2024 Big Ten TE Rankings: Colston Loveland, Luke Lachey Challenge for TE1

    Michigan's Colston Loveland and Iowa's Luke Lachey not only lead the 2024 Big Ten TE Rankings but challenge for TE1 in the nation.

    Tight ends are often underutilized on the collegiate landscape, but there is no shortage of talent atop the conference. Washington is the only Pac-12 addition that doesn’t have a representative on the list following Devin Culp’s departure to the NFL, highlighting how expansion has impacted the 2024 Big Ten TE Rankings.

    Big Ten 2024 TE Rankings

    10) Lake McRee, USC Trojans

    The Trojans aren’t exactly known for utilizing their TEs, especially under Lincoln Riley. Still, Lake McRee is a reliable safety blanket that can pick up YAC with a head of steam. Although his 26-262-1 receiving line from last season isn’t all that impressive, with a relatively inexperienced Miller Moss under center and a new WR corps, McRee could be called upon more often than not in 2024.

    9) Zach Horton, Indiana Hoosiers

    Yet another former JMU player following head coach Curt Cignetti to Indiana, Zach Horton will catch passes from Kurtis Rourke this season. He has some wiggle on the move, but Horton is a solid blocker and makes himself available in the short areas of the field.

    8) Moliki Matavao, UCLA Bruins

    Moliki Matavoa averaged *checks notes* 20.2 yards per catch last year, and Chip Kelly had no qualms about unleashing him downfield. Of course, Kelly is now at Ohio State, but the Bruins know what Matavao brings to the position. With Ethan Garbers being more of a “game manager,” expect more targets heading Matavao’s direction this season.

    7) Will Kacmarek, Ohio State Buckeyes

    Former Ohio Bobcat Will Kacmarek will take the baton from Cade Stover at the TE position after catching 42 passes for 507 yards and two scores over the last two years. As mentioned with Matavao, Kelly likes to work his TEs vertically, and Kacmarek can do just that, both from the slot and inline.

    6) Jack Velling, Michigan State Spartans

    Following HC Jonathan Smith, OC Brian Lindgren, and QB Aidan Chiles, Jack Velling knows his role at Michigan State. He makes an effort as a run blocker but is best at making defenses pay over the middle of the field. While he won’t create much for himself after the catch, Velling’s high average depth of target raises his production floor.

    5) Cole Rusk, Illinois Fighting Illini

    Cole Rusk parlayed a transfer from Eastern Michigan to Murray State into a Power Five bid with Illinois. In his lone season with the Racers, Rusk posted a 39-512-6 receiving line, showcasing soft hands and a penchant for operating downfield. Now, the Fighting Illini didn’t use athletic marvel Tip Reiman much last season, limiting Rusk’s ceiling on the 2024 Big Ten TE Rankings.

    4) Tyler Warren, Penn State Nittany Lions

    Tyler Warren looks like a big-bodied WR at 6’6″ and 260 pounds, and he moves like one with the ball in his hands as well. He has dropped a few more passes than you’d like, but he makes up for it as a chain mover from the slot or inline. Teammate Theo Johnson went in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, and Warren shouldn’t be far behind.

    3) Terrance Ferguson, Oregon Ducks

    Terrance Ferguson hit the ground running at Oregon and is fresh off his best performance yet (42-414-6). The 6’5″, 255-pound TE has been utilized as an underneath weapon for the Ducks, able to pick up YAC with his mixture of size and athleticism.

    The drop-off from Bo Nix to Dillon Gabriel will be minimal, and the latter’s deep-passing prowess should showcase Ferguson’s ability to stretch the seams.

    2) Luke Lachey, Iowa Hawkeyes

    The next TE off the Iowa-to-NFL conveyor belt, Luke Lachey has the size (6’6″, 253) and instincts to earn early-round capital in the 2025 NFL Draft. But before that, he’ll provide the Hawkeyes with receiving talent they are in desperate need of. With Cade McNamara also returning from injury, Lachey could produce his best campaign.

    1) Colston Loveland, Michigan Wolverines

    Colston Loveland was J.J. McCarthy’s safety net, as the newly minted first-round pick often looked the TE’s way on key downs. Tight ends rarely reach their potential at the collegiate level, but Michigan knows how to use this height/weight/speed threat, often lining him up in the slot and allowing him to devour smaller DBs and slower LBs.

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