On an offense surrounded by question marks and a game with Navy just days away, one of Ohio State's surest things coming into the season isn't so sure right now.
Senior tight end Jeff Heuerman, who had 26 catches for 466 yards and four touchdowns last year, is still hampered by a foot injury that has limited him since the spring.
But despite not being 100 percent, Heuerman said he plans on taking the field Saturday when the Buckeyes travel to Baltimore to face the Midshipmen.
“I’m playing Saturday," Heuerman said, "but it’s just kind of one of those things how much. It’s a long season is the way the coaches are handling it so you’ve gotta kind of look at the big picture a lot. I’ll definitely be out there on Saturday, though, there’s no doubt about that.”
While it's still up in the air how much Heuerman, who was named a captain Monday, will play, junior Nick Vannett has been taking most of the reps during training camp.
Vannett has always been a No. 2 option for the Buckeyes at the tight end position, but Heuerman said he fully expects him to contribute in a more expanded role against Navy.
“He’s been awesome," Heuerman said of Vannett. "It’s his first training camp where’s he really had to be the main guy day in and day out with me limited and me out a lot of practices so he’s really grown up and he’s had a great fall camp."
"It’s something we needed in that room because we haven’t had a whole lot of depth in years past. In this offense, man, you can’t run it with just one tight end. You’re gonna have to have someone else go in there and do a lot of things so it’s nice to have him really coming along and growing up so it’ll be a fun year for both of us.”
- Heuerman said he's impressed with how redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett handles his business on the field.
- Heuerman said when he had surgery on his foot he knew it was a sixth-month injury and he's in month five of that recovery right now. "It’s just kind of one of those things you’ve gotta deal with and we’ll get through it and get better every day and we’ll see what happens on Saturday."
- Heuerman is looking forward to playing in an NFL stadium: "It'll be fun to start the year off and hopefully start it off right."
- Heuerman said coaches have not talked about the last time Ohio State played Navy: "I didn't even know that until you just told me that."