Mastrud Lends Versatility at Tight End

Mastrud Lends Versatility at Tight End

Pick a single position on the field where the Wildcats are definitely Big 12-good and one very well could point at tight end with Jeron Mastrud, who is up for preseason national awards.

Run block? Check.

Pass routes? Check.

Soft hands? Check.

"We love his versatility," said Kansas State tight ends coach Ricky Rahne of Jeron Mastrud. "You can ask him to run any running play you want, and you can run it with him; you can ask him to run any passing play, and you can throw it to him.

"Jeron does everything well, plus he studies the game and is very intelligent," Rahne said. "He can see what defenses are trying to present."

The 6-foot-6, 253-pound senior from Beaverton, Ore., has played in 36 games as a Wildcat with career totals of 85 catches for 986 yards and two touchdowns.

Last year, he was second on the team with 38 catches for 435 yards and a pair of scores, which came after a sophomore season of 30 snags for 316 yards, and a freshman campaign in 2006 of 17 catches for 235 yards.

A team captain this year, seven times Mastrud has caught as many as five passes in a single game, which includes a 103-yard game against Kansas as a freshman.

Now a senior, Mastrud said during Media Day earlier this month, "There is a sense of urgency. All of us want to turn things around and start winning games for coach (Bill) Snyder."

On winning no more than five games in each of the last two years, Mastrud said, "We want to win, but the only way you can look at it now is that it makes you stronger to deal with adversity. That will help you in every day life."

On the usage of Mastrud, Rahne said, "We'll use him like other teams use premier tight ends. The tight end will play a factor in controlling the middle of the field, and contributing to our running game.

"He's worked hard enough to put him in position for postseason honors, but he also realizes he'll have to produce to keep his position on our team," Rahne said. "There's competition at the position right now."

That will come from Prizell Brown (6-4, 255, Jr), Travis Tannahill (6-4, 240, Fr) and Andre McDonald (6-8, 250, Soph). Brown, a transfer from Blinn (Texas) Community College, was a late addition to the K-State roster after he could not meet academic standards at North Carolina.

"We have one guy with experience and he's doing a nice job of teaching those other guys about the position," Rahne said. "Through tape, and just watching Jeron on the practice field, they're learning a lot of football."

TIGHT ENDS TWO-DEEP CANDIDATES

Prizell Brown, 6-4, 255, Jr, Blinn (Texas) Community College
Jeron Mastrud, 6-6, 253, Sr, Beaverton, Ore.
Andre McDonald, 6-8, 250, Fr, Choctaw, Okla.
Travis Tannahill, 6-4, 240, Fr, Olathe, Kan.

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