Five-Star 2026 Tight End Prospect and Recent Ohio State Offer Kaiden Prothro Loves Buckeyes' Program

By Andy Anders on June 18, 2024 at 8:35 am
Kaiden Prothro

It’s better tardy than absent for Ohio State in the case of Kaiden Prothro.

That’s normally not a line to say when it comes to a prospect in the summer ahead of his junior year, but when that junior has five stars next to his name, the cycle of relationship building begins a touch earlier.

“They hit me up later in my recruitment because I haven't really heard from them until now,” Prothro said. “It's just great because I've wanted to come down here, even when I didn't hear from them, I just wanted to just hear something from them because I love this program, they're great, they do great things.”

The Buckeyes became the latest in an expansive list of schools to offer Prothro on Monday, extending the opportunity to the five-star tight end prospect following their one-day camp. Mostly on reputation, Prothro says he's already placed OSU among his top choices.

“They're a great program, I just love what they do here,” Prothro said. “Their offense that they run is just great, coach makes sure they're on it every day in the weight room and out on the field. They love the work here, and that's just great here.”

It’s been a whirlwind of a camp circuit for Prothro this summer. The Georgia native has camped with Florida State multiple times alongside Clemson, Miami and others.

“They always say enjoy the process, and that's what I'm doing right now, because not many kids have this opportunity to just go around traveling in colleges, (have them) just loving up on you,” Prothro said. “So I just try to enjoy it as much as I can. It's hard going back and forth to places. I just flew in from Miami yesterday, and then I flew out here. It's hard on the body, but sometimes you just gotta go through it.”

Prothro has another trip lined up to LSU this Thursday, but after that, things should simmer down. Georgia and Alabama are among other schools standing out thus far in his process, but he's keeping his options open.

Being at such camps has provided varying outlooks on Prothro's positional future. At 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, he has some serious weight to add if he’s to be a traditional in-line blocking tight end. Personally, he sees himself more in the mold of a tight end who’s mainly a receiving threat out of the slot.

“That's what I want to be, that's my game,” Prothro said. “Getting out there, making my plays and just doing me, just being the athlete I am. Splitting out wide, catching the ball and just getting upfield.”

Prothro played wide receiver with Brian Hartline’s group at the OSU camp on Monday. He also got a little bit of sled work in with tight ends coach Keenan Bailey. When it comes to college, he’s more than willing to play receiver if it’s the right fit.

It wouldn't be an unprecedented move for the Buckeyes, either. Class of 2024 signee Damarion Witten is a four-star tight end prospect but will start his career at wide receiver this fall.

“I wouldn’t mind, just wherever I’m getting the ball and making plays,” Prothro said.

Of course, if tight end is the position of his future, Prothro will need to develop as a blocker. 

“Blocking is always something you can teach and work on,” Prothro said. “I still work on blocking, I go to these camps you work on blocking with the tight ends. It's pretty easy to learn, but also it can be hard sometimes. It's just something you pick up over time.”

While the Buckeyes are starting their drive for Prothro later than others, they do already have one in-road in the form of their lone 2026 commitment, wide receiver Chris Henry Jr., the nation’s No. 1 prospect. Henry and Prothro played 7-on-7 together previously for Team Delta in the Shock Doctor Legends Showcase in southern California.

“We were down there, we were staying, swimming in the pool and everything, just having a good time,” Prothro said. “It's just great seeing him because I don't see him that often, just talk to him, learn some things from him, and he learns some things from me.”

Entering his penultimate year of high school football, Prothro is fine-tuning his physical mechanics as he looks to help Bowdon to a third consecutive Georgia Class A Division 2 state title. He led the team in all major receiving categories as a sophomore with 33 catches for 831 yards and 13 touchdowns. Per 247Sports' composite rankings, Prothro is considered the No. 23 prospect and No. 2 tight end in the 2026 cycle.

“I'm working on my feet, my hips and just learning how to utilize my body, because that's something most people my height need to learn how to do,” Prothro said. “Working my hands and my lower half really.”

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