Ohio State Football position previews 2024: Tight Ends

What will the Ohio State football team do at tight end now that Cade Stover is off to the NFL? We take a look at the position group with no clear starter.

Gee Scott Jr.
Gee Scott Jr. / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages

This is the sixth in a series of articles that I will be submitting as position group rankings of the 2024 Ohio State football team from least concerning to most, based on my perceptions. These articles will conclude the week of the 2024 Ohio State Spring Game, scheduled for 1 pm ET on April 13th. As always, I encourage you to let me know what you think and let me know if you believe I have missed anything key in my analysis.

9th - Wide Receivers

8th - Defensive Backs

7th - Running Backs

6th - Special Teams

5th - Defensive Line

4th - Tight Ends

Players Lost - Sam Hart (via the transfer portal to Colorado), Joe Royer (via the transfer portal to Cincinnati), Cade Stover (eligibility + NFL Draft declaration)

Players Returning - Bennett Christian, Gee Scott, Jr., Jelani Thurman

Player Arriving Via The Transfer Portal: Will Kacmarek (via the transfer portal from Ohio University)

Freshmen Arriving In Summer 2024: Max LeBlanc, Damarion Witten

Why This Ranking?

There was a contingent of Ohio State football fans who were never thrilled with Cade Stover at tight end, but Stover's 41 receptions for 576 yards and 5 touchdowns were tied with WR Emeka Egbuka for second on the team in receptions in 2023. "Farmer Gronk" was reliable, and leaves some fairly considerable shoes to fill, as both a receiver and a blocker for the Ohio State offense.

Who's Next?

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Gee Scott, Jr. converted from wide receiver to tight end a few seasons back and had 10 receptions for 70 yards and 1 touchdown in 2023. Listed at 6'3", 243 pounds, Scott could be the receiving threat at tight end for Ohio State, but it is fair to question if Scott is going to be the type of blocker that the Ohio State offense may be looking for from the tight end position.

What About The Bobcat Turned Buckeye?

Now we're getting somewhere. Will Kacmarek is listed at 6'6", 260 pounds, and came to Ohio State in January via the transfer portal from Ohio University. Kacmarek may be the type of mauling blocker that is usually associated with the Ohio State tight end position.

What About Chip Kelly's Emphasis Upon The Running Game?

The addition of Chip Kelly as Ohio State's new offensive coordinator has many Ohio State fans speculating that Ohio State will be using its running game more, especially with talented backs such as TreVeyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins on the roster. With Kacmarek and Scott, it would not be surprising to see Ohio State utilize more of a '12' personnel look, or two tight ends, to help with the running game.

What About The Depth At The Tight End Position?

Jelani Thurman played sparingly as a freshman in 2023, catching 2 passes for 18 yards versus Michigan State late in the season. Listed at 6'6", 258 pounds, Thurman certainly has the physical attributes one would be looking for from the tight end position. This Spring will offer an opportunity for Thurman to show that he is worthy of more playing time.

Bennett Christian is coming back to the Ohio State roster, after serving a one-year suspension for taking a supplement that contained a banned substance. Christian is listed at 6'6", 260 pounds, and could also be called upon to be a mauler in the Ohio State running game.

Max LeBlanc and Damarion Witten will add depth to the tight end position group, but will not be arriving on campus until the summer. Look for both to be probable redshirt candidates for the 2024 season.

And In Other (Not) Surprising News From Ohio State's Spring Practices...

Freshman WR Jeremiah Smith officially lost his black stripe from his helmet, following the March 21st practice. The black stripe tradition begun during Urban Meyer's tenure is one of my favorite things, as it represents that the player is now considered an official Buckeye who is ready to be called upon in-game duty. Another aspect of the tradition that I enjoy is that it is not something that coaches determine, but the player's designated big brother(s) on the team.

It is not surprising that Smith lost his black stripe. What is notable is that Smith is the earliest freshman to ever lose his black stripe since this tradition began, back during the 2012 season.

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Looking forward to seeing what Jeremiah Smith does in the Spring Game on April 13th. It is getting ever so closer with each passing day.