Ohio State’s spring practice is around the corner. The Buckeyes have already started training for the 2016 season and the team will begin spring practice March 8. With nine underclassmen and a number of seniors departing from the 2015 team that went 12-1, there are plenty of questions surrounding the 2016 Buckeyes. BuckeyeSports.com is taking a look at some of the young players suiting up for Ohio State this spring and what they have to gain between now and the Spring Game on April 16.
What Brown Has Done: As a freshman in 2014, Noah Brown saw action in 11 games but touched the ball just twice during the Buckeyes championship season, catching one pass for nine yards and rushing the ball once for a loss of four yards in the Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. Brown was slotted to be Ohio State’s No. 2 or No. 3 wide receiver heading into the 2015 campaign before a broken leg just more than a week from the season opener cost him the entire season. Brown’s absence left the Buckeyes with a lack of true wide receivers as Jalin Marshall became Ohio State’s clear No. 2 receiver behind Michael Thomas.
What The Coaches Are Saying: “Oh, he is a tremendously dynamic football player. You talk about special teams this is a guy who was gonna make a real difference and a real impact in special teams. So he is a big, physical receiver who can play both inside and outside. He’s got great down the field speed and also short space quickness. But those guys that are that big and that strong are very challenging to deal with for any corner or safety. And so he is gonna have a phenomenal career at Ohio State. It’s very unfortunate that he’s hurt but he’ll be dynamic.” – Kerry Coombs
Why Brown Is Important: If healthy, Brown will likely be the No. 1 receiver on a team that all of a sudden does not have a lot of experience at the wide receiver position. Last year, the Buckeyes lacked a skilled perimeter blocker, and Brown brings that blocking presence on the edge which is so vital to an Urban Meyer offense. On a team loaded with shifty H-Backs, the Buckeyes need to have a consistent X/Z receiver, and if his leg is recovered Brown is no doubt the leader to be that guy.
What Brown Has To Gain: Brown seemingly already has the respect of his teammates and coaches as a player who is ready for a breakout season. However, the only way he can to that is to get healthy and get on the field. With a productive season as Ohio State’s No. 1 wide receiver, Brown could even make a push to be a NFL draft selection in 2017. While that seems unlikely now, a healthy Brown could very well lead the Buckeyes in receptions and that combined with the fact that the Buckeyes have a healthy J.T. Barrett at the helm could really improve his stock at the next level.
Check out more from our series on the most interesting young Buckeyes: