Cheston Blackshear -- a former National Champion offensive lineman at Florida -- enters his second season as Nevada's tight ends coach. Third-year Nevada head coach Brian Polian announced his hiring of Blackshear to coach the Wolf Pack's tight ends on Jan. 10, 2014.
Blackshear arrived in Reno from Georgetown, where he held the same title as the Hoyas' tight ends coach in 2013. Prior to that, he coached in the Mountain West as an offensive line and tight end coach at New Mexico from 2009-12.
In his first season with the Wolf Pack, Blackshear helped sophomore Jarred Gipson emerge as one of the top tight ends in the Mountain West and earn second team All-Mountain West honors. Gipson caught 33 passes for 291 yards, averaging 8.8 yards per catch, and ranked tied for first on the team with four receiving touchdowns. Blackshear also guided Matt Moen, who made four starts in his freshman season.
Blackshear's 2015 tight end corps will be led by Gipson and Moen, who return 16-of-17 (.941) starts at the position from last season. Junior Austin Carrow and redshirt-freshman Brandon Scott will also add depth to the position.
A four-year letter winner at Florida (1996-99), Blackshear signed with the NFL's Carolina Panthers in 2000 after graduation. He later played in the XFL with Orlando in 2000-01 and helped lead the way for the Rage to lead the league in rushing. While at Florida, Blackshear recorded 28 career starts and played in four bowl games, including the Sugar Bowl following the 1996 season, where Florida won the National Championship.
He started at guard in the 1997 Citrus Bowl, the 1998 Orange Bowl and the 1999 Citrus Bowl. He earned second-team All-SEC honors as a senior and earned the Fergie Ferguson Award as the senior with the most leadership, character and courage.
An Oklahoma native, Blackshear grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., where he was all-state and a SuperPrep All-American at Ed White High. He was the first offensive lineman to ever earn Player of the Year honors from the Florida Times-Union.
His coaching experience includes time at the high school level, coaching running backs at Sandalwood High in Jacksonville, as well as collegiate stops at Florida (graduate assistant, 2002-04), Illinois (GA, 2005) and Columbia (tight ends, 2006 and offensive line, 2007-08) before moving on to New Mexico in 2009.
With the Lobos, Blackshear mentored tight end Lucas Reed to Freshman All-American honors in 2009, first-team All-MW honors in 2010 with All-America and John Mackey Award candidacy in 2011. He also coach lineman Byron Bell, who later went on to start for the Carolina Panthers.
Prior to his arrival at Nevada, Blackshear served as the tight ends coach at Georgetown in 2013. Senior tight end Daniel Sprotte ranked second on the team that season in receiving with 46 receptions, 441 yards and four touchdowns.
Blackshear has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Florida and has credits toward a master's in educational policy.
The File on Cheston Blackshear:
Born: Aug. 12, 1978
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
Education: Bachelor's, Business Administration, Florida, 2000
2014-Current: Tight Ends, Nevada
2013: Tight Ends, Georgetown
2009-12: Offensive Line and Tight Ends, New Mexico
2006-08: Offensive Line and Tight Ends, Columbia
2005: Graduate Assistant, Illinois
2002-04: Graduate Assistant, Florida
Florida (1996-99): A four-year letter winner, member of the 1996 National Champions and starter in three bowl games.
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