Sorry, NFL defensive backs and linebackers. Jace Amaro is coming to the league.
Shortly after Texas Tech's win over Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl on Monday night, the freakishly gifted tight end announced he would forego his senior season and enter the 2014 draft in May.
Mike Graham of The Dallas Morning News has the news:
Amaro talked about his decision via Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal:
Operating primarily as the slot option in the Red Raiders' Air Raid spread offense, Amaro put up some silly production in 2013. In 12 regular season contests, he pulled in 98 passes for 1,240 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
After tallying over 100 yards in the first half against the Sun Devils, he set the record for receiving yards in a season by a tight end, per Texas Tech Associate Director of Communications Scott Lacefield:
James Casey's lack of consistent NFL success proves that collegiate production doesn't necessarily translate, but Amaro is a special prospect.
FOX Sports Southwest's David Ubben notes the high praise that Amaro receives from coaches throughout the Big 12, calling him the "real deal":
Standing at 6'5" and weighing 260 pounds, Amaro shouldn't be as talented of a receiver as he is. Nevertheless, despite his frame, he is a polished route runner and has tremendous hands.
He still needs improvement in the run-blocking game. But a player his size with the versatility to line up all over the field along with the agility and speed to make plays consistently like a wide receiver is rare—and increasingly valued in the NFL.
In fact, according to Bleacher Report's Michael Felder, it's even comical watching players attempt to defend him:
CBS Sports, ESPN Scout Inc and Rotoworld's Josh Norris all rank North Carolina's Eric Ebron as the top tight end ahead of Amaro, but at this point, it's nothing more than splitting hairs when it comes down to separating the two.
Both players look like future stars, and we know now both players will be a part of the 2014 draft.