Football

What Is Ohio State Going To Do With All Of These Receivers?

Julian Fleming Ohio State Recruiting Buckeyes

Morning Conversational: What Is Ohio State Going To Do With All Of These Receivers?


The Opening Finals are now over and following the festivities, the organizers put together an annual “Dream Team” of the best players at each position.

Essentially, they put together an actual offense and defense of the best performers in the 7-on-7 games and in one-on-ones.

On this year’s Dream Team, there were three receivers selected — Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 18 WR in 2020 class), Gee Scott (No. 13 WR), and Julian Fleming (No. 1 WR).

Yes, those three are all committed to Ohio State.

There was much talk throughout the event about Scott having possibly earned a fifth star. Whether that happens or not, the Buckeyes have a dominating presence heading to Columbus next year.

Smith-Njigba was open constantly all over the field, and Fleming created no doubts about his ranking as the top receiver in the nation.

Next week, they could be adding a fourth name to the list in St. Louis receiver Mookie Cooper. Cooper is the No. 11 receiver in the 2020 class and is expected to be choosing Ohio State.

And that’s not to mention the recent commitment of tight end Joe Royer, rated the No. 3 player at his position by 247Sports. Or the possibility that Cameron Martinez ends up on offense in college.

Combined with quarterback Jack Miller — the No. 2 player at his position — the Buckeyes are loading up for a tremendous passing game in the 2020 class.

When you add in Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams from the 2019 class, some are now wondering if there would be enough footballs to go around should all of these names fall into place.

The answer here is similar to what Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson says about defensive linemen — you can never have enough.

The Buckeyes can never have enough elite pass catchers on the roster because the key to a relentless offense is to have no drop off when players rotate in — and in an up-tempo offense, they have to rotate in.

When Buckeye fans look back at the 2014 national title season, they remember the impact created by Evan Spencer, Devin Smith, and Michael Thomas, but they were only half of the six receivers who rotated in. The others — Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, and Corey Smith — played just as much.

Ohio State had the same “starting six” in 2017 and 2018. Parris Campbell and KJ Hill co-existed perfectly well, as did Johnnie Dixon/Terry McLaurin and Austin Mack/Binjimen Victor.

Ryan Day isn’t going to ask three receivers to run all over the field all game long in an up-tempo offense and not give them a break. Fresh players make plays. Tired players make mistakes.

So how will Ohio State have roles for the possible six receivers that they are looking to sign over the last two classes? The same way they’ve done it for most of the decade — by sharing the load.

In a couple of years it could be something as simple as Gee Scott and Julian Fleming at the X, Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams at the Z, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Mookie Cooper at the H.

In other words, this is the kind of problem that coaches work pretty damn hard to have.

Solving it is the fun part.

 

[Julian Fleming header photo courtesy Julian Fleming / Twitter. | Ohio State Recruiting]

4 Responses

  1. When you lose your 3 most veteran receivers 2 years in a row, these are the guys you need to bring in, to not skip a beat. I’d say hartline has taken recruiting up a notch, and it wasn’t too bad before. With injuries and some reaches/misses, you have to strike while the iron is hot.
    Things look good for next year too, with 2 vg ohio players, and the qb’s teammate too.

  2. If no one has every seen Jack Miller toss the ball around the yard, I’d encourage them to do a little research. The kid is a machine delivering the football. Then? Turn your eyes to the mother load of offensive linemen and TE’s, on, and set to be on the roster for the foreseeable future. LORD have mercy. That’s not even talking about the Ohio State stock and stead at runningback, which is loaded and getting even better with new reinforcements! For those Big 10 programs (snickering toward the north) who are tired of Buckeye this and Buckeye that, reigning monsters of the Big 10 and the CFB world? Take a gander at the beast already assembled and BEING assembled in Columbus.

    Knuckleheads pointing out that Ryan Day is a first time HC. Maybe they missed the fact that it was Ryan Day who was the head man to open fall camp last year and developed the first 3 games last year. And he did it with a horrible defensive scheme and poor defensive position coaching and coordination.

    The offense is staged for a run of dominance maybe unmatched in Big 10 history, if not nationally, and the receiving corp and passing game is a huge part of that. Opponents better start stock piling DB’s and linebackers or they’ll have their legs run off of them before halftime of games……….and that’s before the Buckeyes unleash the depth chart. IF that offensive line develops in the manner that it looks like on paper, scoreboards are going to ring and light-up just like a pinball machine. Running backs are going to have the 4th quarters to build stats and set records in.

    I smell a dynasty brewing in Columbus and DAMN but it smells good.

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