HUNTINGTON — It won’t be hard for Marshall to find one of Old Dominion’s top offensive weapons on Saturday.
Let’s just say that the answer will stand out among the rest.
That player is tight end Zack Kuntz, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound transfer from Penn State who followed head coach Ricky Rahne to Norfolk to join the Monarchs.
As the season has gone on, Rahne has seen how special his transfer at tight end can be.
“Obviously, he’s very talented physically,” Rahne said. “Everyone sees his height, but he’s also incredibly fast. It’s hard to get that sort of size and speed combination.”
While Rahne is plenty familiar with Kuntz, so too is Marshall head coach Charles Huff.
“He was at Penn State when I was there,” Huff said. “We recruited him and I left and then he came in, so I know a lot about him.”
Over the past few weeks, Kuntz and quarterback D.J. Mack have found a comfort zone with each other, increasing catch production in each game.
“Zack is 6-8 or 6-9, really good catch radius and does a really good job running his routes,” Huff said.
Huff said the utilization of the tight end is by design for Rahne, who has a pair of sizable tight ends at his disposal with Kuntz and 6-foot-5 target Isaiah Spencer.
“They do a really good job of matching up to create advantages for them, so we have to be able to defend those tight ends in the pass game and run game,” Huff said.
Rahne said the process will continue of trying to get the tight ends involved in the offense, due to their reliability.
“I warned everybody that we were going to throw the ball more to our tight ends than maybe they have in the past around here,” Rahne said. “Those guys continue to be a major weapon for us, and we need to continue to find ways to get them the ball because they’ve proved to be very effective.”
Kuntz broke into the starting lineup against Liberty and over the last three games has caught 18 passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns.
Last week against UTEP, Kuntz caught eight passes for 54 yards.
Currently, Kuntz is fourth among all tight ends in FBS with 24 catches, accounting for 26 percent of catches for the Monarchs on the season.
It makes him a threat that Marshall will have to account for on each snap as Mack looks to the passing game.