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2020 Fall Camp #11: John David Baker Previews Tight Ends

Oct 27, 2020

Heading into Year 2 in Graham Harrell's offensive scheme, the tight end unit is hoping to get more involved.

  • John David Baker, USC's first-year tight ends coach, saw the tight end unit evolve when he worked with Harrell at North Texas, and sees the same thing happening here. "When you look at our team right now, we've got some really talented receivers, but we don't have a ton of them," Baker explained. "Our tight ends have put themselves in a position to be on the football field. They earned that right … Same thing at UNT, in Year 2 we had a tight end who made it hard not to put him on the football field, and these guys have kind of done the same thing."
  • Senior tight end Erik Krommenhoek hopes to follow a similar path. "Our goal as a room is to have [our role] increased," he said. "We love being physical, we love lining up and running the ball, and we're going to need to do that to be successful this year, but like JDB said, we're not as deep at receiver as we have been and that's going to mean an enhanced role on offense. I'm excited and I think we're going to get a lot more opportunities on the outside than we have in the past. Got to make the most of those opportunities and do our best to catch some touchdowns."
  • Krommenhoek has been watching film and working out with NFL tight ends. "You look at the premier guys in the NFL … You got to get open, you got to create mismatches, they're going to leave you one-on-one with the DBs and you got to win those matchups," he said. "Not only being a blocker, but being able to exploit those matchups and really stand out on the field."
  • As a senior, Krommenhoek is also looking to expand his role as a leader. "I don't speak often, but I think people listen when I do, because I try to say something meaningful," he explained. "We have a pretty young team, but we're talented. Everybody knows that, but we've just got to bring it out of people."
  • One of those talented youngsters is Jude Wolfe, a redshirt freshman tight end. "He's incredibly talented," said Krommenhoek of Wolfe. "I think we've seen that the first two weeks of camp … Super explosive. Loves to play, love to run, loves to hit."
  • Baker explained that in addition to raw talent, Wolfe has proven to be extremely coachable. "We'll be sitting in a position meeting and I'll tell him, 'You need to do this exactly like this,' and 30 minutes later we're on the practice field and the same situation comes up, and bam, he fixes it. And that's impressive for a young guy."
  • Senior tight end Josh Falo is working his way back into shape after missing some time during the offseason.