Izayah Cummings is a "natural" in first days at tight end

Izayah Cummings is a "natural" in first days at tight end

Nick Roush2 months

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Aritcle written by:Nick RoushNick Roush

@RoushKSR

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Izayah Cummings has played tight end for just five Kentucky football practices. In that short amount of time the former wide receiver has impressed his head coach. "He's very natural, surprisingly. Not there yet, but he has that understanding and he fits in better than I thought he would, earlier. That's been really good to see," Mark Stoops said after Tuesday's practice. Recruited by Vince Marrow, Cummings had some experience playing tight end at Louisville Male High School. Obviously, the opponents he's blocking look a little different in the SEC. Cummings has not flinched from the challenge. "It's different now but I'm getting used to it and I'm enjoying it," said the sophomore. "It's definitely new because you don't usually see wide receivers blocking linebackers. I'm a tight end now so I'm going to be blocking a lot of linebackers and safeties. I'm going to get used to it and I'm going to be good at it too." Throughout his years in football Marrow has seen others transition from wide receiver. Even though Cummings had the build to play the position, the Big Dog did not expect him to fit in seamlessly right away. "Actually, I'm surprised. He's taken good to it," Marrow said. "When I recruited him out of high school he was almost 230 (pounds). You know he's going to play receiver, but you kind of think he's going to grow into an H-back. "The main thing I'm very impressed with him is most receivers that move to tight end are still kind of soft. He's pretty tough out there. I like his tenacity. He's picking up stuff real well. He's a one-on-one matchup nightmare. It's going to be really good, he's just gotta keep growing though." https://youtu.be/eiZeKJGpQJA Liam Coen brought a new offense to Kentucky this offseason. During his time with the L.A. Rams the tight ends were a focal point of the offense. Instead of stressing physicality at the point of attack, in this system Coen tries to use their versatility to create mismatches. "It's nice in this system, it's a little different than where we were a year ago as far as the run game and utilizing the tight ends, which is good," said Stoops. "Without getting into too much detail, you don't need to be that 6-foot-5, 260-pound tight end. Just with the way we block in the outside zone, not having to dig out these SEC defensive linemen all day long, it's a little different and you can utilize somebody that's athletic like he is." Cummings must become more physical and grow into his frame. In the meantime he's going to use what he learned at wide receiver to make plays for the Wildcats. "I know how to break off the ball and how to get open if a safety is guarding me or which way to go if a linebacker is guarding me. It helps to have that type of wide receiver aspect already and use that to my advantage at tight end." Cummings added, "We're always moving around, keeping the defense on their toes." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DZrw8F4Tdw    

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