GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Tight end DeAndre Goolsby (Derby, Kan./Derby) admits he’s nowhere near ready to pick his college destination. “I’m just kind of out there, looking,” he says. “There’s still a lot to see, so I’ll wait that out.” With cautious curiosity, Goolsby visited Ohio State and Florida this week — two big steps in his plan to narrow a sizable offer list to a handful of top teams before his senior season and make a decision by the end of the fall.
What a difference a year has made for Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure). As a sophomore, Dixon was doing his best to make an impact as a 6-foot-2, 216-pound receiver, but he lacked some of the dynamic ability of California’s terrific athletes at the position and had yet to break onto the recruiting scene. After bulking up and gaining some positional flexibility, the 6-4, 260-pound Dixon is now one of the nation’s top tight ends and holds offers from a number of the country’s top programs.
Several visits are on the docket for Somerset (Wis.) High School tight end Gaelin Elmore, and a decision will likely come soon after. “I’m going to visit Michigan State, Indiana, Wisconsin [and] Ohio State in the same road trip,” Elmore said. “I definitely feel I’ll be closer to a decision. I’ll have all the schools to offer, so I’ll be able to separate some schools from the bunch and I’ll be closer to my decision.
ESPN 150 tight end Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian) went flying off the board to Georgia on Tuesday. Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) followed suit to Michigan, and Nic Weishar (Chicago/Marist) took his talents to Notre Dame. With all three committing — and holding scholarship offers from Ohio State — what does it all mean for the Buckeyes? Maybe something, but maybe nothing. There are three scenarios here that could play out for Ohio State.
Hinsdale (Ill.) Central tight end Ian Bunting listed a top three at the end of February, but that group dissipated nearly as quickly as it was created as several big offers over the next 72 hours made him open it back up. After visits to several of those schools, the ESPN 150 tight end is closing in on naming a top group once again. “I’ll probably talk with my parents the next few days and have a more narrowed down list after that,” Bunting said.
Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) had plenty of time to ponder what he wanted to see on Thursday’s unofficial visit to Ohio State during his four-hour plane ride to the state’s capital. But what the Buckeyes showed the 6-foot-6, 220-pound tight end/wide receiver surpassed anything he imagined. “My day exceeded everything I ever thought,” Andrews said. “It was definitely a great trip for me. I’m glad I got to meet all the coaches and see what they had to think.
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.
Just as soon as Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) released a top three, he is reconsidering. Of course some of that might have had to do with the fact Mike Vrabel and Ohio State offered the 6-foot-6, 200-pound tight end on Tuesday night. Originally naming Notre Dame, Oregon and Vanderbilt his leaders, Bunting now wants to wait things out a bit. “As for the top three, I’ve realized it’s really too early to rank schools,” he said.
Despite being a junior, Jeb Blazevich is a popular prospect. The 2014 Watch List tight end from Charlotte (N.C.) Christian recently hosted several coaches from colleges he is considering. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and tight ends coach Danny Pearman were at the school last week. Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton and Ole Miss tight ends coach Maurice Harris were also recently at the school. Nebraska even tried to make a run at Blazevich, to no avail.
Most people would think that being the son of an NFL tight end coach would result in long, laborious, tactical conversations about the position and schemes. And don’t get it wrong, Watch List wide receiver Austin Roberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) has had a few of those conversations with his father, Colts tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts. But more often, the two will talk about the recruiting process, with Alfredo giving advice to his son about how to handle it as a player.