Position breakdown: Tight end

Each day, for the next week, NittanyNation will take a look at a different position and break it down. Today it's tight ends.

Forget New England Patriots' Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Penn State has some interesting plans for this group -- rotations, three tight-end sets, more receptions -- but that doesn't mean they're going to drive the offense, like with the Patriots.

Redshirt freshman Kyle Carter appears to be the top receiving tight end, while Garry Gilliam will be the blocking one. Matt Lehman will also see time, as will true freshmen Jesse James and Brent Wilkerson.

They might not be the Patriots, but it should still be an entertaining group to watch.


• More involved in the passing game.

• Lots of height here: James is 6-foot-7; Lehman and Gilliam are 6-6.

• Rotations, sets could confuse defenses.


• Inexperience. Gilliam leads all returning tight ends with one career reception.

• Personnel packages should be exciting but could take some time getting used to.

• Carter must improve his blocking; tight ends are expected to do it all in this offense.