Prophecy: Mike Thomas is Ohio State's Next Star Wide Receiver

By DJ Byrnes on February 19, 2014 at 3:00p
100 Comments

Down the stretch of the 2013 season, Ohio State's wide receivers vanished like a sack of cocaine at Carl Pelini's Christmas party. 

When Michigan State's secondary declared the 2013 Big Ten Championship game a "no fly zone," Philly Brown took to Twitter to inform the Spartans,"We fly whenever we please  ✈." The Ohio State senior was held to a paltry five catches for 53 yards (albeit one for a touchdown). The second most productive wide receiver was Devin Smith, who amassed one catch for 11 yards.

I built paper airplanes in kindergarten that flew better than that.

Philly did produce against Clemson, however. He didn't catch a touchdown, but he did snare eight passes for 116 yards... muffed punt be damned. The problem was Ohio State's second most productive wide receiver was Devin Smith, who had two catches for five yards. 

That production won't get it done at Valdosta State, let alone Ohio State, and it's was a continuation of a recent, troubling trend for the Buckeyes: average wide receiver play.

This didn't used to be a problem. The 2005 Buckeyes lined up a receiving corps of Santonio Holmes, Theodore "Ballgame" Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez. That's three guys who would eventually be taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Unfortunately that was nine years ago this fall.

Since then, it's been a steady trek downhill. Despite Eric Mangini's (assumed) 72-hour methamphetamine bender that resulted in Brian Robiskie being taken in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft, and Brian Hartline miraculously cobbling together a venerable NFL career after being taken in the fourth round of the same draft, there hasn't been much to write home about.

DeVier Posey's promising career was railroaded by poor decisions, dumb associations and draconian NCAA policies. 

Duron Carter, another highly-touted prospect, was too busy partying and playing XBox 360 to ever be troubled with football practice. (Not that I blame him.)

And sure, Dane Sanzenbacher had his moments, but it's a problem when the 5'10" Sanzenbacher is the most memorable wide receiver at Ohio State in recent memory.

Zach Smith, wide receivers coach and the rising recruiting ace on Urban Meyer's staff, is well aware of the criticism facing his dojo, per a recent article by Ben Axelrod:

"You don’t want to take away from what guys like Devin Smith and Evan Spencer did for us this past year or the year before, but at the end of the day we got better and were a better unit, but we’re still not where we need to be. There’s not a, ‘Behind Devin’ or ‘In front of Devin.’ I’ve got a group of guys that are fighting for spots -- Devin included. There’s not a starter in my room.”

The wide receivers' competition will be one of the more fascinating stories to watch going into spring and fall camp. There's a lot of new talent nipping at the heels of the program's elder statesmen, including Curtis Samuel, Johnnie Dixon, Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith and 6'5" Georgia Tech transfer Jeff Greene. 

“The way that the younger guys developed by the end of the year, I think it’s going to be a dogfight to see who’s gonna start and who’s gonna get the ball.”– Zach Smith

My pick for a breakout year, however, is Cardale Jones' former Fork Union Military Academy roommate, Mike Thomas.

Thomas spent a year in prep school after an industrious high school senior season in 2010 when he led the state of California with 85 catches for 1,656 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Thus far at Ohio State, his accolades include dominating the 2012 Spring Game with 12 catches for 131 yards (he finished the 2012 season with three catches). After a "mere" seven catches for 79 yards (and a four-yard touchdown grab) in the 2013 Spring Game, he was surprisingly red-shirted.

Thomas was subsequently forgotten by most in Columbus until shortly after the loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Fed up, Thomas took to Twitter to vent his frustrations [sic'd]:

"there was 2 people on the field that combined for 200+ plays past 2 games only brought to the table 3 catches 16 yrds ... Is it throwing people under the bus? Or is it telling it how it is? You watch tv you see the same stuff... You just sugar coat it. they are considered starters at Ohio State!"

It was a teachable moment for Thomas, but at the end of the day, he was beat out by the guys he lambasted. 

But that's okay, because failure drives successful people. In fact, it's how people respond to their failures that separates average people from the likes of Michael Jordan or Bill Gates.

Not that Thomas will ever become the iconic athlete of his generation or a computer tycoon, but this is the season we'll see if he shares some of their DNA.

