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?