The wide receiver room within the Ohio State football program is overflowing with talent. Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson have become household names, while younger receivers hope to have the same fate. One name that hasn’t been mentioned enough is Jayden Ballard.
Playing time, really for the next couple of years, will be hard to come by for any young wide receiver at Ohio State. Minutes on the field will have to be earned, but four-star freshman Jayden Ballard will be up for the task.
Ballard is an Ohio native, hailing from Massillon Washington High School, and has been already been a Buckeye for nearly two years. Jayden committed to Ohio State in June of 2019 after also fielding offers from Penn State and Michigan State. OSU was the first school to offer Ballard, and he has been “100% committed” ever since.
Jayden was rated as the number eight wide receiver in the country, and the number three overall player in the Buckeye State. He became Massillon’s all-time leader in both receiving yards and touchdowns during his senior season, he has incredible talent that Head Coach Ryan Day and WR Coach Brian Hartline could not ignore.
247Sports offers Ballard a professional comparison of Tampa Bay WR Chris Godwin, and describes him as a deep ball threat who “can be a No. 1 receiver in college.”
Obviously becoming the top wide receiver at Ohio State is quite a difficult task. This season Ballard will likely see some playing time, but will still have to live in the shadows of superstar receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming will see their fair share of playing time, Ballard will likely compete more directly with guys like Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, this season at least.
Jayden Ballard is a gifted athlete, and it is just a matter of time before he makes a name for himself in the Ohio State football program. Already a great deep ball threat, if he can continue to work on his short-yardage skills and add a few pounds, he will undeniably earn his fair share of playing time in Columbus.