Gonzalez Nails Down Spot In WR Rotation

Anthony Gonzalez emerged as a receiving threat late last season, catching touchdowns in the season-ending wins over Michigan and Oklahoma State. He came out this spring and again showed his dependability, catching a touchdown pass in the spring game. Click here for more on this key receiving threat.

As Ohio State's spring practice wound down last week, sophomore wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez had solidified his spot as the third receiver – behind the dynamic duo of Santonio Holmes and Ted Ginn Jr. – in the Buckeyes offense.

Those three will be joined this fall by junior Roy Hall, sophomore Devon Lyons and redshirt freshman Albert Dukes in a receiving corps that could be second to none.

"I thought those guys all played well," OSU coach Jim Tressel said. "Tony Gonzalez, when he really stepped up at midyear, we thought that helped us. He continued to do that in the spring. He had an excellent spring, period."

Gonzalez was asked if there would be enough passes to go around with so many receivers vying for attention.

"If we win games, everybody is happy," Gonzalez said. "I don't care if I catch one ball, zero balls or 100 balls. As long as we're winning, I'll be as happy as I can possibly be."

Gonzalez, a product of Cleveland St. Ignatius, talked about what the Buckeyes need to do to put themselves in contention in 2005.

"I just think we all need to come together as a team," he said. "It sounds like a cliché, but it's true. If you don't trust everybody out there with you, it's not going to work. You build that trust and you build that commitment to each other."

Gonzalez ended up last year with eight catches for 179 yards. He had touchdown grabs in the wins over Michigan and Oklahoma State.

"Just playing on this team brings a lot of responsibility," he said. "I know I have to do whatever I can to help this team. Whether that's leading or whatnot, then that's what I have to do."

Gonzalez had four catches for 33 yards in last Saturday's Scarlet and Gray Game. That included a 6-yard touchdown grab from Todd Boeckman for the Gray squad, which won 19-6.

"We were down there in the red zone and they were sort of running a zone," Gonzalez said. "I saw Todd scrambling a little bit. I think he read to the opposite side first. He came back and at that point it's just sit down, find a hole and look for the ball. He made a real nice pass on the run and I was lucky to be open in the back of the end zone."

Quarterback Troy Smith was asked what makes Gonzalez a good receiver.

"Speed, speed," Smith said. "A lot of people don't think he's as fast as he is and he surprises guys. Tony is a great kid. He's a great guy. He's a Cleveland guy. He's up front and a hard working guy. He's very humble. He puts everybody else before himself."

"He is a good, honest, humble guy. Sometimes he levels guys out when he sees them doing things wrong."

Smith is glad that Gonzalez has emerged to give the Buckeyes another strong receiving threat.

"It's huge," he said. "It's always good to have somebody else and you don't have to depend on just one or two guys. His emergence has been big. He's asserting himself as a weapon on the field. He is probably the second fastest guy on the team. He brings a lot to the table.

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