Gee Scott, Jr.

Spring Preview: Buckeye Tight Ends Have Big Shoes To Fill


Ohio State is replacing Cade Stover, who was one of the most productive tight ends in school history. Gee Scott, Jr. returns for his fifth season. He started three games last year for the Buckeyes. Ohio University starting tight end Will Kacmarek transferred to OSU after the season. Jelani Thurman redshirted last year as a true freshman but also got a start in the bowl game. Third-year sophomore Bennett Christian missed last season after testing positive for a banned substance but was still able to practice. Walk-on Patrick Gurd played in 10 games, seeing time on offense in seven games. True freshmen Max LeBlanc and Damarion Witten will enroll in June.

Scholarship Roster

Gee Scott, Jr., rSr, 6-3 240
Former wide receiver has 20 career catches.
Will Kacmarek, rJr, 6-6 256
Posted 20+ catches each of the past two seasons at Ohio.
Jelani Thurman, rFR, 6-6 258
Has a very bright future just needs to continue to develop.
Bennett Christian, rSoph, 6-5 245
Unable to play last year but still worked toward the 2024 season.
Damarion Witten, Fr, 6-4 215
Very gifted athlete who could begin his career at receiver if needed.
Max LeBlanc, Fr, 6-4 227
Talented all-around prospect who is originally from Canada.

For Starters

The Buckeyes will attempt to use this spring to find a new starter at tight end, but it may be a bit of a moving target. Gee Scott, Jr. has three career starts to his credit. Will Kacmarek has 13, and Jelani Thurman has one. All three players are at different points in their respective careers and all three have different skill sets. Kacmarek is still learning the ropes at Ohio State, so he may make a more definitive push in fall camp. This will be Thurman’s second spring, so it will be interesting to see what he can do now that he is no longer just trying to figure things out.

New Additions

Will Kacmarek started twice as a redshirt freshman in 2022 and 11 times last year for Ohio University. He entered the transfer portal following the Bobcats’ bowl game — a game in which he caught zero passes but did run a jet sweep for five yards. Kacmarek caught 22 passes last season for 243 yards and two touchdowns. That followed a 20-catch season in 2022 where he posted 264 yards receiving. He brings the size and the blocking potential that can keep him on the field all three downs.

Spring Depth Chart

88Gee Scott, Jr.
15Jelani Thurman OR
NAWill Kacmarek
49Patrick Gurd OR
85Bennett Christian

What’s The Latest

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has shown that he will involve the tight end in the offense if that tight end is one of the top options. Losing All-American wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. would seem to move the tight end up a bit in the pecking order. There is also the addition of new offensive coordinator Chip Kelly to consider. What will he see in the Ohio State tight ends, and how will he envision using them? Like Day, Kelly has had no problems utilizing the tight end in the passing game if he has one worthy of getting the ball.


The expectation this spring is for Gee Scott, Jr. to lead the position in drills and to be the No. 1 tight end. But he won’t be the only tight end working with the first team. There will be plenty of rotating as tight ends coach Keenan Bailey looks to get Jelani Thurman more snaps and Will Kacmarek up to speed. Ohio State will also be running a number of offensive sets featuring two tight ends, which also means more snaps for Bennett Christian. Everybody will get their fill over the course of 15 practices. Whoever ends up being the best blocking tight end will leave spring ball as the favorite to be the starter this season.

One Question Needing An Answer

Is Gee Scott ready to be the every-down tight end? Is the blocking where the Buckeyes need it to be? This will be the best version of Gee Scott to date, but it also won’t be the final version. Spring ball features the tight end in the passing game quite often, so it won’t be a surprise if Scott emerges as a playmaking threat. The idea of him as a downfield threat has been enticing, and with Cade Stover gone, there is definitely a need to fill that void. The question that will remain, however, is the blocking. But even aside from that, it will be interesting to see what Chip Kelly has in mind for Scott.

Breakout Candidate

Jelani Thurman played in four regular season games last year, so he enters spring ball as a redshirt freshman. He enrolled early last year and it didn’t take him long to start gaining attention. In fact, receiver Carnell Tate was the first freshman to lose his black stripe last year (March 25), but Thurman and safety Malik Hartford were next, losing theirs on April 7 after practice No. 11. There was no need to burn Thurman’s redshirt last year, but it still almost happened because of injuries and the fact that he was more ready than most freshman tight ends. That barrier is no longer in his way, so let’s see how he performs this spring with a significant role on the line.


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