Ohio State has been searching for another tight end to pair with Ty Lockwood in its 2023 recruiting class.
Recently, the Buckeyes have coveted four-star California tight end Walker Lyons, who visited Ohio State April 16 and is considering taking an official visit to Columbus later this summer. Four-star Oregon tight end Riley Williams is another highly sought-after target who has locked in an official visit to OSU for June 10-12.
But there’s an under-the-radar prospect right in their backyard who could perhaps emerge as another option for the Buckeyes at tight end.
Three-star Ohio tight end Jackson McGohan will head to Columbus on a mission on Wednesday, when he’ll attend next week’s recruiting camp at Ohio State. He told Eleven Warriors he’s dead-set on earning an offer from the Buckeyes.
“I’m definitely hoping to show them that my body has improved weight-wise and that I’ve added some more muscle,” McGohan said. “I want to go show them all my skills and hopefully come out with an offer.”
This won’t be McGohan’s first rodeo with Ohio State’s camp circuit. The Miamisburg resident attended an OSU camp last summer, when he stood at 6-foot-3 and 193 pounds. He left an impression on OSU tight ends coach Kevin Wilson, who told McGohan he was “the most skilled tight end” of that particular camp. But Wilson said McGohan would need to bring his weight up to around 215 pounds to compete at the Big Ten level and maintain that weight for a chance to get an offer from the Buckeyes.
McGohan will enter Wednesday’s camp at Ohio State at 6-4 and 217 pounds.
“It’s definitely increased a lot,” McGohan said of his physique. “I feel like I’ve grown into my body more and maturing more in my body. Lifting weights has done nothing but made me stronger, bigger and faster. I just have a lot more confidence this time around and hope for good things. I’m definitely going to be myself and show that I’m coachable.”
McGohan has already made a college commitment, choosing Cincinnati in January. But McGohan is continuing to take visits to other schools. He plans to also camp at Iowa, Alabama and Missouri this summer, and has remained in consistent contact with Ohio State, talking to Wilson on a weekly basis.
“I talked to him two days ago and he told me to eat a good steak dinner,” McGohan said. “He also went on about how excited he was to get me up there and that I had to do really good (to get the offer).”
Getting an offer from Ohio State would fulfill a lifelong dream for McGohan. Although he lived in Florida until his freshman year of high school, he’s rooted for Ohio State his entire life. McGohan’s family grew up rooting for the Buckeyes, and he vividly remembers watching Braxton Miller play against Clemson in the 2014 Orange Bowl.
“To me it would mean the world, just growing up an Ohio State fan, it’s something I’ve always dreamed and hoped for,” McGohan said of potentially receiving an offer. “I’ve really worked hard for the opportunity.”
Living in Miamisburg for nearly four years, McGohan said he has felt the impact former Ohio State center and Miamisburg native Josh Myers left on the community. He hopes to carry on that legacy, and he understands the value of playing for Ohio State.
Some more from the rivals camp pic.twitter.com/fgtYnIPJkr— jackson mcgohan (@jackson_mcgohan) April 27, 2022
“Just the looks you’re going to get from the next level,” McGohan said when asked what would be the most appealing thing about playing for Ohio State. “They’ll get you NFL-ready. That fanbase is also second to none.”
Should the Buckeyes offer him, McGohan will have a decision to make regarding whether or not he’d honor his current commitment to the Bearcats.
“I’d definitely have to think it over,” McGohan said on if an Ohio State offer would impact his commitment to Cincinnati. “But it would be extremely hard to pass up on.”
To this point, McGohan has racked up 16 Division I offers, including offers from Oklahoma and Miami within the last month.
“Honestly to me, I worked really hard for it and I know I could do it, but I’m not letting my foot off the gas,” McGohan said of receiving the Miami and Oklahoma offers. “I’m just really humbled by that and I’m hoping to keep improving.”
McGohan caught 47 passes for 700 yards and scored 10 touchdowns last season with Miamisburg, where he has been utilized more as a receiver than as a tight end. While Ohio State often receives flak from fans regarding how little it throws to the tight end, McGohan would bring a true pass-catching presence to Columbus.
“My high school has me out wide as a slot and outside receiver,” McGohan said. “Very rarely would I have to put my hand in the dirt, but I would have to go there sometimes. That’s another thing coach Wilson wanted me to develop was in that aspect, too.”
To get better as a blocker and learn the tight end position better, McGohan studied with some of his offensive line teammates at Miamisburg and leaned on them for help with perfecting his feet placement and other line of scrimmage duties.
“I would say I’m definitely a hybrid,” McGohan said. “I can definitely go out there and catch the ball at any time. But I can also make that block that any quarterback or running back needs.”