Building the Perfect Buckeye Wide Receiver from Stars of the Past

By Jeff Beck on April 21, 2014 at 1:00p

The Buckeye wide receiver corps has been a huge topic of discussion over the past few years. From 2011 to 2014, they’ve gone from comically terrible, to clown show, to serviceable, to a unit many believe could be the breakout group this season.

It’s funny to even talk about Scarlet and Gray wide receivers as a group that could potentially be good because for the longest time it wasn’t a question. For years, the Buckeyes consistently trotted out some of the best wide receivers in the country, a feat that earned them the title, “Receiver U”. Those days certainly aren’t gone, particularly with the talent Meyer has recruited at the position, but it does make one a bit nostalgic for Scarlet and Gray wide receivers of old. So, to cure the wide receiver-itis I’ve decided to jump into the lab to piece together a wide receiver Frankenstein  made from the signature attributes of some of Ohio State’s best receivers of all time.

Hands: Cris Carter

Cris Carter is arguably the Buckeye’s most talented receiver of all time. The ball just had to be in his area code for him to catch it. In just three years at Ohio State Carter tallied 168 receptions (second in Buckeye history), 2,725 receiveing yards (fourth in Buckeye history) and was voted a consensus First team All-American in his junior season (1986) along with two All-Big Ten selections in 1985 and 1986.

No play showcases Carter’s ability to go up and snag it quite like this clip from the 1985 Citrus Bowl. There’s no way this ball was gonna be caught. Until it was. That’s what Cris Carter’s hands can do for you.

Speed: Ted Ginn Jr.

No one, and I mean no one could turn on the jets like Ted Ginn Jr. The kid could flat out fly and fans were introduced to his speed immediately. As a freshman in 2004, Ginn set the Ohio State (and Big Ten) record for punt returns in a single season with four. That record still stands along with his No. 1 ranking in career punt return TDs (6) and No. 2 ranking in career punt yards (900).

Ginn had a knack for finding open space. Once he did, he dared you to catch him. More often than not…he delivered on that challenge. That’s why I’m pulling Ted Ginn’s speed for my Frankenstein. If you have a problem with it. Just take a look at the clip below.

Reliability: Michael Jenkins

If you’re searching for a playmaker in crunch time, look no further than Michael Jenkins. From 1999-2003 Jenkins became the Buckeye’s most consistent safety valve, making game-saving plays on a regular basis. Jenkins was all production no drama. A rarity for his position. The workman-like attitude allowed him to be the Buckeyes’ leading receiver for three years straight, racking up 2,898 yards in his career (good enough for first on the all-time list).

Jenkins comes in at No. 3 in school history in receptions with 165, but fans will always default to two of them. The first is the fourth and 14 catch by Jenkins in Ohio State’s first national championship OT. The other is of course….

Scoring: David Boston

The Buckeye record book reads like David Boston’s personal achievements list. The kid from Texas came in and made a name for himself immediately. When it was all said and done, he tallied 191 receptions (first all-time) , 2,855 receiving yards (second all-time), 85 single-season receptions (first all-time) and 34 career receiving TDs (first all-time).

If you break that scoring down by game, Boston was averaging nearly 6 points per contest. That means he was good for a TD every Saturday. That’s what we call finding the end-zone folks, and here is one of his most famous goal-line moments.

Ability to make Regis Philbin look like an idiot: Terry Glenn

Last but certainly not least we have Terry Glenn. Glenn came to the program as a walk-on in 1993 and had a less than stellar first two seasons, catching a total of 15 balls for 266 yards. But, a switch flipped for Glenn in 1995. The junior found his groove and never looked back putting together one of the finest single seasons in Buckeye history. When it was all said and done, Glenn had 64 receptions for 1,411 yards and a school record 17 TDs. While Glenn was consistent all year, a great deal of that production came against Pittsburgh, when he went off for 9 catches, 253 yards and 4 TDs. While that game was certainly his most memorable, no single moment in his career is more important than the time he put Regis Philbin in his place. Take it away Terry.

The Buckeye wide receiving corps has a long way to go to reclaim the Receiver U moniker, but all signs point to a significant rise in that unit’s production. Meyer and wide receivers coach, Zach Smith are working hard to get their boys in a solid place come September, but it doesn’t seem like the formula should be that difficult. Simply Frankenstein together a player with Carter’s hands, Ginn’s speed, Jenkin’s reliability, Boston’s scoring and Glenn’s ability to publicly humiliate talk-show hosts. You see? Was that so hard?


