Think all the way back to 2013 for a minute. After Coby Fleener was chosen as the All-Pac-12 tight end in 2011 and Zach Ertz earned the honor in 2012, Stanford had clearly established itself as the home of the tight end. But in 2013, the cupboard was bare. The position accounted for only ten receptions that season, and five of those came from converted defensive ends.
If there were any doubts about the Tight End Factory, however, all were dispelled in 2014 when Austin Hooper, Greg Taboada, and Eric Cotton -- all redshirt freshmen -- emerged and reinvigorated the signature position in Stanford's offense. Those three combined for 55 receptions for 763 yards and 5 touchdowns, and Tight End U was alive and well.