We’re previewing Maryland football’s roster one position group at a time this summer. This week, we’re focusing on the tight ends, which figure to have a larger role this year than they have in a long time. Sean looked at Chigoziem Okonkwo yesterday, and today I’ll be profiling Tyler Mabry.
The Buffalo graduate transfer is the most experienced tight end new head coach Mike Locksley has at his disposal, and he has the frame to be a potential go-to target in the red zone.
Tyler Mabry, No. 81
Year: Graduate student
Hometown: Ypsilanti, Mich
High school: IMG Academy
2018 stats: 27 rec, 230 yds, 2 TD
Career stats: 60 rec, 567 yds, 3 TDs
Mabry played three seasons at Lincoln High School in his hometown before spending his senior year at IMG Academy. He committed to Buffalo in January 2015, as a two-star recruit, the No. 94 overall tight end in the class of 2015, according to the 247 Sports composite ratings.
He was the top tight end at Buffalo the past two seasons.
After redshirting the 2015 season and making only nine catches in 2016, Mabry took over the starting tight end job in 2017. He had similar numbers both years, catching 24 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown in 2017, and 27 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns in 2018.
In those two seasons, Mabry was part of some of the best offenses in Buffalo history. With 6’7 quarterback Tyree Jackson leading the way, the Bulls’ offense averaged 432 yards per game in 2017 before smashing records the next season. In 2018, Buffalo set school records with 484 points, 64 touchdowns and 5,803 all-purpose yards. Jackson was named Mid-American Conference (MAC) Offensive Player of the Year, and Mabry was one of six Bulls named First Team All-MAC. Buffalo went 10-4 in 2018, just two years removed from finishing 2-10.
With Jackson leaving early for the NFL and leading wide receiver KJ Osborn choosing to spend his final year of eligibility at Miami, Mabry followed suit and decided to leave the program. He announced he was transferring to Maryland on March 8, and finished up his communications degree this spring.
Mabry and former Virginia Tech quarterback Josh Jackson both officially joined the team on May 21.
His experience will be helpful at a position that doesn’t have much of it.
While Mabry was busy catching passes in western New York, Maryland tight ends almost became an extinct species. His 51 career catches are easily the most of any tight end on the Terps’ roster and more than Maryland tight ends have had in the previous four years combined (33).
That should change this year, as tight ends made solid contributions in the spring game and Locksley said afterwards they would be a bigger part of the offense. Mabry should be a part of this change, and he could provide a nice compliment to Okonkwo. While Okonkwo has the frame to match up at both receiver and tight end, Mabry has the more traditional tight end size. He can create more mismatches in the passing game if matched up with a defensive back, and gives up less weight to defensive linemen when blocking in the run game.
Off the field, Mabry brings even more important experiences. He has experience helping build a program, helping turn the Bulls from 2-10 in 2016 to 10-4 and a MAC championship game appearance last season. Mabry knows what it takes to help build something from the ground up, and Locksley is hoping to do the same at Maryland.