Ohio State Football: Garrett Wilson in the slot is fascinating

One surprise on the Ohio State football team on Monday was Garret Wilson moving inside to play the slot receiver position.

The vacant slot receiver position, or H-back position, was vacated by outgoing fifth-year senior K.J. Hill. Hill leaves Ohio State as the Buckeyes all-time leader in receptions and was one of the most reliable players on the team from a season ago.

Garrett Wilson, who was expected to play as an outside receiver with Chris Olave, was lined up on the inside on Monday when spring practices began. This is a very interesting and intriguing option for this Ohio State offense as we go through the spring.

Head coach Ryan Day provided some context to why he wants to see Wilson in the slot, via Cleveland.com:

“I think when you look at his background, his basketball background, his spatial awareness is off the charts,” Day said. “His range is really good. He can operate in short areas. And the other thing for him is he can time up down the field like you said. He’s got a unique skill set. But I think his ability to catch the ball, put it away, run after the catch so quickly is something you want out of a slot receiver. And running option routes, setting up defenders and understanding space and everything like that, it happens a lot faster in there. But I think his skill set fits that.”

The expectation was that Jaelen Gill, Demario McCall or Jameson Williams would be battling for K.J. Hill’s former spot on the team. Ryan Day spoke as if this will be Garrett Wilson’s new position and it is fascinating to say the least.

Wilson, the former five-star recruit, is one of the most natural and talented players on this team. Making an immediate impact on a national title contender as a true freshman last season tells you everything you need to know about his skill set.

Wilson will fill the role the likes of K.J. Hill and Parris Campbell flourished in, and no offense to those two great Buckeyes, but his raw talent is superior. This gives Ryan Day so many more options when calling plays. Being able to stretch the defense vertically like never before with Wilson roaming the middle of the defense will give this offense a different and dynamic threat to opposing defenses.

This move also opens up the outside for a player like Jameson Williams, who may just be the fastest Buckeye on this team, giving them another vertical threat on the outside. The more you think about this move of having Wilson play the inside, the more it makes sense.

And as Wilson gets more comfortable in this role, the more dangerous he and this Buckeye offense will be. Just another storyline to keep an eye on as spring practices continue in Columbus.