Most Important Buckeyes: No. 14
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS — He may not play a game until the start of the Big Ten Schedule, but Jordan Hall came in at No. 15 on our countdown of Top 20 Most Important Buckeyes of the 2012 season.
That says a lot about Ohio State’s lack of experience at the offensive skill position. It’s something Urban Meyer has lost sleep over since he took the job in November.
Photo by Jim Davidson
That’s why No. 14 on our countdown is another offensive skill player by the name of Corey Brown, who could be asked to help fill the void while Hall is out with the foot injury.
What Makes Him Important
Somebody is going to have to get the football—either carry it or catch it—in this offense other than Braxton Miller. Tailback Carlos Hyde is dangerous in the open field, but he isn’t much of an east-west type runner.
Meyer is hoping “Philly” Brown can help at what he calls the “hybrid No. 3” position, which is really the guy who lines up on the left side of the hash that can do it all. That means catching the ball and running it, which is actually something Brown did as a multi-purpose player out of Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Pa.
What Can Be Expected Of Him
The one thing that can’t be denied is his tremendous vertical speed. He showed that even as a freshman, but Brown has really struggled to hold on to the football when he gets some room behind a defense.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Moving him around and putting the ball in his hands in different ways may be the best way to get the most out of Brown’s ability. He is a former track star who did tie for the team-lead with 14 catches a year ago.
He was second on the team with 205 receiving yards, but it wasn’t until the final game of the regular season against Michigan that Brown finally scored his first touchdown. It came on a 54-yard bomb from Miller, and offensive coordinator Tom Herman will certainly want to use Brown’s speed to stretch the field vertically.
It’s really hard to know what to expect from him right now, but Brown is working with the first-team offense and seems to be emerging as a favorite of both his coach and his quarterback.
What Would the Buckeyes Do Without Him
The Buckeyes are running out of options at that hybrid playmaker position. If Brown can’t fill the void, they have to turn to someone with a lot less experience. That says a lot considering Brown barely has any to call his own.
Maybe as much as anyone on the roster, Brown is going to be needed in the early part of the season as this team tries to overcome the absence of Jordan Hall. They need Corey Brown to become a playmaker. It’s not really an option anymore. His time is now, or it may end up being never.
Most Important: No. 15 Jordan Hall
Most Important: No. 16 Christian Bryant
Most Important: No. 17 Reid Fragel
Most Important: No. 18 Ben Buchanan
Most Important: No. 19 Michael Bennett
Most Important: No. 20 Drew Basil
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