Comments Show All Comments

MikeNugents BigToe's picture

Not quite as reliable as Michael Jenkins... But Anthony Gonzalez had his moments too for Ohio State 


"Remember that 55 yarder against Marshall?" -Not Mike Nugent

+19 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

All of the upvotes. 

Floyd Stahl's picture

And the long touchdown at the beginning of the 2004 Game.

+1 HS
DC-town's picture

Head on his shoulders: Anthony Gonzo or Dane Sanzenbacher

'Piss excellence' -RB

+7 HS
Denny's picture

I would much rather have their blue-collar nature, grit, or scrappiness tbh


+7 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Not to mention they have very deceptive speed.

Carson's picture

Let me mark that space on my White Athlete Superlative BINGO card....

+2 HS
Jeremypreemo81's picture

Ppl shouldnt leave Hartline out either.  Dane, Gonzo and Hartline...i'd be thrilled with any of the 3 on my team.  They are without a doubt the most reliable wideouts we've had IMO

+1 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

If I would take any of those traits for one of this years players, it would be Carter's hands. They were spectacular!

I would put a bet down on either Dontre (due to position and expected use) or Mike Thomas (due to his playmaking ability) as the two guys who could meet these expectations. I really think Dontre will get as much use as Philly did last year (his 60 plus catches were no joke). I think Thomas could be a mixture of Carter and Jenkins. I just hope I am right!


I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

+2 HS
OSUpawn's picture

I love watching old clips of our Great Buckeyes

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

+3 HS
sarasotabcg's picture

Ginn, Galloway and Carter had long NFL careers for a reason. (Ginn's still playing of course.) Some way some how, there's gotta be room on this list for Galloway.

+5 HS
Codeezy's picture

Absolutely. Should have had a section for punt returns atleast to put Galloway on there.  And then maybe Dane for route running and Posey for throwing out of reverses. Dude had a good arm haha. 

+1 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

X-Box ability: Duron Carter.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

OvalBeachBum's picture


"Well, thats just like, your opinion, man."  -The Dude

+1 HS
DoubleB's picture

Nothing brings a smile to my face quite like Holy Buckeye.


+6 HS
joel121270's picture

Yeah, that one never gets old kept the season going...I think Jenkins 4 and 14 was the ultimate...I had already resigned the game as a loss...thank God I have this bad habit of watching until it's over (not over til it's over)

+1 HS
MacG91's picture

Maybe Dane's ability to be in the right spot all the time or Santonio's route running? Great article tho, It would be neat if you did every position. 


+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Rhodes scholar ability - Mike Lanese

+2 HS
dcbucks's picture


+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Could also add route-running - Cris Carter

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

d1145fresh's picture

Name that Beth Mowins completely butchers every time: Frank Epitropoulos.

+3 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

Beth struggles with simple names like Rod (jones) Smith. It doesn't have to be a hard name for her to screw it up!

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

shamgod's picture

Galloway had to be faster than Ginn.

+3 HS
Curt Heinrichs's picture

Maybe a more accurate descriptor would have been Ginn's quickness. After a cut, he was seemingly at top speed after his 1st step. Unbelievable. 

HattanBuck85's picture

Man, I really think people forget how GOOD Santonio Holmes was for us. I think we has our best WR since Boston. 

"The height of human desire is what wins, whether it's on Normandy Beach or in Ohio Stadium." - Woody Hayes

+5 HS
BGSUBucksFan's picture

I must admit I've never seen the Regis Philbin clip.  Pure gold.  #IsThatYourFinalAnswer

+4 HS
TheShookster's picture

Ability to make Bret Bielema sad: Devin Smith

He ain't even stretch doe!!

+5 HS
ShawneeBuck74's picture

Joey Galloway was faster than Ginn & more clutch than Boston.  I'd have him somewhere on this list. Maybe, brains? That dude just knew how to play receiver.   Tough call though...I love all the guys on this list. 

You win with people. 

9 Units Strong. 


+7 HS
Crumb's picture

Ability to get open Sanzenbacher. It seemed like Dane was always open when you needed him to be.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+2 HS
Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

Joey Galloway ran a 4.18 forty yard dash man. I didn't just make that up either it is pretty widely known. Maybe we could make 2 speed categories and give Galloway first gear and Ginn second? Just irks me a tad seeing one of my favorite WR of all time not even getting mentioned when he is one of the greatest Buckeyes in History.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

+7 HS
joel121270's picture

Joey needs some love here I agree. He prob had a better NFL career than all of those named with the exception of CC.

