WR Outlook Part 2: Post Noah Brown Injury

Here we are, just over a week before the start of the brand new College Football season. After all the hype during the offseason, we as a team, as a unit, must prepare for the unexpected. We must prepare for tragedy to strike at any moment. Whether it is during the offseason, early on in the season, mid-season or during the late stages in the season. We always have to be ready. Although I hate to talk about a players untimely injury, it is needed. The Buckeyes and their “next man up” mentality will ultimately cultivate and develop another starting caliber/secret weapon type of player or players during this upcoming season.

Lets cut to the chase shall we?

#3 Michael Thomas, WR:

Michael Thomas is the most experienced player at his position on the team.  The Redshirt Junior has constantly improved year after year and I don’t expect him to stop growing as a player.  He will be asked to become a more vocal leader in the locker room or on the sidelines because Jeff Heuerman has graduated and is chasing his NFL dreams as we speak.  So Thomas will have to fill the leadership void for Zone 6.  After his redshirt year, Thomas has showed the knack for making big play after big play on the field.  He has showed that he can be consistent and a valuable player for the Buckeyes.  He showed improvement as a blocker downfield.  He sometimes shows the consistency as a blocker that Coach Meyer wants to see.  Thomas also has the ability to beat you in so many ways.  He can catch in traffic, he can get yards after the catch.  He can even burn you with his top end speed going on a “Go” route toward the endzone.  Thomas is a complete WR.  That is why Thomas is one of the WMD’s on this years offense.  I feel like when he has this huge year, we can pretty much count him as gone.  He will leave for the NFL.

#17 Jalin Marshall, WR/H-Back:

Jalin Marshall will have to play catch up after his one game suspension.  He is the second most experienced player on the roster and that will lead to some high expectations for his role on offense.  Marshall has added value on the roster due to his ability to return punts.  At any given moment he can take one back to the house for additional points.  He can also catch passes in all sorts of ways too.  Whether it is in traffic or whether its on a screen pass.  Heck, here’s a little tidbit, Marshall played QB in high school.  He is also capable of slinging the rock!  Like we saw during the season, Marshall is another WMD that Coach Meyer can utilize this season.  He has the speed that he covets and he is definitely hungry for an expanded role this season.  I think after the suspension, he will assume his role and start opposite of Thomas.

#1 Braxton Miller, WR/H-Back:

The 2 year BIG Offensive Player of the Year is now a WR/H-Back!  This is a year of new for Miller, who is also sporting a brand new number.  He is also going to have a new role.  Miller obviously has the speed to burn DB’s and I think that he will be used as the deep threat this season.  Meet the new Devin Smith!  Although Miller isn’t as polished as Smith was, I think Miller will make the necessary adjustments to make an impact during his last season as a Buckeye.  I look for Meyer to get all he can get from the unsung and selfless hero, Miller.  He wants Miller to start this year.  Whether it at WR or H-Back, he will start either spot.  Miller has the speed and let’s not forget that he used to sling the ball around too.  He still has the ability to make people miss.  Whether he is running the wildcat, coming in on a sweep or if he’s going out wide, he will find a way to make plays.  Miller is a playmaker people!  Don’t sleep on him.  Miller has been seen having “secret practices” lead by J.T. Barrett and he has caught a few balls from King Dolodale himself.  With the QB battle still raging on, I expect Miller to go out with a bang.  Regardless of which QB starts.  He will assert himself as the last starting WMD.  Meyer will release the Kraken this season!

#84 Corey Smith, WR:

If not for the one game suspension, I would have Smith as the fourth WR off of the bench.  Smith flashed at the critical moments of games.  He comes up with timely (AND BRUTAL!) blocks like what we say from him in the Michigan and BIG Conference Championship games.  He made a key catch on 3rd down against Oregon in the Playoff Championship game.  He isn’t a big play waiting to happen like his peers, but he flashes when the team needs it the most.  Once the suspension is lifted, I expect him to re-assume his role on the team.

#2 Dontre Wilson, WR/H-Back:

Wilson will assume his punt returning duties when he returns into the fold.  That is assuming that someone on the roster doesn’t take his job.  Wilson is suspended for the season opener and that is completely okay because we have potential high impact players waiting in the wings.  Wilson is too fast to have rot on the bench and I think the coaching staff knows that as well.  With that big time catch at East Lansing, he just oozes with potential.  Sure he had lofty ratings coming out of high school, but like Curtis Grant on the Defense, he will find his niche and he will live up to the hype.

