NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein has spent this summer making lists of the top players to watch in college football this season at each position. This weekend, his list for the tight end position was released and Kentucky Wildcat junior tight end, CJ Conrad was included.
Conrad was listed as the #6 tight end to watch in 2017, and here is what Zierlein had to say about the LaGrange, Ohio native:
The greatest compliment paid to Conrad last season came from his coaches, who trusted him to single block Da’Shawn Hand and Jonathan Allen at times during Kentucky’s matchup against Alabama (and he actually hung in on most reps). Conrad has good play speed to challenge linebackers on crossing routes. He has the hand-eye coordination to reach with outstretched hands and bring in some tough throws. He plays with an elevated sense of energy and abandon. Conrad has a highly competitive, infectious personality on the field.
Kentucky fans have been waiting for Conrad to become a bigger part of the offense, as has been promised by the UK coaching staff in the past. Over his first two seasons in Lexington, Conrad has combined for 34 receptions, 411 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Look for Conrad’s numbers to take a big leap this year, with a full offseason of work with quarterback Stephen Johnson to connect on those deeper routes down the middle of the field that were missed by mere inches at various points last season.
Conrad is joined on the list by fellow SEC tight ends DeAndre Goolsby of Florida at #5 and Hayden Hurst of South Carolina at #2. Check out the entire list, as well as lists of other positions from Zierlein here.