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tBBC Pre-Fall Outlook: Ohio State Tight Ends

Discussion in 'News' started by Brandon Zimmerman, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Pre-Fall Outlook: Ohio State Tight Ends
    Brandon Zimmerman
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here

    This year’s Ohio State squad will feature a lot of new starters but in most cases those guys are people we are pretty familiar with. Whether it is from filling in for injured players or making big hits on special teams, we as a fan base know what we should be able to expect. That is not the case with tight ends.

    The tight end picture is a legitimate guessing game because of two major reasons. First, the Buckeyes have been fortunate enough to have Jeff Heuerman and/or Nick Vannett holding down the position for the past couple of years. Both were drafted in the third round (Heuerman in 2015 and Vannett in 2016) and both were able to play on passing and running downs for Ohio State. This prevented many of the current tight ends from ever seeing the field. Second, the positional group is incredibly young. The depth chart for 2016 will consist of a sixth-year graduate transfer walk-on, a junior, a redshirt freshman, and three true freshmen. So let’s take a look at where we stand compared to how things looked in February.

    The starter for the Buckeyes will be the lone man with any game experience at tight end as a Buckeye, junior Marcus Baugh. A big-time recruit out of California, Baugh has had an interesting first three years on campus. Just two years ago, Baugh was suspended indefinitely after his third underage consumption charge. No matter how many times Baugh was in the Urban Meyer doghouse early in his career, he always was able to fight his way out of it with his work ethic and skills. For his career, Baugh has three catches for 34 yards and one touchdown. In the spring game, Baugh had seven catches for 64 yards.

    The four remaining players will be battling it out for the back-up tight end position. The first is Chase Hounshell who is a graduate transfer from Notre Dame. Last year, his first at tight end,

    Hounshell will suit of for the good guys this year. (Image courtesy of 247Sports)

    Hounshell played in 13 games and started three times. For the season, he had one reception for six yards.

    Redshirt freshman A.J. Alexander came to Ohio State where nobody was sure where he would wind up on the depth chart but after a strong spring, he looks like he has found a home at tight end despite possibly being undersized at 6’2” 235.

    The final two players competing for time at tight end this year are the number four and number five rated tight ends coming out of high school, Jake Hausmann and Luke Farrell respectively. Hausmann and Farrell both already have the size the Buckeyes covet at tight end without even stepping on campus as a scholarship athlete. Hausmann came in at 6’4” and 230 pounds while Farrell arrived at 6’6” and 240 pounds. It will be interesting to hear if one or both of these highly touted freshmen are able to jump Alexander on the depth chart.

    Two other players who may play a role at tight end in the future are redshirt freshman Rashod Berry and true freshman Kierre Hawkins. In the spring, Berry was moved to defensive line where he excelled. Who knows if he will be moved back in the future? Hawkins is coming to Ohio State as a project…much like Berry when he arrived. Both are big and incredible athletes who could catch on at either position.

    Pre-Spring Predicted Depth Chart Pre-Fall Predicted Depth Chart
    Marcus Baugh Marcus Baugh
    2. Jake Hausmann Chase Hounshell
    3. Luke Farrell A.J. Alexander

    There is not a position which has been more scrutinized by the fan base over the years. Each of the Buckeyes last three starters are in the NFL but none were utilized much at Ohio State. I will say, I really like Marcus Baugh and think he has the potential to be a playmaker but I’m not sure if a tight end will ever be in the top four options on the offense.

    The biggest contribution they make are with their blocking skills. Due to this, I have moved Hounshell up to the second spot on the depth chart. He played for another big time university and has experience against high-level competition. He is a former defensive lineman so he has good strength. Additionally, I added Alexander and removed the two big-time recruits. This will allow the true freshmen to take a year to learn the system and be ready to compete as early as next year if Baugh leaves.

    The post Pre-Fall Outlook: Ohio State Tight Ends appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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