LB Nick Conner, Gray – It was the first time fans got to see Conner in a game setting, and the early enrollee from Dublin Scioto showed the instincts that made him a Scout 100 linebacker at one point in his recruiting process. Conner was all over the field, making a game-high seven tackles with a TFL, a forced fumble and an interception. He definitely passed the eye test on the Gray squad against the second-team offense playing aggressively and sound.
RB/WR Curtis Samuel, Gray – Samuel showed at times why Urban Meyer has said repeatedly he has to be a 50-plays-per-game type of player, showcasing dynamic playmaking ability out of the H spot. Moved to wideout to improve his overall game this spring – in addition to adding to his skill set so he can play alongside, not behind, Ezekiel Elliott – Samuel often got open and had an all-world spin move that shook three guys at one point. His hands just have to keep getting better as he dropped a few balls, but Samuel finished with three catches for 30 yards.
S Erick Smith, Gray – Two interceptions will do that, and Smith showed good instincts on each, reading Stephen Collier’s eyes and cutting in front of the intended receiver each time. It’s unfortunate for Smith that he’s playing at perhaps OSU’s deepest position with Tyvis Powell, Vonn Bell and Cameron Burrows in the mix, but he’s the kind of dynamic athlete, physical presence and ball-hawking defensive back who might force his way on to the field sooner rather than later.
WR Corey Smith, Gray – Smith was Cardale Jones’ No. 1 target at wideout, catching a pair of long TD passes behind walk-ons but also beating Eli Apple for a long grab on the team’s first possession. Smith had a big finish to the 2014 season but wasn’t always on everyone’s lips this spring; but he showed just good he can be in the spring game. Smith has excellent speed and agility and finished with six catches for 174 yards and two scores.
WR Parris Campbell, Scarlet – Campbell scored on a jet sweep and generally showed good hands and athletic ability out of the slot as the “H” for the Buckeyes. A youngster who arrived at Ohio State at 16 years old, Campbell redshirted a season ago but along with Terry McLaurin – who made a nice adjustment on a long TD grab as well – looks to provide critical depth for the Buckeyes at wide receiver. Campbell finished with five grabs for 56 yards.