Looking at Ohio State's 2014 Tight End Depth Chart
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The tight end position has taken on more of a receiving role under Urban Meyer, and the Ohio State passing game is the better for it. While still a far cry from where Meyer and Tom Herman have been before, things appear on the upswing, and a talented tight end can be a senior quarterback's best friend.
Jeff Heuerman emerged as a weapon for quarterback Braxton Miller in 2013, and more of the same should be expected in 2014. While a backup, Nick Vannett is almost a carbon copy of Heuerman. J.T. Moore returns again after moving to tight end early last year. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Marcus Baugh has run into issues in his short time at Ohio State, but has a ton of potential.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Despite their trying, the OSU coaches have been unable to land a tight end in the 2014 class. They did look to be close to securing a commitment from David Njoku, but decided to go in a different direction. The fact that they decided to pass on Njoku should speak to their confidence in the tight ends currently on the roster.
1. Jeff Heuerman (Sr. 6-6 252)
Jeff Heuerman finished third on the team in receptions (26) and receiving yards (466) this past season, but led the team in yards per catch (17.9). His four touchdown receptions were good for fourth. Heuerman has turned into a very dangerous downfield threat, especially over the middle. He is a tremendous blocker and a gigantic target. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Heuerman emerge as a bit of a security blanket for Braxton Miller in 2014.
2. Nick Vannett (rJr. 6-6 255)
Nick Vannett came to Ohio State in the same class with Jeff Heuerman, but redshirted as a freshman. With two more years left, he should fill in ably in 2015, and also make some plays in 2014 as well. Vannett finished with eight catches last season for 80 yards and a touchdown. He should better those numbers in 2014 because his snaps will increase. Like Heuerman, he's a huge target and is able to sneak behind a defense.
3. J.T. Moore (rSr. 6-3 260)
J.T. Moore moved to tight end from defensive end last year and was used mostly in a blocking role. He didn't catch any passes, but such is life as the Buckeyes' third tight end. Given his history as a defensive lineman, he's clearly strong enough to handle his blocking role. At some point in 2014, don't be surprised to see Urban Meyer and Tom Herman get an itch to reward him with a touchdown catch down in the redzone.
4. Marcus Baugh (rFr. 6-4 240)
Marcus Baugh may have the most potential in this group, but he has yet to show it on the football field. Off the field issues have held him back, as did his problems catching the football last year. This year if he doesn't play, then it has nothing to do with his redshirt and everything to do with everything else. Baugh won't have a clean slate any time soon, but producing in practice will at least get the cleansing process started.
5. Jeff Greene (rJr. 6-5 218)
This is just a complete shot in the dark, as there has been absolutely no indication that Jeff Greene would be moving from receiver to tight end. However, given his history in the Georgia Tech offense, he is clearly an experienced blocker, and with his size, he is already bigger than some tight ends in the conference. His speed and athleticism could be a severe mismatch in the slot, which is where the tight end lines up so often anyway.
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