2013 Top 25 Player Countdown: No. 20

July, 30, 2013
7/30/13
9:00
AM ET
No. 20 hopes to be next in line at Tight End U.

No. 20: Troy Niklas, TE

Previous ranking: Not ranked

Making the case: You don't move a linebacker good enough to see action his freshman season to tight end unless the upside is greater, and there is plenty of upside for the 6-foot-7, 260-pound Niklas, who had earned the nickname "Hercules" from his teammates shortly after his arrival in 2011. While he caught just five passes for 75 yards and a touchdown in the shadow of eventual first-round draft pick Tyler Eifert last season, Niklas will have a bigger role this season on an offense that loses four of its top six pass-catchers from 2012. Expecting the junior to produce the way that past greats at Tight End U. have is probably asking a bit much this fall, but don't be surprised if Niklas ends up as a reliable threat down the line for Tommy Rees, who took full advantage of Eifert the last two seasons.

The countdown

No. 21 Elijah Shumate

No. 22 C.J. Prosise

No. 23 Ishaq Williams

No. 24 Kyle Brindza

No. 25 Greg Bryant

Matt Fortuna | email

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