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Elkanah Dillon Looks to Replace Sean Price as USF's Leading Tight End

As we sit just one week away from South Florida's spring game at Corbett Stadium on campus, we finally round out the Gulf Coast offense by taking a quick look at the smallest unit of the bunch, the tight ends.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

With so many weapons being stockpiled at quarterbackrunning back, and wide receiver for the South Florida Bulls offense, tight end often gets overlooked in the arsenal of skill positions.

Receiving stats-wise, USF tight ends only accounted for 28 receptions, 504 yards, and seven touchdowns in an otherwise record-breaking season for the Gulf Coast offense. However, the Bulls will be losing a four-year stalwart and potential NFL Draft pick in the form of this guy...

A Second Team All-AAC tight end and Mackey Award Watch List member in 2015, Sean Price saw the field in all four of his seasons in Tampa, fully witnessing the lowest of lows and highest of highs during his green and gold career. Starting in a total of thirty-three career games, Price etched his name in the school record books becoming the school's all-time leading tight end with 75 career receptions and 897 yards.

The 6-3, 252 pound Citra, FL native provided an enormous presence midfield in one-on-one jumpball situations while offering a helping hand in creating lanes for runners and receivers on the edge with his blocking ability. Now that the senior has moved on to possibly playing on Sundays, the David Reaves led unit hopes to pick up where he left off with two youngsters ready to hit the field.

TE Coach: David Reaves

TE Roster*:

  • Elkanah Dillon (Sophomore/Ocala, FL)
  • Mitchell Wilcox (Redshirt Freshman/Tarpon Springs, FL)
  • Spencer Adkinson (Junior/Seminole, FL)
  • Ryan Hintze (Redshirt Sophomore/Bradenton, FL)
*Roster based off team website at time this was written

Dillon and Wilcox Take Over

What's the best way to replace a 6-3, 252 pound juggernaut from Marion County? How about replacing him with a 6-5, 255 pound juggernaut from Marion County in the form of Elkanah "Kano" Dillon?

The big sophomore tight end saw significant action this past season, appearing in ten games throughout the campaign while racking up 208 receiving yards and two touchdowns. One of those TD's came in the form of the above one-handed grab vs. Memphis that earned him Sportscenter Top 10 honors for that night.

From what has been seen during the spring, the USF coaching staff is gearing up for Dillon to fill the void Price left behind and become a prime target for Quinton Flowers in 2015.
"He's been able to line up faster and adjust to coverages," said TE coach David Reaves, entering his fourth season with the USF offense. "We're just trying to take that next step with him as far as learning defenses, fronts, coverages and pressures. He's starting to be a more fluent player."
Also competing for reps at tight end will be redshirt freshman Mitchell Wilcox, who will be eligible to take the field for the first time after sitting on the sidelines this past season.

A 2015 three-star recruit out of nearby Tarpon Springs, the 6-4, 243 pound tight end poses to provide much needed competition for the presumed starter Dillon and could play the same role Elkanah did last season in seeing the field in certain situations.

"With those guys and the different multiple sets and things we do, both those guys are going to have to play for us next year," Reaves said after Friday's practice. "They're working hard."

Indeed, with the Gulf Coast possible ramping up even more in the fall, both guys could be towering over defenders downfield on a weekly basis.