It’s a lofty comparison, but Jake Hausmann and Luke Farrell don’t seem to be shying away from making it: The pair of 2016 Ohio State tight end commits see themselves in similar roles to a former Buckeyes duo, one that was part of last season’s national championship team.
“I think we both think it’s gonna be a great Heuerman/Vannett-type situation with me and him,” Farrell said recently after his commitment to the Buckeyes at Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
Heuerman and Vannett were, of course, the talented duo who spent the majority of time over the last two seasons at the tight end position for the Buckeyes. At times they could have been a bit underutilized in the passing game, but each made some big plays throughout their tenure together.
Over the last two years, Heuerman caught 43 passes for 673 yards and six touchdowns for Ohio State. His production led to being a third-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Vannett has caught 27 balls for 300 yards and six scores over the last two years. This season, as a fifth-year senior, Vannett is poised for a big year as he’ll get the majority of the snaps at tight end following Heuerman’s departure.
“I think we both think it’s gonna be a great Heuerman/Vannett-type situation with me and [Hausmann]. I’m really looking forward to it.”– Luke Farrell
Like Farrell and Hausmann, Vannett and Heuerman both came in together in the same 2011 recruiting class. Heuerman was a three-star prospect out of Naples, Fla., and Vannett was a four-star recruit from Westerville, Ohio.
Hausmann and Farrell are both higher-rated prospects than Heuerman and Vannett were coming out of high school. Hausmann is a four-star prospect and a top-100 player nationally hailing from Cincinnati, according to 247Sports. Farrell is also a four-star recruit and a top-150 player from Perry, Ohio. The two are the third-ranked and fifth-ranked tight ends, respectively, in the 2016 class.
Ohio State fans are hopeful the 2016 duo of Farrell and Hausmann have similar careers to the guys who played the same position before them.
“I think it’s that Jeff Heuerman-Nick Vannett tandem,” Hausmann recently told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong. “I think it would work well with both of us in there and Ohio State had a lot of success with both of them and hopefully it will work out the same for us.”
While Hausmann has been committed to the Buckeyes since Jan. 25, it took Farrell a little longer to make up his mind. He officially announced his pledge Friday, but said he had been silently committed to the Ohio State coaching staff for a month.
With Heuerman’s departure following last season and Vannett moving on after this upcoming one, tight end was a position of need for the Buckeyes. The fact Hausmann was already committed didn’t really have much of an impact on Farrell’s decision. He knew he’d get a shot to play.
“I know they were pushing hard because of (early playing time), too, since the space is open,” Farrell said. “I just felt they really wanted me there in that spot.”
Whether Farrell and Hausmann actually become Heuerman-Vannett 2.0 obviously remains to be seen, but the two standouts believe they can be just as successful.
It’s for that reason Farrell was always considered an Ohio State lean and why he ultimately made his pledge to the Buckeyes.
“Ohio State was my favorite for a lot of the time,” Farrell said. “From the beginning I wanted to take my time and look at all my options, but they were definitely the team to beat in my recruitment.”