Now that the curtain has mercilessly fallen on the vexing career of Ray Small coupled with the reality that Duron Carter is in need of some freshman forgiveness, might it be time to demand that Taurian Washington and Lamaar Thomas put up or shut up?
In their defense, it's not as if Mr. April and Flash are directly quoted each week as saying they might transfer barring a spike in playing time but that doesn't take away the frustration of hearing these rumblings throughout the season when both have floundered in their admittedly limited opportunities.
Specifically, Washington has received his fair share of love from those who roam these here parts mostly the result of some spectacular spring game stats including a 4 for 92 showing this past season after hauling in a long TD from Joe Bauserman the spring prior. Of course, those efforts proved nothing more than skinny jeaned teasers after Washington started the season with a drop against the Penguins then added a few more in extremely spot duty before going ghost with zero catches on the year leaving the junior at three career receptions against 70 transfer rumors.
Even though many expect Tressel to try and run the Ducks to death, there were still be plenty of three receivers sets so Washington should see his share of snaps. Any chance he steps up and makes a big play or two? If not, are you more than willing to accept Washington moving on or do you like him from a depth perspective heading into 2010? Personally, I've always felt like Grant Schwartz was every bit the receiver Washington is so I'm indifferent on a potential transfer excepting a Rose Bowl blow up.
Thomas is another wild card as he continues to struggle with the transition from high school all-purpose running back to big time college football receiver. He actually regressed statistically as a receiver this year with just one reception after blowing up for three as a true freshman. Though he doesn't possess the prototype receiver's body that T-Wash features, it's likely Thomas will also get his fair share of slot reps against Oregon. If nothing else, Tressel could be more at ease with the fact Flash has seen regular playing time albeit as a kick returner (18 for 376). Again, I ask, if Thomas doesn't do anything spectacular, are you disinterested with whether or not he stays or goes?
Unfortunately, waiting on either of these guys to do something special on offense could be a fruitless exercise since OSU's 106th rated passing attack doesn't usually involve the third receiver beyond window dressing and even if it does, you have to wonder if Tressel won't fill that slot with Brandon Saine now that both he and Boom Herron are healthy or the Vest could even elect to give Jake Stoneburner some looks against Oregon's 37th rated pass defense.
So what say you, will Thomas and/or Washington seize the opportunity and make a big play?