Interested in seeing tight ends make plays this fall? You’re not alone
LARAMIE -- Jackson Marcotte could only cover his eyes and wait for the medical staff to arrive.
He knew something was seriously wrong.
The freshman tight end, with a defender all over him, just caught a pass over the middle of the field. As he turned and planted his left leg -- boom -- a Utah State safety bent his knee the way it isn't supposed to go.
We'll spare the details.
The 6-foot, 7-inch, 257-pound Illinois product just snagged his ninth and final pass of the 2019 campaign. He left Maverik Stadium on a cart.
Saturday, he was back inside War Memorial Stadium, reeling in passes from Levi Williams and Sean Chambers. The swelling in his knee, according to head coach Craig Bohl, has been minimal.
Marcotte, just 11 months from major surgery, is playing like his old self. If you ask the coach, even better than before.
"Jackson has really come out and come back from that knee surgery, which was an extensive one," Bohl told reporters Monday night. "I was really concerned because there was a lot of collateral damage in that knee, but he’s done a great job in rehab and the surgeons did a great job. "He’s moving at full speed. We’re pleased to have him back."
Marcotte caught nine passes for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns last fall. Arguably his biggest play came in Week 2 at Texas State when he reached over a receiver, snagging a sure interception by the goal line:
Marcotte is the tight end you know about, but Bohl said this group is one of the deepest on the roster.
He singled out Nate Weinman, another 6-foot, 7-inch pass catcher, who played most of last season with a cast on his hand.
He also talked about Treyton Welch.
In fact, so did the guy who has to cover him in practice.
"One guy, Treyton Welch, he can catch anything," outside linebacker Charles Hicks said Monday night. "He is great competition to go against. It will make things a lot easier when we get into games."
Welch appeared in seven games last fall and failed to record any stats. Like Weinman, Welch was utilized as a blocker. Marcotte and Josh Harshman were the only tight ends to get their hands on the ball.
Sounds like that is about to change this season. And we haven't even mentioned the newest addition to the group, junior college transfer Colin O'Brien.
"Treyton Welch really stepped to the forefront," Bohl added. "We are pleased with him."
Bohl isn't big on saying outlandish things or dropping undue praise on players. If they perform well, he says it. If they don't, he's not shy about that, either.
Monday night he was all in on his tight ends.
"You know what, we have a really deep group there," Bohl said. "I think we're going to be as deep there with playmakers and diversified, as far as what type of people we've had, since I've been head coach here. I'm in my seventh year.
"In this offense, we utilize that position, I think we have some really good weapons there."
Remember, Jacob Hollister, Tyree Mayfield and Austin Fort were all tight ends in Laramie. A couple of those guys still collect NFL checks.