Ohio State To Do List: TE Coach Kevin Wilson

Rashod Berry Ohio State Football Buckeyes


Ohio State has lost two-year starter Marcus Baugh to graduation, which means they will now need to find a starter to replace him. There are three options this spring — fourth-year junior Rashod Berry, and redshirt sophomores Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann. Blue-chip signee Jeremy Ruckert will then enter the picture when he enrolls in the summer.

Kevin Wilson already has a lot on his plate as one of two offensive coordinators for the Buckeyes, but his own position should also keep him pretty busy as well. Ohio State returns just eight career receptions at tight end — Berry owns six of them and Farrell owns the other two.

The Buckeyes would like to play two tight ends at times, but weren’t able to do it as much as they would have liked last year. If they are going to get to that point this season, the work will need to pick up this spring. Making it happen is the gist of Kevin Wilson’s to-do list.

1. Build the consistency in Rashod Berry that the Buckeyes need.

Rashod Berry was the Buckeyes’ No. 2 tight end last season, and would have played more than he did if he could have been more consistent. Urban Meyer has mentioned Berry’s need to make fewer mistakes on more than one occasion over the past year. This will be the first time Berry has been at the same position in consecutive seasons, so not only will he be more comfortable, he will be more accustomed to everything he is asked to do. Berry is in line to start for the Buckeyes this season, but if he still makes random mistakes, then the job will be wide open. Kevin Wilson needs to reduce and eliminate those mistakes if Berry is going to be the physical weapon that he could become.

2. Get Jake Hausmann to the point of contention.

During his true freshman season in 2016, Jake Hausmann almost got on the field for the Buckeyes, but ultimately he redshirted. Urban Meyer spoke highly of Hausmann while he was redshirting, which had many thinking he would be ready to contribute in 2017 as a redshirt freshman. Instead, he only played in three games last season and watched fellow redshirt freshman Luke Farrell pass him by and play in nine games. Now in his third season as a Buckeye, it is time for Hausmann to either contribute or get passed by. He was one of the top tight end recruits during his recruiting cycle and expectations are still high. Kevin Wilson needs to get Hausmann closer to the potential that made him such a coveted recruit.

3. Continue Luke Farrell’s path toward contribution.

Luke Farrell played in nine games and caught two passes last season as a redshirt freshman. At 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, Farrell is an imposing figure, so he has the size to play the position in the Big Ten. He will be competing with Rashod Berry and Jake Hausmann to be the starter for the Buckeyes. Kevin Wilson doesn’t want him competing by default, however, so he will need to get Farrell up to speed and playing like a starter throughout the competition. Farrell is big and strong, and provides a target with a wide radius. With an increased passing presence in the 2018 offense, there will be an active role for more than one tight end this year.

4. Solidify the No. 2 tight end.

While finding a starter is the most important thing here, finding a number two isn’t far behind. Ohio State would like to play some “12 personnel” (one back, two tight ends) or possibly even some “22 personnel” (two backs, two tight ends), but if they can’t rely on a second tight end, then that’s not going to happen. Kevin Wilson should be able to find two tight ends to rely upon with the three he will be working with this spring.

5. Find out if Jeremy Ruckert is going to be needed.

If Kevin Wilson can’t find a second tight end, then the Buckeyes will try to turn to incoming freshman Jeremy Ruckert. Ruckert was arguably the top tight end in the 2018 class. He is a 6-foot-6 target who excels as a pass catcher and proved too difficult to defend for pretty much anybody in high school. However, having a freshman tight end who is prepared to block like OSU will need is relatively unheard of. That being said, Urban Meyer has said that Ruckert is the best tight end prospect he has ever recruited. If the Buckeyes aren’t getting what they want from the tight ends on campus this spring, Rucket is going to be leaned on in fall camp to contribute. Wilson won’t want to do that, so he’ll be working as hard as he can to get the three veterans ready for the season.


2 Responses

  1. I love watching Rashod Berry with the ball in his hand. He’s a violent runner and DB’s really are at a major disadvantage when he turns up field. All he needs is to tighten up his blocking and securing the football when he assaults the secondary like a runaway rhinoceros. Do those 2 things and he’s a legitimate threat to win the Mackey Award.

    Still waiting for either or both of Luke and Jake to live up to the promise their talent represents.

    It seems like we say this every year. THIS is the year that the Buckeyes exploit the TE’s. 3 very good talents at already in camp and a potential All American coming in, in the summer. Instead of getting your QB beat to death, it’s time to unleash the TE’s to to be the guys dishing out the beatings. 260 pounds of raging bulls can change a defenders minds if the coaches will have the guts and the QB will get them the ball. It will open the flood gates at the 2nd and 3rd level if the defenses have to respect the TE passing game.

    Lets change the Manchester United (and Buckeye hope) slogan from Maybe next year, to the year of the Buckeye TE.

    1. I’d agree Barry is fun to watch when he has the ball the guy ain’t scared of contact that’s for damn sure.

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