to see their recruiting pitch really work out,” Conrad said. “This is perfect for me. I couldn’t be happier where I’m at. I love the way they’re using me. It’s perfect for a pass-catching tight end.”Or a quarterback under duress.“If routes aren’t open, we can always be open. We’re big targets,” Long said. “Just try to make plays for Pat or whoever is throwing the ball to us, so he can rely on us every single play. If something goes bad, we’re always there to make a play for him.“It’s good for guys like us that are trying to have a big game and a big role in this offense.”As Kentucky fans know all too well, that’s been a long time coming.Kyle Tucker can be reached at (502) 582-4361. Follow him on Twitter @KyleTucker_CJ.PRODUCTION BY KENTUCKY TIGHT ENDS SINCE ’07(In 2007, Jacob Tamme had 56 catches for 619 yards and six touchdowns by himself)2014 – 7 catches, 62 yards, 0 touchdowns2013 – 27 catches, 369 yards, 3 touchdowns2012 – 18 catches, 165 yards, 1 touchdown2011 – 30 catches, 262 yards, 2 touchdowns2010 – 33 catches, 306 yards, 2 touchdowns2009 – 13 catches, 130 yards, 2 touchdowns2008 – 25 catches, 374 yards, 2 touchdowns LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky football fans have had many things to lament in recent seasons, but lovers of the forward pass have especially bemoaned one befuddling, unanswered question: Where, oh where, has the tight end gone?In 2007, before he became a reliable target for Peyton Manning in the NFL, tight end Jacob Tamme caught 56 passes for 619 yards and six touchdowns for the Wildcats. In the seven years since, Kentucky’s tight ends have not combined for more than 33 catches, 369 yards or three touchdowns in a season.Crazier still: Add up the production of every player at that position for the Cats over the last three years and it does not equal Tamme’s solo output in 2007. Last season, UK’s tight ends caught a total of seven passes for 62 yards – in an offense known as the “Air Raid.”Now you know why the Wildcats’ coaches and quarterbacks are rejoicing at the January addition of true freshman C.J. Conrad and the emergence of redshirt freshman Darryl Long at the position vacated by seniors Ronnie Shields and Steven Borden. Through seven spring practices, the new guys have looked like legitimate weapons in the passing game.“It makes a big difference. It certainly helps,” coach Mark Stoops said. “I think those guys are going to be very good players and they’re getting better and better every day.”Q&A: Mark Stoops breaks down spring ball Day 7Both Conrad and Long were hotly pursued recruits known for their potency in the passing game. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Conrad was rated a four-star prospect and the nation’s No. 8 tight end by, while Long (6-4, 244) was rated a top-20 tight end by ESPN and had double-digit scholarship offers from major-conference programs.Conrad, who caught 180 passes for 2,436 yards and 32 touchdowns during his high school career, snagged a scoring strike Saturday in his first collegiate scrimmage.“It’s huge,” quarterback Patrick Towles said. “C.J. and Darryl are playing really well. They’re a quarterback’s best friend, so I’m excited about that.”Both, naturally, are from Ohio – as is tight ends coach and recruiting ace Vince Marrow. He thought Long could’ve helped right away as a pass-catcher last season but needed the redshirt year to bulk up, and he did. He’s added about 25 pounds in a matter of months and now looks the part.As for Conrad, “I really think we struck gold with him,” Marrow said. “I’m not surprised, but I think our other staff, they’ve been surprised with where he’s at right now. C.J. is every bit of what we wanted – and I think he’s done more.”Both Conrad and Long say they’re spending this spring learning to block as well as they run routes and corral passes. Conrad, who would still be in high school had he not enrolled early at UK, got his welcome-to-college moment in the first practice when two different linebackers put him flat on his back.That’s happening less and less now, and he’s factoring into new coordinator Shannon Dawson’s wide-open offense more and more.“You’re trying to get defenses to play honest,” Dawson said. “If you’ve got a guy who can run, you can create some matchups that are stressful for the defense. I think it’s huge. It’ll be interesting to see, because we haven’t really had a guy like that. It’ll be fun.” Story continues after video Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. 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Washougal schools superintendent to retire

first_imgApproaching the end of her contract with the Washougal School District, Superintendent Dawn Tarzian says she will retire when this school year is over. Tarzian, 59, first shared the news with other district leaders at a Tuesday night board meeting just after the first special election results were released for Washougal’s construction bond measure. The district then publicized the news Wednesday.As of Wednesday afternoon, the $57.7 million bond measure was passing by a slim margin, sitting about seven-tenths of a percentage point above the necessary 60 percent approval threshold. The measure — which would fund the construction of a new elementary school and replacements for Jemtegaard Middle School and Excelsior High School — is likely to become Tarzian’s legacy with the district. But regardless of whether it maintains enough support as the final votes are counted, Tarzian said she planned to announce her retirement that night anyway.“I knew that either way, there was a new chapter,” she said. “I thought that this was a natural time for there to be a new leadership chapter.”last_img read more