Judging by this Instagram video (warning: football language), he's on the right track:

The last time I saw an Ohio State wide receiver make a play like that — high-pointing a ball and owning a helpless defensive back — was Anthony Gonzalez against that borderline-intramural football team up north in 2005. And yes, for those scoring at home, Mike's Instagram (and Twitter) handle is "cantguardmike." 

Is it arrogant? You're damn straight it is. That's the wide receiver position: arrogance and bravado. Still having nightmares featuring Clemson's Sammy Watkins? He said he plans to dominate the NFL combine. I'll take that over nice guys like Brian Robiskie every day of the week. 

Philly Brown had bravado, but at times it wrote checks his talent couldn't cash. Mike Thomas' talent gives him overdraft protection. That's the difference in the edge Thomas brings to the table.

And in a recent Twitter Q&A, who do you suppose Braxton Miller said he's looking forward to throwing to the most next year?

Suddenly, that instant rapport shown in the 2012 Spring Game doesn't seem so insignificant.

Ultimately, it takes more than just talent and favoritism from the quarterback to see playing time on an Urban Meyer-coached team. Leadership, for one. Not going on Twitter rants is probably up there somewhere too.

Mike Thomas' career is at a cross-roads. The path to the NFL is littered with the corpses of careers filled with untapped potential. But I think Mike Thomas, who came to Columbus via Virginia via the glorious San Fernando Valley, has traveled too far to waste his talents. I think Thomas knows it too.

I could be wrong, but I don't think I am. I think Mike Thomas' selfishness and arrogance is just what the doctor ordered for the Ohio State receiving corps.

Like his uncle Keshawn Johnson once famously decreed: just give him the damn ball.

100 Comments

Comments

Vico's picture

Mike Thomas is from the San Fernando Valley. Anything that comes to The Ohio State University by way of the San Fernando Valley is destined for greatness. That's just a fact.

I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

WhySoSerious's picture

I was born and raised in the San Fernando valley.. So yes your right. Dude is a baller, it's simple he needs to see the field.

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

Furious George 27's picture

What are the odds that they add weight to Jeff Greene and convert him to TE to exploit a mismatch with LBs?

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+2 HS
FitzBuck's picture

Interesting idea but he is already a mismatch vs any corner.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+4 HS
MacG91's picture

I was thinking that exact same thing. Seems pretty reasonable considering the lack of depth after this year. 

Mac..yeah

+1 HS
Killer nuts's picture

I love that Zach Smith says there's not a starter in his room. Competition will bring out the best in these guys

+8 HS
osu07asu10's picture

Sounds like Coach Smith has been drinking Urban's psychological tactics kool aid!

"They don't know what they don't know." - Coach Mick

+3 HS
BigKat45's picture

Nor should there be. Everybody knows the stats from the WRs in the big two Ls. After Philly, there was nothing. We need guys to step up on the big stage. OSU has a proud tradition of WR excellence -- before that sick line-up in 2005 we had Terry Glenn and Joey Galloway and David Boston -- and that's just recently! Don't start nothing, won't BE nothing.

"Well-prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn't win.” - Urban

+2 HS
Nutinpa's picture

And in honor of your avatar, you can replace WR with LBs in your post. Before the "sick" LB corps of AJ, Anthony and Bobby, we've had, Spielman, Gradishar and the list goes on and on.  WR and LB have been 2 gaping holes on this team recently. It's time to fill in the gaps if this team is to be truly taken seriously on the national stage...or heck, just to win the B1G.

cinserious's picture

You mean 1995!

Don't worry, the older I get, the more I get my decades mixed up.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

He correctly stated what he meant. Read the article again.

cinserious's picture

Yep, I misunderstood. DERP! I guess only Glenn would be a '95er anyway. Galloway before and Boston after.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Just think in a couple of years we very likely be discussing which WR corps was better...95, 05 or 15. The 85 duo of Cris Carter & Mike Lanese should be in that discussion as well.

njclebuckeye5's picture

I hope you're right. Mike has the attitude to be great.

But, he's been the big thing in each offseason since he's been here. He needs to prove himself on the damn game field, not just the  Spring game. I really won't pay much attention to anything with Mike until the season.

I hope he does, too, cause he's the kind of guy the Buckeyes need, and it sucks for him that he hasn't really played yet.

Lobs it to the endzone... Touchdown Devin Smith!!

+2 HS
Poison nuts's picture

He needs to prove himself on the damn game field, not just the  Spring game.

He can't prove anything on the field until they put him on the field. I imagine he'll prove something this year.

