Kattus, Tight Ends Hope to Increase Contributions in 2024

Kattus, Tight Ends Hope to Increase Contributions in 2024

by Tim Letcher

Last season, the Kentucky tight ends battled through numerous injuries. Largely due to that, the group was not as productive as the UK coaching staff hoped they would be.

Now, the tight ends are healthy and, in the new offense, under the direction of offensive coordinator Bush Hamdan, they are expected to have more of an impact in 2024.

Three returners figure to be among those contributors for the upcoming season. Junior-to-be Jordan Dingle caught 12 passes for 270 yards last season, while fellow junior-to-be Josh Kattus had eight receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Khamari Anderson caught one ball for 11 yards in his freshman season.

UK head coach Mark Stoops feels good about where the tight ends are as the Cats continue with spring practice.

“I think definitely, we feel very confident in that group,” Stoops said. “We feel like there’s a lot of playmaking ability in that group. They’ll be utilized. It will be different but we feel like there’s very good players there.”

Stoops hopes that, with Hamdan’s faster offensive tempo, the tight ends can player bigger roles in 2024.

“If we can get the tempo going, get some first downs going, get some plays going, you’re going to see a lot of touches by a lot of different people,” Stoops said.

Kattus believes that the tight ends are adapting well to the new offensive scheme.

“I think there’s similarities and differences to it,” Kattus said. “Everyone has their own little spin on it. It still has that pro foundation but there are a lot of shifts, motions and all that. I think we, as a tight end room, have picked it up pretty well. Learning a new system, after being in a different system the past two years isn’t easy. But I think we’ve done a good job of picking it up and learning.”

Kattus was featured on UK Football’s social media this week, making a spectacular one-handed catch. He spoke about that on Saturday.

“It was a one-on-one route,” Kattus said. “It was actually really good coverage by Ty Bryant and I think it was Cutter (Boley) threw it up and gave me a 50-50 chance and I came down with it.”

Kattus is a firm believer in players getting better during spring drills.

“Spring ball is a great time to get to work on your craft and some things you need to improve on,” Kattus said. “After each practice, if there’s something I know I need to work on, we have that day off in between that I can go out there and work on it each day. I think it’s a real key spot in your development as a player.”

One player that Kattus enjoys going against is UK outside linebacker J.J. Weaver. It’s a matchup that’s been going on for a while now.

“Oh yeah. I think that’s kind of been going since my freshman year,” Kattus said. “He’s a great player and iron sharpens iron. Every chance we have to against each other, it’s a battle, sometimes he comes out on top, sometimes I come out on top. That’s what I love about it.”

Weaver also enjoys the rivalry with Kattus.

“Most definitely. Kattus is a dog,” Weaver said. “That’s one person I love to go against and hate at the same time.”

Kattus figures to be among the tight ends making contributions in UK’s new offense in 2024.

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