Craig returns from vacation only to discover the Big Ten tight end pool is mostly mediocre at best. There literally aren't enough guys to break this into a post for each division.
5. Danny Friend, Indiana
Friend's stats don't necessarily jump out at you. Entering his senior year, Friend has been primarily used as a blocker in Bloomington. Offensive guru Kevin Wilson is off to Ohio State, prompting new head coach Tom Allen to bring in Mike DeBord. That could be real DeBad for any Hoosier trying to accumulate stats.
4. Cole Herdman, Purdue
Purdue's top returning pass-catcher could be a key piece in Jeff Brohm's air raid offense. In his first season as a starter, he recorded a reception in every game. Standing at 6-4/240, Herdman is actually the smallest player to appear in our rankings. With David Blough back for another season at quarterback, look for Herdman to improve upon a solid 2016 campaign.
3. marcus baugh, ohio state
Penn State fans probably recall Baugh trucking several DBs on his way to the endzone last year in Beaver Stadium. That was Baugh's biggest game of the season, as he hauled in 5 catches for 55 yards and the score. The Buckeyes may lean on Baugh throughout 2017, as their receiving corps is talented, but very young. Look for him to be an outlet for J.T. Barrett all year.
2. troy fumagali, wisconsin
The reigning All-Big Ten Second Team tight end is a perfect fit in Madison, with a knack for making key plays for the Badgers. He's a true chain-moving tight end, who also mixes it up in the Wisconsin run game as an effective blocker. At 6-6/250 Fumagali has all the tools and size to transition his game to the next level. According to CBS Sports, he could go as high as the third round in next year's NFL draft.
1. mike gesicki, Penn state
It's nearly inconceivable to me that Gesicki was only Honorable Mention All-Big Ten last year. His numbers and big play ability were off the charts, and so much better than anyone else in the conference. I suppose he got knocked for not being a senior and not being a devastating blocker. Whatever with that garbage. Gesicki is absolutely elite and among the very best tight ends in college football. With an encore performance in 2017, he can expect an early-day draft call from the NFL next year.