The No. 7 player on this list is entering his fourth year on campus, and he has the potential to be a breakout receiver for the Buckeyes. In fact, if Ohio State’s passing game is going to be as good as it could be, then this receiver could play a big part in much of that success.
No. 7 — Terry McLaurin, rJr. Wide Receiver
Terry McLaurin was in the rotation last year for the Buckeyes, playing in every game and starting four times. He only caught 11 passes for 114 yards, but he played plenty. He also played some on offense in 2015 as a redshirt freshman, but was mostly used on special teams. Currently, he has 12 career tackles on special teams and 11 career receptions.
McLaurin had another productive spring this year and now is the time for him to emerge both as a leader and a playmaker for the Buckeyes.
When mentioning his top receivers this spring, Urban Meyer always had Terry McLaurin either two or three on his list.
McLaurin is a solid run blocker out wide, but needs to become a more prominent threat to opposing defenses. He has plenty of speed to get deep, but is also compact (6-0 204) and strong enough to be used underneath.
He played some running back in high school, so contact doesn’t bother him. He is versatile enough to do many different things, but now is the time to start getting it done.
What He Does Well
What does he do well? He does everything his coaches ask him to do. He also plays in spring games very well.
McLaurin enrolled early as a true freshman, so he played in the 2015 spring game. That was when he showed his big-play potential for the first time. He caught a 35-yard touchdown pass in that game. In his three spring games, he has nine receptions for 226 yards and four touchdowns. That’s good for 25.1 yards per catch, which is better than his career long reception during the actual football season.
In those games, he has been able to get open deep out wide and down the seams. He has also been able to break tackles and get big yards after the catch. Spring game stats don’t count for anything, but they do show you what a player is capable of. Four of McLaurin’s nine receptions in the spring game have gone for 30 or more yards. He very well could be the deep threat that the Buckeyes have been looking for.
Consistency has been an issue, but McLaurin is coming off of his best spring yet. He has been a consistent deep threat in the spring, but perhaps this is the year that we see it during the regular season.
Terry McLaurin in 2017
So much of the expectations for the Ohio State offense this year are based on the improvements that Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day are assumed to be bringing in. The Buckeyes spent all spring working on the deep ball — and actually got better at it. This should mean good things for Terry McLaurin, who was perhaps the best deep threat for the Buckeyes all spring long.
McLaurin will be in the rotation. Whether he starts or not isn’t really all that important. He has a skill set that an improved passing game can put to good use. It would not be a stretch to think that he could be Ohio State’s No. 1 deep threat in 2017. If he is, then he should probably be bumped up this list. If he isn’t the Buckeyes’ top deep threat, he should still be able to threaten a defense with all of the different things that he is able to do.
What They Are Saying
“You know what, Terry’s a guy that just shows up every day and he just makes plays. He does. He just goes and goes. He’s silent and he’s kind of the guy that all of a sudden you’ll walk off the practice field and be like, ‘Wow, he made four big plays today.’ He really is just showing up more, and I think we’re also putting him in a situation to give him an opportunity to show up by play calling and play design.” — Zach Smith
“We’re not gonna have another Devin (Smith) or Mike (Thomas). I don’t know. As far as who’s going to make a play on a deep ball, Terry has done a great job this spring doing it.” — Zach Smith