2011 Buckeye Preview: WR's

Ohio State will be looking to continue the tradition of excellent wide receiver play in 2011, even with the loss of star Dane Sanzenbacher. Several young players will need to step up, and all are short on experience, but long on talent. Bill Greene takes a look at the wide receiver position.

The loss of Dane Sanzenbacher will be the biggest obstacle for Ohio State to overcome at the wide receiver position in 2011, and the NCAA suspension of DeVier Posey for five games will also add to the uncertainty.

The Buckeyes will look to several younger players to step into the void, most of whom are inexperienced, but talented. Who are the candidates fighting for extended playing time?

DeVier Posey: The five game suspension notwithstanding, Posey needs to take the next step and become a more consistent player. He has been good, but it's time to live up to his potential and become great. FORECAST: Supremely talented, but has not reached his potential as a Buckeye. Loses five games, but can still have a big finish.

Corey Brown: Lots of speed, and tremendous potential, but 'Philly' needs to be more consistent catching the football. Wasn't a full-time receiver in high school, so he should be able to make a big leap with more experience. FORECAST: Brown needs to take the next step and become a consistent number two threat.

Chris Fields: Was thought to be the third wide receiver entering last season, but injuries and the development of Corey Brown, ended that plan. Fields will get every opportunity to grab that spot in 2011, and he will have to hold off the red-shirt freshmen. FORECAST: Fields has more than enough talent to succeed, and he could emerge as a viable threat, especially with Posey out for five games.

Tyrone Williams: 'TY' could be one of the most talented receivers on the roster, but he might be the most raw prospect. With great size and speed, it's only a matter of time before Williams makes an impact in a Buckeye uniform. FORECAST: Keep a eye on this one, because once he gets it, it's going to be impressive.

James Louis: Really came on late in the year, and was quite impressive on the scout team. Louis is similar to Fields in skill set, and could be a factor in 2011. FORECAST: Louis gets his shot in 2011, and he needs to show he's a viable option, especially during Posey's absence.

James Jackson: Hasn't made an impact yet, and it appears he's at the bottom of the pecking order. Jackson will need to make an impact soon, or risk being permanently buried behind a group of younger players. FORECAST: The speed is evident, but the cutting ability is in question. Now is the time for Jackson.

Verlon Reed: Started out at receiver, but seems to be behind, and a move to safety might be an option. Hard to see Reed finding a role at receiver, but he is very athletic, and as former quarterback should know routes. FORECAST: Not ready to make an impact yet. Needs another year to learn the position.

Devin Smith: Would seem to be a red-shirt candidate, but like Philly Brown in 2010, Smith could jump ahead of some older players. Smith is polished, speedy, and has great hands. FORECAST: Don't be surprised to see Smith on the field in 2011.

Evan Spencer: Spencer would appear to be slightly behind Smith, according to film, but the son of a former Buckeye great looks impressive. FORECAST: Like Smith, Spencer could be a candidate to red-shirt in 2011, but don't be surprised to see him on the field.


JaJuan Story: Currently committed to Florida, but Story will visit Ohio State next weekend. With the uneasiness at Florida, have to think Story is serious about the Buckeyes. FORECAST: Story fits the Buckeye wish list as a bigger, physical, wide receiver, and they will press him hard.

With a new quarterback replacing Terrelle Pryor for the first five weeks, and losing Sanzenbacher to graduation and Posey for five weeks, the passing combination for Ohio State will be interesting to say the least in 2011.

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