Ohio State Football: Jeff Heuerman Is Urban Meyer’s Next John Simon

At Ohio State, the role of what he calls the “heart and soul” of the Buckeyes is not one that Urban Meyer takes lightly.

Two years ago, it was defensive end John Simon. Last season, it was left tackle Jack Mewhort. Type A personalities propped up in the preseason by the Ohio State head coach looking for leaders.

Asked at Big Ten media days who this year’s version would be, Meyer didn’t point to the star quarterback or veteran defensive lineman that he brought with him to Chicago. Rather, Meyer opted to anoint the nontraditional tight end who was hardly tailor-made for his spread offense.

“Jeff Heuerman is a guy who’s got that kind of work ethic and leadership,” Meyer said.

Given that the tight end position has hardly been highlighted and isn’t even on the field for every offensive play for Ohio State, it’s hard to imagine one being the “heart and soul” of the Buckeyes. But with Heuerman’s ability—as well as fellow tight end Nick Vannett’s—Meyer said that it’s safe to throw away any preconceived notions about where OSU’s leadership will come from.

“He will be (on the field for every offensive play),” Meyer insisted of Heuerman. “I have two legitimate pieces to the puzzle I’ve never had. You’re going to see some two-tight end offense.”

Just as dual tight ends aren’t traditional in Meyer’s spread offense, how Heuerman got here isn’t your standard story, either. In fact, it was just three years ago that the Naples, Florida, native was admittedly unsure…

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