Ohio State’s wide receivers definitely get their share of attention… and deservedly so. The position group features Biletnikoff Award candidate Chris Olave, up-and-comer Garrett Wilson, a quartet of heralded freshmen and plenty others.
But let’s not forget about another important piece of the Buckeye offense… tight ends. While they may not rack up as many eye-popping numbers, or receive as much limelight as other positions, or get noticed by the casual fan when delivering a critical block, the tight end continues serving in key roles.
Here is a closer look at the veteran trio leading Ohio State’s group into the 2020 campaign, along with others at the position below.
Luke Farrell (#89)
The very experienced senior is on the Mackey Award Watch List and has been around a minute, playing in 36 career games with 24 of those being starts. His blocking efforts supremely benefit the run game while he also corralled seven passes, for 119 yards, and two touchdowns last season.
“It’s hard to look at the whole thing as one,” Farrell said when asked about goals for the season. “We are just focused on winning the first game against Nebraska. Obviously, being at Ohio State, we have high expectations every year. We could be one of the most prolific offenses ever around here. If we are successful as an entire offense, I’ll be successful as an individual.”
Jeremy Ruckert (#88)
The true junior, ranked as one of the best tight ends in his class coming out of high school, played in all 14 games last year (three starts) as a sophomore. He led the group in receiving with 14 catches for 142 yards and four TD's... meaning 29 percent of his grabs were scoring plays. Many certainly remember this one-handed catch vs. Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship.
“My main goal is to do whatever we can to win the national championship,” Ruckert said Friday. “My personal goal is to just keep improving as a tight end, and I’ve learned that football is a really specific team game. The biggest thing I’ve learned (from Coach Day) is to be mentally prepared. He’s one of the best X’s and O’s guys I have ever talked to.”
Jake Hausmann (#81)
Another experienced senior, the Cincinnati native played in 13 contests last year as a fourth-year junior. He was a starter on the punt unit and caught his first-career touchdown at Rutgers.
“This is the place that was going to develop me the most, and that’s why I chose it (OSU) out of high school,” explained Hausmann, when asked about opportunities to maybe go elsewhere in recent years. “I’m glad, over the past year or two, that I’ve gotten to this role I’m in now. I’m happy with sticking around.”
Redshirt freshman Cade Stover appears very promising, although didn't quite get a full/usual offseason of development with CoVID-19 circumstances. Ohio State also features Patrick Gurd, Corey Rau and Joe Royer looking to make an impact within the group.