Ohio State Football: The curious case of Kamryn Babb

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Kamryn Babb (18) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Kamryn Babb (18) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Ohio State football program is home to an abundance of big-name college football players. No position group is stacked with talent more so than the wide receivers.

Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson have become household names, then you add the younger, and highly-recruited players like Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba to the mix, and it becomes very evident the WR room at OSU is loaded with talent. But one name is hardly ever mentioned, that name? Kamryn Babb.

There is a reason you might not know much about Kamryn Babb. He has yet to record a reception at Ohio State, but could certainly be a name to remember this season.

So who is Kamryn Babb? Babb was a four-star recruit coming out of Christian Brothers High School in St. Louis. Babb held offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, Michigan, USC, and others, but chose the scarlet and gray and committed to Ohio State on December 12, 2017.

You read that right, he committed in 2017, graduated high school in the spring of 2018, and was set to be at least a role player on the Buckeyes offense, led by Dwayne Haskins, in 2018. Fast forward to the summertime, Kamryn Babb suffers an ACL tear during team workouts. An ACL tear is a serious injury and sidelined him for the entirety of his freshman season.

This came as a huge blow to Babb, who had suffered a prior ACL injury during his senior season of high school, on top of breaking a leg during his sophomore year. Babb could not catch a break. The injury led to him redshirting for the 2018 season.

Following the 2018 season, Ohio State had lost some key wide receivers. Gone would be star receivers Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon, and Terry McLaurin. Chris Olave and K.J. Hill would return for 2019, but a lot of playing time was up for grabs- with Babb being a major contender.

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Misfortunes continued for the former four-star, as in March of 2019, Babb reinjured his ACL, which would once again sideline him for the entirety of the 2019 season. This became the fourth season-ending injury Kamryn Babb had suffered over the course of just five years.

Prior to the 2020 season, there was a ray of optimism. Babb could potentially get on the field for the first time as a Buckeye. Already more than two years into his academic career, he had yet to play a snap for Ohio State.

Then COVID-19 happened. Countless program shutdowns, no team activities, no practice, and at one point, no season. No player on the Ohio State roster would be impacted by a canceled season more so than Babb. After two years of not being able to play, could a season really be taken from him, especially after he was finally healthy enough to play?

Luckily for Babb and Ohio State, the season, although shortened, did happen. Ohio State had two superstar receivers returning in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. WR Coach Brian Hartline had brought in an incredible group of freshman receivers; Julian Fleming, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gee Scott Jr., and Mookie Cooper. Jameson Williams was also returning, this made playing time quite hard to come by for any receiver, especially considering the lack of games to do so.

While Babb did not see any snaps as a receiver, he finally was able to put on pads and a full uniform for the first time. He was utilized as a special teams player and was able to assist on a tackle against Rutgers. Babb’s name, finally, showed up in a stat sheet.

2021 will be quite an interesting year for Babb. As previously mentioned, the wide receiver room is absolutely stacked with talent heading into the season. Mookie Cooper did transfer to Missouri, but every key pass-catcher returns for the upcoming season.

Chris Olave, to the surprise of many, is back for his senior season. Garrett Wilson is here for his junior year, and the three highly-recruited sophomores all return and will be important pieces of the offense. Emeka Egbuka, the number one receiver in the class of 2021, also will compete for playing time as a freshman. Babb will have to earn his playing time, but will surely make the most out of every opportunity.

Pictures tell a thousand words, and by the looks of the photos shared by Ohio State Football on Twitter, Babb looks ready for the season already.

The Spring Game, which is scheduled for mid-April, will be incredibly exciting and important to the future of the Buckeyes.

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The main headline will be the three-man quarterback battle, but the wide receiver battles, especially concerning Kamryn Babb, will be a great story heading into the 2021 season.