Bank Blog: Early Look At The Wideouts

Ohio State is closing in on the season opener, and fall camp only has one more week to run. Who has stood out at this early point in time? Let's look at the wide receivers.

THE STUD: Might as well get this out there now, because this group is not going to have 100% of Curtis Samuel. The Dunn dismissal has Samuel splitting time in the runningbacks room, and he will probably play more there than he will at wide receiver. This hurts this particular group, because if you took a vote of the players and coaches as to who is the best pure football player on this team, Samuel might win. He has been good his whole career at Ohio State, but Samuel has flashed out of his mind so far in camp to date. He took no hits in the recent scrimmage because he has nothing to prove to anyone. He just might end up as the leader in total yards from scrimmage this season. 

THE VETERAN: Seems odd that Dontre Wilson is the young pup anymore, but every rep Samuel gets at runningback puts Wilson on the field at the slot. Wilson could also get carries at runningback. He is playing with a sense of urgency that hasn't been there since he arrived a few years ago. There are players here as talented as he is, and he knows this. He needs to rely on his experience and outwork people to get on the field. So far, so good. For me personally, I need to see it myself.

THE KID: Torrance Gibson is still not quite there yet, but he is slowly getting to understand the wide receiver position. He was his own worst enemy last year, but he seems to be grasping what they need from him. He is THE most talented wideout in the room, but he's way behind fundamentally because he has not played this position. Is he ready to start and contribute today? No. Will he be able to shock Oklahoma? Possibly. 

THE YOUNGER KID: Austin Mack is going to play, but he is probably not quite ready for starter minutes yet. They like him a lot, but there are others with more experience that are ahead of him. Bin Victor is not physically ready to play yet, but they like him a lot. 

THE SHOCKER: Johnnie Dixon has been playing like the player they thought they were getting out of high school. He is physically sound right now, and flashing enough to be in line for starter minutes. Can he stay healthy? We can't answer that right now, but through yesterday he has had a great camp to date. He is TOTALLY dependent on being healthy, but if he stays at 100%, he's going to be out there. This is a bonus for the Buckeye team. 

FINGERS CROSSED: Paris Campbell has flat out speed, and he is now 210-pounds. He has caught EVERYTHING so far in camp. Can that continue? If it does, he's going to get a lot of playing time, and he is clearly in the mix to start. 

GOT HANDS: Another one that's healthy right now is Noah Brown, and they think he can be the Mike Thomas of this year's squad. He catches everything in his area code, and has the best set of hands on the team. In line to start. 

LAST GO AROUND: The clock is clearly ticking for Corey Smith, and he needs to step it up tomorrow or risk getting passed by. He has the talent. And he's healthy. It's time to put it together and be the player he was down the stretch two years ago. In the mix for sure.

DON'T FORGET HIM: Terry McLaurin is forcing them to consider him for playing time with a great camp so far. Was thought to be behind a lot of the above names, but he is running with the ones on occasion and making the most of his time. 

SUMMARY: Ohio State will have nine practice sessions over the next six days, with another scrimmage next Saturday. The next week will separate the men from the boys. I think they will have a working number of six wideouts that contribute, and no more than that. As you can see there are more than six guys fighting to be in that top group. This is a very, very inexperienced group overall. There are also too many receivers on the roster, so there aren't going to be reps to go around once the season starts, so this week will determine some career paths. Ohio State will break camp next Saturday, and then it's time to laser focus on the season, so this week is it for tryouts. 

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