Ohio State’s Wide Receivers Aren’t Defined By Their Speed Anymore

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O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

I like the shift to bringing in true receivers who can come in a contribute without having to learn the position for 3 seasons. But it still helps to have a couple guys who take the top off.

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bbb's picture

While it's good to have players with speed, I think Urban sometimes prioritized speed a bit too much. Even so, it's not a bad strategy per se, it just win many titles these days. Football is constantly adapting, and Meyer's UF strategy, while it was a major innovation that changed the game forever, is easily stopped now. Time to move on and not use offenses that are predicated on getting to the edge 0.1 seconds faster

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NorthBerg's picture

I would rather the team have players with the skills of CJ Saunders or Hunter Renfo over the speed of say a Jalin Marshall. #fundamentalsmatter.

Too much time spent at the North Heidelberg rather than the classroom. SSD 68-72

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Berg2004's picture

I’ll respectfully disagree. Saunders and Refrow are good role players, but you aren’t winning or competing for titles with a roster full of role players.

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crusher's picture

Speed is nice but it didn’t help a lot of the fast “athletes” that were converted to receivers get open very often their first couple of years. Many times JT struggled because the WRs weren’t getting open. Last year we saw guys running wide open constantly. In part it was because the offense was more pass oriented but also because guys were running super crips routes. I’m happy to see true WRs being recruited. 

Don't listen to Freddy P. Soft

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PhillyNut's picture

Barrett lacked the confidence and ability to throw to receivers where they were going to be, he always needed to see that they were open before he threw the pass. But by then the defense had time to close.

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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grantlandR's picture

Barrett didn't need to see they were open before he threw in 2014. But after that, he did seem too hesitant. Coaching?

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Moneymike's picture

He wasn't some amazing passer in 2014...he was just young and would let it go a little quicker than he did later in his career.

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

I like the shift to QBs who can pass the ball and not rely on their legs, thereby creating narratives that WRs not getting separation was the problem.

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PapaBucks's picture

If watching the ball doink off James Clark's helmet 2016 vs. PSU didn't convince you that Ohio State's WR play was subpar, nothing will.

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mathandler1's picture

Please do not ignore speed. Still his very nice to take it to the house on a very simple four yard pass.

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43201Indianola's picture

They are all the same Urban Meyer recruits though, even the targets this year were being recruited by Urban.

There is literally no lapse of speed or lack thereof with this team.

This article is silly.

Top of the food chain

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JoeAndSo's picture

as long as they win games I don't care if they all run as fast as Robert Landers.

"¯\_(ツ)_/¯"  - Joey Bosa

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Buckfrombirth's picture

Lol! Having said that, I sure wouldn't want BB chasing me, though!

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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milhouse4588's picture

I've definitely noticed this trend too. But I feel like we still have a solid variety of player types at the WR/H-back positions. Yes, we probably have more big-body, catch everything guys that maybe don't take it to the house from 70 yards out. But we still have those guys.

It's just a natural transition from the Meyer RPO/JT Barrett offense to the RPO/pocket passer offense it sounds like we'll have now. We need guys who can go up and get it every play, and run their routes perfectly.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

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Keze's picture

Give me speed any day , 

Like the saying you can not coach speed.

Speed and being able to be coached is the key IMO.

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

I’m not sure if it’s a shift away from pure speed. Instead I see a shift to natural receivers, rather than convert speed guys into receivers. They will still take fast receivers like Jameson Williams. But I don’t think we will see as many Parris Campbell’s, who need several years to become reliable pass catchers.

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OSU56's picture

Speed, Speed and more speed......gotta  have it....

Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.

 

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ibuck's picture

Great play, yes, but it was accomplished with speed and using good blocking. 

It did not feature great pass receiving.

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

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Kalmar's picture

Catch the ball, follow blockers, positive gains. To break it long you just have to beat people to the spot. Takes brains

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Buckfrombirth's picture

Bingo. Not all NFL receivers run sub-4.6. The best ones use their combined skills to beat opponents to the ball. Enter Coach Hartline.

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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TURD_BUCKET's picture

 Michael Thomas was not the fastest at TOSU, but his success in the NFL is undeniable and the best so far of all Buckeye receivers.

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

A WR that was able to showcase his skills with a true passer as a QB and an open offense where the ball is fed to the “Percy/Curtis/Parris” WR.

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Buckfrombirth's picture

Re: Wilson : “His skill set is off the charts,” Day said in December. “His ball skills, adjusting to the balls down the field, route running ability, length, as good as I've been around.” Thanks for keeping the UFM "Best I've been around/seen" tradition alive, Coach Day!

I survived Cooper, and I hate Tai Streets.

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SaltyD0gg's picture

I love speed, but I welcome guys that have great hands and can run great routes - that hasn't always been the case with some of our lightning fast guys.

Pain of Discipline

Pain of Regret

Take Your Pick

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stubbzzz's picture

We need another Santonio Holmes, who was both. 

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ronaprhys's picture

As nice as it is to have guys that take the top off, you really only need one of those on the field at a time.  The others take different routes and it opens up and exposes the secondary.  The key here is for them to actually catch the ball and move the sticks.  As they do that reliably, it pulls defenders out of the box, which opens up the running attack.  Alternatively, you can use the run to set up the pass - but either way, those receivers need to be exactly where the QB expects them to be and then they need to catch the ball.  Speed helps with that, but it's not the end-all be-all.  Run a crisp route that puts the defender at a disadvantage, then block them out to make the catch - past that, YAC, baby.

'97 - Molecular Genetics

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SantaBarbaraBuck's picture

To me, route running is EVERYTHING. I’ve seen average athletes dominate games at every level because they truly know how to get open. 

"Man I wish everyone stop saying I beat a kid in the hospital 91-35.... It was 98-35, had 91 with 1:26 left in the 4th"
- Cardale Jones

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brothadudeguy's picture

There definitely is a noticeable change in recruiting from speedy guys to more pure receivers. I think this is the Ryan Day effect. In Day's offense the passing game is featured a lot more than Urban's offense. This requires more consistent route running and catching ability. This Day guy seems to know what he's doing. At least it makes sense anyways. 

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

Day’s offense also requires a true passer.

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Trebor40's picture

A side effect is that these guys are more likely to hold a coach like Hartline in high esteem as they value skill over speed to get open and Hartline can elevate their skill! 

Then Day will allow their skills to be used in his style of passing attack! 

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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QuadCitiesBuckeye's picture

Speed is great but the ability to gain positive yards and move the sticks by catching the ball is even better

Shandy is not beer

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ibuck's picture

 the ability to gain positive yards and move the sticks by catching the ball is even better

Yep, running the route past the mark to be gained is a key to success. It's frustrating to watch a pass be completed but end up a yard or so short, so we punt.

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

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BucksHave7's picture

Lock up Hartline!!!   Great Coach in the Making.

BucksHave7

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Steelydan54's picture

Part of the difference is who is recruiting the receivers. Zach Smith had a stopwatch.....  Brian Hartline has a stopwatch and years of NFL expertise at spotting and coaching actual receiver talent. We may be a bit slower overall at receiver, but we are making that up in route running, positioning, etc....

Steelybuck54

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tcm1968's picture

The "problem" Urban had at times was forcing speed and size. We missed out a bunch of REALLy talented kids because they didn't meet his height or speed requirements. Speed is nice but the NFL is LOADED with guys who can't break 4.50 or even 4.60 40s. Tom Brady will go down as the GOAT tossing the ball to average speed receivers. Still comes down to execution. 

Having said that I do like the idea of sort of just a little forcing one speed guy. It makes everything underneath so much easier when you got a guy that can go over the top. 

Go Bucks!

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Boom777's picture

As they did under Urban Meyer... Day hasn’t even coached a game yet... still Urban’s players 

Wherever you are, there you be!

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stpetebuck's picture

Need someone to post the ubiquitous “Why not both?” Meme 

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OSU56's picture
 
 

Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.

 

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OSU56's picture

No Problem- :)

Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.

 

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Jbucks's picture

As long as the plan is to score quick and often still its fine by me i just want Day to get after these Defensive guys that he seems to be missing on. Its kinda getting a little scary.

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

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gobucks1966's picture

I said the other day there is track speed and football speed. You can be a 4.7 wr and be faster than a 4.3 db. When a wr makes a cut on his route he knows where he is going the DB doesn't and has to catch up. Even on a stop and  go pattern I know when I'm stopping and when I do the db stops too but I'm off and running again while the db is still sitting there. Speed helps in running past a db but if you cover correctly they have to run to you just don't let them run past you. I think it's over rated but it is a advantage at times.

Denny

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2morrow's picture

Great point! A good example of track speed vs. football speed was Kendall Shefield. I can't recall how many times last year he was outrun by an opposing receiver.

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stpetebuck's picture

Funny thing about Sheffield. I kinda feel the opposite. He drew better receivers all season like nico Collins, and was able to track the receiver just fine. But not looking back at the ball (as they were coached)seemed to hurt him the most. 

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SleepyLeviathan's picture

Receivers should be fine. We won't have a burner like Campbell (that type of long speed you don't see often), but we still have plenty of speed in guys like Olave, Gill, and McCall.

That being said, make no mistake. Last years group, top to bottom, is probably right up there with the fastest group of WRs to suit up for the Scarlet and Gray. We had multiple guys (Dixon, McLaurin, Campbell) who all ran sub 4.5s at the combine, with Dixon being the "slowest" at a 4.41. McLaurin and Campbell both ran 4.3s. We probably had the fastest WR squad top to bottom in the country last year. This year will be different, but we've been recruiting more complete prospects at WR over the last few years, and I don't think we have anything to worry about as far as the WR room is concerned for the near future.

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stubbzzz's picture

I would like to see a race between last year’s group and Holmes, Ginn, and Gonzales.   That was an entertaining WR Corps. 

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aerobuck's picture

remember what happened when Ginn went down in NC game?  he was the only guy Florida feared.

look at the rosters of teams that have won NC last few years.   There was a reason Urban talked about "Alabama speed".

We need a couple guys on the roster that bring the extra dimension that the defense has to plan around.

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OSU56's picture

remember what happened when Ginn went down in NC game?  he was the only guy Florida feared.

look at the rosters of teams that have won NC last few years.   There was a reason Urban talked about "Alabama speed".

We need a couple guys on the roster that bring the extra dimension that the defense has to plan around.

X2

Enjoying daily the 62-39 ttun beatdown.

 

HS
Qujo's picture

So this is all part of our learning experience about the new coaching staff. UFM understood to compete with Alabama the Bucks needed to add more speed. Ohio State has/had the speed. Compared to Tressel the UFM Buckeyes had much more speed. Was that the secret sauce to beat Bama and win as Natty? Sure seems it played a part. Is that where RD's head is at? He has never coached in the SEC except as a GA for one year. It's an interesting perspective... new first time head coach, does he understand the national landscape? I clearly believe his X and O's will be phenomenal and he needs to recruit to that. Yet is his knowledge of how to compete on the national stage there? 1000% behind him, this will be a learning experience for all of us. GO BUCKS, Xichigan still sucks!

"Tough times don't last, tough people do" - Gregory Peck

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FloridianBuckeye's picture

Article said it well

Speed still wins games in college football, and it always will. There's a reason why players who run fast 40-yard dash times rise so quickly at the NFL combine.

If you are going to miss, miss on big and fast.

HS