Football

Morning Conversational: Where Did Brian Hartline Challenge Chris Olave This Spring?

Ohio State football Chris Olave

Today’s Topic: Where Did Brian Hartline Challenge Chris Olave This Spring?


One year ago at this time, Chris Olave was in high school.

Now a sophomore wide receiver at Ohio State, Olave didn’t arrive on campus until last summer.

Despite his “late” arrival, he quickly made an impression during fall camp and his teammates were talking him up almost immediately.

Olave then stayed in the shadows a bit, stuck behind Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon on the depth chart.

He played here and there, but when finally called upon later in the season, he stepped up and showed that he belonged.

Olave finished with 12 receptions for 197 yards and three touchdowns, which may not sound like a lot, but 10 of his 12 catches — and all three of his touchdowns — came from November on. He got better each week, and when starter Austin Mack went down with an injury, Olave was able to move into the rotation.

Based on his freshman performance, Olave has been expected to be a significant part of the Ohio State passing game this year.

He carried his momentum into spring ball for the Buckeyes.

“Chris is doing well,” Mack said earlier in the spring. “A lot of other people in the room are doing really well, but Chris specifically has taken an older approach, not a freshman anymore and he’s stepping up and being the guy.”

For as good as Olave was as a freshman, the fact that he is no longer approaching his job as a freshman is key. He is already seeing himself as a veteran based on what he did last year and what is expected of him this season.

But neither Olave or receivers coach Brian Hartline are calling the sophomore pass catcher a finished product. Far from it, which is why Hartline continues to challenge Olave all along the way.

“To me, I always talk to the guys, and in the end, greatness is only measured one way and it’s by consistency,” Hartline said. “I say this a lot, everyone makes the same shot that Michael Jordan makes, they just don’t make it as consistently, they don’t make it at the crunch times. Everyone can do it, but the question is how often can you do it?

“So challenging his consistency, challenging how dominant he can be. When the ball is in the air, how often is it yours versus it being knocked down or you’re covered. Again, his level of consistency will change whether he’s a good player or a great player.”

How close is he getting to being great?

“It takes a long time,” Hartline said. “People work for years to become as consistent as possible, but he’s on the right track.”

4 Responses

  1. Olave could take a huge step towards being great this season if he isnt made to share reps with Victor/Mack just for the sake of them being seniors.

    1. Everybody shares reps in an up-tempo offense though. McLaurin/Dixon and Hill/Campbell and Victor/Mack did it. Olave will split reps as well. The real question is if there is room for 7 or 8 instead of the six starters they have had since 2014.

      1. They have to find 6 before they need to worry about 7 or 8, that’s just fantasy. They only have two proven entities now, so where do the other 4 come from?
        Olive hasn’t proven anything with 12 catches, Victor’s only upside so far has been potential, and he’ll never be consistent. The frosh phenom will be anything but consistent, game in and game out. All others are unknown. Hill will have to catch a hundred balls this year. The second three receivers will put fear into absolutely no one.
        And that’s if they have the same qb for 13 games.

        1. They do have to find six. Victor is one of those six and has been since the 2017 season. Mack is another. KJ Hill is a third in the top three. Olave was in the top six for six games last season and seemed fine, but does need to continue to step up. That’s four. I think people will be happy with Jaelen Gill, and Brian Hartline has done nothing but praise CJ Saunders. Garrett Wilson and Jaylen Harris are two more. This is why you recruit and develop.

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