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

+4 HS
Daddypete's picture

Does it make anyone besides me wonder why UFM would red-shirt him. It was obvois that our talent pool at wide out was questoinable at best and mediocre at worst. C'mon, Mike, work hard and be coachable. Lord knows we need you!

"Stand and Deliver!"

+1 HS
Crimson's picture

I've been betting on Thomas for a while, and this year will be no different.  DJ, good thing you're a writer for the site and not one of us; otherwise, the pack would torment you with "but what has he done on the field?"

+1 HS
omahabeef1337's picture

I'm excited to see how the situation at WR shakes out, but let's not downplay the contributions of Posey and Sanzenbacher. That duo obviously doesn't match the 05 or 06 receivers, but they were very productive.

Side note: This article mentions the 05 receives, but how about those 2006 receivers? Ginn, Gonzo, Hartline, Robo, and Roy Hall. Every one of them ended up being drafted.

+3 HS
Bucksfan's picture

I'll believe it when I actually see it in a real live game.

+7 HS
Chise47's picture

Agreed.

Mike Thomas = Curtis Grant until proved otherwise.

By the way, what are you doing with the same Icon ?

+1 HS
scrotieMcboogerballs's picture

Since when is making a catch in some 2-on-2 drills in off-season practice a sign of a playmaker? I hope you are right, God knows we need a receiver, but I will believe it when I see it on a Saturday.

"Who do you think you are?!?!...I am!!"  -Pete Weber, bowling legend and dominator of the English language

+6 HS
OSU_1992_UFM's picture

I'll bet you that Smith or Spencer wouldn't have caught that ball. I don't want one highlight TD though, I want 6 rec for 90-110 yards 1-2 TD. Like catch a damn slant,button,in,out,fade,screen,something people!

UFM_Renewal

Brandon26841's picture

"I'll bet you that Smith or Spencer wouldn't have caught that ball."

Really? That Mike Thomas catch wasn't even that impressive. I'm sure the guy makes all kinds of spectacular plays in the red zone using his size, but a routine catch like that isn't going to excite me. 

 

Thomas is definitely intriguing considering his skill-set, but like everyone else I want to see production on the field first before I fully buy in. 

+6 HS
OSU_1992_UFM's picture

I also said I don't want just a highlight TD. Give me a solid stretch of games and then we'll talk

UFM_Renewal

-1 HS
osubuck57's picture

My bet is Jeff Greene. Ran our scout team all year, and was Georgia Tech's #1 Wr when he transferred to us. I know Tech doesn't exactly throw it around down their, but can't teach 6'5 either. Big mis-match problems in red zone!!! Rooting for James Clark too, coming  back from injury. Was looking pretty good before he went down.

SCOTTC.

+8 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

I agree. Greene is the only one who couldn't start per NCAA; it had nothing to do with his talent. I hope to see great things out of him.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

I'm a big James Clark fan too! Hoping he comes back strong from that injury - because that kid is FAST.

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

+2 HS
dwcbuckeye's picture

Good article and I hope mike breaks out as well.  But when you stated that he was "beat out by the people he lambasted" I hope that is true, but I have a feeling it is not entirely correct.  I wish it was true that the best 11 start, but I find that very difficult to believe.  Was PItt Brown better then Bell? Wasn't there somebody better than Reeves?  There are countless cases where a player is held back and then gets his shot and does very well.  Did he all of a sudden "get it" or would he have done the same thing earlier?  I don't know.  But, if Mike does have a breakout year this year, I don't believe it will be because he all of a sudden got a lot better.

+1 HS
clogan1032's picture

So you don't believe that the coaching staff plays the best 11 or the consistently best 11?  I'm not sure I can get behind that logic.  

+6 HS
dwcbuckeye's picture

Just to be as clear as I can be.  I don't know.  Certainly not intentionally.  There are so many complexities to the WR position I am sure that I am not aware of.  It could be perfectly reasonable that Thomas just couldn't do it, or not as well as the people he is lambasting.  I don't know.  My comments were not meant to offend or to be THAT conspiracy guy.  Not my style.  But, if Thomas has a fantastic year this year, wouldn't surprise me at all.  leave it at that

+2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

stop with the Vonn Bell should have been starting crap. He had a decent game, not a great game, well after the season and a whole month of extra practice. Yes I think Bell will be a great player and yes he made an amazing INT, but he also got burned a few times and also wasn't prefect. He still has some learning to do and would have made mistakes as well.

