If I Was Coach Fickell [Wide Receiver Edition]

Continuing in our series of who we would start if we were Coach Fickell, we now take a look at the Wide Receiver corps.

Where to start…

Well, this probably the youngest and most inexperienced group of wide receivers that I can remember in my time watching the Buckeyes.  This doesn’t mean that there isnt talent available, but the proven commodity of DeVier Posey wont be eligible (Thanks Tats!!!) until Game 6 of the season.   Let’s take a look at who we think should be starting in the wideout positions, as well as the slot receiver position where Buckeye legends are made.

Let’s get this party started!

After most of the autumn practices, there are really one 3-4 wide receiver candidates that seem to be likely contributors until Posey gets back in the fold.  These players are listed in no particular order, as they will all likely play until there are a few guys that step up into the full-time starter role, but the guys in bold are most likely to be the starters for Akron.  It should be pretty exciting and scary for Buckeye fans, as we haven’t seen an open competition like this at the WR position in many years.

 

Corey “Philly” Brown (Flanker)- After a “peaks and valleys” freshman year, Philly should be ready to have a breakout year.  Him and Chris Fields are the only returning wide receiver candidates with any real experience under their belts.  Brown had a nice freshman year catching eight passes for 105 yards with a single touchdown.  The disappointing side of Philly’s freshman year were some of the drops on long passes that could have been huge plays for the freshman and the team.  A little on the small side for a wide receiver (5-11; 182lb), he will continue to depend on his speed and athleticism to break down defenses for the big play.  If the team can get him the ball on the fly or in space, he should be able to bring mucho attention to his side of the field and open up the rest of the field.  Two true freshman are also waiting in the wings for their chance to make a mark in this position.  Devin Smith (6-3, 190, Fr.) and Evan Spencer (6-1, 190, Fr.) will definitely see the field for the Buckeyes this season at any of the three WR positions.

 

Verlon Reed (Split-End)- Probably the biggest surprise of the spring and fall has been the emergence of the redshirt freshman.  With Posey sitting on the sideline, the Buckeyes were looking for someone to step up and stake a claim at the split-end spot on the field.  Verlon has not disappointed in practices and the coaching staff are expecting big things from him in the fall.  It will be interesting to see if he translate the great practice play into an similar game performance or if he will turn into the greatest practice players evah (ala Barn Childress & Taurian Washington).  At 6-0 and 195lb, he should be able to to handle the physical nature of the Big Tweleven.  Nipping at his heels, if the performances aren’t up to par, should be Ty Williams (got to fix those drops son).  There is definitely a lack of quality depth at this position between suspension (Dammit DeVier!), transfers (Fred Jackson), and overall dumb people (Hello Carter!  Alabama JC awaits your education patronage).  Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, here and the OL position is where the lack of depth rears its ugly head.

 

Chris Fields (Slot)- Another player with experience from last season, Chris gets the opportunity to become another in the long line of exceptional Buckeye slot receivers.   It has been a pretty quiet fall camp for Chris, which is a good thing.  He will need to be a consistent performer in the slot position to provide a necessary safety outlet for the inexperienced quarterbacks that will start the season for the Buckeyes.  We expect a big year from Chris and he will definitely be a playmaker in the slot for the Buckeyes if Philly Brown cant open up his side of the field with his speed and quickness.  We will probably also see Jordan Hall in this position, as he is becoming a jack-of-all-trades for the Buckeyes taking snaps at running back and wide receiver.  Hell, he would probably punt, if the Buckeyes needed him.  Jake Stoneburner and the two freshman (Spencer/Smith) will also see time in the slot on certain packages/formations.

 

At the end of the day, the Wide Receiver position will most likely not be settled until this young corps has a few games under its belt.  You could probably put all of the names of these guys into a hat and draw a starting WR lineup that would rival a good amount of the teams in the conference.  Now they have to prove it…game on boys…game on.

Comments

  1. I’m a little nervous about the lack of a “posession” receiver, and by that I don’t mean a gritty white guy. I mean a player who has reliable hands and isn’t afraid to run a crossing route. All of these guys have talent, but so far, from what I’ve read and seen, we don’t have a reliable hands guy. I guess that role will fall the Stoneburner.

    Am I wrong? Is there someone that we can count on to catch anything thrown to him?

  2. I have confidence in Verlon to be that guy we need to be a possession WR and take the 5-10 yard catches and turn them into big plays. My concern is if the QBs can get them the balls in stride.

  3. I think is what actually makes me excited about this season…lots of mystery. There is too much talent there for guys not to step up. They may just need a game or two get out the butterflies. I am sure Fields will do a good job in the slot, but I am not sure he will be the possession receiver we have grown accustomed in the last 6-7 years.

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