Chris Clark's Commitment to Michigan Leaves Ohio State Searching for a Tight End

By Jordan Wagner on June 20, 2014 at 3:00p
63 Comments

With four-star tight end Chris Clark announcing his decision to commit to Michigan, Ohio State's tight end recruiting continues to struggle. 

After missing out on Mike Gesicki in last year's class, the Buckeyes were expected to take two tight ends in the 2015 class. Now that some of their top targets have committed elsewhere, Ohio State is still searching for its first tight end.

In 2016, the Buckeyes appear to be in good shape with a pair of in-state tight ends. After receiving an offer at camp, four-star tight end Luke Farrell is expected to commit to Ohio State by the end of the summer. Jake Hausmann, one of Ohio's top prospects in 2016, appears to be leaning towards the Buckeyes as well.

While Farrell and Hausmann would be a great duo in 2016, the Buckeyes still need at least one tight end in the 2015 class to ensure depth. After this season, Nick Vannett and Marcus Baugh will be the only scholarship tight ends on the roster. Although Sam Hubbard could play the position if necessary, he will start his career at linebacker this fall. 

The only undecided tight end with an offer is three-star Josh Moore from Kansas. Moore, who plans to camp at Ohio State for Friday Night Lights, might not have a commitable offer. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound prospect also has offers from Auburn, Florida State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and others. The chances of Moore, who could end up at offensive tackle in college, committing to OSU are slim. 

One of the top remaining tight ends on the board is three-star Tennessee prospect Kyle Oliver. The Buckeyes have yet to offer, but Ohio State has requested that he come to a camp. Oliver tells Eleven Warriors that he plans to camp, but is unsure of the date. More likely than not it will be Friday Night Lights; the only other camp remaining is on this Saturday.

It might be too late for the Buckeyes to make a move on Oliver, who visited Ohio State before a Nike football event in Columbus in June. While he has said an offer would put OSU among his top schools, Florida State and Tennessee will be tough to beat for his commitment. 

Three-star tight Jake Pickard is scheduled to camp at Ohio State on Saturday. You can bet Urban Meyer and company will keep an eye on the 6-foot-6, 231-pound tight end with offers from Boston College, Louisville, Oregon, Purdue, Rutgers and Virginia. 

With an offer, Ohio State would move near the top of Pickard's list. The staff has been keeping a close eye on the New Jersey native for months. He is a good blocker, but the staff wants to see improvement in his route running. 

Because he has had to play quarterback at a small school, Shadyside (Ohio) tight end Austin Dorris has flown under the radar. Dorris, who will camp at Ohio State for Friday Night Lights, has offers from Kent State, Marshall, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan. It will take an impressive performance for the 6-foot-5, 220-pound tight end to earn an offer. 

Ohio State has also been watching JUCO three-star Julian Allen. He has offers from Bethune-Cookman, Central Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, South Alabama and UAB. He will soon visit South Carolina, who has been showing a lot of interest. Although Allen has not spoken with Ohio State assistant coach Ed Warinner in about a week, in previous conversations Warinner told Allen he has a scholarship waiting for him

Warinner has made a few trips out to see Allen, so there is some degree of interest. The junior college prospect would have two years of eligibility. According to Allen, It might be too late for the Buckeyes if they do not make an offer soon.

While three-star athlete DeAndre McNeal is being recruited as a wide receiver by Ohio State, I could see him having a future as a tight end although that possibility has not been brought up to McNeal by the coaching staff. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Texas native was one of the top performers at Ohio State's recent prospect camp. While there is not much buzz about McNeal and Ohio State, one source thought the Buckeyes had a legit shot at his gaining his commitment. Former Eleven Warriors writer Alex Gleitman recently crystal balled him to the Buckeyes, joining two other analysts. 

Another option could be to offer Kentucky commitment C.J. Conrad. It was no secret that Conrad wanted an offer from Ohio State, but seemed to sour on the Buckeyes after not receiving an offer. The four-star tight end might not be willing to flip his commitment from Kentucky to Ohio State, but it may be worth a shot. After earning an invite to "The Opening," many fans wondered why he does not have an offer from the Buckeyes. 

Saturday's camp should give us a clearer picture of how Ohio State plans to handle the tight end situation, since one of their top unoffered targets, Jake Pickard, will try to earn an offer. Beyond that, Chris Clark might again be a target if Michigan has a disappointing season. No matter how the next eight months go, landing a quality tight end as part of #Elite15 is an important task.

