2010 Penn Football Preview: Tight Ends

Previous Previews
: Offensive Line(8/6)

PHILADELPHIA - Leading up to Penn Football's first day of preseason practice on Aug. 24, the Penn Sports Network and PennAthletics.com will provide an in-depth look into the 2010 Penn Quakers. Each position will be previewed with analysis, a preseason depth chart and an interview with the position coach.

This installment of Penn Football's Preseason Position Previews involves a glimpse into the 2010 tight ends and an interview with second-year tight ends coach Mark Fabish.

A full discussion with the position coach:

Penn Sports Network anchor Dan Fritz sat down with tight ends coach Mark Fabish earlier this week to discuss the status of the position heading into preseason practices. Click the above link to see the full interview or visit the Penn Sports Network multimedia page by clicking here.

A look at who is listed at this position entering the preseason:

80 Ryan Allen TE 6-5 235 So. St. Louis, Mo. (Saint Louis Priory)
38 Justin Cosgrove FB/TE 6-2 230 Sr. Chatham, N.J. (Chatham)
84 Robert Gawlas TE 6-4 220 So. Shavertown, Pa. (Holy Redeemer)
82 C.J. Mooney TE 6-4 230 So. Chester Springs, Pa. (Malvern Prep)
86 Ryan Murray TE 6-4 255 Sr. Carmel, Ind. (Carmel)
81 Luke Nawrocki TE 6-3 255 Jr. Syosset, N.Y. (Chaminade)
36 Sim K. Sims TE 6-2 220 Sr. Oklahoma City, Okla. (Casady)

A PennAthletics.com preview of what and who to expect at this position:

There is considerable depth at this position and it is needed in a Penn offense that is reliant on tight ends to both block and catch the ball. The Quakers had seven tight ends on the roster last season and every single one is back for the 2010 campaign.

Three of the seven - senior Ryan Murray, junior Luke Nawrocki and sophomore Ryan Allen - have playing experience. Murray has the most experience with 20 career games under his belt. He started the first five games in 2009 before suffering a season-ending injury, leading to an All-Ivy performance by Nawrocki in the second half of the year. Allen played in two games as a freshman last season and caught one pass.

In an offense that routinely utilizes two tight ends, Murray and Nawrocki enter with a considerable edge to earn those spots. Murray has been a staple in the Penn offense for three years, but his teammate, Josh Koontz, was the main tight end target in his first two seasons. Entering the 2010 campaign, the the Carmel, Ind., native was the starting tight end and had one catch in each of the first two games. But with Murray's season cut short, Nawrocki earned honorable mention all-league honors in his stead. Nawrocki finished with 11 catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns in five starts as Murray's replacement.

Challenging for those two spots will be senior Justin Cosgrove, who's collegiate career had been marred by injury up until last year, and sophomore Robert Gawlas, who was a high school standout at Holy Redeemer in both football and track. Each has impressed the coaching staff and will have their shot in preseason camp to compete for playing time.

The same can also be said for the three other tight ends on the roster. Senior Sim K. Sims started his Penn career on the defensive side of the ball, but has shown promise at the position and as a member of the special teams unit. Allen and C.J. Mooney, both members of the Class of 2013, are also expected to compete for spots on special teams in addition to working at tight end.

A perspective from an anonymous opposing coach:

"Tight end is an important position for Penn. Those guys are asked to do a lot in that offense in terms of blocking, running precise routes and catching the ball. And they've got two really capable guys that we've seen so far. And I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them this year."

A little known detail about the players at the position:

* While home over the summer, junior Luke Nawrocki found himself without a quarterback to throw him the ball. So his father, Michael, found a Jugs Sports Football Passing Machine on eBay, allowing Luke a legitamate chance to work on his hands. Reportedly, Luke used the machine to catch anywhere between 50-100 balls per day.

A look into where the players at this position stand heading into preseason practice:

Tight End:

86 Ryan Murray TE 6-4 255 Sr. Carmel, Ind. (Carmel)
81 Luke Nawrocki TE 6-3 255 Jr. Syosset, N.Y. (Chaminade)
38 Justin Cosgrove FB/TE 6-2 230 Sr. Chatham, N.J. (Chatham)
84 Robert Gawlas TE 6-4 220 So. Shavertown, Pa. (Holy Redeemer)