Gone: Troy Mangen, Mason Morgan
Addition: Alec Burton (2018 signing class)
Ohio assistant coach Brian Haines will have one of its toughest challenges filling the holes left by departed starting tight ends Troy Mangen and Mason Morgan as the Bobcats continue to work through spring camp. The good news for Haines and the Bobcats is the specialist group returns each of its backups and starters from last season.
Mangen and Morgan accounted for all four touchdowns from the tight end group and all of their yardage. Mangen was the top target for Ohio's tight end group last season catching 11 passes for 139 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Morgan had seven catches for 80 yards with two scores.
RS senior Connor Brown is poised to have a big year as he will likely be the go-to tight end next year. At 6-6, Brown is physically as big as both Mangen and Morgan so that should provide the Bobcats with a sizeable target.
Adding to the mix will be RS sophomores Ryan and Adam Luehrman. The identical twins are products of Athens High School and stand at 6-5 and around 250-pounds. They have each had some flashes of quality play so far in spring ball.
On the specialist side, the Bobcats will be whole again heading into the 2018-19 campaign with its entire group returning.
Ohio's steady long snapper Jake Hale will return handling both the long and short snapping next season. Hale, a true senior next season, has handled the snapping duties for Ohio for the last three seasons, logged a fumble recovery last season and caught a two-point conversion from Ohio punter Michael Farkas.
RS junior Louie Zervos returns as the placekicker for the Bobcats next year, Zervos was a Freshman All-American in 2016-17 and set the single-season record with 35 career field goals. Last season, Zervos went 15-18 on field goals and 61-63 on PAT. Zervos is currently fifth on Ohio's all-time chart with 50 made field goals and fourth on the career PAT list with 98.
RS junior punter Michael Farkas returns after having another solid year in 2017-18. Farkas averaged 40.6 yards per punt with 2,352 yards on 58 attempts. Those attempts included a long of 57 yards and Farkas pinned 21 inside the 20-yard line with only three touchbacks. Farkas' total yardage ranks eighth at Ohio on the all-time charts.
Quote from Brian Haines—Tight Ends/Special Teams Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator
"With having the three specialists coming back that is good and the thing that I worry about and the thing I have to work with them on is to not be complacent because they are all pretty good. So far this spring there is no complacency they are working their butts off and I am proud to coach them."
"Ryan and Adam have come a long way and they are still developing every day. I am proud of the way they have worked, they have both put on about 40-pounds since they have been in the program and they are just as fast if not faster than when they got here. Connor Brown, it's his time and he knows it so he has been working his butt off and you can't keep him off the field, he is fun to coach."