Halfway through the season, Ohio State tight end Marcus Baugh had just seven catches for 100 yards to his name and had not made much of an impact on the Buckeye offense.
In the second half of the season, Baugh caught 17 passes and finished with 269 yards and two scores. His touchdown catch against Penn State was particularly impressive, and his catch over the middle against Michigan helped set up Tyler Durbin’s game-tying field goal near the end of regulation.
Although he struggled blocking at times at the beginning of the year, Baugh seemed to improve his game enough to the point where rumors swirled he could possibly leave early for the NFL.
Ultimately, Baugh announced he will stay for the 2017 season, and he might be getting some help at the position. The Buckeyes redshirted three tight ends in 2016 (Jake Hausmann, Luke Farrell, Kierre Hawkins) and Ohio State could have a chance to use multiple tight end sets more often next season to assist in blocking in the run game.
The Buckeyes did play reserve tight end A.J. Alexander at times this season, and he provided the block for Barrett that gave him the controversial first down against Michigan.
The tight end group did not help or hurt the Buckeyes much in 2016, but with an influx of depth, it could be poised for a breakout year in 2017 after showing improvement throughout the season.
BSB Midterm Grade: C+
BSB Second-Half Grade: B
BSB Final Grade: B-
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