Karson Gay, a 6’6.5”, 225-pound tight end prospect out of Boyd Buchanan School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the first member of Virginia football’s recruiting class of 2022. Gay took to Twitter to announce that he has chosen the Hoos over Arkansas, BYU, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas, Ole Miss, Southern Cal and Virginia Tech, among others.
— Karson Gay (@G1Karson) February 20, 2021
The tight end position has become a focus for Virginia football. Tony Poljan, who transferred from Central Michigan, finished second on the team with 38 receptions in the 2020 season. Joshua Rawlings (2020) and Jack Witmer (2021) have signed on with UVA in the past two classes, and the Hoos also welcomed Oklahoma State tight end transfer Jelani Woods to the program earlier this month.
UVA utilizes its tight ends as blockers and as receivers. With a tall, long frame and 4.59 speed in the 40, Karson Gay, who also plays varsity basketball, has the athletic makeup to contribute in both aspects. He was utilized in a similar way to how Poljan was used in Virginia’s system this past fall.
247Sports ranks Gay as a 3-star prospect, the no. 16 junior in Tennessee, and the no. 31 tight end in the class of 2022. Rivals ranks him as a 3-star recruit and the no. 23 junior in Tennessee, a state UVA is emphasizing significantly in terms of early offers in the class of 2022.
Former Virginia Tight Ends Coach Ricky Brumfield, who now coaches Cornerbacks in addition to overseeing Special Teams, described the ideal makeup at the tight end position as follows: “We want to have at least four good, quality, big-body guys that can do multiple things. We want to have height. We want to have length. We want to have some girth. We want kids that’s 6’6”, 6’5”, about 250. Not a tackle, but guys right off that tackle position that can be a hinderance for the defense in the run game and can be a hinderance for the defense in the passing game as well. We’re looking at four guys on a yearly basis that can do those things. Two older guys and two younger guys that we can kind of groom through the wings.”
Virginia figures to have this ideal succession in place when Gay arrives. As of now, the 2020 tight end depth chart (scholarship players only) looks like this:
– Jelani Woods, 6’7”, 275 pounds, Senior
– Grant Misch, 6’4”, 240 pounds, Senior
– Joshua Rawlings, 6’6”, 250 pounds, Redshirt Sophomore
– Jack Witmer, 6’6”, 230 pounds, Class of 2021 signee
– Karson Gay, 6’6.5”, 225 pounds, Class of 2022 commitment