Miami Hurricanes tight ends Michael Irvin Jr. and Brian Polendey might have name recognition and experience on their side, but the junior and sophomore, respectively, are being issued a clear challenge by the coaching staff this spring.
The Hurricanes signed two 4-star tight ends in the Class of 2018. Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory will arrive in the summer and both will look to earn immediate playing time, meaning that Irvin ad Polendey need to take advantage of having the spring to get a headstart on the 2018 season.
Both have made plays in the passing game that have encouraged tight ends coach Todd Hartley thus far. However, the one thing they both must improve in is their blocking and Hartley made the challenge clear recently.
“Both of them need to get stronger,” Hartley said according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “When we tee up against LSU in Dallas and play Florida State, Virginia Tech. … [They’ve] got to get stronger at the point of attack.
“We have to be able to block these guys. They’re great running routes. I would like them to catch the ball more consistently. But we’ve got to get stronger at the point of attack, both of those guys.”
Irvin caught 9 passes for 78 yards in 2017 while Polendey played in 6 games as a freshman without recording a catch. So neither has a lot of game experience to lean on as they look to carve out a role within the offense.
So if they don’t answer the challenge of the coaching staff to get stronger and focus on their blocking, the consequence might be that they’re passed up by the enormously talented freshmen who arrive in the summer.