Vannett Trying To Turn Season Around

Nick Vannett has his college future set, but his recent past on the gridiron has been a struggle. The four-star tight end prospect is trying to right the ship after his team suffered its third straight loss to open the 2010 season.

WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- One night before watching his future team improve to 2-0 on the season, Nick Vannett could not prevent his current squad from dropping to 0-3. The four-star tight end prospect from Westerville (Ohio) Central had nine catches for 114 yards in a 21-3 home loss to Canal Winchester, Ohio.

As an Ohio State verbal commitment, Vannett said he feels it is among his responsibilities to try and rally his team.

"We've just got to stay positive," he told following the game. "Obviously we're in a slump right now. We've just got to tell the players to keep their heads up and keep working hard in practice. Hopefully good things will happen from here on out."

Vannett did not feature prominently in his team's offensive attack until the waning moments of the first half. Trailing 7-0, he turned his first catch of the night into a 20-yard gain after breaking a handful of tackles. On the next play, Vannett picked up 32 yards with his second catch.

It was that kind of night – several catches in a row followed by plays run for other members of the team.

"I'm a team player so I'm up for whatever is best for the team," he said. "Whatever drives the ball down the field is what I'm for. As soon as I got on a streak catching the ball I think we started to move the ball down the field."

In addition to his duties at tight end, Vannett lined up on the defensive line for the Warhawks but said he is just moonlighting at the position.

"I'm up for anything," he said. "Whatever is best for the team I'm going to do. I'm more of a tight end. I like tight end better."

Vannett said he has struck up a friendship with current OSU tight end Jacob Stoneburner.

"We stay in close touch with each other," he said. "He just tells me what goes on in the locker room. He told me to focus on my senior season because it's going to go by quick so take it one day at a time."

Against the Indians, Vannett lined up both on the line and out in the slot. Listed at 6-6, 240 pounds, he said he does not feel there would be any future at wide receiver or anywhere aside from tight end.

However, the Buckeyes apparently plan to use him in a way similar to how they have said they plan to use Stoneburner this fall.

"They said that when they offered me they offered me for my receiving abilities," he said. "I think they see me as being more of a Jake Stoneburner-type of dude. We'll see what happens when I get there."

OSU tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator John Peterson has been in contact with Vannett.

"They've started calling me," he said. "I actually had a call (Sept. 9) from Coach Peterson. He just told me good luck, stay positive and be a good leader for the team and be a leader in the classroom as well."

In addition to being ranked the No. 17 tight end in the nation, Vannett said he knows that his status as an OSU commitment has made him a marked man to opponents.

"I think I have a target on my back," he said. "They started bringing two guys over me, trying to double-team me in the passing game. We have a lot of weapons on offense though so when they do that, it opens up someone else and we can move the ball down the field."

Vannett said he does not plan to graduate early and that he will play basketball this year before enrolling for summer courses at OSU.

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