Football

Ohio State Football Notebook: ‘You’ve got to beat somebody out’

Ohio State Football Notebook Buckeyes Buckeye Football

 

A Connection is Made

The Buckeyes return 209 of their 212 catches by wide receivers last year, which gives the passing offense an experience advantage that most programs won’t have this season.

However, that experience will be tested by a new starting quarterback. The current OSU receivers have been catching passes from J.T. Barrett for their entire careers, but that ends this spring. They will now have to build a rapport with a new starting quarterback.

The problem with that, however, is there are three quarterbacks rotating right now, which will make it difficult to build a connection with any one particular QB.

So what do they do to move the connection process along?

“It can be tough, but I think that’s where that extra work comes in,” fifth-year senior H-back Parris Campbell said. “When the coaches are gone and we’re on our own, just getting different throws and routes with those guys. In practice, you only get so many reps with each quarterback, but I think that’s where extra work comes in.”

Saying Goodbye in His Own Way

Houston junior defensive tackle Ed Oliver declared for the NFL Draft last week, which may be the earliest actual announcement in college football history. Sure, there have been plenty of players who you knew were never going to see a senior season, but to announce it during spring practice? It’s different.

For Ohio State junior defensive end Nick Bosa, this will likely be his final season, but don’t expect him to announce it any time soon.

“Just coming out straight up and saying it, it’s kind of distracting for the team, but he can do what he wants to do,” Bosa said of Oliver. “It’s pretty obvious he’s going to leave, so I don’t think it’s a big deal.”

How does Bosa approach the decision this season?

“I’m just playing this year and seeing how this year goes,” he said. “Coach J told me the future will take care of itself, so I just need to focus all of my energy on this year and if I do that, everything will take care of itself.”

Gotta Be Special First

Returning every receiver from last season’s six-man rotation is a good thing for the Buckeyes. That amount of experience can’t be oversold.

It provides a comfort level among the offensive coaches, but that doesn’t mean their jobs are set in stone. If a young player wants to get into the rotation, the road map is very clear.

“It’s all performance-based,” receivers coach Zach Smith said. “First of all they have to get on the field on special teams. They all do. That’s what my top six from last year did. They were all over the field on special teams. They have to get on the field for that. And if they do, then we can talk about playing receiver.”

Everything is merit based. If you merit playing time, you’ll get it. Right now, the Buckeyes have their top six, but there is always room for somebody else to show they belong.

“You’ve got to beat somebody out,” Smith said. “The best guy’s going to play. Whoever that is. I don’t care if that’s you. You can come play X if you want if you beat out Austin Mack and Ben Victor. And if you do, it’s Ohio State, the best guys are going to play. If Jaylen Harris is the best receiver, he’s going to play. And if he’s not, he needs to get better. It’s really simple. It doesn’t sound simple, but it is.”

 

4 Responses

  1. Tony the stat that would be interesting is how many yards were left on the field because of dropped passes and inaccurate passes. JT was a fair QB. He will not play at the next level unless he changes positions and then its doubtful…. what do you think of Kory Curtis being able to throw over 80 yards? Oh and throw it accurately!

    1. Kory is a solid dude, but an 80-yard pass is almost impossible because the QB is usually sacked at that point or the receiver has stopped running. 60 would be plenty. 🙂

  2. I wonder how many teams are returning ~98.5% of their receptions. That’s astounding!!

    1. That’s just receivers. They lose Marcus Baugh’s TE catches. So it’s probably closer to 93%, which is still not bad. LOL.

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