Yes, Ohio State has tight ends. They are the offensive linemen that "unbalance" the line. Occasionally, they are allowed to go out for a pass, as well.
At least, that was "then." Next year could be different. In the past, there had guys like Rickey Dudley and John Frank manning the TE position, and if he hadn't opted for the big green, we would have had Darnell Sanders there this year.
But Darnell notwithstanding (or not returning…), we have some hidden talent at the position. Ben Hartsock is solid. He blocks, catches well on those little slants and can run a little once he gets the chance. Ryan Hamby seems capable but we didn't get to see much of him. He did turn in some memorable blocks including one that sprang Maurice Hall on the winning Michigan game score. The real surprise was the transitioned Redgie Arden who looked great in limited action. Arden is a physical specimen who loves to hit. He's also a terrific athlete (defensive player of the year in Ohio two years back…) who showed some surprisingly good hands.
On the official roster, we also include sophomore Jason Caldwell, red shirt RJ Coleman and red shirt Stan White. I posit, though, that all three of those guys are headed to a different position in 2003. I think RJ will be turned into a good offensive lineman. I think Caldwell will be turned into a good back-up offensive lineman (think "Kuhnhein"). And I think Stan White will end up as either a fullback or battling for time as a linebacker.
If we transfer three of the understudies to new positions, and Louis comes in, that leaves us Hartsock the senior, Hamby the sophomore, Arden the sophomore and Irizarry the freshman (well, there is a David Andrews, a walk-on, to be technically correct). If all those assumptions play out, there is a good chance that OSU will take another tight end in this recruiting class.
Right now, the coaching staff is looking at two others: Brush's Marcel Frost (who wants to be a Buckeye) and Jamesley Jean (who might want to…). Frost presents a nice package as he could eventually star as a defensive end, as well.
Next year's candidates? In Ohio, so far, there is only one standout on the horizon: David DiFranco from Grafton. He's a big kid and great frame but we still have to see what kind of receiver he can be…
Dr. Recruitnik sez: OSU's got Irizarry. That could be enough. I think that we
will take Marcel Frost in this year's class.
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