April 4, 2007
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio football team completed its sixth practice of the spring on Wednesday. The workout was the last tune-up before Ohio's first scrimmage of the spring on Friday.
One of the positions that fans will want to keep an eye on is the tight end spot. The Bobcats lost all three of their tight ends from 2006 that combined to catch 29 passes, including five touchdowns. The 2007 Bobcats do not have a player on the roster who has taken a snap in an Ohio uniform, however, there is still some proven Division I talent.
Nathan Caldwell Redshirt Freshman
Caldwell sat out last season as a true freshman after arriving from Plum High School in Pittsburgh where he made 21 catches for 396 yards and three touchdowns in 2005.
Kody Carr Redshirt Freshman
Carr redshirted in 2006 after coming to Ohio from Dublin Jerome High School in Dublin, Ohio. He was an All-Ohio Capital Conference and All-Central District selection as a defensive end, and made 16 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown as a senior.
David Carter Junior
Carter is one of two tight ends that sat out last season after transferring from other Division I schools. A defensive end at Vanderbilt for two seasons, Carter played in a total of 17 games in his two seasons with the Commodores and had 10 tackles, including two for a loss and one sack, in 2005.
Andrew Mooney Junior
Mooney sat out in 2006 after transferring from New Mexico State. Mooney played two seasons for the Aggies and was a second-team Freshmen All-America selection by The Sporting News and a second-team All-Sun Belt pick in 2004 after catching 27 passes for 372 yards and two touchdowns as a true freshman. He played in two games as a sophomore, recording two catches.
Others in the mix: Sophomore Adam Olesheski has worked with the scout team for the past two seasons. Zac Clark will join the roster in the fall. A native of Grove City, Ohio, Clark tallied 19 receptions for 234 yards and six touchdowns in 2006 at Grove City High School.
Q&A with Tight Ends Coach Pete Germano
What is the number one thing you're looking for out of the tight ends this spring?
"We want to develop versatility. I guess going into it, I feel like they can all run pretty well, they're pretty athletic kids and they can all catch the ball so I'm trying to find the guy that can block. There isn't anyone in our system who can block like Rudy (Sylvan). He could block anybody. You build your offense around your personnel, and we're learning to see what they can do. I want them to be guys that can block the running plays we need, but there's no question they can allow you some versatility in your offense by finding mismatches. I'm not talking about just moving the chains, but deep type of stuff. I really think they could be one of the strengths in our offense. They're not there yet. There's a lot of development that has to occur, but I think they'll continue to improve."
Talk about the unique situation you have with no one that's taken a snap at Ohio, but two players with Division I football experience.
"It's a unique situation, and it's also very promising. I have two kids that have played in Division I football games who have two more years of eligibility. Andrew (Mooney) and Dave Carter are very intelligent and very football smart. They can understand the big picture and see where they fit in the big picture. Like typical freshman, Nate Caldwell, Kody Carr and Adam Olsheski are good football players, but they don't have the big picture yet because they're still young and still learning. We kind of have a range of experience there, but I'm treating them all basically as this is going to be the first time they've played for the Bobcats. I like their development."
With the number of two and sometimes three tight end sets this offense utilizes, how important is it to have three, four or even five guys you can rely on?
"In recruiting if you can find a guy that is 6-4 or 6-5 and can be 235 or 240, that's a kid that can potentially play more than position and you can always utilize your tight ends that way. Again, they're all athletic and they all can run and catch which is a good thing. We just need to be another option in our offense."
Would you rather have defined "blocking tight end" and "pass-catching tight end" roles defined or do you prefer players who can do both effectively?
"I preach versatility. The more versatile we are, the more versatile our offense can be because the defense can't lock down on what we're trying to do if one tight end is in or not in. What I'm trying to find out in the spring is what their strength and weakness are. Again, it may be that somebody like Kody Carr might come in for passing for situations because he's still 205 pounds. But someone like Dave Carter or Andrew Mooney, those kids can do both. We need to find out what players strengths and weaknesses are and utilize them the best we can."
The annual Green & White game will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. Ohio Athletics and the Ohio Sports Administration program is teaming up to present the second annual Bobcat Blitz which featured a full day of events surrounding the spring game. For more information, log on to www.BobcatBlitz.com.
Ohio Athletics will also hold its biannual merchandise sale at Pepsi Tail-Great Park.
Information about 2007 Ohio football tickets, including the return of the Bobcat Family Pack, can be found by clicking here.