Ohio State's Football U: Wide Receiver

Ohio State football boasts some of the best players in the sport's history at multiple positions. We've given the Buckeyes the deserving moniker of Football U and move on with our break down of the best positions in program history today with wide receivers.

This week we are running through the various majors of study that makeup Ohio State’s Football U. Schools around the country lay claim to various position groups, adopting the monikers of Linebacker U or Running Back U, but Ohio State possesses such a rich depth of talent in its years of football excellence that it makes more sense for the Buckeyes to be dubbed Football U.

With President Woody Hayes and Provost Urban Meyer leading the university, we take a look at each different college of study. We got things started with the College of Running Back Monday and today we move on to the College of Wide Receiver.

Program Overview
Unlike many of the majors at Ohio State’s Football U, the Buckeyes run of dominance at wide receiver is more recent. That is, in part, because of the ground and pound nature of the sport around the country and especially in the Big Ten through the 1970s, explaining the absence of an OSU wideout in the College Football Hall of Fame. Still, the Buckeyes boast an impressive list of alumni headlined by 1995 Biletnikoff winner Terry Glenn and featuring a total of three All-Americans and seven first-round draft picks, all coming since 1995. Still, one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history was a first-round pick out of Ohio State in 1964 in Paul Warfield. While the College of Wide Receiver is one of the newest additions to Ohio State’s Football U, it’s stocked with some of the greatest players in Ohio State history.

Dean: Cris Carter
While Carter is not Ohio State’s Biletnikoff winner, he may have won the award had it existed in 1986. A star from 1984-86, Carter peaked during a junior year that saw him haul in 69 passes for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns, marks that ranked sixth, second and second in the nation for the 1986 season, respectively. He was a first-team All-American that season and his 69 catches and 1,127 yards are both still the third-best season in Ohio State history.

Over three seasons in Columbus, Carter was remarkably consistent. He caught 168 balls over three seasons, the second-most receptions in school history while his 2,725 career receiving yards are fourth-best in the Ohio State record books. He averaged 4.5 catches a game during his career, the second-best mark for a Buckeye.

Had Carter played his senior year in Columbus he would likely top all of the school’s receiving records, but he signed with an agent before his senior season making him ineligible for competition. As such he was relegated to the 1987 supplemental draft and was a fourth-round selection of the Philadelphia Eagles, likely costing the Ohio State College of Wide Receiver another first-round pick. He is unquestionably Ohio State’s most successful professional wide receiver. He remains third all-time in NFL receptions with 1,101 and fourth in touchdowns with 130. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

Tenured Faculty
Terry Glenn: The only Ohio State winner of the highest wide-receiver specific honor in college football, nearly all of Glenn’s production came during his historic 1995 campaign. Glenn caught 64 passes for 1,411 yards and led the nation with 17 touchdowns. Those 17 scores are still a single-season record at Ohio State, though they were the only times he found the end zone in his career. The 253 yards he amassed against Pittsburgh that year still stand as a Buckeye single game record.

Originally a walk-on at Ohio State, Glenn parlayed his All-America junior season into a payday as he was selected seventh overall in the 1996 draft by the New England Patriots. He finished his 11-year pro career with 593 receptions for 8,823 yards and 44 touchdowns.

David Boston: If Glenn or Carter are second in the Ohio State record books in a category, it’s likely that Boston is first. A star from 1996-98 he remains the most prolific receiver in school history, topping the record books in career receptions (191), receiving yards in a season (1,435), most 100-yard receiving games (14) and career touchdown receptions (34). His 2,855 career receiving yards were the best mark in program history when he graduated and he remains second all-time despite playing just three seasons. He was an All-American following the 1998 season.

