The Miami Hurricanes received the 11th commitment of their 2024 recruiting class on Thursday night, with Bishop Gorman (Nev.) tight end Elija Lofton announcing his pledge to Miami over finalists Hawaii, Texas, Washington and Arizona State.
Lofton is a dynamic weapon that can impact an offense in a variety of ways. He has positional versatility and fits the multidimensional role of a modern-day tight end.
In his junior year at national high-school powerhouse Bishop Gorman, Lofton was used as a prototypical in-line tight end, in the slot and even on the boundary as an outside receiver. This was a breakout season for Lofton, as he caught 30 passes for 756 yards and 11 touchdowns. He helped lead the Gaels to a 14-1 record and a 5A state championship.
As a pass-catcher, Lofton was shown both press and off-coverage last season by opposing defenses and made big-time plays against both. He’s quick off the line, which could give him an advantage against slower defenders matched up with him. The 6-foot-2 tight end also has quality ball skills.
Lofton’s most transferrable receiving skill might be his yards-after-catch ability. Lofton can effortlessly get upfield after catching the ball, as seen in a 75-yard touchdown he scored last season.
Lofton has shown throughout his high school career that he’s a very willing and fundamentally sound blocker, especially in the open field. At 220 pounds, he will likely need to put on some weight to be an effective in-line blocker.
Given that both players played at Bishop Gorman and possess a similar skillset at around the same size, Lofton has been compared by many to former Miami tight end Brevin Jordan, who had an illustrious career with the Hurricanes before being selected by the Houston Texans in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Like Jordan in his last year at UM, Lofton could be used as an h-back in some formations because of his athleticism and ability to block in space.
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