Over the course of three seasons at San Diego State (not exactly a pro football factory), tight end Kahale Warring caught 51 passes for 637 yards (good for a 12.5 yard average) and 8 touchdowns. That averages out to 17 catches, 212 yards and 2.66 touchdowns per season. Certainly not the sort of stats that herald a future Hall of Fame career - especially against the level of competition San Diego State faces on a regular basis (let’s face it, even the Jacksonville Jaguars are far more formidable than teams like Sacramento State, Air Force, and Eastern Michigan).
Getting selected by your Houston Texans in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, a proceeding run by a guy fired who was terminated in part for how he handled that particular proceeding, is also nothing to unleash a river of expectant praise. After suffering a concussion in the preseason, Warring found himself on Injured Reserve, meaning he didn’t play a single snap in 2019. You know, the same injury that incoming wide receiver Brandin Cooks has suffered not once but five times and is still expected to play at an elite level.
So just what is it about Warring that has people abuzz with his potential? Is it just his full name? Kahalekuiokalani Michael Wodehouse “Kahale” Warring? I mean, a wodehouse is a warrior thing from days long gone, so having a player with a lineage of fighting men is never a bad thing but hardly the sort of marker that modern NFL talent evaluators use to predict future success. At 6’ 6”, Warring certainly has the physical composition of a legendary warrior, if nothing else.
Again, with zero on-field proof of anything substantial, the question remains: What is it about this player that creates such a lightning rod of expectant praise?
When asked about why Warring’s first year went down the IR rabbit hole, the Houston Texans’ head coach and general manager had this to say:
“Look, I don’t think it was ideal for him to not play football last year. We felt like, as time wore on, it was best for us to work with him in the classroom and do some things that we were able to do out on the field relative — observe a lot. I know he’s working really hard right now. He’s in between Houston and the West Coast and I’m excited about Kahale’s future. I really like Kahale. I think he’s a hardworking guy and I think he’s got a lot of talent, and I think he’s going to be a good really good player for us.”
Prior to the 2019 NFL Draft, many scouts described Warring as raw but having a very high ceiling. The rookie-to-be ran a 4.67 second 40-yard dash, worked the bench press 19 times, and had a 36.5” vertical jump. For a 6’6” guy, that’s some serious reach. So much so that the Houston Chronicle compared him to Kansas City Chief Travis Kelce.
With Darren Fells, Jordan Akins, and Jordan Thomas already in motion, Warring is going to have to show up and show out to gain a spot on the newly remodeled Houston offense. Hopefully the one-year IR stash did wonders and he’ll grow into the player many expect him to be. But for now, he falls into the oft-quoted Bill Parcells jewel of wisdom: “Potential just means you haven’t done anything yet.”
What about you? Are you excited for Warring? Believe he’ll erupt into the best tight end the Texans have seen since Owen Daniels? Or do you see another Lestar Jean, Braxton Miller, D’Onta Foreman type of guy who gets all the hype but never lives up to it while wearing battle red? Drop your thoughts on Warring, wearing wode, and all the other tight end battle red related things in the Comments below.