January 4, 2011

Vannett satisfied with all-star performance

During his senior season at Central High School in Westerville, Ohio, Nick Vannett didn't have the opportunity to play against many top high school football prospects. Because of that, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound tight end was unsure how he'd match-up against the nations best and was a bit insecure about his future at Ohio State, where he verbally committed to play last June.

"It wans't so much (I felt) overrated, but I was never satisfied with myself," Vannett said. "I always felt there was something I could improve on in my game."

After hauling in a team-high three receptions for 65 yards to lead the West to a 35-21 victory over the East in Friday's Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Vannett is confident he has what it takes to excel at the next level.

"I can play against anyone and still have a solid performance," he said. "I think (the all-star game performance) is going to help me with Ohio State as far as getting a feel for the competition and possibly seeing early playing time."

During the week leading up to the all-star game, Vannett said he worked hard on improving his blocking and pass catching skills. That led to a few pancake blocks during the game.

Success on the field helped to make the all-star week an experience Vannett won't soon forget. Spending time with six future teammates didn't hurt either.

Vannett was among seven future Buckeyes that played in the Offense-Defense game.

"Getting to play with them all was great," he said. "We were by far the best players there out of every other college."

Vannett roomed with future Buckeye safety Ron Tanner.

Now that his high school career officially is over, Vannett will focus on improving his skills and working toward making an early impact in Columbus.

He's also looking forward to Tuesday night's Sugar Bowl between Ohio State and Arkansas.

"As long as Ohio State plays smart football and dumps it down to the tight end we'll be fine," he joked.

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