Gee Scott Ohio State Buckeyes Tight End

Spring Recap: Tight Ends Still Work In Progress For Buckeyes

With spring football now in the rearview mirror for Ohio State, it’s time to look back at what happened with each position group and where things currently stand for the Buckeyes. We continue our series with the tight end.

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Quick Position Overview

The Buckeyes lost a couple of tight ends to the transfer portal after last season but still went into spring with four scholarships tight ends. Fifth-year senior Gee Scott Jr. has been at the position long enough now that he no longer needs to be referred to as a former receiver. Redshirt freshman Jelani Thurman had a very promising start to his Buckeye career last spring. Ohio University transfer Will Kacmarek was brought in to fill a need or two at the position. Redshirt sophomore Bennett Christian missed last season but is looking to make up for lost time. Walk-on Patrick Gurd can provide a fullback type in a tight end body.

Expectations Going In

The expectations going in were that Gee Scott Jr. would be the leader in the room. He would be the number one tight end throughout camp, but also that he could get pushed by Will Kacmarek and Jelani Thurman. Whether or not he would actually get pushed, however, was a question up for debate.

Reality Coming Out

The reality coming out of spring is that Gee Scott, Jr. stayed the number one tight end. He was there as a leader in the room and also as a leader on the offense. He has continued to grow into the position and while people will continue to talk about his transition from receiver, he has been a tight end for four years now, so it’s time to start talking about him in such ways. Will Kacmarek is still transitioning from a smaller school to the largest school. Jelani Thurman is still transitioning into a big-time tight end at a big-time school. Bennett Christian sees light at the end of the tunnel now that he is eligible to play this season.

Any Surprises?

Maybe the surprise here is the continued usage of Patrick Gurd as part of the offense. He could fill the Mitch Rossi type of role in the offense as a part-time fullback, part-time tight end as blocker. He’s a utility guy that could give the Buckeyes a few different options in offensive coordinator Chip Kelly’s running game. Being the upper-class veteran that he is, it wouldn’t be a shock if he sees the field this year.

Patrick Gurd
Patrick Gurd

Unanswered Question

The unanswered question here is probably about Will Kacmarek and how ready he will be to contribute this year. He has the size and the physicality. The coaches love his approach, but it’s still a significant step up from Ohio to Ohio State. His demeanor and effort will carry him a long way, and being able to work against the OSU defense has certainly been a literal and figurative crash course.

So Now What?

So now you’ll have Jelani Thurman continue to develop over the offseason, which involves the weight room, understanding the offense, getting time with the quarterbacks, doing all the things that it takes to be a complete player in this Ohio State offense. Obviously, the blocking is a necessity. It is non-negotiable and for somebody his size and his ability, he has the potential to be able to do it all. But it’s going to be a process of becoming more reliable and able to be called upon from snap to snap.

One Concern

The major concern here is probably going to be the blocking from the entire position. There will be people continuing to doubt Gee Scott, Jr. until he proves that he can handle the position. But as we saw with Cade Stover, just because you’ve now been fully integrated into the position for the vast majority of your career doesn’t mean that you’ll outgrow the criticism. So Scott will no doubt have his opportunity to make plays, quiet any detractors, and prove people wrong. And he’s not the only one.

Are We Sure?

Are we sure there are two consistent tight ends for this offense to run as much 12 personnel as they would like? They want to be able to run no huddle with two tight ends and move seamlessly from passing to running, and Chip Kelly will certainly have ideas and plans, but they have to be able to fit those plans. And so far it’s still a bit of an unknown as to whether or not they have two guys they can play. The good news is that this was a productive spring for all of the tight ends because they were all available to practice and improve.


“I knew since high school I had this in me. I mean, I’m trying to play the best football possible. I’m trying to be the best player possible. So I think that was just in the back of my head, knowing that I can be at this level. It’s a dream come true. Ever since I’ve been young, it’s been a dream to play at the highest level. And now that I’m here, it’s really exciting and I’m pumped for this opportunity.” — Transfer tight end Will Kacmarek on being a Buckeye.

Depth Chart

88 Gee Scott, rSr
15 Jelani Thurman, rFr OR
89 Will Kacmarek, rJr OR
49 Patrick Gurd, rJr
85 Bennett Christian, rSoph

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