and the most glaring example against your argument is Joey Bosa. Its not like the Dline was lacking players to start ahead of him, yet he got on the field.

so just stop with the conspiracy theory of players not getting on the field because of politics. Throwing freshmen out on the field for Michigan, the big ten championship game and the Orange bowl because you think the upperclassmen were not better won't make an instant upgrade. It wasn't the talent on the field, it was the scheme. Whoever was going to be on that field wasn't going to do well playing a soft zone, no blitz scheme.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+6 HS
dwcbuckeye's picture

Not meant to be a conspiracy theory.  Your points are well made, especially regarding Bosa.  Again, I admit to not knowing the innerworkings of these decisions and whether it is up to the position coach to make that call.  If that was the case, there could be some differences in opinion within the position coaches.  Who knows.  We will find out this year about the receivers one way or the other.  Should be interesting.

+1 HS
irishfury's picture

Does Bosa make the field if Washington didn't get hurt?

Brandon26841's picture

Was PItt Brown better then Bell? Wasn't there somebody better than Reeves?

The coaches that watched the players in practice every single day apparently felt like Brown > Bell and Reeves > Apple / Conley / Burrows, and I think they'd know best. There is literally NO reason not to play the best player. Was Bosa a better option than much-hyped, 5-star DE Adolphus Washington? Yes. So he started over him for the majority of the year. Not trying to be a pessimist, but hell... Bell just might be another Pitt Brown for all we know. We literally know nothing about those freshman that were "held back" last year other than their star rankings which mean nothing. 

+1 HS
luckynutz's picture

Eh...Washington was dealing with injuries the better part of the year. And bosa took advantage of the opportunity to get out there and be a consistent force. Notn to mention washington saw more reps at DT due to depth issues caused by the injuries to Schutt and hill. Either way...I wouldnt say bosa took diesels spot. More that circumstances dictated he be out there with washington most of the season.

Dont take whatb I said as saying bosa didnt earn the playing time. Because he did...he was a wrecking ball out there. Just saying washington wasn't ever really 100% from what I saw at any point. Not a knock on bosa...more a defense of washington.

+2 HS
Brandon26841's picture

Yeah, hopefully a fully healthy Washington lives up to the hype this year. I definitely agree that it was hard for him to get into much of a groove last season with the injuries (groin, right? Those are brutal) and the moving around from DT to SDE. 

 

I don't see any way he ever starts over Bosa though, but best-case scenario is he's the 5th man on the D-line next year and comes in and spells Bennett and Bosa at the 3-tech and SDE spots frequently, basically making him a starter. 

luckynutz's picture

As long as injuries dont bite the line this year, I think you will see a much heavier and much deeper rotation this year. And that starters will be starters in the sense they are there for the first play. And be dictated by matchups. I agree that bosa has entrenched himself in the SDE role going forward. Mainly because washington can play inside. Hell, there may even be times you see bosa and diesel inside and spence and marcus on the outside as speed rushers. Im excited to see the possibilities for this line. They've spent the past 3 cycles acquiring a plethora of shiny toys for the d line. The days of one injury decimating the line are over. There are enough bodies to attack from the opening kick to the final whistle.

+2 HS
ktownbuckeye20's picture

This article got me thinking about what is causing what. Are the receivers we have on roster really less talented than what we've had in the past or is it the man who's getting them the ball. Love Braxton, I think he's one of the best athletes in college football but i'm not sure he is getting off his first and second read fast enough and finding the open guy. He seems to spotlight the main route and if that doesn't pan out he turns to improvisation.

+10 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

I think you are dead on.  No one will ever question Braxton as an athlete, and I know Kenny played against some terrible teams, but his reads were way quicker, and actually threw receivers open, instead of waiting for them to clear.  Down the stretch, it was pretty clear the game plan was safe, short passes and read option with Hyde.  That was it.  Nothing down the field.  Was that by design due to lack of talent at WR, or not enough confidence at the QB position?  Only Herman and Meyer can answer that.

+4 HS
Barnsey69's picture

I think it was a combination of all three things you mentioned, with regard to the emphasis on the running game late in the season. And defenses were definitely taking notice. If we can stretch the field a little better this year, and we have the speed to do just that, then Braxton should have more passing options that will work. THEN we will see if his arm is truly up to snuff. Regardless, he is one hell of a play-maker and we need him this year!

