Feb. 13, 2014
There’s no mystery who Florida State’s starting tight end will be in 2014 with Nick O’Leary coming back for his final season after a breakout junior campaign. And Kevin Haplea likely returns his No. 2 role after an injury cost him all of 2013.
But behind FSU’s two seniors, there’s room for depth-chart jockeying and ’Noles offensive coaches think that signee Ryan Izzo can be an immediate factor in that rotation.
“This guy’s 6-6, 235 pounds,” FSU tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Tim Brewster said. “He’s a tough, physical guy. We really think he’s gonna come in and help us this season. He can work the middle of the field. You can extend him, he can play on the line of scrimmage.
“[He’s] a tough, hard-nosed physical kid.”
A Highland Lakes, N.J. native, Izzo boasted several offers from schools in the northeast and throughout the country. He verbally committed to FSU Sept. 23, 2013, 10 days after his official visit to Tallahassee. He also visited Wisconsin and had scholarships from such schools as Boston College, Michigan State, USC and Virginia Tech.
Izzo was one of two signees at tight end in 2014 so when fall camp kicks off later this year, he’ll battle soon-to-be classmate Mavin Saunders and redshirt freshman Jeremy Kerr along with O’Leary, Haplea and Giorgio Newberry for playing time.
With quarterback Jameis Winston showing an ability to find the tight end in his first season under center, Izzo could see some early opportunities to use his skills to move help move the chains. He’ll also be expected to be a blocker in the Seminoles’ run game.