#82 James Clark, WR:

I will be honest, I completely forgot about Clark in my previous article.  And that is no slight to him or his ability and what he can bring to this offense.  I simply check marked his name on my notebook and that is all.  Anyways, he is another “burner” on the Ohio State roster.  He has had a rough couple of years, battling various injuries, but he should be a good one.  Whether it is during this upcoming season or later down the road, he will live up to the hype.  With Corey Smith serving his one game suspension, it opens up the doors for not only Clark, but the rest of the WR corps.  I haven’t seen much tape on Clark, but I am confident in his potential.  He has the tools needed to become a big time WR, he just needs to want it more than everyone behind him.  And with Smith out for the first game of the season, make an everlasting impression young man!

#5 Johnnie Dixon, WR:

Another highly touted recruit out of high school who suffered untimely and unfortunate injuries early on in his Ohio State career.  Like Clark, he is another speedster out of Florida looking to make an impact.  Dixon is too good to sit on the bench (I can honestly say that with every WR on the team)!  With Smith being absent from the trip to Blacksburg, he has a good shot at getting some playing time.  Dixon will look to rebound from his injury plagued past.  He may not have a role just yet, but I have a feeling that he is another sleeper on the team that is just waiting for his shot at playing time.

#89 Jeff Greene, WR:

Greene transferred to Ohio State from Georgia Tech and he has yet to find his niche in the offense.  He is 6’5″ and I want to see him succeed.  He would be a match-up nightmare for smaller DB’s and I would love to see that.  We haven’t had a WR taller than 6’3″ for a little bit the last receiver I can think of is Michael Jenkins (6’4″).  If Greene can improve on his craft, I would enjoy seeing him line up across from Thomas, but Meyer loves having speed demons all over the field so I just don’t know.  He showed the willingness to block during his time at Georgia Tech and I think if he shows that to the coaching staff, he will earn some time.  I would love for Greene to succeed, but he has to show the coaching staff that he is worthy for additional playing time.

#21 Parris Campbell, WR:

I have Campbell as a WR, for now.  He is a weapon like Marshall and he is just as fast.  Like the QB situation, there is a log jam at the WR position.  Everyone is vying for playing time.  Campbell is a bigger WR at 6’1″, 205.  He is another burner, with little to no experience.  Campbell can fill the Devin Smith roll too if he is called upon.  There is no shortage of Devin Smith like players on the roster too.  It is just a matter of time until his shoes will be filled once again.  He will look to contribute on Special Teams and during the occasional blowout.

#83 Terry McLaurin, WR:

Like Campbell, but weighing 5 pounds less, McLaurin is another beast of a player.  Another player who is capable of becoming the next Devin Smith.  McLaurin has the speed to burn helpless DB’s routinely, but he just needs to be afforded the opportunity.  Look for McLaurin to contribute on Special Teams as well as during mop up duty.  I wouldn’t be shocked if he makes a surprise start or two either.

#6 Torrance Gibson, WR:

Here is another QB turned WR!  In practice, Gibson made a Randy Moss like catch against a starting Defensive Back.  I hate to say it, but I will!  I am excited to see if he will earn playing time this season as a True Freshman.  It isn’t like Gibson is a slouch after switching positions either.  Like Miller, he will be a weapon.  I hope Gibson can turn some heads this season.  It will be an amazing sight to see.

#14 K.J. Hill, WR:

Hill is the third newcomer to get his blackstripe removed.  That says a lot of this talented WR out of Arkansas.  He has the tools to succeed.  He has been doing well enough to earn his status as a Buckeye by shedding his black stripe.  Now the sky is the limit for the Freshman.  He can run routes for days.  He can catch.  Let’s see if he can turn more heads and take some playing time away from the upperclassmen.

#87 Alex Stump, WR:

Stump flipped to Ohio State late last year.  He, like all Ohio kids want to stay close to home for the support.  Stump made his decision to join Ohio State.  He is coming off of an injury that he sustained from high school, but I am not worried about him at all.  He looks to be a good one, but I’m afraid that he is set for a redshirt as he recovers from surgery.  I may be wrong, but the WR depth is too much at the moment and I think he sits out this season.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing because he can study the playbook more.  Win-win for both sides of the equation.




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