Mitch Rossi is staying at Ohio State for another season.
The Buckeye tight end is using the additional year of eligibility provided to all players by the NCAA in 2020 to attend graduate school and play a sixth season at Ohio State, his father Tom told Eleven Warriors on Friday.
“Coach Day was very persuasive and believes Mitch can add a component the team needs on offense, on special teams, and as a leader,” Tom Rossi said. “We've been told that there are NFL teams interested in Mitch and another year to showcase himself would benefit him in that pursuit.”
I figured pops had better stuff to say than me anyways. One more go round yall https://t.co/E92zNsWlmy— Mitch Rossi (@mitch_rossi5) January 21, 2022
Rossi will be the most experienced tight end on the Buckeyes’ 2022 roster after playing 143 snaps in 2021. With Jeremy Ruckert heading to the NFL and Cade Stover expected to play defense, Rossi could potentially be Ohio State’s No. 1 tight end in 2022, and should at least see regular playing time in the Buckeyes’ offense in his hybrid tight end/fullback role.
Originally a walk-on when he arrived at Ohio State in 2017, Rossi – who was originally uncertain whether he would even return for the 2021 season – was placed on scholarship by the Buckeyes last summer. He caught up four passes for 28 yards in 2021, including his first career touchdown catch in Ohio State’s 52-13 win over Rutgers, while he also played the fifth-most special teams snaps of any Buckeye last season.
Assuming Stover stays at linebacker, Rossi is set to be one of five scholarship tight ends on Ohio State’s 2022 roster along with redshirt sophomores Joe Royer and Gee Scott Jr., redshirt freshman Sam Hart and true freshman Bennett Christian – none of whom played more than 55 snaps last year, making Rossi’s veteran presence at the position all the more important.
Rossi will be one of at least three “super seniors” on Ohio State’s 2022 roster along with kicker Noah Ruggles and long snapper Bradley Robinson, who will be back with the Buckeyes for a sixth year and seventh year of college football, respectively. Four other Buckeyes who still have the additional year of eligibility available – Sevyn Banks, Jerron Cage, Palaie Gaoteote and Teradja Mitchell – have not yet announced whether they will return for another season, but have until Feb. 4 to withdraw their name from the 2022 NFL draft.