Year in review: TEs offer steady play

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A position-by-position look at a perfect season for Ohio State, continuing today by rewinding to look at the physical blockers who doubled as extra weapons in the passing game for the high-powered spread attack.


  • Most valuable player: The conversion of the projected starter at the position left more work for the two guys left over at tight end, and both of them were able to step up and make a mark. The receiving statistics are essentially a dead heat, and each did some notable work to help the rushing attack get rolling -- but the slight edge goes to Jeff Heuerman over Nick Vannett. Heuerman drew some of the highest praise of the season when coach Urban Meyer identified him as one of the best blockers he's ever had at tight end, and while Vannett's emergence was just as critical, it's the sophomore who gets the nod this season.

  • By the numbers: Throwing to the big targets wasn't exactly a staple of the passing game, though maybe it could become a more regular feature given the success the Buckeyes had with either tight end. Or perhaps it was the element of surprise that made them so effective. Either way, the 17 combined catches for Vannett and Heuerman averaged nearly 13 yards per completion -- and both flashed the ability to make something big happen down the field by posting plays of 32 yards or longer.