In the summer after a freshman season that saw Marcus Baugh take a redshirt for Ohio State, there was a day he didn’t show up for a workout at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Baugh wasn’t hurt. He wasn’t sick. He really didn’t have an official reason for missing that workout. Instead, he was planning to leave Ohio State after a difficult first year in Columbus, which included a suspension after he was charged with underage drinking.
“I just didn’t show up because I was gonna leave, like I was really going to leave,” said Baugh, a former four-star recruit from Riverside, Calif. “But I ended up just staying and going through everything.
Baugh said he was close to a final decision to leave the Buckeyes when he had his father come to Columbus to talk things out. At first, Baugh said, his father wanted him to leave, but when the then-redshirt freshman decided he wanted to leave as well, his dad said no.
“I was just homesick, dumb, immature,” Baugh said. “It was a good thing he didn’t let me leave because it really helped me grow up.”
Now heading into his junior season at Ohio State, Baugh is the clear No. 1 on the tight end depth chart. He spent his redshirt-freshman season playing on special teams before stepping into a blocking role in 2015.
Heading into 2016, Baugh has three career receptions in an offense that rarely throws to the tight end, though offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Ed Warinner said he wants that to change next season.
“I think the sky’s the limit,” Warinner said of Baugh. “So we’re going to push him to the next level in terms of his blocking and his pass receiving."
As a potential focal point of the offense going forward, Baugh has certainly come a long way since his tumultuous first year on campus, and he knows things could have turned out much differently.
With three full years of college life under his belt, Baugh has light heart about the time he nearly bolted back to California, even joking that all he would have needed at the time was a bit of extra money and five more minutes to book a flight west.
“Glad I was broke.”
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