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Open Competition at Tight End

Editor's Note: Today, "K-State Sports Extra" continues its nine-part look at the 2010 Wildcats with each assistant coach taking an in-depth look at his respective position.
 
 
By Mark Janssen
 
 
Two catches, 37 yards.
 
Catch-wise, that's what Kansas State has returning to the tight end position with the departure of First Team All-Big 12 standout Jeron Mastrud.
 
The phrase that tight ends coach Ricky Rahne uses multiple times in a conversation about who might play the Wildcat tight end position is that it's an "open competition."
 
An open competition primarily between returnee Travis Tannahill and Andre McDonald.
 
Tannahill is a 6-foot-3, 254-pound sophomore out of Olathe East High School, while McDonald is a 6-8, 282-pound redshirt freshman from Choctaw, Okla.
 
Tannahill played in all 12 games last year, snagging a 16-yard catch against Tennessee Tech and a 21-yarder against Texas A&M.
 
"Travis has nice ball skills and is very competitive," said Rahne. "He's gained some weight and does have game experience from last year, and it wasn't just in mop-up time. He had a lot of meaningful snaps on offense and on special teams."
 
Neither tight end was a high-profile recruit as Tannahill was a three-star recruit and McDonald a two-star talent.
 
Still, Rahne says of McDonald, "He certainly gives us a physical presence. He's very big, yet he can still run. We're looking forward to him being a factor."
 
In comparing the two, Rahne continued, "Andre has that size and power that you like, but Travis knows how to play and has played. Andre gives you a bigger target, yet Travis has the ability to make great catches. Both are doing some nice things."
 
MULTI-TALENTED: While starring on the football field, McDonald was also a three-year letterman in baseball and one in basketball, while Tannahill also played basketball and was the Kansas state javelin champion in his sophomore season.
 
COACH RAHNE, tight ends, fifth season at Kansas State: Collegiate career at Cornell where he secured a major in Industrial and Labor Relations ... played quarterback from 1998-01 and is still the school's career passing leader ... collegiate coaching stops at Holy Cross and Cornell prior to K-State ... Rahne, 30, has coached in one bowl game, the Texas Bowl with the Wildcats in 2006.