Tight End University draws 85 players together to work on their craft

Von Miller started a pass-rushing clinic for the league’s edge rushers a few years ago, and Lane Johnson has his annual gathering of offensive linemen. Last year Greg Olsen, Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, and San Francisco’s George Kittle put together an event for tight ends to help share knowledge at the tight end position.

At the inaugural event, they drew 50 tight ends to a high school where Kittle’s father, George, works as an assistant football coach for former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer. The invite list grew so much for the second annual camp that they moved to Vanderbilt University, with some 85 tight ends in attendance for the three days of work this week.

“We’re still expanding and trying to find room for everybody to be able to come out here because everybody sees what kind of turnout it is,” Kelce said, via Teresa Walker of the Associated Press. “And on top of that, to hear the stories from the guys that are coming through and what they’ve learned, we know how unique of a situation it is. We’re going to keep trying to make it bigger and better every year.”

The league’s tight ends work on blocking drills against bigger defensive linemen and running routes against faster defensive backs. They get classroom instruction before hitting the field to work on physical techniques.

Kelce said they would like to continue expanding with more tight ends, possibly tight end coaches and maybe even college tight ends.

“Everyone here is hungry, and everybody here wants to be a great NFL tight end,” Kittle said. “And so when you put all that hunger together, it’s just big ol’ nasty beast, and that’s what a tight end is.”