Tight end is a position that Coach Cutcliffe and Coach Middleton hope to develop into a consistent strength within the Duke offense. In the past few seasons, Duke has featured a dynamic group of tight ends, including Brett Huffman, Brandon King, and Cooper Helfet. The Blue Devils will add freshman David Reeves to the depth chart this fall, and are looking at several prospects in the class of 2012. Along with verbal commit Erich Schneider, Duke is looking at a group of versatile tight end prospects such as Tanner Kearns. Kearns is a 6’5” 220 pound prospect from Lexington, Ohio. The athletic junior visited Duke for Junior Day earlier this year and was impressed with the program.
BDN: Can you start off by describing your strengths for fans who haven’t had a chance to see you play?
My strengths, probably – I run good routes, and really get open, catch the ball well.
BDN: What are some of the things you’ve been working on this offseason?
I’ve been lifting aside, we lift a little bit for basketball, but I lift on top of that, just to get bigger for next year. And I’ve been working on speed training with my track coach to get faster.
BDN: What are some of your goals for your senior year?
To go undefeated, that’d be nice, and make a run in the state tournament.
BDN: What are the most important factors you’re looking for in a college?
Education and tradition. That’s what Duke had, they’re known for their academics, and I like that.
BDN: Who are the schools that you have heard the most from and which schools were the first to contact you?
Basically Big 10 schools, and LSU, Oregon, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Kentucky, and the first school I think that contacted me was LSU and NC State.
BDN: Have you had a chance to visit any schools?
Well, this fall I went down to Cincinnati, went up to Michigan, to Ohio State, Indiana, and Notre Dame for some football games.
BDN: Have any schools stood out to you at this point in the process?
I really liked Notre Dame, and I did like Duke a lot. Their tight end coach was a nice guy, was funny, and I really liked him.
BDN: Do you have any plans for additional visits this spring or summer?
Yeah, this year I’m going down into the Carolinas for football camps this summer, I’m going to Eastern Carolina, NC State, North Carolina, Duke, and I think we’re going to Cincinnati too.
BDN: Do you have an idea for when you would like to make your college decision?
No, I’m just leaving my options open, and I’ll roll with the punches, I guess.
BDN: Thanks a lot, Tanner, and best of luck.