Our position previews roll on as we look at the tight ends today.

Be sure to go back and check our previous previews, if you have missed any:
Defensive Line
Special Teams
Running Backs
Offensive Line

On Thursday, we will preview the wide receivers and on Friday our attention will turn to the quarterbacks, as we conclude the position previews just two weeks ahead of kickoff.

Under tight ends coach Ben Aigamaua, the tight ends became much more of a focus of the offense in 2019 than in recent seasons. Led by veteran Zac Foutz, the tight end group combined to catch 26 passes for 394 yards and 7 touchdowns. Those numbers were up dramatically from the 2018 tight end numbers which finished at 19 receptions for 243 yards and 1 touchdown.

As the Flames look to replace Antonio Gandy-Golden’s 79 receptions for 1,396 yards and 10 touchdowns, it can be expected the tight ends will get some of those targets.

“Really, really excited about our room,” Coach Aigamaua said. “A lot of playing time in that room right now, a lot of experience coming back. It hurts losing a guy like Zac with his knowledge, but really excited about our room right now with Johnny, Jerome, Chris, Mike, and bringing in Trevor from Junior College. Looking for a big year for our room.”


TE 0 Johnny Huntley R-SR 6’3″ 240

Huntley transferred in from Colorado as a wide receiver two years ago. After sitting out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer requirements, he was moved to tight end prior to the 2019 season under the new coaching staff. He led the tight ends last season with 11 receptions for 196 yards, including a long touchdown catch and run in the Cure Bowl win over Georgia Southern. Expect his production to increase again in 2020.

Tight ends coach Ben Aigamaua – “I’m really, really excited about what Johnny’s going to bring to our offense. Gaining the right weight, getting the blocking scheme and just running with it. Really, really excited about him and looking forward to a big year from him.”


TE 88 Jerome Jackson R-JR 6’3″ 255

Jackson is another veteran in the room, as the Flames have five tight ends who are either juniors or seniors. Jackson is the only one of those five that came in as a tight end as a freshman. He’s a little bit bigger than some of the other guys in the room and will likely be the first guy in on blocking packages.

Tight ends coach Ben Aigamaua – “He’s improved his game a lot. He’s a guy, that right now, he’s running right behind Johnny. He has taken his game to a whole other level. I think Jerome, his mindset when we first got here, he was a true tight end, a run blocking guy, but he has evolved his game to being a threat in the pass game.”

TE 15 Chris Barrett R-SR 6’2″ 245

Since joining the program as a JUCO transfer two years ago, Barrett has not been heavily involved in the passing game, but his role is expected to increase in 2020. He’s more of a pass-catching tight end like Huntley than some of the other names in the room.

Tight ends coach Ben Aigamaua – “Chris is hitting his stride. I would like to see a little bit more from him. He’s a senior, he’s had some good playing time, but just want to see some more from Chris and just pushing himself over that edge.”

TE 30 Michael Bollinger R-JR 6’0″ 240

Bollinger originally joined the program as a fullback, but Hugh Freeze doesn’t utilize that position in his offense. So, he moved to tight end before the 2019 season and began to emerge before suffering a season ending injury against Buffalo.

Tight ends coach Ben Aigamaua – “He looks very, very good. His foot has healed. I always joke with Mike, Mike is my security blanket. He’s a guy that I can put out there. He’s my Zac Foutz, may not be an athletic guy, but he will go out there and get the job done. He’s looking really, really good. He’s helping these younger guys, the Brayden Mondays of the world, and bringing them along. Super excited about Mike and what he’s going to bring.”

TE 12 Trevor Hobbs SR 6’4″ 265

Hobbs joins the Flames as a JUCO transfer from Golden West College where he played the past two seasons. He was rated as the top tight end in JUCO football by Rivals’ JC Gridiron after hauling in 25 receptions for 456 yards and 4 touchdowns in 10 games during the 2019 season.

Tight ends coach Ben Aigamaua – “Our biggest worry about him when we were recruiting him, was can he gain the weight, especially coming from Junior College. Those guys don’t have the training tables that we do, or the weight room that we have here. On his official visit he was about 227, 228, and when he left here before the COVID stuff happened, he was up to 256. Shoutout to Coach Dom and his staff and Miss Danielle, getting him the right weight. He is another big dude that we can count on in the run game, but also athletic enough to flex out there and create some mismatches with those linebackers and safeties that are going to be covering him out there on the edge.”


TE 16 Mason Yost R-SO 6’3″ 245
TE 84 JT Wood R-SO 6’1″ 240
TE 98 Brayden Monday R-FR 6’4″ 240

After playing in the first four games of the season last year at defensive end, Monday was shut down to preserve his season of eligibility. Now, at the beginning of camp, he was moved to tight end. With so many veterans ahead of him, his playing time this season will likely be limited as he adjusts to the new position. When he was originally recruited out of high school, many thought Monday would begin his career at tight end.

Tight ends coach Ben Aigamaua – “I’m real excited about him, just watching him move around catching the ball. It is going to be crucial, we’ve got 3 seniors that are going to leave so they’ve got to develop themselves.”

TE 85 Trey Hatcher SO 6’2″ 260

Hatcher is a walk-on from Liberty Christian Academy.

Tight ends coach Ben Aigamaua – “When he came in to the walk-on tryouts, I was really excited about what I saw. He’s an athletic kid, a local kid. It means a lot to him to play here and put the LU on his chest. Really excited to see as his body grows and he matures, and as he continues to learn our offense, to see what his role is going to be down the road.”