Tight Ends Among the Top 25 Prospects in CA’s Class of 2023

The tight end position has been revolutionized over the past decade. The modern tight end is asked to do so much more in today’s game, which makes it all the more important to find the right guys when recruiting the position.

In California’s high school class of 2023, two tight ends are among the top 25 prospects in the state – De La Salle’s Cooper Flanagan and Folsom’s Walker Lyons.

Cooper Flanagan – De La Salle

If you know anything about De La Salle football, you know that the reliance on a powerful running game is still inherent in the program. Justin Alumbaugh, who served under the legendary Bob Ladoucer at De La Salle, took over for his mentor and has stuck with what works. That means running the veer, which helped the Spartans become one of the premier programs in the nation.

It also means that 6-foot-6-inch tight ends like Flanagan spend a lot of their time on offense blocking. That isn’t a problem for the Spartans tight end. He has fine tuned his ability to be an asset in the run game. He is aggressive and has great feet which allows him to get into defenders and maintain blocks.

Flanagan is also a very good pass receiver. He runs good routes, understands how to get open, and uses his body well. In the highlights from his sophomore season below, you can see why Flanagan is one of the more coveted tight ends in the class of 2023.

Flanagan had received over a dozen offers from schools all over the country. Nearly the entire Pac-12 had offered the young tight end. At the beginning of August, Flanagan received an offer from Notre Dame, which has turned out several NFL tight ends over the past decade.

Just a little less than a month later, Flanagan decided to pull the trigger early and committed to the Fighting Irish on Sept. 2.

Walker Lyons – Folsom

As good as Flanagan is, it’s possible that Lyons may be even better. He is built in the mold of a bigger receiver, but has the body of a tight end. Lyons is 6-4 and weighs in around 230 pounds. He has a great frame that will no doubt add size as he matures. What makes him great though is his athleticism.

Check out these clips from the spring season (his sophomore campaign). Lyons shows that athleticism not only on offense, but also on defense.

Lyons has great speed for a player of his age and size. He runs routes like a wide receiver and has soft hands. His ability after the catch is impressive as well. Watch below as Lyons puts up six catches for 142 yards and a touchdown as Folsom beat Pittsburgh 38-17 last week.

Lyons holds nearly 30 offers from every major FBS program in the nation. Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and many more are all in line waiting to get their hands on what could be the best tight end in the class of 2023.

Lyons has yet to make a decision on where he will play at the next level. He still has plenty of time for that. Folsom is currently 3-0 in his junior season.

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