Ohio State's Wide Receivers Lack Experience, Not Talent

Ohio State's top three receivers from 2016 are gone, but there's still plenty of talent at the position in Columbus.

In 2016, Ohio State's three leading receivers were Curtis Samuel, Noah Brown and Dontre Wilson.

Samuel led the charge with 74 receptions for 865 yards and seven touchdowns. Brown had 32 catches for 402 yards and seven scores. Wilson chipped in with 27 catches for 252 yards and five trips to the end zone.

On March 21, the Buckeyes practiced for the third time this spring, and the third time without Samuel, Brown or Wilson. The first two of those three opted to leave early for the NFL, while Wilson was a senior last season.

Ohio State's leading returning players in terms of receptions are tight end Marcus Baugh (24 catches, 269 yards, 2 TDs) and running back Mike Weber (23 receptions, 91 yards). You have to go all the way down to sixth on last season's stat sheet to find an actual receiver – K.J. Hill, who caught 18 passes for 262 yards and one score.

That said, new Ohio State quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, who never worked with Samuel, Brown or Wilson, has come away impressed with the Buckeyes' receiving corps early in spring drills.

"They’re tough, they’re hard workers and they’re talented," Day said March 21. "I can’t wait to see these guys at least because a lot of people don’t know about some of them."

Day specifically named Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell, Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack and Hill as players he has been impressed with so far in practice.

Hill, Campbell and McLaurin were both heavily featured in Ohio State's wide receiver rotation last season, but they combined for a total of 42 catches. As for Victor and Mack, who were both true freshmen in 2016? Victor had four receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown while Mack had just two catches for 15 yards.

Despite the lack of experience from the group, though, Day said he expects big things going forward.

"These guys are the next guys in line," he said.

"These are the guys who are capable of playing at a high, high level.”

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