63 Comments

Comments

rider1's picture

Need Baugh to step up and contribute for a while. There's got to be a LB or WR in-house that could be converted to TE if needed. 

+7 HS
SilverBullet-98's picture

Your not getting Hubbard!!

He is a LB, I look to see him challenge Worley and Lee for Feild Side/ LB in 2 yrs unless he red-shirts. Which I doubt highly.

"The Past Builds the Future"

Hovenaut's picture

This too, shall pass...

Remember when we were worried about the entire 2015 recruiting class?

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

+11 HS
Unky Buck's picture

I feel like by saying that, you should be over in the OK Go thread with this song.

...

+2 HS
bethmowins's picture

I think we will be ok depth wise this year as long as we pickup the 2 next year. If they really need to go to a 3rd option TE, I think guys like Hubbard, Noah Brown, or Jeff Greene even could fill in if it comes down to it.

+2 HS
otrain2416's picture

I'm still all for switching Meech to TE so we have the best blocking TE in all of college football. I'm sure Meech wouldn't turn down catching a few passes as well and showing off that footwork :)

+2 HS
BroJim's picture

It's going to be a long season for that team up north, i'm not worried.

I season my simple food with hunger

FitzBuck's picture

Does anyone think UM will win 9 games or more this season?  If they struggle (which wouldn't surprise any of us) and if Hoke is dropped (possible) Clark is back in play.  Long way to go.

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

jamesrbrown322's picture

I don't know enough about the Conrad situation to indict the staff's failure to offer. However, is does make you wonder what happened there. I mean it's not as if he has even handful of offers from elite programs (his best offer - Va Tech or Arkansas?!), but yet he's invited to The Opening. So it's not as if OSU is the only program who has not found what they've seen impressive enough to offer him. Mich, PSU  and MSU haven't offered apparently either. Which to me, says there's something that they haven't seen yet from him. I am sure he is a quality player, so I'm not knocking him.

Rather, i am just saying that it's not like OSU has overlooked a gem that everyone has seen.

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

+2 HS
JDunc686's picture

His situation could be similar to the Conner one; maybe the staff gave him a few things to work on since the season ended and they wanted to see him at a camp to gauge his progress.

+5 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

The lack of quality offers for Conrad is a bit of a head scratcher, but when the recruiting services and coaches disagree, it's wise to go with the coaches.

+7 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Agree 100%.

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

chirobuck's picture

yeah I agree, I was kinda scratching my head when reading how we have a 4 star TE in our back yard that wanted to be a Buckeye and why on earth wouldn't we have offered....then I saw his offer list, I would def defer to the coaches on this one

 
^ best post ever ^

JDunc686's picture

Has anyone heard anything new on David Edwards and if the staff continues to evaluate him?

TraSmith4's picture

He committed to Wisconsin.

+3 HS
Jordan Wagner's picture

As someone mentioned, he committed to Wisconsin. I wasn't impressed at camp. 

MikeTheBuckeye's picture

I don't feel a dire need to get a TE in this class. We have a proven TE in the line-up already and a back-up who is pushing him for time. Not to mention plenty of options that could make a jump to that position (larger wideouts and/or a few linebackers). If we land a solid TE in this class, great! If not, we'll get 'em next year.

Jimmy Smits's picture

Well said!

I like nachos

BuckeyeGrownFloridaLiving's picture

I know its important to get a TE but I think its also important to not reach for one. There are 2 solid guys in state for next years class. And Clark's recruitment is far from over IMO..

Zimmy07's picture

Huh uh huh huh.... Search for a Tight End....

+11 HS
OSUpawn's picture

We might have to add a 5 wide formation into the playbook........

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

sivaDavis's picture

Add? 

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
Rjpfish2's picture

Is Jeff Heuerman's brother still an option for 2016? And is Blake Thomas healthy?

Rjpfish2's picture

Nevermind on Thomas, answered my own question. But what about Matt Heuerman?

TraSmith4's picture

Makes no sense to take Jeff's little bro if we get both Farrell and Hausmann. It would be nice to try and mend the fences with Conrad, we have plenty of time between now and signing day. I like McNeal over Conrad and Clark myself but apparently the coaches want him as a WR.

jaxbuckeye's picture

I still can't reconcile why Clark would choose scUM over tOSU. 

otrain2416's picture

Someone alluded to his parents pushing him in that direction, no clue how true that is or not. 

Poison nuts's picture

They told Clark he'd be coached by Jabrill Peppers.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

+13 HS
Woodshed's picture

But will also be 2nd string behind Peppers at TE as well....

+4 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Obviously! Goes without saying that he'll be Peppers' back up...but he will learn from him, be coached by him, & more likely catch balls thrown by him. Because - QB too.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

sharks's picture

There was a quote on mgoblog where he made it sound like Sparty was #2; something like if UM didn't wow him like they ended up doing, he was ready to commit to MSU.

The postgame show is brought to you by... Christ, I can't find it. The hell with it...

+1 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

This is the same guy that tweeted about tOSU being dope?  I'm sorry, I know he's just a kid, but if that's true he's a total tool. 

-2 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Because he'll earn one these - 

 

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

+1 HS
Findog5's picture

Who coaches outer TE's?

NCFinn

+1 HS
Zimmy07's picture

 Jake Hausmann, one of Ohio's top prospects in 2016, appears to be leaning towards the Buckeyes as well.

- Oh, Please sign this dude.  Jake, TAKE IT TO THE HAUSmann!

+1 HS
Citrus's picture

Seems like every year I read "this year Urbz loves our TEs look for more TE production." This has yet to materialize. Might be on the outside looking in on some of the top TE prospects until that changes. All things considered, I am ok with that. Yes tOSU will win many more games than TTUN and PSU and have a shot at a NC but TEs at those schools will probably catch more balls. 

+3 HS
Timmah's picture

I wouldn't be surprised to hear at a later date that Clark is still in play.  He reminds me of an old ass song from some musical in the 50's.

 

If I'm not near the girl I love, I love the girl I'm near.

-Tim
Go Bucks!

-2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

My heart's in a pickle,
It's constantly fickle
And not too partickle, I fear.

...

Long as they've got a bosom
I woos 'em

Yikes. Not exactly the Chairman of the Board's best work.

I'll think I'll stick with Stephen Stills & Love The One You're With.

TobyMagic's picture

Can't reach for tight ends. Get in on the elite ones and hope for the best. With the evolution of the spread the elite ones are very valuable, but an extra WR creates the same mismatch. If you can draw a player out of the box with a run-pass option it's as good as a pancake.

CC's picture

This is the most accidentally perverted post I have ever read, talking about tight ends, boxes and pancakes.

+3 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Yep, and with the spread, elite ones are very valuable apparently.

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

JohnnyKozmo's picture

Just thinking-are any College Coaches looking for TEs the same way pro teams have been for the last 10yrs or so-by going to basketball players (Gonzalez, Gates, Graham, etc.)?  I guess most HS kids would play both anyways if they were interested in football, but I wonder how many CFB coaches look at basketball rosters and see 6'6" kids who can move, and think TE?

s.pasadena fl's picture

I feel the same today about Clark as I did the day after he committed to N.C. He is still in play.

Ed Hopper

Max Power's picture

I wrote about my worries on the TE dilemma over in the recruiting forum a few weeks ago. Our depth and inability to land elite TE prospects is unsettling to me. While I agree that we dont need to reach for TEs,the position is the weak link in our armour.

My first thought is the lack of utlizing the tight end is causing the top guys to look elsewhere.Heurman had a pretty good season and I look for him to build on last years performance. If the ball gets tossed to Heurman amd Vannett this year it might turn a couple heads that are committed elsewhere.

I dont understand guys who claim that signing a tight end this season isnt important. After this year, Vannett and Baugh will be the only true tight ends returning on scholarship. Thats one injury away from being a major problem for our offense. Moving a big wide receiver to tight end is not the perfect solution. In our run heavy offense, we need TEs that can adequately block a DE or OLB. I dont see a WR being able to get down in a 3 pt stance and holding his block on a read option play. Having speed and good hands is great in a flex TE role, but not when you have to block a 250 lb DE. If we are going to be a NC contender, each position must have QUALITY depth. If our offense is going to operate at an elite level then we need to right personnel to do so. Gotta get a big body to play that TE spot if we continue to pound the rock like we have been.

Maybe the staff is neglecting thr position and not recruiting those guys as hard as others. Maybe elite TE prospects dont want to be a glorifed lineman since our offense doesnt usually feature the TE. Whatever the case, I hope it gets fixed sooner rather than later.

+2 HS
One Bad Buckeye's picture

Good points overall, but I seriously doubt the staff is neglecting the position.  As I recall the TE position (not going to call anyone out) getting beat on a blocking assignment on a crucial 4th and short play late in the game, pretty much cost the Buckeyes the B1G Championship Game and quite possibly a NCG appearance last season.  I'm pretty sure it's a priority for the coaching staff.  

