The Trojans are coming off a season where they watched freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis tear-up the Pac-12 with an Air Raid-style offense under Graham Herrell, utilizing a trio of phenomenal wide receivers in Michael Pittman Jr., Tyler Vaughns, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. In the Air Raid, teams usually run with four or five wide receivers the majority of the time, only occasionally a tight end as a pass-catcher.
With Harrell staying at USC for another year (he’s sort’ve a hot commodity now) than the Air Raid is likely here to stay, which spells bad news for the tight ends currently on the roster and those currently committed. The leading receiving tight end from last year was Erik Krommenhoek, who caught 11 passes for 122 yards and no scores.
However, even with Harrell staying and knowing what to expect from this offense, it didn’t stop the Trojans from landing massive three-star tight end Jack Yary out of Murrietta Valley High School in Murrietta, California.
Listed on 247sports.com as a 6’6 1⁄2 255-pound prospect, Yary would immediately become the second-largest player at his position, just behind Krommenhoek (260) and right above Jude Wolf (250).
Yary is the son of former six-time All-Pro offensive tackle Ron Yary who played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1971-1976 (yeah, you read that right). He’s got an excellent bloodline running through his veins, and being able to run around like he can at 255 pounds at only 17 years old is pretty incredible. As a sophomore in 2018, Yary caught 33 passes for 386 yards and six touchdowns. As a junior this past season, he caught 42 passes for 621 yards and 12 scores. Both years Murrietta Valley made it to the first round of the state playoffs.
“Intriguing tight end prospect who really upped his stock with big senior year. Big frame and carries 255 pounds with ease. Improved athlete, natural pass catcher and shows the ability to run well after the catch. Uses his body body to create separation against linebackers and safeties and does a nice job catching the ball through contact. Is a physical player and a very sound blocker in run situations and as a pass protector. Still feel he could bulk up and move to the offensive line down the road but shows the athleticism and pass catching skill to stay at tight end.”
Besides the God-given traits like his height and weight, there really is a lot to like about Yary. He looks fast enough to run by linebackers and take advantage of defenders up the seam where I think he’ll do most of his damage at the next level. Defensive backs are going to have a hard time climbing the ladder to cover him and you can forget about trying to make a play in the end zone with the way he can box out smaller defenders. I was actually fairly impressed with his body control on red zone fades. He knows how to switch up speeds and use his back as an obstacle to keep defenders from jumping through the catch point.
While evaluators think he could fill out more, I believe he shouldn’t go much higher than 260 pounds in college. If I were him, I’d focus on possibly losing ~10 pounds to try and solidify his body composition and gain some speed. Then while he’s hitting the weights in a college football strength program, he can slowly gain 10-15 pounds of solid mass and be better off for it.
I think Yary possesses everything one would want in any high-school prospect. Legacy, NFL bloodlines, size/speed/length combination. It’s all there. So you should be excited as you want about Yary because the only thing holding him back would be playing in an offense that doesn’t feel like utilizing an entire position on the football field.