Evan Engram’s Grove Bowl performance was not indicative of his work through 14 other spring practices.
Taz Zettergren’s was.
Engram, twice an All-SEC tight end and named All-America last year by Sports Illustrated and a couple of other outlets, had one catch for 17 yards in last Saturday’s spring game.
Had he hauled in four other passes that he got his hands on he’d have had close to 100 yards receiving.
Engram’s frustration was evident in his body language as the drops continued.
“I wish he’d have finished stronger in the spring game. I know some of those catches were tough, but like I told him, ‘You have set an expectation, and we expect you to make those kinds of plays for us,’” tight ends coach Maurice Harris said.
That said, Engram’s bad day at the office was preceded by some very good ones.
“His overall body of work was, I would say, an A-minus,” Harris said.
Harris says Engram, who had 38 catches for 662 yards and two touchdowns last year, made noticeable gains this spring in blocking at the line of scrimmage.
He raved about Zettergren’s work.
A fourth-year junior walk-on, Zettergren had two catches for 55 yards including a 43-yard touchdown from Chad Kelly in which Zettergren got behind a linebacker.
“Taz Zettergen had a tremendous spring from a knowledge standpoint, from a play-making standpoint, from an attitude standpoint of just coming out and just competing every single day and giving his absolute best. I thought he had an awesome spring,” Harris said.
The departure of senior Nick Parker and the move of Jeremy Liggins to left tackle caused a bit of a shortage of experience at tight end especially as far as blocking on the line.
Harris is hoping to have three or four ready for game action by the Sept. 5 opener against Tennessee-Martin.