25 Most Exciting: No. 25
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It has been the summer of malcontent around Ohio State, but it could be a season to remember for the Buckeyes.
The bad news flowing in and out of Columbus this off-season has tapered some of the excitement over the upcoming season, especially as fans await a final ruling from the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
That ruling likely will not come until sometime during the middle of the season, but there is plenty to look forward to as the 2011 season-opener draws near. The Buckeyes will officially kick off the first season under Luke Fickell against Akron on Sept. 3, but we have you covered in the meantime.
Jim Tressel may be gone, but that does not erase a decade of excitement at Ohio State. There were countless big plays and big wins, and we’ve decided to count down the 25 most exciting players of the Tressel era starting with No. 25.
No. 25: WR Brian Robiskie
Photo by Jim Davidson
The name Brian Robiskie may not elicit immediate feelings of excitement from Buckeye fans still fuming over his dropped touchdown pass in the 2008 BCS National Title game, but “Robo” was responsible for some big plays during his time in Columbus.
After setting school records at Chagrin Falls High School just outside Cleveland, Robiskie burst onto the scene at Ohio State as a sophomore in 2006. When Santonio Holmes made an early exit to the NFL after the 2005 season, Robiskie became the No. 3 receiver in his second year behind Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez.
Everyone assumes Ohio State cruised through the ’06 regular season, other than their close call at Illinois. However, the Buckeyes trailed Penn State 3-0 at the half in week four of the season before Robiskie hauled in the first touchdown catch of his career, a miraculous 37-yard pass from Troy Smith in the third quarter.
Ohio State went on to win the game 28-6 thanks to two pick-6 touchdowns by the defense, but that would not be the end of Robiskie’s heroics as a sophomore. He also caught touchdown passes against Iowa, Michigan State and Minnesota, but his biggest catch of the season may have come in the regular-season finale.
With No. 1-ranked Ohio State duking it out with No. 2 Michigan, it was Robiskie who caught what would ultimately be the game-winning touchdown. With 5:38 left in the game and the Buckeyes leading their archrivals 35-31, Smith found Robiskie on a comeback route in the front corner of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
Year three would be the big one for Robiskie, as he led off the season with a 9-catch, 153-yard performance against Youngstown State in the season-opener. The 6-3 wideout would go on to lead the Buckeyes with 55 catches for 935 yards and 11 touchdowns.
He became Todd Boeckman’s favorite downfield target and Ohio State’s best big-play receiver that season. He had a 68-yard touchdown catch against Washington in week three to put the Buckeyes on top 10-7. The following week he caught three touchdowns against Northwestern, including a 42-yarder.
He had a 52-yard score against Minnesota to break the game open, and a 50-yard touchdown catch against Michigan State that turned out to be the winning score in a 24-17 victory over the Spartans.
Robiskie caught the first touchdown from Boeckman in Happy Valley that season and scored twice in a 38-17 win over Wisconsin. He would not have as much success as a captain the following year after Terrelle Pryor took over the quarterback spot as a freshman.
His biggest game of the year came with Boeckman back under center for the Fiesta Bowl. Though Ohio State lost the game 24-21 to Texas, Robiskie had five catches for 116 yards.
The former captain and son of former NFL receiver Terry Robiskie will always be remembered for his big plays and long touchdown catches, which is why Brian Robiskie is No. 25 on our list of the most exciting Buckeyes of the last decade.
Please share your favorite or most exciting memory of Brian Robiske below.
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