We begin our position previews today with a look at Liberty’s tight ends.
Under new tight ends coach Cody Ladutko, this position group could be leaned on more heavily in the passing game this coming season. Add in the fact that the Flames are thin at wide receiver and it makes perfect sense to see the tight ends be more of a security blanket for the quarterbacks.
The Flames have a veteran group of tight ends even though many of them are either new to the program or have been at Liberty just one year. It is expected that there will be multiple sets with two tight ends and even some offensive sets that utilize three tight ends.
TE 15 Bentley Hanshaw SR 6’4″ 245
After spending one season at Liberty following his transfer from BYU, Hanshaw is ready to take the next step in this offense for the Flames. He had 6 receptions for 117 yards and 1 touchdown in 2022, and now as he steps into a more prominent role at the position those numbers are likely to increase.
TE 83 Austin Henderson JR 6’5″ 250
Like Hanshaw, Henderson transferred to Liberty prior to the 2022 season coming from Minnesota. He had 5 receptions for 50 yards and 1 touchdown last year. He will also step into a more prominent role this fall and his numbers should significantly increase.
TE 88 Billy Durocher JR 6’3″ 240
Durocher is a JUCO transfer that joined the Flames this off-season. He will be able to compete for playing time for the Flames during training camp.
TE 17 Bo Burklow FR 6’2″ 250
A highly rated prospect out of Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, Burklow had over 20 offers out of high school. He originally committed to Coastal Carolina but changed his mind after the coaching change and followed that staff and signed with Liberty. He made his way to campus this summer and has made an instant impact. It is likely that the Flames attempt to redshirt Burklow this season with the other bodies in the room, but he could be made available if needed.
TE Coach Cody Ladutko – “Bo has come out and embraced it and picked it up as quick as he could. He wanted to know the plays as soon as he could. He’s taking care of his body. He seems like he’s got some dog in him which is big. You go out there and inflict your will on somebody, that’s going to open up the pass game. For a younger guy to come out there and to show that he’s not really backing down from the 22, 23 year-olds, he’s ready to go. He wants to learn. That freshman curve doesn’t seem like it’s as big as most would when they’re coming in. That’s been pleasant to see. He fits in well, works hard, been a pleasure so far.”
TE 84 Jacob Jenkins JR 6’3″ 220
Jenkins began his career at Jacksonville State before transferring to Coastal Carolina for the 2022 season. He had a very productive year for the Chanticleers with 11 receptions for 149 yards and 5 scores. Now, he has followed Coach Chadwell and Ladutko to Liberty where he will, at the least, provide leadership and depth at the position. He was expected to factor into the lineup this season but he has been ruled ineligible. The NCAA denied Jenkins’ waiver for immediate eligibility after transferring for a second time during his career.