Marcus Baugh Recruit Scouting Report: Athletic Tight End Key In Buckeye Offense

April 21, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer talks with quarterback Ken Guiton (13) after an interception during the spring game at Ohio Stadium. The Scarlet team won the game 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

We're evaluating the film on Riverside tight end and Ohio State commit Marcus Baugh.

Four-star tight end Marcus Baugh of Riverside (Calif.) John W. North High School was considered a surprise commitment to the Ohio State Buckeyes in mid-April, as it is quite rare for Ohio State to venture to southern California to secure talent. Nevertheless, Baugh gave his pledge to coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes after considering offers from Cal, Florida, Miami, Nebraska and Washington. Baugh was also the 18th high school player selected for the elite nationally televised prospect camp, "The Opening," which is to be held July 5-8 on the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon.

Baugh is a tight end prospect who physically has the look of a wide receiver. Currently listed at 225 pounds, he possesses a slender lower half and has a relatively thin hip and shoulder base. It will be intriguing to see how much more good weight Baugh can add considering the limitations of his frame.

Baugh is an excellent receiving tight end. One of his major strengths is his ability to line up at different spots within an offensive scheme and be a consistent threat in an aerial attack. Baugh is a natural pass catcher with the quick twitch movement skills of a smaller player. He has the flexibility to extend his arms and cleanly pluck the football away from his frame. Baugh also has very good body control. This trait is evident in the instances in which he is asked to adjust in mid-air to off-target throws, and haul in contested catches versus tight coverage.

Flexed outside, Baugh's first step allows him to gain a quick release off the line of scrimmage. Once into his route, he possesses really good stop-and-start agility that enables him to separate from defenders. Baugh also has the long speed to threaten the seam or run a deep fade pattern.

As an in-line tight end, Baugh doesn't offer much upside as a blocker. He's more than willing to engage defenders in the run game and has the footwork to mirror defensive ends when asked to stay in and pass block. That said, his thin lower half doesn't project to allow him to build the necessary bulk to hold the point of attack against the bigger edge rushers that are becoming more prominent in present-day college football. Baugh is more likely to be used to create matchup problems for defenses in the passing game in the instances in which he lines up with his hand in the dirt.

Baugh profiles favorably to former high school receiver turned college and NFL tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. But at the next level he will likely be deployed in a manner similar to that of former Florida gator tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was coached and recruited by Meyer. Baugh projects to line up at various spots on the field within Meyer's famed spread attack and will likely be the target of many shovel-option plays, a departure from the typical tight end route tree of drag, stick, and option patterns.

Marcus Baugh (junior highlights) (via 247SportsStudio)

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