In the week following Ohio State's win over Nebraska, Benji Gosnell told Buckeye tight end commit Bennett Christian that he was “basically 90 percent committed,” Gosnell told Eleven Warriors.
And throughout the Buckeyes' eventual victory over Penn State on Saturday, Gosnell said he had “an inner feeling that I was going to commit to Ohio State.”
On Sunday afternoon, the four-star tight end from East Surry (North Carolina) High School made it official, calling Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson to let them know the news that he wanted to become the Buckeyes' seventh commit in the 2022 cycle, and on Wednesday night he announced it to the country by cementing his spot in the class.
The Gosnell File
- Class: 2022
- Size: 6-foot-4/225 lbs
- Pos: TE
- School: East Surry (Pilot Mountain, N.C.)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 11 TE
Gosnell said “OSU was my frontrunner all week,” but we reported two weeks ago that Gosnell wanted to see how the Buckeyes used their tight ends in the passing game, specifically if they would utilize Jeremy Ruckert as a pass catcher. Against the Nittany Lions, he loved what he saw as the tight ends were targeted seven times, totaling six catches for 54 yards and the two touchdowns caught by Ruckert.
“All the pieces of wood were there, but that was the final nail in the wood,” Gosnell said. “It also had a lot to do with Bennett. Bennett’s a great dude, and I’d love to be his teammate.
“But I would say watching Jeremy and Luke (Farrell) and watching how they played Saturday (sealed the deal), and they’re in so much. If Ruckert’s not in, Luke’s in, and if Luke’s not in, Ruckert’s in. Or they’re both in. There’s always a tight end in there, and most of the time there’s two. There’s two more than there’s not. It’s awesome.”
So now, after two years of us believing Ohio State was going to bring in a two-tight end class in the 2020 and 2021 cycles, the day is finally here. The Buckeyes landed their second prospect at the position, as the 6-foot-4, 225-pounder will join good friend and three-star Georgia tight end Christian in the Buckeyes' class.
Gosnell chose Ohio State out of a final three that included Florida and North Carolina. Gosnell had a great relationship with Gators tight end coach Tim Brewster and was intrigued by the idea of following in the footsteps of future first-round pick Kyle Pitts, and Florida had come on strong over the past couple months.
“Their tight ends coach basically just emphasized how much Kyle Pitts was being used, how much action he saw and the offense that they were implementing with how they used the tight ends through their offense,” Gosnell said. “That’s a really good pitch and all that. I would honestly compare Donovan Green, in my class, to more of a Kyle Pitts type of player. I feel like I could’ve fit in with Florida. Honestly, my heart just wasn’t there. I love Coach Brewster and all, Florida’s a great place. But my heart was at Ohio State.”
Gosnell was also strongly considering Mack Brown and the Tar Heels. Gosnell's older brother is a receiver at North Carolina, and he has strong connections with his home state school that he admits he's been to “more times than I can count.”
So it's pretty telling of the job that Ohio State offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Wilson did in his recruitment of Gosnell, as the junior said the pair's relationship is stronger than any he has across the board. Wilson did a fine job of convincing Gosnell that he can carve out a path to the NFL by way of Columbus.
“Me and Coach Wilson have been great friends, honestly, back since May and April,” Gosnell said. “We hit it off ever since we started Zoom calls back then.”
|NAME||POSITION||OVERALL RANKING||POSITION RANKING||DATE OF COMMITMENT|
|JYAIRE BROWN||CB||126||13||APRIL 22, 2020|
|TEGRA TSHABOLA||OT||123||12||APRIL 23, 2020|
|C.J. HICKS||OLB||53||3||MAY 1, 2020|
|GABE POWERS||OLB||33||1||AUG. 1, 2020|
|DASAN MCCULLOUGH||OLB||46||5 (ATH)||AUG. 18, 2020|
|BENNETT CHRISTIAN||TE||384||19||SEPT. 1, 2020|
|BENJI GOSNELL||TE||265||11||NOV. 4, 2020|
Luckily for the Buckeyes, this is a recruitment where the dead period did not prove detrimental or prove to be a major hindrance. Gosnell admitted he is not one who needed an in-depth meeting with the entire coaching staff or even a face-to-face meeting with some of the coaches in order to make his decision.
Instead, he just needed to feel comfortable in his relationship with his future position coach, and he said Wilson did a good job of building that comfort over Zoom.
“We can still get on there and look each other in the eyes, and he shows me a lot of their clips and things like that,” Gosnell said. “It’s really cool the things he does with me. We’re already on a personal level, and we’ve never even met in person, which I really like. He’s a really genuine guy. There’s no doubt about that.”
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