During spring camp two seasons ago, the trajectory of Gee Scott Jr.’s Ohio State football career was changed.
Scott, who was recruited to Ohio State as a wide receiver, made the move to tight end and underwent a complete transformation of his body to compete at the position, building up the necessary strength to be both a weapon as a receiving threat and blocker for the Buckeyes. Now, two years removed from his move to tight end, Scott is refining his game at the position while seeking more opportunities to shine on the field.
“It’s good to get back out here and continue my development,” Scott said of his spring camp. “That’s kind of the name of the game in the spring, it’s just developing and becoming a better version of yourself on the field. It’s about developing and starting to harden your body to get ready for the summer and create good momentum for the offseason.
“It’s a good way to kick it off and just try to get better.”
Since arriving on campus at 215 pounds, Scott has bulked up to 240 pounds as of spring camp and completely remodeled his game to fit in at tight end. Joining as the No. 12 receiver in the 2020 recruiting class, Scott already boasted the necessary receiving ability to play tight end, but needed to grow as a blocker as he would be tasked with blocking defensive ends and linebackers.
In order to grow as a blocker, Scott noted that he tried to put himself in difficult situations against Ohio State’s most productive defensive players in practice.
“When you put yourself in vulnerable positions, you grow,” Scott said. “That’s one of the biggest things, I’d put myself in a positon where it wasn’t necessarily comfortable for me initially, but I’ve grown tremendously. I’m happy for that and the plan is to just keep trending in the right direction.”
Putting both of those factors together was also a challenge for Scott, but he has gotten used to the multifaceted nature of the position with time.
“We do a lot of jobs,” Scott said. “I’m blocking (defensive end J.T. Tuimolaou), but I’m also going to have to get open on (cornerback Denzel Burke) and I have to go and block linebackers and help in pass protection. We have a lot of jobs.”
Last season, Scott served as a depth piece behind starter Cade Stover, hauling in five catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. While Scott largely flew under the radar throughout the season, an unfortunate mistake against rival Michigan in The Game ultimately marred a season of progress for the former wideout.
With Ohio State trailing the Wolverines 24-20 midway through the third quarter, quarterback C.J. Stroud connected with running back Chip Trayanum, pushing the Buckeyes deep into Michigan territory. Although the 24-yard gain was already negated by holding penalty on guard Donovan Jackson, Scott added to the damage with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he headbutt a Michigan cornerback after the play. As a result, Ohio State went from having a potential first-and-10 on the UM 24-yard line to facing a first-and-35 from its own 27-yard line.
The play largely put an end to any offensive momentum Ohio State had gained on the drive, forcing the Buckeyes to punt. The Wolverines went on to outscore the Buckeyes 21-3 from that point forward en route to a 45-23 win at Ohio Stadium.
While the penalty changed the complexion of The Game, tight ends coach Keenan Bailey said Scott has learned from his mistake and put it behind him entering the 2023 campaign.
“He and I, every day, are talking about stacking days and taking things one day at a time and one period at a time,” Bailey said. “He has done a great job with that, he’s not missed a practice and not missed a rep so far and he keeps getting better.”
As Scott continues to grow at the tight end position, he pointed to his confidence as a guiding factor in his emergence at the position.
“(My confidence has grown) tremendously in all different kind of ways: off the field stuff, on the field stuff, putting on weight and learning the playbook more,” Scott said. “In everything, through competition, you gain confidence.
“I’m out here playing the game I love, grabbing little nuggets of confidence here and there,” Scott said. “I’m just adding confidence and assurance that I belong.”