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

Squirrel Master's picture

well let me ask you this, why does Braxton have to get to his third read each time? Why can't his first read get open faster more often?

and honestly, late in the season that offense became vanilla anyways. Where was Dontre? How come everytime Eze got in, it was an automatic Braxton run? Let Eze get the ball (seriously, Eze had dozens of plays in the last 3-4 games, no carries).

true Braxton doesn't have the best passing skills but he wasn't the only issue out there. Receivers need to get open or prove to Braxton that they will win on 50/50s. That is why the hope for Thomas is so large, you would think he would win on a 50/50 ball most of the time. If Braxton can believe Thomas will go get it, he might be more free to take the chance.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+4 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

I'm not saying he should have to get to his 3rd read.  With the weapons out there, that should rarely happen.  I think his 1st option is open a lot more than not, but it seems as if he doesn't see it or feel comfortable throwing it unless there is serious separation.  Kenny on the other hand made his reads and let it rip.  There was a throw that comes to mind, I just can't remember which game, that he led the receiver who was clearly covered into the corner of the endzone for a TD.  You never see Braxton make those throws, are really any touch throws.

 

I think its a definite combination of the QB, WR, and play calling.  The percentage each is responsible for is the real question.

Brandon26841's picture

I think its a definite combination of the QB, WR, and play calling.  The percentage each is responsible for is the real question.

Without a doubt it's a combination of the three, but if I had to place blame (and this is just a guess) I think the main issues with the passing game are caused from:

1. QB play

2. Scheme (the only routes these receivers are allowed to run are quick screens and hail mary bombs)

3. The play-calling (it's hard for Braxton to get in a rhythm passing the ball when 80% of the game you're either handing the ball off or running on QB draw plays up the gut)

4. The WRs themselves. I don't think they're world-beaters, but they're not really being put in the best position to succeed / produce with all things considered. 

zebiraross's picture

Couldn't agree more. I was extremely surprised he was redshirted last year.

Zeb

Ericgobucks's picture

I wouldn't necessarily encourage Thomas taking to twitter to air dirty laundry, but I think he's right. I think the receiving corps is in for a major overhaul this year. I like and respect Devin Smith, but he disappears in games, same with Even Spencer. He's a badass blocker, but isn't a big-time threat. I do fully believe that the coaches put the players who give us the best change to win, and sometimes that's attention to detail and consistency. If MT and some of those other young guns get the little details down, I think we will be in for a tremendously exciting year. 

+1 HS
kmp10's picture

It was a teachable moment for Thomas, but at the end of the day, he was beat out by the guys he lambasted.

Vonn Bell, Mike Mitchell, Cam Burrows, Eli Apple, Jalin Marshall, etc were also beaten out by guys who underperformed all year. Tim May was on 1460 today (sitting in for Rothman) and talked a little bit about talented freshman sitting on the bench while upperclassmen played poorly in front of them. He specifically mentioned Vonn Bell and Mike Mitchell. He said, in his opinion, this was due to one of two things: either the player isn't as good as he was thought to be (possibly Mitchell?) or he isn't being coached up (Bell?). Either way it's on the coaches as they've either missed on talent evaluation or they aren't coaching the talent to its potential. May said he believed that the coaches, on defense especially, were coaching scared and simply wanted to get through the season. He cited the Purdue, Illinois, Indiana and TTUN stretch as the worst defensive performance he'd ever seen at Ohio State and was baffled as to why talented young players sat the bench all year when they could have gained valuable playing time in games where the offense simply overwhelmed the opposition. I'm paraphrasing May, but that's essentially what he said. I thought it was interesting coming from someone who's been in and around the program for decades...

+7 HS
OSU_1992_UFM's picture

Bell is the best example, he made the best play for tOSU in the Orange Bowl. Yes, I know Watkins got one on him, but that was Barnetts fault. Just imagine what Bell could have been if given the chance earlier. Suddenly hes not an overwhelmed freshman going against Watkins

UFM_Renewal

+1 HS
dwcbuckeye's picture

Couldn't agree with May's assessment more.  Those games were a golden opportunity for highly ranked but young players to get exposure.  I hope this changes in the coming year.  I think there is also a bias towards playing the players that are upper classman despite their shortcomings.  So, even though the coaches may be faulted for not "coaching up" the younger players, I believe the younger player would have to be at least 20% better than the upper classman to start.  If it is even close to 50/50, the younger player will not play.

