Ballard Says TE Fits Him Just Fine

Jake Ballard is definitely big enough to play offensive tackle in college. But he believes that he will stay at tight end in college. Ballard was one of four future Ohio State players that played in the Ohio North-South Classic on Saturday in Columbus. We caught up with him after the game for his thoughts on the Classic, and his fast approaching Ohio State career.

Future Ohio State tight end Jake Ballard played in the Ohio North-South Classic on Saturday and had a memorable experience, despite falling to the North 34-13.

"All week, hanging out with the guys and getting to meet new people was really fun," Ballard said. "We tried our hardest and worked hard in practice, but came up a little bit short. But it was a great week."

Ballard and future OSU defensive end Rob Rose – the North defensive MVP – butted heads a few times during the game.

"Yeah, I probably went up against him five times," Ballard said. "I didn't play much because we were in trips and doubles a whole lot – I might have only played 15 plays this game. But Rob is a really strong kid, very quick, and I'm looking forward to playing with him on the next level."

Ballard revealed his plans for the early portion of summer.

"This week I'll be working a basketball camp," he said. "But starting next week, hopefully I'll be working out at Ohio State."

Ballard (6-6, 265, 4.8) plans on doing a lot of running, as well as hitting the weights hard before he reports to OSU.

"I'm trying to get quicker and stronger," he said. "I just want to come in the best shape I can, get off on the right foot and try and help the team. I can't believe it's almost here."

Ballard thinks there is a good chance he will see game action for the 2006 Buckeyes.

"The coaches have told me that I probably won't redshirt," he said. "They want me to come in and try and earn some time at tight end."

Many observers believe that Ballard will eventually slide down to tackle. He is very lean for a player his size, and will likely be around 300 pounds before he knows it. But, Ballard is firm in his belief that he will stay at tight end in college.

"Yep, definitely tight end," he said. "If I move positions, it would be defense. There is no thought about me ever playing offensive tackle. Ohio State recruits tackles to play tackle. And they've said they wouldn't mind in the future throwing more to the tight end. So, I'm a tight end all the way. If I can keep my speed and quickness, having a big tight end is an advantage."

As a senior at Springboro High School in 2005, Ballard played in eight games and caught 22 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, he had 77 tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss and three sacks. He was a four-year letterman in football and basketball.


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