The tight end position can be under appreciated at times by people, but quarterbacks, offensive tackles, running backs and coaches all know the value of a good tight end.
From being a reliable underneath to intermediate option in the passing game, aiding a tackle with a problematic defensive end or springing a running back loose with a block on the edges, a good tight end is priceless.
As we continue our look back series of the top positional classes of the past 10 recruiting years, today we'll look at the offensive seam players. We're going to give you the best TE recruiting classes of the past decade.
Some classes look better on paper than what they actually produced and other classes may have been underrated in their recruiting years. Without further ado, here are the best TE recruiting classes of the last decade.
Tight End Recruits: Brandon Warren and Caz Piurowski
Scout.com ranked these two TE prospects within its top 10 TE rankings in 2006. Warren caught nearly 30 passes as a true freshman but opted to transfer after the season. Piurowski bounced from OL and TE and only caught 33 balls and three TDs in his career.
Tight End Recruits: Mitch Joseph, Jordan Corbin and Alex Russian
The Tigers brought in three of the 20 best TE prospects from the national class in 2007. Joseph was a solid and steady player, although he made virtually no impact in the passing game, rather contributing more as a blocker.
Russian did not make any sort of true impact and Corbin never shook off a high school leg injury.
Tight End Recruits: Kyle Rudolph and Joseph Fauria
This was an impressive overall class for the Irish in 2008, aided by a pair of TEs who stood between 6'6" and 6'7". Rudolph went on to have a magnificent career, catching 90 passes for over a 1,000 yards and eight TDs.
He's the starting TE for the Vikings now.
Fauria transferred to UCLA in a bit of a surprise, but had a great career in Westwood by finishing with 88 grabs for over 1,100 yards and scoring 20 times.
Tight End Recruits: Orson Charles and Arthur Lynch
Both TEs were highly rated in 2009, but Charles had more of the hype and fanfare. He didn't disappoint, as he left Athens after totaling 94 receptions, 1,370 yards and 10 TDs.
Lynch wasn't as productive as a pass-catcher, but did contribute 26 grabs, 448 yards and three scores.
Tight End Recruits: Zach Ertz, Levine Toilolo, Jordan Najvar and Ryan Newitt
Ertz is on his way to becoming a first-round pick in a few weeks. He was super productive for the Cardinal from the TE position, as he caught 112 passes for 1,434 yards and 15 TDs.
Toilolo has 50 catches so far in his career, with 763 yards and 10 TDs attached to his name. Njvar ended up transferring to Baylor. Hewitt is a joker for the Cardinal, as he plays both TE, FB and even some H-back.
Tight End Recruits: Xavier Grimble, Randall Telfer and Christian Thomas
Thomas bounced from TE and DE at USC, but is no longer a part of the Trojans' program.
Grimble and Telfer, however, have become future NFL draft picks. They're one of the best TE duos in college football and will look to help break a new QB in Tory in 2013.
Grimble has caught 44 passes for 460 yards and nine scores so far, while Telfer has added 38 grabs for 378 yards and nine TDs also.
Tight End Recruits: Kent Taylor and Colin Thompson
I really liked these two when they signed with Florida and they figure to make some noise in the coming seasons.
Taylor has the better ball skills, speed and hands while Thompson is stronger and is a good blocker. His hands also are pretty soft. This was a very good class in 2012 and I expect more production from these two TEs over time.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.