+3 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

I wouldn't post May's comments as if he is 100% correct. Maybe both Mitchell and Bell were and are that talented but were a bit more raw than expected which means they just needed a season to get it all together. Sounds like many of the young talent that didn't play started to show signs of being ready but can you really throw a freshman out there against Michigan, MSU and Clemson for their first games? It was insane enough that Bell finally started in the Orange Bowl, and he was good not great.

and May needs to blame the scheme too. It could be possible that Reeves, Pitt and all the others are talented enough but were put in a scheme built to lose. Soft zone and no blitzing when the opponent knows it will get a defense killed.

 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
darbnurb's picture

I do not agree with May's logic and expectations for freshmen.  Let's be honest, how can we evaluate a coach on whether they "coached up"  or poorly assessed talent?  It is easy to choose one of these labels from our hindsight assessment from our couch.  May is giving a false dilemma, meaning he is not even taken into account the many other factors that coaches use to decide who plays and when they play.  

+2 HS
OSUFlash's picture

Mike needs to remember that the season doesn't end after the spring game. He can be a play maker though.

osuflash

dwcbuckeye's picture

This is my point and quite frankly something i don't know the answer to.  If Mike started last year and peformed like Devin or Evan then I think you have a very valid point.  Great in Spring and totally disappeared for the season, particularly in the big games.  But that is not what happened to Mike.  The coaches chose to redshirt him.  Was it because of inferior skills?  If he was given a chance (a'la Bell) would he have performed?  I don't know.  We shall see when he gets in a game. 

Remember Hyde's frustration riding behind whoever during the 2011 season?  To me, he was the most talented RB that year.  He just wasn't given the opportunity.  When his talent was recognized he played nearly every down and produced.  He did not suddenly get better - it was always there.  Play these guys!

 

+1 HS
MacG91's picture

I don't agree with his twitter non sence but I think Thomas will be a stud. OSU didn't have that 6'3 210 receiver that could be physical on routes last year. Looks like a poor mans TO by his build. 

Mac..yeah

+2 HS
BuckeyeNation_330's picture

Funny you say that he looks like TO I think he's built very similar to his uncle Keyshawn Johnson.

"Bleed Scarlet, Die Gray"

buckeyejonross's picture

One of my buddies is a cornerback on the team and says Corey Smith was the best receiver on the team last year, but no one knew until it was too late to burn his redshirt. Both him and Mike being awesome would be awesome.

"You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -William T., Battle of Atlanta, B1G.

+6 HS
BuckeyeNation_330's picture

Mind if I ask who your buddy is?

"Bleed Scarlet, Die Gray"

buckeyejonross's picture

Nik Sarac

"You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -William T., Battle of Atlanta, B1G.

+3 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! You mean The Nik Sarac?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never heard of him.

 

 

-10 HS
buckeyejonross's picture

cool

"You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -William T., Battle of Atlanta, B1G.

+6 HS
mh277907's picture

I hate to ask but is anyone else not all that impressed with that video?

buckeyebobcat

+6 HS
MacG91's picture

I mean it was a pretty nice catch by how he snagged it out of the air and away from the corner but it was just one play... It looked a lot better than having it just fall into his lap or dropping it 

Mac..yeah

BuckeyeNation_330's picture

I'd say what was impressive is his going for the ball and having to turn into an awkward body position to snag it all be it was in shorts and no pads, it's a glimpse of what he can do hopefully it translates to the field.

"Bleed Scarlet, Die Gray"

DJ Byrnes's picture

Not saying it's going to live forever on the highlight reel, but going up like that, with the body control involved to high-point the ball and the concentration required to maintain possession while coming down over top a DB... yeah that's not as easy as it looks, no pads or not.

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

Jbucks's picture

its an okay catch, i like hime going up and getting it... but he alligator armed it which in a competitive game would have easily been broken up... which leads me to my question, who is the corner covering him and why did he allow himself to get stuck behind the reciever and  just stick his arm up? what kinda coverage is that?

Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it-John 1:5 SEC meet Ohio State, Ohio State meet SEC

+1 HS
Brandon26841's picture

As someone that played WR back in the day, nah... it was an extremely routine catch / play. He probably made catches that were 3X more impressive every game during warm-ups. 

