Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Wide Receiver

Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Wide Receiver

Spring 2018

Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Wide Receiver


Spring practice has started in Columbus, and we are continuing our preview look at each position group at Ohio State. This time we’ll look at the deep, talented and experienced wide receiver group.


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2018 Spring Preview Sections

Spring Overview | The Quarterbacks | The Running Backs | Offensive Tackle | Center | Tight End | H-Back | If Tate Martell Is The QB | If Joe Burrow Is The QB | If Dwayne Haskins Is The QB

Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Wide Receiver

For perhaps the first time during the Urban Meyer era at Ohio State, there aren’t many question marks at the wide-receiver position. That’s because all six from the three positions on the two-deep return — with some shunning the opportunity to be chums with Roger Goodell.

We’ve already previewed the H-Back/Slot position, so we’ll be strictly looking at those lining up wide (X and Z) here.

Key Losses

trevon grimes

Grimes was a highly touted high school recruit coming out of Pompano Beach, FL, but took a leave of absence because of family issues last year. He was seldom used in mop up duty against Army and UNLV in 2018 before heading back home. If he stayed in Columbus, he would have likely had to wait yet another year with all the experience returning at the position, but nobody can blame him for wanting to be closer to home.

Returning Talent

Terry Mclaurin

McLaurin was the team’s third leading receiver both in catches and yards, and had numerous big plays as a target in the red zone — scoring 6 TDs. He’s got speed to burn just like most of the Zone 6 kids, and if other teams make the mistake Wisconsin did by matching him up with a safety underneath — good night.

johnnie dixon

Dixon struggled with injuries early on in his career and almost gave up football. But then last year happened. The 5-11, 195 pounder was an explosive play waiting to happen. Despite having just eighteen receptions, he led the team with 23.4 yards per catch, and in finding the colored part of the field-turf eight times. He did disappear at times last year, so more consistency will be key in his progression.

austin mack

Mack might have the best hands on the team. He’s not exactly slow, but he’s more known for catching the ball in traffic and moving the chains. He’s a great route runner and student of the game that could be an even bigger part of the offense in 2018. He has the potential to be a great one, but he’ll be in a stiff competition with Binjamen Victor.

binjimen victor

Speaking of Victory, if you’ve been following us this year at all, you know that I expect Victor to have a breakout year. The kid is rangy at 6-4, 195 lbs. with deceptive speed — gobbling up yards with long strides. His height makes him a dangerous threat on fade patterns and down in the redzone. He’s been plagued a bit with drops, but if he can get things right in his head, he’ll be the star of the bunch and maybe most talented in the Big Ten.

Jaylen Harris

It’s okay to get excited about Harris, but we have to remember that young receivers normally take time to develop. He received some hype coming out of high school and impressed in practice as a freshman last year, but never really cracked the receiver rotation. He’s a tantalizing weapon at 6-5, 205 lbs. but is probably still a year away barring injury, or some unexpected skyrocketing past more experienced kids already getting it done with the lights on.

Incoming class

Kamryn Babb

Babb came to Ohio State out of Christian Brothers College in St. Lous, MO. He is a top 100 recruit and No. 13 rated receiver in the class of 2018. He is 6-1, 189 lbs. and a kid who has shown the ability to make plays in traffic but who might be a bit overlooked because of injury. It’s probably all about positioning himself for next year, but he adds depth in the event that it’s needed down the line.

L’Christian (Blue) Smith

Many recruiting services had Smith rated as an athlete, but he played wide receiver at Wayne High School in Dayton. He’s not the speed-burner type you see out in space, but he’s tall at 6-6 and showed the ability to go up in the air on the outside and make the tough catches. Don’t be surprised if the coaches try him out down the line at tight end, but he could be a matchup problem against smaller defensive backs when he punches his way out of the depth chart down the line.

cameron brown

Brown was the teammate of Kamryn Babb at Christian Brothers College in St. Louis. At 6-1, 175 lbs. he could stand to put a little more on his frame and will likely be looking for playing time beyond this year. When he does get his chance, he has shown that he understands route running and has 4.4 speed. Those tools will fit well at the big-time college level if he can put it all together.

chris olave

Don’t think about this year for some of the pass-catching youngsters Ohio State has brought in. This is all about next year and beyond when many of the Buckeyes’ two-deep at the position could be gone. Olave is in that frame of mind. He’s not the big possession type, but more of a burner that can move between the slot and y-receiver position to create mismatches out in space. Look for him to make more of a splash next year and beyond.

Predicting the Pecking Order

We’ll have to watch to see if any of the freshman get moved to H-Back or tight end, or if any of them are red-shirted, but we’ll take it at face value right now.

  1. Z-Receiver
    1. Johnnie Dixon
    2. Terry McLaurin
    3. Jaylen Harris
    4. Chris Olave*
    5. Cameron Brown*

    X-Receiver

    1. Binjimen Victor
    2. Austin Mack
    3. L’Christian “Blue” Smith*
    4. Kamryn Babb*

* Freshman

 

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