There are roughly 21 players on the Ohio State roster who can catch or carry the football this year, not including the quarterbacks.
Coming up with a list of 20 of them is not difficult.
Only two of those players were left off of this list. The first — redshirt freshman receiver Kamryn Babb — isn’t listed because he is returning from a torn ACL. Expect him to be somewhere prominent on next year’s list.
The second player not on the list is freshman tight end Cormontae Hamilton. There are four tight ends ahead of him, so you can expect him to ease into things with the Buckeyes.
Not many others will have that same luxury.
Before we get into the one-by-one nature of the top 10, we first begin with the guys just on the outside.
(You can find the list of defensive playmakers here.)
20. Jake Hausmann, rJr Tight End
Jake Hausmann is still looking for his first catch as a Buckeye, but is still one of the highest-ranked tight end recruits in the Big Ten. Ohio State is loaded at tight end, which is going to make it difficult for Hausmann to get as involved as he might like.
19. Steele Chambers, Fr Running Back
Not coming in early has put Steele Chambers a bit behind, but he may be the Buckeyes’ biggest running back. Opportunities will be scarce this season, but he’ll have three early games in which to show what kind of plays he can make.
18. Jameson Williams, Fr Wide Receiver
Expect Jameson Williams to be higher on this list next season, and if he can showcase his incredible speed early in the season, he may end up being way too low on this list. The depth chart has Williams here, not his ability. He is an explosive receiver before and after the catch.
17. Marcus Crowley, Fr Running Back
Marcus Crowley flashed this spring working with the ones, twos, and threes. Being No. 4 on the depth chart isn’t an ideal position, but he is a hard runner who can break big gains by running through early tackle attempts.
16. Ellijah Gardiner, rSo Wide Receiver
The buzz is starting to grow for Ellijah Gardiner. He arrived as a bit of a project, but according to his teammates, he has done very well over the offseason. He is big (6-3, 205) and fast, and now nearly three years in, he is finally mastering the techniques required to play the position. Can he turn OSU’s 7-man rotation at receiver into an 8-man rotation?
15. Jaylen Harris, Jr Wide Receiver
One of the reasons Brian Hartline moved Austin Mack to Z from X in the spring is because of his confidence in Jaylen Harris at X to help out Binjimen Victor. Harris is the most physically imposing receiver on OSU’s roster at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds. He has played tiny bits his first two seasons, but needs to emerge this season as a red-zone threat and a chain mover. Can he also make plays after the catch?
14. CJ Saunders, rSr H-Back
There are a bunch of catches available this season with the departure of H-back Parris Campbell. CJ Saunders should be one of the beneficiaries. He has a tremendous understanding of what it takes to get open and is a reliable receiver. Saunders’ catches dipped from 17 in 2017 to just 10 last year, but he should at least double that number in 2019. And expect a couple of touchdowns as well.
13. Rashod Berry, rSr Tight End
Rashod Berry is the most explosive athlete of Ohio State’s tight ends and has shown skills after the catch. He can stress a defense before and after the catch. Berry has caught 17 passes for 178 yards and four touchdowns over the last two seasons. There has been so much talk about OSU incorporating a second tight end in packages this seasons. That second tight end may become a significant receiving target.
12. Jeremy Ruckert, So Tight End
When it comes to being that second tight end who is mostly a pass catcher, we are also talking about sophomore Jeremy Ruckert. He will be split out, put in motion, flexed a bit, and maybe even lined up a bit as a fullback. His athleticism makes him a difficult matchup for linebackers, and when he is out in the slot, a nickel back or safety is going to have to deal with his size. Ruckert caught one pass last year. Could he be around 15-25 this year?
11. Luke Farrell, rJr Tight End
Luke Farrell became a larger part of the passing game last season as a redshirt sophomore, putting up 205 yards and a touchdown on 20 catches. He was one of the Buckeyes’ most consistent players this spring. He’ll be on the field more than the other tight ends, but will do more blocking than the others as well. A more successful running game this season could make Farrell a significant option on play-action passes.