We roll on with our 2013 recruiting profiles, and today our subject is TE Marcus Baugh. Baugh is a unique kid in this day and age – he made an early announcement to the school of his choice, did it without a lot of fanfare, and stuck by his commitment. He also comes from an area that hasn't been a recruiting pipeline for Ohio State in recent years – the talent rich state of California. Baugh is one of Meyer's high profile national recruits, and is one of several highly talented players chosen and recruited by the Buckeyes over another highly talented Ohio kid at the same position.
Wt: 255 pounds
40 time: 4.6. Yes, that's right. 255 pounds, 4.6 40. Ree-damn-diculous is what that is.
High School: John W. North, RIverside, CA
Marcus Baugh started getting noticed in 2011 as a junior, when he was offered by UCLA. His size translated to results on the field, as he grabbed 38 passes for 610 yards and three TD's as a senior. His recruitment was pretty standard for the modern day recruiting world – and kicked into full gear between his junior and senior season, helped by 7 on 7 camps and the Nike Football Training camp. Although UCLA was his first offer, it was far from the last, as schools like Arizona State, Cal, Florida, Miami, Nebraska, and Washington offered Marcus. When OSU focused their attention on him, it didn't take long to get him into the fold. He was offered by the Buckeyes on March 12, and committed to Ohio State less than a month later, on April 10th.
His signing came as a surprise to many OSU recruitniks for a couple reasons. The entire courtship was just under a month, Baugh had offers from several strong programs on the West Coast, and Ohio State hasn't paid much attention to the state of California on the recruiting trail in recent years. Baugh's commitment came not only as welcome news because of his talent and potential, but also because the Buckeye flag had once again been planted in new territory, and sent yet another message that Ohio State will recruit anywhere while taking a back seat to no one.
Baugh was such a hot commodity on the recruiting trail because schools were enamored with him from the beginning, as he has a rare combination of size and speed that makes him the prototypical tight end, coming in as the #4 overall tight end on the 247Composite rankings. For Ohio State, the Baugh recruitment was one of the first times that Ohio State passed on an in-state tight end, prospect Jake Butt (247 #6 overall TE), who was just as talented as Baugh was, and instead chose the out of state recruit. Butt took an unofficial visit to Columbus, but was never offered, and he committed to That School Up North in February. But by then, OSU had their sights on Baugh, and with his verbal, have what should be an intergral part of the OSU offense in coming seasons.
And Baugh never really wavered in his decision. Once he committed to his 'dream school', he wasn't going to change his mind, and he didn't. As a matter of fact, he shut down his recruiting and took no official visits after that. With de-committing and flipping to another school almost the norm this day and age, Baugh's recruitment was a no-drama affair.
And OSU made the right pick. As his senior year progressed, Baugh's ranking steadily climbed, and he was selected for the The Opening before his senior season, and the Under Armour All American Bowl at the end of the season. Although Baugh wasn't a headliner recruit, nor was he one of the major undecideds that committed on National Signing Day, if what Meyer says about how he wants to utilize the tight end in his offense is true, Marcus Baugh might be one of the most important signings of the 2013 class.
With Urban Meyer's proven track record on using the tight end in his offense, Jake Stoneburner looked to have a breakout year in 2012, but Stoney, along with the other tight ends, never seemed to get on track. A lot of that had to do with the inconsistency of the passing game in general, but Stoneburner was also a converted wide receiver learning a similar yet still new position. There were moments that were pure magic, but those were few and far between in 2012.
Although Baugh will be competing with Nick Vannett and Jeff Heuerman, neither of the returning players have a substantial body of work that makes them absolute slam dunks to monopolize playing time at the role. When you watch and read about Baugh, the more you think he might just see the field early.
He is fast, and creates match up problems for defenses – he's too fast to be covered one on one by your average linebacker, and he's a lot bigger than a typical safety. He's an extremely versatile player – he is comfortable and effective lining up in either the traditional tight end spot, or split out wide, and has speed that you don't usually see with a guy that big. His Scout profile throws out the name Kellen Winslow* as a comparison, and of course with Meyer as his coach, the name Aaron Hernandez gets thrown on the table, too. Let's not count our chickens before they're hatched, but Baugh is a tight end specimen you don't see come along every day, and has a chance to have a memorable OSU career.
*I'm assuming The Soldier version of Kellen Winslow, not his dad. Because I'm probably the only guy that ever saw his dad, you know, actually play. Sigh...
He's a good run blocker and the added 30 pounds between his junior and senior year helped him become an asset in the running game without sacrificing any of his speed. That dual ability might give him an edge when fall practice starts, and he still has room to bulk up some more. If the passing game is going to improve in 2013, it's going to need a lot of improvement from the tight end position.
Remember the name Marcus Baugh, because you might be hearing it a lot in the next few years.
Highlight Jam Session:
One Of These Things Is Blatantly False:
- Marcus' mom has a twin sister that lives in Ohio.
- Marcus started playing football at age 9, but couldn't play again until he was a freshman because he was too big for little league
- Marcus' Twitter followers doubled in two hours after committing to OSU
- Marcus was the third commitment to the class of 2013