Ohio State Football: WR unit loaded for spring with freshmen on campus

With young, talented receivers along with a proven one you know Brian Hartline is anxious for the Ohio State football team to begin spring practices.

It will be interesting to see how one unit on the Ohio State football team progresses this spring. Brian Hartline has to feel like a kid in a candy store with all of the young talent he has to work with.

The four players form one of the most talented group of wide receivers ever in one recruiting class. Two were ranked as five-star recruits and the other two were ranked at the top 16 at their position and among the Top 100 overall players.

Julian Fleming (6 ft. 2, 199 pounds) was ranked the top wide receiver and No. 3 overall player. He was also named the National High School Coaches Association Senior Player of the Year.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (6 ft. 1 188 pounds) was ranked the 5th best receiver and No. 25 overall player, Gee Scott Jr. (6 ft. 2 1/2, 207) 10-65 and Mookie Cooper (5 ft. 8 1/2, 193) 16-91.

And all are already on campus as early enrollees. Just think about how enrolling early helped Garrett Wilson last year.

It certainly sped up his progress and he had 30 receptions for 432 yards and 5 touchdowns as a true freshman. Possibly a couple of this year’s freshmen will up to speed by fall camp and can make an impact next season.

Another young guy to keep your eyes on is Jameson Williams. He made enough plays as a true freshman to make one believe he could be really good. Look for him to challenge for a spot in the rotation.

Of course Chris Olave will be back and that will give coach Hartline a veteran presence in his unit. As a sophomore he had 48 receptions for 840 yards and 12 touchdowns. Don’t you think the young freshmen will pay attention to what he has to say?

There are other interesting things to watch for in the spring.

Jaelen Gill has been compared to Parris Campbell with his skill set but the transition from running back to a slot receiver has been a work in progress. With K.J. Hill moving on is Gill ready to take the position?

Will this be the year Jaylin Harris steps up and makes the two deep? Everybody hopes so. Having a 6 ft. 5 athletic receiver who could do damage in the red zone would be welcomed.

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It’s hard to say which six players will make the rotation in coach Hartline’s unit for next season. It will be an interesting situation to say the least with so many talented receivers. And the battle will begin in spring practices with all four freshmen on campus to push the older players.

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