Signed: Four-star TE Sam Hart
There’s two seniors at tight end on Ohio State’s roster this season, but the 2021 recruiting class only includes one prospect at the position.
Four-star Sam Hart signed his letter of intent Wednesday, securing depth at a position the Buckeyes could run thin at once their current upperclassmen leave.
After taking unofficial visits to LSU, Washington and Notre Dame among others, Hart took a trip to Ohio State in November 2019 to watch the Buckeyes play Penn State.
He committed the month after and hasn’t wavered since.
Hart grades out as the No. 13 tight end in the class of 2021 and No. 4 player from Colorado. As a junior at Cherokee Trail High School, he hauled in 31 receptions for 562 yards and seven touchdowns.
In a 2020 campaign that included only five games played, Hart caught 20 passes for 233 yards.
It’ll be interesting to see what Hart can do at Ohio State. After the three upperclass departures the only remaining tight ends for the Buckeyes will be converted linebacker Cade Stover and former three-star Joe Royer.
Hart's Skill Set
Two things stand out in Hart’s high school game tape for me: size and after-catch ability. The former should translate better to the collegiate game, with Ohio State using tight ends as blockers more often than receivers under head coach Ryan Day.
Hart stands at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds with a wide enough frame to keep defenders away from the ball on receptions.
Many of the tight end’s receptions come on medium-deep routes that make use of his ability to shield safeties, linebackers and cornerbacks from the ball.
Hart is clearly athletic for his size and runs with force. However, there will be a huge jump in tackling ability when he plays football for Ohio State. Because of his imposing size, many high school players don’t have the physical tools to take him to the turf. Division 1 athletes are much bigger, faster, stronger.
It never hurts to have a tight end that can make plays in space, but I’m simply not sure if that’s the role Hart will fill at Ohio State and there will certainly be a huge jump in competition from what he faced in Aurora, Colorado.
All that said, given the lack of depth at the spot I’d be surprised if Hart isn’t a contributor come his second year in Columbus.