Can Rashod Berry make an impact at tight end for Ohio State?
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Does Rashod Berry stay on as TE, or move back to DE?
During Mike Weber's freshman year, he got caught from behind a lot; last year he had more burst and stamina. Can we expect that from JK Dobbins?
— eddi vulić 🌈 (@zidaya) June 12, 2018
After emerging as the clear-cut second option last season behind multi-year starter Marcus Baugh, Rashod Berry finds himself in somewhat of a tough spot in 2018. In his postgame press conference following the spring game, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said sophomore Luke Farrell had taken over the top spot at the position. Additionally, Jeremy Ruckert — the No. 2 tight end in the Class of 2018 and the highest-rated tight end Meyer has signed in Columbus — could command some early playing time.
Those developments could make it harder for Berry to see playing time at tight end, and defensive end is a spot where the Buckeyes are pretty low on depth. With that being said, don’t expect a switch because tight end is still where he’s positioned to do his best work. Berry was banged up in spring when Farrell made his move, and it’s possible that he’ll be able to fight his way back. But even if he’s not a starter, he’s still the only tight end on the roster with more than 2 career catches, which makes him worth keeping at that spot. He has the type of athleticism that could be a big weapon in the passing game.
A few days after the spring game, offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson gave an overview of the position.
“[Farrell] is pretty good in the passing game. It’s just Marcus was a very athletic and natural receiving tight end,” Wilson said. “I think Jeremy Ruckert can be very natural, just naturally fluid. Marcus could sometimes run routes and you thought it was a wide receiver if you didn’t know who was who when he’d put his toe in the ground. So Luke is not a poor receiver; that was just Marcus’ definite strength. I think with Marcus having a shoulder injury, I think Luke’s going to be stronger. I think he’s going to hold the point and be more physical at the point of attack. I think he’ll be better in pass pro.
“I think we’ll complement him. Rashod is very, very, very talented. We’ve got to keep him coming along. Jake Hausmann really started to progress this spring. And we’ve got a talented guy [Ruckert]. I think we’re finally going to get that group to have value, instead of just one guy. When I got here we had one guy and a bunch of young guys. I think our group can have value, and I think we’re going to need our group.”
Though it’s possible his role may not be as big as previously envisioned, Berry is too valuable at tight end to move back to the defensive line.
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