COLUMBUS, Ohio — Jeff Heuerman has jokes.
Such as, where do the tight ends rank among the numerous weapons in Ohio State’s dangerous spread offense, led by the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year?
“First,” a smiling Heuerman said. “Ahead of Braxton [Miller].”
Heuerman has pranks.
His position coach spent a panicked afternoon worrying about a potential arrest after a story was concocted with a pair of staff members about a late-night incident for Heuerman, who then strung Tim Hinton along straightfaced for an extra 10 minutes before pointing out it was April Fool’s Day.
Heuerman also has size, strength and the ability to handle a wide variety of assignments on the field.
And it’s that blend of a fun-loving attitude and mismatch-producing athleticism that has had some Buckeyes comparing the junior to the tight end who made that combination famous in the NFL.
So, is Heuerman really the second coming of Rob Gronkowski?
“Oh, geez,” Heuerman said. “That’s not hard to live up to or anything.”
That standard might be a bit tough to match, and Heuerman has his roommate and former Ohio State tight end-turned-right tackle Reid Fragel to thank for publicly comparing the two and dialing up the hype heading into spring practice. But the Buckeyes do have greater expectations on offense heading into their second season in the spread, and the versatility Heuerman provides is among the biggest reasons why.
At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, Heuerman was seemingly born to block in the running game and has proven he can handle that job in the Big Ten. But he also has strong hands and perhaps underrated speed as a target in the passing game. The coaches have kept an eye in his receiving skills in the spring, and that could lead to a larger role in the fall coming off a season that included just eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.
Continue reading this article: Heuerman’s role at TE no joke