Buckeyes’ Receiving Corps Can Be as Good as Ever in 2015


The overflow of talent on the Ohio State Buckeyes’ football team has become common knowledge.

What hasn’t been talked about much is just how loaded the Buckeyes specifically are at the wide receiver position.

Even with the departures of seniors/NFL draftees Devin Smith (33 receptions, 931 yards) and Evan Spencer (15 receptions, 149 yards), Ohio State’s receiving corps could be even better than it was last season.

Returning veteran experience

Smith and Spencer are officially gone, leaving with them a wealth of experience and leadership.

Returning junior wideout Michael Thomas proved to be the most effective of the three in 2014, racking up almost 800 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He’s an all-around great receiving threat and should step into the role as the Buckeyes’ No. 1 wideout nicely.

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A true sleeper in Ohio State’s stacked deck of receivers is Corey Smith. Used sparingly as the fourth wideout in rotation, Smith was still able to snag 20 receptions for roughly 250 yards in 2014.

Two of those catches came in the national championship game against Oregon, hauling one in for 50-yards.

He recently had a fantastic showing in the annual spring game about a couple of months ago, which could be very telling of things to come for the senior.

Fans should expect the seasoned vets in Thomas and Smith to be the top two receivers for the Buckeyes next season.

Youth and explosiveness

Options, options, and more options; that’s the theme for the Buckeyes’ receiving corps in 2015.

A good place to start here would be with sophomore sensation Noah Brown. A massive man standing at 6’2, hovering around 222 pounds, Brown adds as a big target with game breaking-speed and a possession receivers’ soft hands to match. After a huge spring, head coach Urban Meyer has all but named him a starter at this point.

Sophomore Terry McLaurin might end up being best suit as the fourth receiver in rotation, but keep an eye out for James Clark, another sophomore who could push McLaurin for playing time.

Rounding out this unheralded group are two redshirt freshmen that also happen to be elite playmakers.

Johnnie Dixon is currently recovering from knee injuries suffered last fall but has reportedly shown “flashes every now and then.” When healthy, Dixon can be a difference-maker for the Buckeyes’, whether it be on offense or special teams.

Of the two, the wideout that has a more realistic chance of becoming a surprise contributor is Parris Campbell. Arguably the fastest wideout on the roster, Campbell can take any sort of short pass, or dump-off in the flat, straight to the house. Bleacher Report’s Adam Kramer even picked Campbell as Ohio State’s new secret weapon in 2015.

While the competition is undoubtedly fierce, Noah Brown said it best when talking about the battles taking place amongst the receivers:

“It’s not a matter of keeping us happy,” Brown said this spring. “We’re all rooting for each other. We’ve got some dangerous talent and it’s a great thing to have. I think we’re all unselfish and just pulling for each other and trying to get each other better.”

Sep 13, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Michael Thomas (3) celebrates his touchdown against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Time to settle into the offense

Most importantly out of what has been looked at is that there is ample time for the Buckeyes less experienced wideouts to settle into the offense.

Ohio State’s schedule is one of the easier slates in the country, and it should give the youngsters plenty of time to get their footing in the Buckeyes’ fast-paced, intricate offense.

Their season opener on the road against a tough Virginia Tech team is the only contest that should somewhat test the offense, let alone the receivers.

From then on out, the Buckeyes play four of their next five games at home, all versus lowly competition before having to face Penn State under the lights in Week Seven.

The receiving corps doesn’t get as much love from the media as the three-way quarterback competition gets. Yet, the want to make the most plays and the battle for playing time amongst the wideouts should be just as enjoyable to watch, if not more.

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