TE Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State
HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): Lindenhurst, NY (Lindenhurst)
247 RATING: .9810
POSITION RANK: 12
Receiving: 15 catches, 155 yards (10.3 ypc), 4 touchdowns
Receiving: 14 catches, 142 yards (10.1 ypc), 4 touchdowns
Jeremy Ruckert Breakdown
Ryan Day might need to find new options in the passing game, but he’s not lacking in terms of talent. Even at tight end. Jeremy Ruckert returns as the best pass catching tight end on the roster, and his abilities are better than his stats indicate. Ruckert returns double the receptions of the next tight end, but that’s not saying much when he had 14 last year.
If you need to know how capable Ruckert is when it comes to catching the football, you only need to watch one play. His one-handed catch against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game showcased an underrated option in the Buckeyes passing attack. He’s a natural athlete who runs smooth routes, and creates mismatches with his size too. Defensive backs struggle covering him because he’s bigger than them, and linebackers struggle running with him and knocking the ball out of his hands.
Where Ruckert can improve is in his blocking. Right now, Luke Farrell might see the field more because he is the better blocker, but Ruckert doesn’t have far to go to be good in that area. He’s strong enough to control any defender lined up across from him, and he can play with good leverage. That’s if his man is lined head up on him. Any defender that he needs to reach can beat him with good technique and quickness.
Tight ends didn’t see many chances to make plays last year, and Ruckert knows that. However, he showed the coaching staff that he can play an integral role in that area this year. He’ll have to compete with the receivers for catches, but also must compete with Farrell for repetitions at tight end. With the talent between the two, it might force the coaching staff to utilize two tight end sets. That creates a new dynamic for the offense that hasn’t been seen in years.