Also, saying Urban doesn't have a history of featuring TE's in his offense is quite simply.....incorrect.  

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

Max Power's picture

I guess "neglect" was a poor choice of words. The point I was trying to make is that maybe the staff recruits other positions a little harder than TE. However, there are far more WRs and RBs out there than TEs so I understand that it makes it a little more difficult to pull in elite guys on a regular basis when the number of such players is relatively low.

You are right when you say Urban has used the TE in his offense in past years. Problem being, the last time he had a great TE in his offense, the current targets were barely in middle school and more than likely have no recollection of them. Urban can show film of how he has used his TEs, but it is over 6 years old. Other coaches are probably quick to point out the lapse in time. Thats one of the few negative pitches they can make.

-1 HS
Findog5's picture

This is exactly why I was asking about who coaches tight ends. I knew, just wanted to put it out there to see if it is a reflection in any way on the position coach and how the current TE  play is being judged by recruits. 

NCFinn

Jimmy Smits's picture

Can Mickey Mitchell play TE?

I like nachos

Knarcisi's picture

How bout Jeff Greene?  Can he block?

 

 

Buckeyeneer's picture

The search for a tight end? Sounds like my wedding night . . .

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes
THE Ohio State University

+2 HS
spqr2008's picture

We need Picard so we can have TE option routes named, "make it so", "engage", and "what is it you want Q?"

+1 HS
Shangheyed's picture

Maybe move a RB (we have a few of those who would drive LBs crazy).  Get Warren Ball in play or Rob Smith if he can't make the two deep in the back field, get him to HB/TE.... Smith made some nice catches last year...

This year shouldn't be an issue so long as all stay healthy... its next year that is troubling.

Findog5's picture

Earlier I asked who coached the TE's.  I wonder how much engagement coach Hinton has with recruits?

NCFinn

Jordan Wagner's picture

He recruits mostly the Tennessee and Kentucky areas. He was the main recruiter for Baugh. The staff doesn't always break down recruiting by position. 

BuckInNashville's picture

Citrus you are right on. If I had a son who was a top rated TE, why would I encourage him to come to OSU to be the #3 Tackle in this offense and have 3 balls thrown to him per game ? He would absolutely be looking at TTUN, USC, ND, and Oklahoma.  

-1 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

You do realize that Heuerman had more receiving yards that any TE from ND, USC, or Oklahoma?  Funchess had more but he's used as a WR.  

THANKS for perpetuating the myth!

+3 HS
Buckeyeboy's picture

Clark's recruiting history makes him a good fit for tsun. He obviously doesn't fit the profile  most Buckeye fans want to cheer for. Next man up, or wait 'til next yr.

Go Bucks!

Max Power's picture

If we keep "waiting for next year," we will be starting true freshmen at tight end. For example, if the next TEs we land are Hausmann amd Farrell, Baugh will be a RS JR when both those guys enroll. We need more depth than that. IMO I see the staff looking for a JUCO player for said depth

-1 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

I'm still confident that they will find a good TE to join this year's class.  There are still a lot of guys out there that might not be getting attention, but can still play D1 ball.  Urban and the guys will find a good option.

Go Bucks!

wyatt's picture

Stop using the TE as only a blocker and develop their game.  Any player wants to go where he will develop and be used as an equal part of the offense.

BuckInNashville's picture

Jax, I did not know Heuerman had more yards, but be honest with yourself. Is it myth or fact when the coaching staff commits every year to utilizing the TE more ?

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

(Receptions - Yards - YPC - TDs)

2013
3     Jeff Heuerman   26     466    17.92     4
8     Nick Vannett        8     80      10.00     1

2012
3     Jake Stoneburner  16     269     16.81     4
5     Nick Vannett            9     123     13.67     0
6     Jeff Heuerman         8     94       11.75     1

2011
2     Jake Stoneburner  14    193     13.79     7
11     Reid Fragel            5      64     12.80     0
15     Jeff Heuerman       1      25     25.00     0

2010
3     Jake Stoneburner     21     222     10.57     2
6     Reid Fragel                 9     121     13.44     1
12     Spencer Smith          2       31     15.50     1

2009
6     Jake Ballard         14     150     10.71     0

2008
6     Jake Ballard         5     73     14.60     0
7     Brandon Smith     7     72     10.29     0
8     Rory Nicol             6     60     10.00     2

2007
5     Jake Ballard         13     149     11.46    2
6     Rory Nicol             16       84      5.25     0
11     Brandon Smith      3      30     10.00    0