+1 HS
BuckeyeNation_330's picture

Corey Smith and Mike Thomas should be the everydown WR's, I've got love for Devin Smith being from the 330 and he has the speed needed in a deep threat but for every spectacular one handed catch he's made there have been several balls that were just drops and after his dismal performances in both the B1G title game and Orange Bowl he needs to either show out in workouts and spring or he should come off the bench. Jeff Greene is going to be a GREAT red zone threat too!!!  

"Bleed Scarlet, Die Gray"

+3 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

In my feeble football mind, Devin would be a perfect guy to rip the top off a sleeping defense (concerned with Smith and Thomas on the outside) via the slot. Just my two cents.

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

BuckeyeNation_330's picture

DJ, I agree completely with that, with his speed in the slot he'd burn just about every safety in a foot race down field.

"Bleed Scarlet, Die Gray"

+1 HS
DeepSouthBuckeye's picture

Bingo. Same reason I put my faster WR in the slot on NCAA 14. LBs and safteys cant keep up...

Loving all things Buckeye from SEC country in Alabama.

"How firm thy friendship....O-HI-O"

+1 HS
Wesleyburgess1's picture

Stop broadcasting the trade secrets to everyone on the internet...Just kidding. That does work quite well. Try a TE out route on madden25. Cannot be stopped if you run a hurry up(Mainly in user vs user).

TraSmith4's picture

Dixon and Samuel are not going to redshirt but let's say both Brown and McLaurin do and that Thomas earns a starting spot... you have to expect some attrition coming at the WR spot! Looking at the depth chart at least 1 guy transfers out in the next 6 months and I would think that we only take 2 receivers max in the 2015 class. That being said both Barrett and Jones should be extremely happy knowing they are next in line at QB because HAVING TOO MUCH TALENT is a very nice problem to have!

+2 HS
BuckeyeRick's picture

I glanced at the picture without reading the title and thought Mike Thomas was being led away in handcuffs. Panicked for a second.

+9 HS
BuckeyeinToledo's picture

^This.

I thought for a second "Oh shit! Now what?!"

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

-Woody Hayes

BuckChoi's picture

Time to translate that talent to the field.  Can't wait to see it

PittBuckeye's picture

So many young guys we're going to be expecting so much from next year.

Scarlet_Buckeye's picture

Thomas damn well better break out next season.

He's dominated the Spring Games and the pre-season camps/drills, but then when it comes time to actually play the regular season, he's been just as "ghostly" as our wr core was at the end of last season, if not more.

And now he's starting to get a little cocky/edgy/arrogant (which, as you said, is good for a wr), but let's at least 'put up' before we start 'jawin.'

+1 HS
DeepSouthBuckeye's picture

Lots of weapons. Only 1 football. Will be very interesting to see how Brax spread's the love, while still getting his.

Loving all things Buckeye from SEC country in Alabama.

"How firm thy friendship....O-HI-O"

+1 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

be nice to see what the guys from the 2013 recruiting class can do.

+2 HS
DIRTYBUCK's picture

I know I am going to get blasted for this but....... our receiving corp looked way better last season when Kenny G was the QB. Watching the game live lets you see the entire secondary (not just the camera view). Many times there were open (WIDE OPEN) receivers at the second and third option. Let's face it Braxton struggles with progressions and reading defenses. I think this why our Number 1 (predetermined read) option is so much better than the next two guys. .... Not lack of talent. You cant catch balls that are not thrown to you

+8 HS
chili96's picture

Brax has gotten better every year. Hopefully, he will continue to do so this coming year and we'll be able to make use of the talent we have at WR.

+3 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

I'm not going to blast you but I will point out that Braxton looked pretty good against mediocre teams too. The receiving corp looked great against PSU, even the TE. I liked Kenny a lot too but he played against awful teams, especially Cal's bad defense who made the whole Pac-12 look like Kenny!

and Devin only really had one big play against Cal. Still goes to the point that outside of Philly, the receivers were underperforming no matter who threw them the ball.

