HSFB preview by position: Versatility key for tight ends
The best tight end in the WPIAL doesn't actually play tight end. At 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, Kittanning's Nick Bowers has ideal size for the position. He's already accepted a Pitt scholarship to play tight end in college.
But Kittanning's spread offense doesn't use a traditional tight end.
Bowers lined up as a wide receiver last season and ranked sixth in the WPIAL in receptions. His size makes him unusual for a wideout, but his athleticism could match most any wide receiver. He had a five-touchdown game against East Allegheny with a 49-yard touchdown catch and a 96-yard interception return included.
A two-way standout as a linebacker, Bowers is expected to shift around the offense this season.
He had six touchdowns that were 49 yards or longer last year, with scoring runs of 64 and 61 yards among them. His longest touchdown catch covered 80 yards. He also threw a touchdown.
The tight end position won't vanish from WPIAL football. But as the spread passing attacks evolve, some tight ends will do a lot more than block.
1. Nick Bowers
Kittanning, sr., 6-4, 245
Bowers ranks second among returning WPIAL pass-catchers with 54 receptions. He set a school record with 856 receiving yards and also rushed for 407 yards in a Kittanning offense that went undefeated in the regular season. Combined, he scored eight touchdowns. As a linebacker, he led the Wildcats in tackles last year.
2. Graham Adomitis
Central Catholic, sr., 6-4, 215
Adomitis had only four catches for 46 yards last season, but two were touchdown catches. He showed his athleticism on a 66-yard run in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship. Several Division I schools have offered him a scholarship.
3. Logan Sharp
South Fayette, sr., 6-3, 220
Sharp provided another reliable receiving option for quarterback Brett Brumbaugh as South Fayette won the state Class AA title last season. Sharp had 30 catches for 515 yards and five touchdowns. That included a 53-yard touchdown catch at Hersheypark Stadium in the PIAA final.
4. Sean Orsini
West Allegheny, sr., 6-3, 220
Orsini, a first-team, all-conference offensive lineman in the Parkway last season, will return to tight end, his original position. As a two-way starter at linebacker, Orsini led West Allegheny in tackles with 148 and had three sacks, helping the Indians win the WPIAL Class AAA title for the second consecutive season.
5. Nate Zurich
Frazier, sr., 6-1, 179
A first-team all-conference and third-team all-state pick in Class A, Zurich had 29 catches for 476 yards and nine touchdowns last season for the high-scoring Commodores. His longest touchdown catches covered 48 and 45 yards.
One to watch: Josh Zinsmeister
Baldwin, sr., 6-1, 215
Zinsmeister was named second-team all-conference in the Quad Central last season with four catches for 51 yards. He could become a target for quarterback Doug Altavilla.