Next Man Up: Ohio State Tight Ends

Ohio State has dozens of four-star prospects who have yet to see significant time because of a playing time logjam over the last two season. Our Next Man Up series looks at on the inexperienced players at each position group who could make the leap this fall and contribute for the Buckeyes. Next up is the tight ends.

For the past two seasons, the Ohio State football program has sent one of its tight ends to the NFL, via the draft. 

Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett proved they have NFL caliber talent, and because of that did not leave much room for the younger Ohio State tight ends to show what they can do. Now, a handful of former four star athletes will be vying for playing time and the right to show they have what it takes to fill in for the likes of Heuerman and Vannett. 

Even though the Ohio State tight ends have not caught a ton of passes in recent years, offensive coordinator and new tight ends coach Ed Warinner said he and the rest of the staff will be working to implement the tight ends more in 2016. 

“One of our goals for spring was to reestablish who our playmakers are and find out who the new ones are and then find out how to get them the ball,” Warinner said in March. “If you are a playmaker you have to reestablish that and if you weren’t you have to become one to get the ball, and then we have to make sure we have the schemes to do that. I think Marcus Baugh can be a playmaker for us. We’ll continue to see what we can do to utilize him more in the offense.”

The Buckeye have four tight ends on the 2016 roster that were four stars, and three of them have yet to experience their first college practice.

The most experienced member of Warinner’s new room is Baugh, who has had quite a few ups and downs in his time at Ohio State. Suspended on two separate occasions during his first few years on campus, Baugh seems to have come around for the Buckeyes. While he has recorded just three catches in two full seasons, he has shown he can be a valuable blocker in the run game and started four games for OSU in 2015.

A member of the North vs. South Ohio All-Star game, Luke Farrell has the ability to line up in a traditional tight end position or flex out as a wide receiver. He was the third of three tight ends to commit to Urban Meyer in the 2016 class.

A U.S. Army All-American, Jake Hausmann has perhaps one of the highest ceilings of this group of tight ends. At 6-foot-5 235 pounds, Hausmann already has the size to play big time college football. He comes to Columbus as the top ranked tight end in the state of Ohio in the 2016 class and the fifth ranked tight end prospect in the nation.

Another versatile athlete and North vs. South Ohio All-Star game participant, Kierre Hawkins is a four star athlete who was recruited as a tight end and H-back. On signing day of this year, he said that he was always in contact with Tim Hinton more than anyone else before the coaching switch, leading many to believe he will end up in Warinner’s room. 

Other tight ends on the Buckeyes roster include a pair of former three-stars in A.J. Alexander and Notre Dame transfer Chase Hounshell . 

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