Assessing the current state of the Ohio State football program's tight end room

One of the last remaining question marks for Ohio State's roster is how the tight end room is going to look this fall.
Gee Scott Jr. Maryland v Ohio State
Gee Scott Jr. Maryland v Ohio State / Ben Jackson/GettyImages

The Ohio State football team has one of the best rosters in the entire country heading into the 2024-25 season. Most experts consider the Buckeyes to be among the National Championship favorites with a roster that has very few holes and question marks left to be answered. One of those few remaining questions marks is who the starting tight end will be and how the depth chart will fill in afterward.

The departure of Cade Stover to the NFL means Ohio State is going to have a new starter at tight end for the first time in two years. Now that spring football is over it appears that the main candidates to take over for Stover will be Gee Scott Jr., Will Kacmarek and Jelani Thurman.

Gee Scott Jr.'s career at Ohio State has been somewhat of a roller coaster. He was a four-star recruit out of high school as a wide receiver before transitioning to tight end after his freshman year. His playing time has been inconsistent behind Stover as he has only totaled 20 catches for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns to this point in his career.

That being said, it appears he has taken on more of a leadership role heading into his final year. Taking on that role, coupled with an improvement in blocking and a lack of other viable options, should at the very least lead to major playing time for the fifth year senior.

A lack of depth at the tight end position heading into the offseason led Ohio State to look to the transfer portal to get some help. That came by way of Will Kacmarek, who didn't have to travel far from Ohio University to find his new home.

Kacmarek is a 6-6, 260-pound senior who has two years of eligibility left after spending three years at Ohio University. For his career, Will has hauled in 42 passes for 507 yards and two touchdowns. Statistically speaking, Kacmarek seems to have the edge over Scott Jr. in the passing game. He will certainly be sharing time with Scott Jr. and might even become the main option once he becomes more comfortable with the offense over the summer.

A player that most Ohio State fans have been hoping to find his way to reach his perceived potential is a sophomore Jelani Thurman. Thurman, 6-6 and 258 pounds came to Ohio State with high hopes after being one of the top tight-end recruits in the 2023 recruiting class.

So far, he has yet to showcase his talent as he only appeared in five games last year for the Buckeyes and recorded two catches for 18 yards. Being buried on the depth chart certainly didn't help his case, but he should have plenty of opportunities throughout the year to earn playing time and see the field. If Thurman can put it all together the Buckeyes could have a special kind of talent at tight end that they haven't had in many years.

The remaining tight ends on the roster who could sparingly see playing time are junior Bennett Christian and Senior Patrick Gurd. Christian was suspended all of last year after testing positive for a banned substance. He is arguably the best blocker in the entire tight end room so he should see playing time in goal line and other running situations.

Gurd has seen time at both tight end and fullback and will be used mostly in blocking situations as well. This will likely be the tight end room this season, given the Buckeyes don't go back to the portal to add another before the season starts.

As previously stated, the tight end position is one of the final positions on the roster where the depth chart is not currently determined. As it stands, Gee Scott Jr. and Will Kacmarek seem to be the two who will be splitting starting time with Thurman lurking behind them.


The rest of the summer will determine how everything shakes out, but the door is wide open for someone like Jelani Thurman to eventually make a major impact sooner or later.