For these three Ohio State football players, it's now or never

These Ohio State football players need to start producing for the Buckeyes. If they don't this year, they never will.
Nov 18, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; 
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jayden Ballard (9) catches the
Nov 18, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jayden Ballard (9) catches the / Clare Grant/The Columbus Dispatch / USA
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2. Jayden Ballard

One of the surprises of the Spring Game was that Jayden Ballard was out there as the third receiver. He was starting in the slot, which was shocking to me. If you look at Ballard's production, you understand the shock. He has just 9 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown in three years at Ohio State.

Perhaps Day is sticking with Ballard as a starter because he's a senior. His production has given little indication that he has earned any sort of role in the offense. The only game he has more than 100 receiving yards was back in 2022 against Toledo when he had 4 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Ballard starting over Brandon Inniss, Jeremiah Smith, and Mylan Graham doesn't make a lot of sense when you look at the talent involved in those guys. All of those receivers are more talented than Ballard even if they don't have any production to speak of.

Day needs to figure out who is going to man that third receiver role. Ballard hasn't shown that he can be a good player. Why hasn't he been able to see the field in any of the last three years? The receivers at Ohio State are always good, so he should've cracked the rotation then if he is good enough to now.

I don't think Ballard is going to produce much this year. I think it's likely he gets passed up on the depth chart by either Inniss or Smith and possibly both, assuming Ballard starts the season in that third-receiver role. The other two guys are just too dynamic to not see the field.

The final guy on this list is the highest-touted recruit of them all.