Boston’s college success did not translate to NFL stardom. He was the eighth overall pick of the 1999 draft, selected by the Arizona Cardinals. He did earn a Pro Bowl nod following the 2001 season, his second-consecutive 1,000-yard season. Boston finished his six-year NFL career with 315 receptions for 4,699 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Joey Galloway: The Buckeye who passed the torch to Glenn was a star in his own right, as Galloway dominated at wide receiver for Ohio State in the early 90s. his 11 touchdown receptions in 1993 tied a then-Ohio State record and he finished with 19 in his career, good for sixth all-time. A versatile player, Galloway also scored four rushing touchdowns in his career to go along with one kick return score. He finished his career with a gaudy 17.5 yards per catch average and 15.7 yards per touch.

The No. 8 pick in the 1995 draft by the Seattle Seahawks, Galloway played in the NFL for 16 seasons and finished his career with 10,950 receiving yards, 31st all-time. He hauled in 77 touchdowns over his career and scored five times on punt returns.

Michael Jenkins: Not as flashy as Glenn or physically dominant as Boston, Jenkins was the model of consistency for the Buckeyes from 1999-2003. A key cog in the 2002 BCS National Championship team, Jenkins hauled in 61 receptions that season (fifth all-time) for 1,076 yards. His 165 career receptions are the third-most among Buckeye wideouts while his career mark of 2,898 yards is the best in program history. His game-saving touchdown reception against Purdue during the perfect 2002 season is one of the more iconic moments in Buckeye history.

Jenkins was the 29th pick of the 2004 draft by the Atlanta Falcons and spent 10 full seasons in the NFL. He finished his career with 354 receptions for 4,827 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Adjunct Professors
Santonio Holmes: A redshirt player during the 2002 national title, Holmes took the wide receiver torch from Jenkins after one year playing alongside him. A star from 2003-04, Holmes finished his three-year career with the fifth-most receptions in school history at 140. The 224 receiving yards he amassed against Marshall in 2004 is still the second-highest single-game total in school history. His 2,295 career receiving yards are sixth in program history. Holmes was the 25th pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006 and became the first Buckeye to be named Super Bowl MVP, garnering the honor for a game-winning score in Super bowl XLIII.

Ted Ginn Jr.: Together with Holmes, Ginn was part of one of the best receiving corps in the nation and one near the top of the Ohio State history books. Ginn relied mostly on his speed in college and he had plenty to burn. He finished his three-year Buckeye career with 135 receptions (sixth all-time) and 1,943 yards (ninth), but those numbers are underscored by Ginn’s prolific return skills which earned him an All-American nod in 2006. Ginn left Ohio State with 4,068 all-purpose yards, eighth all-time among Buckeyes, and has the second-most punt return yards in Buckeye history with 900 and his six punt-return touchdowns are double the second-most prolific Buckeye in that category. Ginn was drafted ninth overall in the 2007 draft by the Miami Dolphins.

Devin Smith: The most recent addition to the College of Wide Receiver after exhausting his eligibility last season, Smith has something no other faculty member aside from Jenkins has, a national championship. Smith was integral in the Buckeyes run to the title last year, showing his mastery of the deep ball in his final season in Columbus. He averaged an absurd 28.2 yards per catch last season, an Ohio State record, and his career average of 20.7 yards per reception is fourth all time. Smith left Ohio State with 121 receptions for 2,503 (fifth all-time) with 30 touchdowns, second only to Boston on the career list. He was the 37th overall pick in the 2015 draft and will begin his NFL career with the New York Jets.

Current Students
Michael Thomas: Alongside Smith last season, Thomas broke onto the scene with an impressive sophomore season. Thomas, not Smith, led the Buckeyes in receptions last season with 54 catches and was second with 799 yards and nine touchdowns. A consistent, big-bodied target capable of taking a short slant to the house, Thomas should be the No. 1 option on a loaded Buckeye roster next season.

Jalin Marshall: Entering his first year as a full-time wideout, Marshall may be the most versatile playmaker the Buckeyes have. He can be used at any spot in any formation which should allow him to have a strong redshirt sophomore campaign. Marshall was second to Thomas in receptions last year with 38 and third on the team in receiving yards with 499. Expect both of those numbers to be much higher for the 2015 season.

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