By Sean Anderson
KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island is coming into the 2018 season with two returning starters at tight end, plus three incoming freshmen to bolster the depth at the position.
Leading the group is senior Tyler Burke (Coatesville, Pa.). The former Maryland transfer put up solid numbers for the Rams last year, given their offensive scheme. Appearing in all 11 games and making seven starts, Burke totaled five catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns. His most notable game was against Albany where he scored two touchdowns leading the Rams to victory. Burke also was a key blocker in the running game and had seven tackles on special teams.
Joining Burke is junior Joey Kenny, who lines up at tight end, H-back and fullback. The Wayne Hills, N.J. product has played in every game since he joined the team in 2016. Kenny is a vital piece to the Rams rushing attack as a blocker. His ability to get to the second level and create lanes is a key component for the success of the offense. Like Burke, Kenny also is key to special teams, where he has six tackles over the last two seasons.
Joining the Rams as part of this year's recruiting class Hunter Gorgas (Shrewsbury, Mass.), Caleb Warren (Brandon, Fla.) and Isaiah Branch (Newport, R.I.).
A two-way starter for St. John's, the 6-5, 250-pound Gorgas Gorgas caught five touchdowns while leading his team to a state championship last fall. He earned all-state honors as a senior.
At 6-3 and 235 pounds, Warren was a versatile threat for his high school, as he accumulated 308 passing yards, 247 rushing yards, and 583 receiving yards for 13 total touchdowns last fall. The 6-3, 260-pound Branch was a quarterback, receiver and linebacker for Rogers High School, where he also earned all-division honors in football and basketball.
Expect the tight ends to provide a physical presence capable up softening the middle of opposing defenses with more passing targets this season.
Rhode Island reports for training camp Tuesday. The first practice will be Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 2:30 p.m. The practice is free and open to the public.
Camp Preview: Burke, Kenny Lead Physical Group at Tight End
By Sean Anderson