COLUMBUS — Gee Scott Jr. arrived at Ohio State as one of the top wide receivers in his class.
But that was last January. Now he’s already trying something new.
After a freshman season with limited playing time and while having trouble keeping some weight off him, Scott made the switch to tight end just a little over a year after arriving as part of recruiting haul that featured four of the best pass-catchers in the country.
Why would a borderline five-star prospect make a change as big as going from receiver to tight end? Scott had the recommendation to do so from one of the best football players in the last decade.
“The idea came from [five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro cornerback] Richard Sherman,” Scott’s father, Gee Scott Sr. told the Tim May Podcast on Lettermen Row. “That’s where the idea came from. Richard Sherman had talked about it. And he had talked about it a few times. Well, one afternoon, Sherman and I, we go to lunch all the time, and we’re at lunch and he said: ‘I’m trying to tell you, you got to listen to what I’m telling you, the NFL game is changing. The game of football is changing. It’s hard for people to talk about something that they have not seen yet. Right? Yeah.’
“So he started talking about the evolution of the player and how the [tight end] is becoming faster and moving.”
Gee Scott Jr. certainly can be part of that evolution — and he wants to be. He is a big body. And at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, he runs, well, like a wide receiver. He catches like a wide receiver.
After Sherman discussed playing tight end, Scott made sure to think about the idea before just jumping over to a new position. He has dreams of playing professionally. Could tight end be an ideal fit for the former top-50 overall player in the country? Scott and his father thought so, and the Ohio State coaches agreed.
“The recommendation from Richard Sherman, it was something that he slept on,” Scott Sr. said. “And then he took it to his coaches. And that’s the beauty in this all this is that Gee Jr. is, he’s a young man now. He’s an adult. So all of these decisions, they have to be his and I think that he took those that decision, he took it to his coaches — and they were all for it.”
But as he continued to train at Ohio State, Scott was having trouble keeping pounds off his body. Now he doesn’t have to keep that weight off. Instead, Scott can bulk up to become a bigger body at tight end. And as he goes through his physical transformation, he’ll be learning from one of the best tight end coaches in the country to master the position.
“I kept saying, ‘Well, what about his weight?’ Well, the thing is with Gee Scott Jr. is his weight, I mean, he was trying to fight there and stay at 205,” Scott Sr. said. “And you guys probably heard the sound byte about the cheeseburger and everything like that. Well, hey, it’s kind of true, right? Right now he’s moving right now. I mean, he’s already above 220 right now at this time. But it’s not about the weight. I’m excited about him getting to this role. I’m excited about him having the opportunity to learn from Kevin Wilson.
“Kevin Wilson is someone who, I mean, in the college football world who has a big name, who’s very known, very known to especially teaching blocking, considering the offensive line background he has. I believe that Gee Jr. already knows how to be a route runner. Right? Yeah, like he knows how to be a route runner. And so and so what he’s going to have to be good at is he’s going to have to learn more and get better at blocking. What does that mean? That means that sometimes you’re going to have to take on that defensive end. Sometimes you’re gonna have to take on that bigger linebacker, but at the same time, you also going to have a chance where you have that mismatch problem at linebacker.”
Can Scott be that for the Buckeyes? Could he pose a matchup nightmare down the road for opposing defenses? He is certainly capable of delivering highlights from the wide receiver spot. He competed for playing time in a loaded room last year, proving that to be true.
But the Buckeyes have talented tight ends already on roster — before Scott decided to jump into the tight end room. Scott has the physical tools to make the transition work smoothly and excel. But that won’t be easy.
He’ll need to become a better blocker. Scott will need to learn a new spot before competing for first-team reps at tight end alongside Jeremy Ruckert and Cade Stover. Ohio State continues to recruit top tight ends, as well.
But Scott is capable of becoming a star at tight end for the Buckeyes. He’s going to work hard to become just that.
“One of the biggest mistakes that I can make to you right now is to predict what my son will do for Ohio State,” Scott Sr. said. “That would be terrible. It would be wrong because I don’t know what Coach Ryan Day’s plan is. I don’t know what Coach Kevin Wilson’s plan is. But here’s what I do know, and here’s what I can guarantee you: I can guarantee you that Gee Scott Jr. will work the hardest that he can to be the best player that he can. Just recently, this most recent break that they went on, he wanted to stay. He stayed back and going to the Woody [Hayes Athletic Center] every single day, not just to work out, but to watch film to be better in that case.
“All I can guarantee you is this: I guarantee you that he will try to be the best player that he can be.”
An All-Pro cornerback believes that can be at tight end. Gee Scott and the Ohio State coaches agree, and now the transformation can begin.