【AL】 Rivaldo Fairweather leads a developing tight-end group at Auburn – Alabama News

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We’re taking a look at each position group as Auburn prepares to open spring practice on Feb. 27. The fourth of an 11-part series looks at the tight ends.

Auburn’s success in the tight end room during the 2023 season will depend upon how the group under new position coach Ben Aigamaua can replace John Samuel Shenker. The former team captain graduated with 718 yards, 68 catches, and one touchdown over three seasons for the Tigers.

Shenker was a trusted security blanket as the program transitioned from Bo Nix at quarterback to T.J. Finley and Robby Ashford. With the quarterback position still in flux, it’d help immensely if the Tigers have a sound tight end that can catch passes and provide blocking.

The Tigers may have the answer with former Florida International University tight end Rivaldo Fairweather joining the squad. Fairweather had 54 receptions for 838 yards and five touchdowns in three seasons. He caught 28 passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns last season.

Projected Depth Chart:

Rivaldo Fairweather, senior

Luke Deal, redshirt senior.

Tyler Fromm, redshirt senior.

Brandon Frazier, senior.

Micah Riley-Ducker, redshirt freshman

Departed: John Samuel Shenker

Outlook: Fairweather is a talented athlete at 6′5 and 245 pounds. He’s speedy enough to beat linebackers and safeties while being difficult for smaller corners to tackle. He brings an added dimension of running routes at any distance.

Fairweather living up to expectations will be crucial for the Tigers to succeed under new head coach Hugh Freeze and offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery. Aigamaua told reporters earlier in February that Fairweather is an example of the tight end he wants at Auburn.

“We don’t want to be stuck with somebody that only gives us one dimension because that limits our play-calling. So, if we find a couple of good ones that can do that, then I think we’ll be very successful,” Aigamaua told reporters. “For us, we have to find those guys because it puts defenses at a disadvantage when you have two or even three that can do all of those things.”

Luke Deal, Tyler Fromm, Brandon Frazier, and Micah Riley-Ducker each saw action last season. Each has room for development, and their new position coach believes he can help them reach their potential.

“They’re very similar: They’re tall, they’re big, they run, they’re very strong,” Aigamaua told reporters. “I’m excited to see what he can do and what he can bring to our offense. Same thing we’ve had with the guys in that room. I’m excited to see them this spring and what each kid brings.”

Auburn has lots of talent in the tight-end room. If one or two players can emerge, it’ll be a positive sign for a team looking to rebuild.

Nubyjas Wilborn covers Auburn for Alabama Media Group

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