 

 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
D-Day0043's picture

I couldn't agree more. There were times when Miller had 4 receivers open and took off and ran. Herman had a quote about the gameplan in Madison in an article a couple months back, and no one said anything about it but me. To paraphrase, he said that he continued to run against 8 and 9 in the box because he didn't trust the passing game. Granted that was Miller's sophomore year, but you can tell by the play calling that Herman doesn't trust Miller.everyone is in love with the spectacular run - I just want a quarterback that can get the receivers the ball and let them do their job and let running backs do their job. I only want to see a quarterback run enough to be a threat to the defense. I don't want him running for 1,200 yards. Pick your spots to run.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

+5 HS
Brandon26841's picture

Against terrible defenses or not, I LOVED the way this offense looked when Kenny G was at QB for those couple of games. They really spread the ball around to everyone. 

teddyballgame's picture

I'm more worried about the O-Line protection and Braxton making a good throw.  I think we have plenty of good receiving targets now.

+1 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

who is michael thomas?

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

InvertMyVeer's picture

Down the stretch of the 2013 season, Ohio State's wide receivers vanished like a sack of cocaine at Carl Pelini's Christmas party. 

Don't you change, 11W, don't you ever change for nothing!

Football is complicated...

+6 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

It would also help if these guys developed the art of running better routes.  Seems way to often they let the defender dictate the pattern forcing Braxton to check early and not maximizing the play called.

TraptnMI's picture

Right on the money. The problem with Smith, Brown and Spencer, is that they all have no quick change of direction. They all remind me of Brandon Saines strait line speed kind of guys. Be it Thomas is the same way, but being a manchild, he will always be open when he's not open and has the hands and body control that the others lack to come down with the ball.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

Seattle Linga's picture

Mike looks like he's been working out with coach Mick.................

Showing off the guns

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

If any of these WR become as good as Posey, Ohio State will be in fantastic shape.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+1 HS
InvertMyVeer's picture

I like the optimism, and I miss Posey.

 

Football is complicated...

+1 HS
216ToThe614's picture

My reasoning behind why Jeff Green will be awesome next year
 

Might be one of the biggest WR's to come through since Boston

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!
WB

BuckeyeB9B82501's picture

You can have the best WRs, TEs, Slots, RBs(on pass plays) in the world. All those players don't matter a bit if your QB cant get them the ball. WRs and other players will not be WIDE OPEN every pass play. Miller needs to be confident in his abilities. Trust his talent. In order for this O to operate the way it can; the way where no D can stop us; the way to get all this talent that we have involved, Miller has to be able to pull the trigger and throw the bullet and throw the ball with touch when its needed. HE is the distributer; HE has to get all the other pieces involved. We have 2 beasts on the edge (Green 6'5"-Thomas 6'3") and 2 TEs that are "freaks of nature" and countless slot/hybrid guys AND a stable of RBs that are threats in the passing game. Miller has at his disposal so much talent and so much more talent than what he has the last 2 years. He hasn't been able to say the same for what he will have his SR year coming up. No team stopped us last year. We stopped ourselves. And now with even more talent this coming year, this O is going to be scary sick. But its up to Miller to lead this team (his team) to the National Title game. Heck every team that plays us this year, their HC and DC is already having nightmares about us b/c with all the talent all over the field and thats not including when things break down BMs scrambling ability. Who do you try to stop and take out of a game???Mix all of that with a TOSU style D. Look out. But its all up to Miller to pull that trigger and get em all the ball. The present and future look very bright here at TOSU! !!!! :-D GO BUCKS!!!

Buckeye Dynasty starts in 2014 baby !!!!!! GO BUCKS !!!!!!!! O - H - I - O

Shangheyed's picture

WR needs improvement, makes me happy to see the competition and players wanting it... WR must have that "every ball is mine" attitude.

I'm looking forward to see some positive results.  Remember last years WR was a position in crisis, and were better than the year before(Meyers called them out and for the most part responded bfo injury to Brown)... look forward to more of the same, with more diverse targets that have height advantage... 

Spot light is on and glad Thomas is not hiding behind any curtains!

Northbrook's picture

That video shows a nice catch but nothing worthy of the strutting and boasting afterwards. Mike talks a good game, now he needs to deliver. We'll see.

+1 HS
Buc Nasty's picture

WRs just need to focus on keeping the chains moving. Save all the fancy stuff for when we're up by a few TDs.

 

OSU_1992_UFM's picture

Exactly, I would love to see an OSU receiver be able to catch a slant,in,out,whatever 12-15 yards downfield

UFM_Renewal

m5987usus's picture

Jeff Greene will be that Red Zone player that just you throw it up to and he out jumps the cornerbacks

O-H!

razrback16's picture

I look forward to seeing Thomas out there this year. No doubt Spencer & Smith didn't get it done the last several games of 2013.