COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State could have one of the best offenses not only this season but in college football history.
Pretty much every starting spot is accounted for, but there is one position that was up for grabs when fall camp began — tight end.
The Buckeyes have had two tight ends drafted the last two years, Luke Ferrell and Jeremy Ruckert, which left the door wide open for several veterans to claim the spot.
On Monday, offensive coordinator and tight end coach Kevin Wilson shed some light on which players have separated themselves from the pack.
“Cade [Stover] and Mitch Rossi. They’re our two most consistent, strongest guys,” Wilson said. “[Cade’s] going to have a great year. I mean he’s a pretty good player . . . Mitch is much more valuable than I think people realize. He is a solid component of what we do.”
Stover came to OSU as a linebacker, switched to defensive end by the end of his freshman season, moved to tight end his sophomore year, and ping-ponged back and forth between linebacker and tight end his junior year before finally settling in the tight end room this fall.
“I mean you talk about where you were a year ago, two years ago sometimes you’re sitting there and you’re like ‘What am I doing? Why am I here?'” Stover said. “Right now, I feel comfortable. I feel good. I feel confident about where I’m at.”
On Saturday, Stover was also named one of six Buckeye captains for the 2022 season.
“What makes Cade different? A lot of things,” Rossi said. “He’s a dude that I want in my foxhole type guy. He’s not going to blame me or throw me under the bus. We’re working together out there and I can trust him.”
Rossi, who’s entering his sixth year with the Buckeyes, was originally a walk-on when he arrived on campus in 2017. The fullback tight end hybrid suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last season and is motivated for one last season in Columbus.
“I thought I’d be working in an office somewhere by this point in like investment banking or something like that,” Rossi said. “Now, I’m looking at playing in the NFL next year, so it’s definitely been a change in mindset over the years but I wouldn’t trade it. It’s been an awesome journey.”
Juniors Gee Scott and Joe Royer are behind Rossi and Stover on the depth chart but both players have natural receiving ability and could very well end up contributing in the passing game as the season progresses, much like Ferrell and Ruckert complimented each other in 2020.