I know it was interesting that Ryan Day chose to have Keenan Bailey work with the offensive line last year. Almost as if he knew there would be an opening at tight end coach this year. Bailey now having worked with the receivers and offensive line gives him the kind of experience an inexperienced tight ends coach can really put to good use. Even though the position is new, the duties and coaching points aren’t. As they say, at tight end you have to pass block the team’s best defensive end, and then on the next play be able to get open against the team’s best cornerback. Day loves the fact that Bailey has been tutored by Brian Hartline, Justin Frye, and Kevin Wilson. That’s a good group to draw upon.
I think the line of the week at last week’s availability belonged to Keenan Bailey. He came out and saw a crowd of people around Brian Hartline’s table and only a handful around his own table and said, “You like how we gave Hartline front and center?” Somebody responded with “you might not have a lot of company today.” Bailey said, “That’s fine. I’m like the shitty house at Trick or Treating.” Then added, “Hartline gives out money or something.”
I wonder if there’s an EGOT for positions coached. In his time at Ohio State, Keenan Bailey has now been with every offensive position group. He started at running back, then to receiver, then quarterback, then offensive line (and tight ends), and is now fully entrenched as the tight ends coach. Everybody is excited to see how this goes because the confidence is very, very high.
I know I will be surprised if he’s not effective recruiting more than just tight ends. We have all seen past WR recruits mention him, and even go out of their way to give him credit for how he made them feel at home. There’s no reason to expect that to change now, especially since he can finally hit the road. Though admittedly having a tight end at Glenville who already has an Ohio State offer is a little bit like learning to drive on a closed course.
I think while we all try to compare James Laurinaitis to Brian Hartline, the more apt comparison may be Laurinaitis to Keenan Bailey, at least in terms of earning a reputation as a stay-at-home recruiter. Bailey showed that you don’t have to go out on the road to get stuff done on the recruiting trail. It’s obviously not ideal, but that doesn’t mean Laurinaitis is going to be an idle body.
I wonder if CJ Hicks would be an amenable solution to the Jack position. In 2021, Jim Knowles had a 6-foot-2, 225-pound freshman who posted 15.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks while splitting snaps. It’s a disruptive position and one that doesn’t need to be overly refined. It can be point and shoot.
To read the rest of this edition, you must be a premium subscriber to Buckeye Huddle.