+8 HS
gumtape's picture

Jeff Graham and Chris Sanders also had better nfl careers than all but cc. But this is a college site.


and where is the love for Paul Warfield? A national championship and some sweet moves. Also remember listening to him on sunday morning wosu rebroadcasts.


High and tight boo boo

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

I think we can all agree that Warfield is the 2nd greatest pro wideout that OSU has ever produced. However, in the college ranks, he was limited by the offense, as he was basically a running back and not a wideout, as he only had 39 catches in college.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

joel121270's picture

That's a hell of a list and I remember watching them all play. Sad to say someone had to be left out but not sure about Galloway being left off the list or Holmes for that matter. Just goes to show what a great core of receivers TOSU had over the years.

+1 HS
Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

Yea we had a nice long run on top flight WRs.What makes it more impressive is we were a running based team. Hopefully we can get back to having a superstar at WR this year,no knock on Philly or Fields I just feel out of the group of Wide outs we have on our roster a couple will develop into Game breakers and more then likely high round draft picks.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

+1 HS
OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Who's the tallest big-time receiver in tOSU history?

Yeti's have feelings too.

WhySoSerious's picture

M. Jenkins.


Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

ibuck's picture

Gene-splicing at University Hospital? Check the NCAA rule book!

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

lamplighter's picture

no love here for Doug Donley? Not as fast as Ginn, but fast and from what I remember pretty good hands

gwalther's picture


Class of 2008

Osurrt's picture

Hahaha....from the way back machine......White Lightening was his nickname I believe. Favorite target of the riverboat gambler (aka Art Schlichter).

+1 HS
gwalther's picture

Haha. Alright, cool. Still not sure he belongs in the top tier of buckeye wideouts, but #respect

Class of 2008

Osurrt's picture

I agree.....why Donley was good. It was another era of college football. I agree with many others, I loved Joey Galloway's speed and his toughness. Joey needs some love as he ain't getting it from ESPN when they partner him with Beth Mowins all the time!

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Let's not forget about Santonio Holmes. he had a heck of a career at OSU also.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

buckeyepastor's picture

Hands, speed, reliability are great.   But what about vision?   We have fast receivers.  We have receivers with good hands.   What we need is for our receivers to know the game and the field and the offense enough to find the openings.   I think about Gonzo and Sanzenbacher who weren't world-beaters but were exceptional at finding or creating space and separation from the defense.   Devin Smith is exceptional at making the big play, and snagging the deep ball when its near him.  Dontre Wilson has the speed to make a short pass into a highlight reel TD.   What we are needing is the guy who, when we need 6 yards, he finds a way to get open 6-7 yards downfield.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

+1 HS
buckskin's picture

Ok, where did Glenn put that switch in the OSU locker room because some of our current guys could certainly use it.  He went from an afterthought to arguably the best receiver in college football that year.  Does anyone remember if he stayed for his senior year; I thought he went pro after that great year.  Too lazy to look it up.

Check out Bo in that picture of Carter against MU.  He's just sitting there in admiration of a great play and a better player.


+1 HS
Bugsyk's picture

No love for the lunch pale man Brian Hartline?  "Spiderman" Chris Vance had some sticky paws:


D. Anthony's picture

Galloway being off any (positive) list having to do with OSU and wideouts is a big over site. Other than size, he almost was the "perfect Buckeye receiver"... 

D. Anthony

+2 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

Agreed.  If not speed, then add "work ethic".  He was blessed with great speed, but that's not the reason he had such a long NFL career.  I bet the dude is still ripped.

+1 HS
Larrinator's picture

Hopefully we will be able to talk about one of the current receivers as being one of the all time greats at OSU in 10 years. 


wyatt's picture

Gary Williams needs some consideration. He was dependable, fast and strong.

JohnnyKozmo's picture

Versatility=Chris Gamble.  Can't even consider a NC in 2002 without him.

Pain don't hurt-Dalton

RoweTrain's picture

Something about those uniforms in the mid 90's that I just love and brings me back to my childhood every time seeing old clips. Would love to see them reappear again in the near future. 

"Just bow up and go out and play." ~ D. Lee

"As it stands right now, I know I am the best athlete in college football." ~ B. Miller

NuttyBuckeye's picture

Jeff - great article and you really did your research!  I cannot argue against any of your picks.  Thank you for the read and the walk back down Memory Lane.  Very much appreciated!!

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture
He only catches touchdowns

Nuff said.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Holy Buckeye = chills. Still.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS