After Deciding to Come Back Individually, Ohio State Wide Receivers Looking to Improve Collectively in 2018

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Txsbuckeye's picture

Tate is going to have quite an arsenal of weapons to throw to

#Martellisswell

#TheBuckeyesAgainstTheWorld

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Hovenaut's picture

The chance to grow further is there.

I'm hopeful we see this group go from being productive to true difference-makers, consistently, next season.

I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low...

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Steelydan54's picture

So now that they’ve individually/collectively all decided to return, we will see if they can become more consistent and focused in years 4/5 than last 2/3 years. I hope there is a young receiver on the roster that breaks into this party and shakes things up a bit because I’m not yet convinced these guys are our best receivers. It does help that our new QB will have a seasoned group to work with, but I want to see fresh legs on the field. If not, 2019 will see “6 new starters”. 

Steelybuck54

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Nutinpa's picture

I am not necessarily arguing with your point, but who among the "younger receivers" should be playing ahead of these guys?  The only non-starter that I have yet to see drop a pass is CJ Saunders, and heck, I thought he was a walk on?  Bin Victor?  So many high hopes and so many drops.  Would love to see him become the next Michael Thomas or Jenkins on this team, but I am not seeing it.  He would be an afterthought if he were 5-10 instead of 6-4..... or whatever he is.  

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BuckeyeJason'sNation's picture

They were more bad passes last year than drops

BuckeyeJason

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Jay Lawerence's Laugh's picture

I'm sure they all know that catching the ball is a KEY point for the NFL. With that being said, I will assume that the jugs machine will be used daily for hours at a time, coupled with time working with the QBs. 

WR hands are one of the areas that can be "learned" with hard work and dedication. 

Lets hope they are ready and willing to do what it takes to make the change in our weakness.

Ohio, the greatest state in the Union!

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AZ Buckeye13's picture

I don't really understand why there would continue to be route-running mistakes from wide receivers who have been in the program for 3-4 years. Has to be a flaw in the techniques that are being taught. I will be happy if our receivers can go through the next year without dropping wide open deep passes.

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Seattle Linga's picture

Zone 6 is gonna break some records this upcoming season regardless who is throwing to them.

Go get'em Cal Poppy - we are behind you !!

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

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beavis's picture

not regardless - I wonder if they all would have returned if barrett would be back. I have to think the big arm haskins possesses has got these guys very excited. Michigan showed haskins can throw a guy open and can hit receivers in stride - not to mention perfrom on a big stage in a big game - 3 things barrett has always struggled to do.

beavis

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BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

Accountability happens when you aren't gifted a high profile job. Maybe it is time to ask tougher questions. Starts and ends at the top. We got an additional person last year. One who's actually caught a pass. Time to go quickly in "that direction" because we have zero to brag about as a program when it comes to our receiving threat.
Polish your resume Zack because one day you will no longer be carried.

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BuckNutChicago's picture

the Buckeyes’ passing game was still inconsistent, in part of because of untimely drops and route-running mistakes by the wideouts.

"We all felt like we left something on the field last year, which is obvious, you see it," Campbell said

Route running mistakes are mental and dropping passes is physical.  Making both physical and mental mistakes is not a good combination. They have all the potential in the world, hopefully one more year of development allows them to achieve their goals.  

Go Buckeyes!!!

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Buckeye Jack's picture

"Zone6 and Zach Smith really need to step it up!!!"  Bullshit. No they don't. They just need to keep working hard like they always have.

Our receivers are as talented and explosive as any group from any program in recent memory. And, in past seasons, JT had 6 receivers to throw to who were drafted into the NFL. Despite the endless "Zone6-sucks" bullshit narratives, the WR's and Zach Smith were NEVER the problem with our passing game. 

We will have a passing QB this year. One that can make ALL the throws on the route tree. JT was elite in a lot of categories, but passing wasn't one of them. Coach Wilson described JT's passing best as being, "very adequate". 

Our offense in 2018 will be a beautiful thing to watch. Go Bucks!

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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58Buckeye's picture

"Zone6 and Zach Smith really need to step it up!!!"  Bullshit. No they don't. They just need to keep working hard like they always have.

Did you read the article?  

Almost forgot, Did you leave a few letters off your name?

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Buckeye Jack's picture

Did you see the East-West game yesterday?

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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58Buckeye's picture

Did you see the East-West game yesterday?

Did you notice that those receivers were not very good?

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Buckeye Jack's picture

They didn't look good when JT was throwing to them. That's a fact.

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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58Buckeye's picture

They didn't look good when JT was throwing to them. That's a fact.

They looked like all-atars when Ferguson was throwing to them though right?

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

I watched the whole game closely.  

JTB was 5-12, but lead the East to their only TD.  He was throwing more than just the short passes people around here seem to hate. 

What the stats don’t say is the he would have been 8-12 had his WRs NOT dropped 3 passes that hit them in the hands, with perfect timing. 

The narrative changes when you give it the full context. This WRs dropped some great passes from JTB.  

Where JTB struggles, the announcers pointed out, was his willingness to throw outside in single man coverage. He does wait too long for this passes to come open. That will or won’t be coached out of him at the next level. If he can’t release the ball faster to the intermediate/deep outside, he won’t make it in the NFL.

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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BuckeyeJason'sNation's picture

He holds the ball too long

BuckeyeJason

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Etenim's picture

Nice analysis, and pretty much how I saw it. JT split the numbers on a pass to the PSU receiver, who would've scored a TD had he not dropped the ball. Also, JT made a good decision or two to simply chuck the ball out of bounds when there was no option to complete a pass.

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58Buckeye's picture

Did you see the East-West game yesterday?

You might have a leg to stand on if, Ferguson had done any better with those receivers.

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Buckeye Jack's picture

Well let's see who get a ticket to the NFL, JT or those receivers he was throwing to.

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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58Buckeye's picture

 I sure hope your head doesn't explode, If/when JT gets a ticket to the NFL.

I just can't understand how bad your life has to be, that you would read an article stating in their own words their coming back to improve their craft. But you insist it's because JT is a terrible QB. 

You must be a TTUN troll.

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Buckeye Jack's picture

Dan Hope asking undergrads a string of leading questions doesn't create an air-tight narrative from my point of view. 

JT was a damn good running QB who had the good fortune of playing ball with elite Ohio State athletes for four years. He was a decent short-route passer. 

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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GVerrilli92's picture

I've seen it for like 3 years now man and I just don't get it. That is, why everybody jumps on you for providing an opinion that 99% of the objective football world agrees with. JT was a maestro at the read-option, but couldn't always capitalize on the openings downfield that it provided him. AND THAT'S OK. Troy Smith got fat before the biggest game of his career, Boeckmann was as athletic as a 40-year old pool shark, Pryor threw the football like a shot put, Bauserman couldn't handle a pass-rush, and Braxton was like below 30% on his read assignments.

I understand that when you blame JT for Zone 6's lack of production it could ruffle a couple of feathers, but god damn, people see your name and avi and freak out. Like holy shit, it's OK to admit that JT wasn't the best passer in the world people - nobody is saying that he's just like some awful person who goes home and kicks his cat every night.

TL;DR - When talking about hopeful improvement for the WR unit in the upcoming season, it's ENTIRELY OK to mention that our new QB will more than likely have better passing instincts than JT - whose strength was making the correct read in the option game.

Kitties aren't supposed to smell like cigarettes, they're supposed to smell like kitties.

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Buckeye Jack's picture

That is, why everybody jumps on you for providing an opinion that 99% of the objective football world agrees with.

Well said, GVerrilli92. All solid points. ^1 that. 

Over the last few years I've learned that there are only a couple dozen posters who jump all over every poster who disagrees with whatever the so-called-consensus is pitching at the moment. 11W has 10s of thousands of regular readers. So, I don't pay much attention to the relatively few lock-step DVers.

I think a lot of the flack comes from guys who can't accept that JT was good, but was a 2-loss per season QB (because of his passing issues)... and that JT was not a QB who could win a Natty. We've been telling them that for years. They want to blame the passing deficiencies on anyone and anything but JT. Kind of a 'fragile ego' thing, IMO. 

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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GVerrilli92's picture

I think if we had switched to a ground and pound, ball-control offense in 2016 we could have won a Natty with JT as the QB. But that's only because our defense with Lattimore and Hooker forced like 3 turnovers a game. The point remains though, that JT wasn't going to go beat Bama with his arm if we couldn't run the ball or force turnovers - not many could.

JT reminded me a lot of Masoli for Oregon in 2010. During that Rose Bowl I would get so nervous when one of their fast slot guys would come into motion or when Masoli would keep on some type of misdirection option play. But the second I would see Masoli take a traditional drop to pass I felt a sense of relief, because everybody knew their best chance to beat us was not going to be through Masoli's ability to air it out. 

Opponents of the Buckeyes this year (excluding maybe PSU in the 4th quarter) probably felt the same type of relief when JT dropped straight back. He wasn't going to consistently make throws that were just impossible to defend, like Darnold did against us.

Kitties aren't supposed to smell like cigarettes, they're supposed to smell like kitties.

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BuckeyeJason'sNation's picture

Agreed, we lived and died with the zone read, it was JTs strength,we tried working on the passing game too much, he is not a gun slinger.

BuckeyeJason

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BuckeyeJason'sNation's picture

Play all 11 defenders within 5 yards of the line and offense was stopped.

BuckeyeJason

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NeemOSU's picture

Nobody has a problem with you stating the obvious about JTB’s struggles as a passer. The problem is that this is a article focused solely on the WR’s coming back and what played into position. In this article they stated theat THEY, as WIDE RECIEVERS, have things to improve on. Simple enough 

Yet here you come, and somehow completely disregard the article and what the recievers said and instead flip it to JT’s inconsistencies. For a guy who’s been clamoring for him to leave, you sure are obsessed with bashing the kid.

I for one cannot wait to see JT in the NFL. I will gladly serve you crow then.

"Go out there, make plays, they'll remember your name forever. FOREVER!" - J.T. Barrett

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

GV.... what you have said here I have no problem with. It’s rational and evenly dispersed critique. You’re giving Jack way too much credit for an objectivity that isn’t even in what he posted. He didn’t say what you said.  

I really don’t know anyone that didn’t think JTB had some share of the passing problems due to his inconsistencies throwing deep.

We get it. He dogs JTB. But he won’t admit that the WRs in this article and elsewhere have said they’ve come up short and the problems are partly on them. 

Coaches, analysists and former players have all said Zone 6 didn’t run great routes at times or struggled to get open. We’ve seen them drop wide open passes.

If this objective reality were ALSO acknowledged. Critiquing JTB is fine. But ignoring the stuff literally everyone else sees (including the WRs themselves) is just bad logic and unnecessary. 

I cant for the life of me understand why some folks are so averse NUANCED opinions/critiques/takes. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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BuckeyeJason'sNation's picture

It’s An official crime against Ohio State if you think Haskins will be a better thrower than JT...

BuckeyeJason

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Jay Lawerence's Laugh's picture

You have to be kidding right here. 

His number one attribute is his "throwing". 

Maybe rhe best "thrower" we have had in a long time. 

Ohio, the greatest state in the Union!

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

There’s definitely a portion of this narrative that goes too far. Our WRs do not suck. 

But that it’s complete BS is going too far.  Here again you have the receivers talking about their own “dropping the ball” literally and figuratively.  Out of their own mouths they've said they need to work on some things they weren’t great at. It’s not the first time the WRs have said things like this. After the Indiana first half, they were apologizing to JTB for their poor execution. 

Also, game analyst experts & former players  have watched film and shown how the WRs weren’t running routes like they should or getting needed separation. 

The struggles of our passing game are multiple, according to the man himself. JTB, WRs, and OCs being out of sync or calling a bad game.  

I can accept JTB has his limitations and made his mistakes. Is it so hard to say that these WRs (by their own and other expert analysis) haven’t lived up to all their capable of? 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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Buckeye Jack's picture

 Here again you have the receivers talking about their own “dropping the ball” literally and figuratively. 

Watched a video on Raymond Berry yesterday. He was probably the most sure-handed receiver in NFL history. And a legendary route runner. He was pissed off about every drop he ever had and was constantly holding Unitas after practice to develop specific routes for upcoming games.

All elites work to improve their skill set. That doesn't mean they sucked to begin with. 

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

You’ll notice that I said at the beginning that our WRs do not suck. 

Our WR have owned up to their portions of the mistakes they’ve made.  Professional analysis and former players have pointed out those deficiencies.  

You appear stuck in your own narrative. You want to lay the blame at JTB. You ignore all evidence to other problems.  Including from the WRs themselves. 

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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Buckeye Jack's picture

Our WR have owned up to their portions of the mistakes they’ve made.  Professional analysis and former players have pointed out those deficiencies.  

Other pros and players agree that JT holds the ball too long and is inaccurate downfield, and misses open receivers regularly. The REAL test comes in April when the guys who have to put their money where their mouth is - the NFL owners and GM's. 

And of course our WR's are constantly working on their skill sets. Every elite practitioner in every field does that. But to attempt to twist that fact into some sort of admission that the WR's are responsible for JT's lack of passing skills is just silly. Doesn't pass the giggle test. 

JT has left the building. Next man up. 

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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ShawneeBuck74's picture

I’m not the one trying to bring JTB into a conversation about the WRs, man. You bright him up and laid the blame on him in your first post here.

And I have already admitted he has his throwing limitations. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t admitted to that.

You just can’t admit your narrative about the wide receivers goes too far.  You think people can’t be objective about JTB?  

Your defense of the WRs in spite of what they’ve said themselves and what experts/coaches have said about them is irrational & not based on the available info. 

You're right, they don’t suck. I agree. But to ignore the plain as day facts that they’re a big part of the problem when they’re not good is just burying your head in the sand so you can cling to your narrative about JTB.

You win with people. 

And so forth...

9 Units Strong!

 

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Buckeye Jack's picture

Well, let's see what Haskins or Burrow can do with the very same WR's that JT struggled with. We certainly saw Haskins and Zone6 get a come-from-behind victory against Michigan. Right?

And yes, I completely reject the theory that the WR's were at fault for our second-rate passing attack. And, yes I put that completely on our QB who was GREAT at running the read/option, but was so-so at best at the passing game. And so-so was plenty good enough to dominate the cupcakes on our schedule, but woefully inadequate against elite defenses.

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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BuckeyeJason'sNation's picture

Couldn’t agree more about JT, great leader and runner who was surrounded by NFL caliber talent.  Any QB would win 90% of their games with this talent.  He could throw consistently or down field.  When he held the ball foever everyone wants to his,e the WRs.  Sometimes you have to throw the WRs open.  People will see the difference next year.

BuckeyeJason

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beavis's picture

right on, buckeye jack!

beavis

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melbournebuckeye30's picture

Anybody know if Brian Hartline is coming back next year to help coach Zone 6? If so, hopefully another year under his watchful eye can help clean up the mistakes from last year.

melbournebuckeye30

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jdjgrant's picture

Huge JTB fan, but I believe a major factor in ALL of their decisions to return is a chance to play with a quarterback who possesses better passing skills. All need a significant boost for a future at the next level.

I see Buckeye Jack and I think along the same lines, but his timing is much better. Perhaps I need to type a little faster.

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jdjgrant's picture

And I see I got the same downvote. Still not sure I understand this voting system. Thought the expression of opinions was the purpose of these forums.

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Buckeye Jack's picture

There are a few who can't tolerate any opinion but their own. 2 UV's to balance tho, Jdjgrant.

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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Brandon26841's picture

I honestly can't stand the ability to downvote. Any opinion against the norm is usually obliterated. 

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dwcbuckeye's picture

I gave you both an up vote.  No reason for the DV.  We will see next year.  If zone 6 still does not excel, then it was always likely on them.  If they do excel it is likely due to the qb

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SonOfBuckeye's picture

Nick Bosa 2018 Zone 6 prediction: It will be great to "have Dwayne just slinging it back there and making our receivers look really good."

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RBurgundy4's picture

Yep, there's room for improvement. I sincerely hope 2018 is the year all of the potential in the WR room is realized.

#CalpoppyStrong

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Buckeye Jack's picture

Yep. And it will sure help having a QB who can consistently make more than 1/3 of the throws on the route tree.

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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RBurgundy4's picture

I am extremely interested in seeing how these same WR's perform with a different QB over a larger sample size, as well, BJ. We're all going to learn a lot in 2018. I'm excited.

#CalpoppyStrong

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BuckeyeJason'sNation's picture

All QBs have WRs that drop the ball, we just are used to consistent accurate passes so when a good pass is dropped we know another wasn’t coming for awhile.

BuckeyeJason

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SilverHaven's picture

Mahalo Burgundy, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

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Buck68's picture

these men are trying to be responsive to the deeper and more significant questions than ''how much for me".  Well worth listening to them and considering what they say, for upon such is the moral and practical health of UFM's program.  Of any endeavor...on the merits.

I can read a lot of syllabi and not find a better outline for a college - level course in ... ethics.

there is an ever - widening gulf between man and beast... be cause of which one we so often choose to feed.

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Brandon26841's picture

This unit is going to look a whole lot different next year IMO.

Glad they all came back... If all 4 had left the WR depth would have been pretty damn bare. 

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sdbuckeye11W4's picture

I think it would serve the offense well, to narrow the focus and improve the results. I'd like to see Hill, Mack and Campbell get targeted the most with Victor, McClaren and Dixon making contributions on primarily deep patterns. Since I don't go to practices, I'm not sure if any of the second year guys like Harris can make an impact.

"We already make a Doritos for women. They're called Doritos."

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Bucks19's picture

None of these guys were NFL ready. It’s the only wise decision they could make. 

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Buckeyebobby1968's picture

At least they'll have a quarterback that can throw the ball accurately now

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McGrind's picture

 So want this group to surprise me...but will believe it when I see it. 

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

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stpetebuck's picture

The war over who sucks the most rages on. Eeesh 

these guys coming back is a tremendous investment into the wide receiver recruiting future for tOSU

Glad to have them back 

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OSUBias's picture

I assume the war you speak of is: the vocal commentariat when everything isn’t absolutely perfect vs the off-season. TBD. 

Braving the long dark of the offseason

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BuckeyeRocket's picture

How about if we skip the endless JT debate?  I thought this post was about the WR group coming back vs. turning pro.  

However does anyone think any of these 4 gets drafted in the first 3 rounds?  I don’t.

BuckeyeRocket

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stuckupnorth's picture

They all should have come back.Im sure if they met with anyone who had remotely told them the truth he would have advised them to do the same. They will not be drafted high not at all. I’m sure there grade will reflect that. I doubt any of them received a top 2 round grade. Parris has the best physical abilities but has no hands at all. Yes I know he caught some passes but those aren’t top WR hands. We can justify all we want but scout will look at it and say the same thing. Super fast not very shifty with poor hands. That ain’t gonna get you drafted very high. Drafted yes but high no. They may have also said let’s see what you can do with NFL talent throwing you the ball.I don’t think it’s the allure of winning a title it’s the lack of draft status that they are coming back. Same as JT last year. There was no way he was leaving early not good enough to go early. Mike Weber the same. The talent is simply not there.If it were guys would be going left and right for the most part especially at skill positions. If you a fifth year senior or even a true senior there usually is a reason you ain’t gone yet. It’s too much of a gamble to go in the 4-5-6 rounds. 

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kmp10's picture

Not one of these players is an NFL caliber receiver right now. Campbell, like many Meyer receivers, is a track star in a football uniform who can block on the parameter but drops FAR too many footballs. McClaurin is a taller version of Campbell but less of a playmaker when he does secure the football. Dixon is far too inconsistent, and Ben Victor is a big disappointment so far. Mack was tough and impressive in high pressure situations at times this year, and Hill was consistent all season. Those two are definite assets... but the rest are varying degrees of frustrating, and the more pure talent they have (Campbell) that more frustrating they are to watch. These guys are all outstanding athletes (altho Victor hasn't shown anything to this point so I'm not sure what kind of talent he truly has), but they are FAR from the polished college wide receivers the NFL covets. Truth be told, C.J. Saunders seemingly has better hands and a superior ability to get open than much of the track team that plays in front of him. I know, but he can't block on the edge... whatever. 

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

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CowCat's picture

Wasn't this article about the receivers? Yes, they need to improve if they're staying.

But can we just stop hijacking threads with the same old JT Barrett arguments? He's off to do whatever, he has his degree. I think it's disrespectful to keep dumping on him after he's gone. How about just a "Thank you JT for achieving all that you did".

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

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Buckeye Jack's picture

Wasn't this article about the receivers? Yes, they need to improve if they're staying.

Your comment sums up the thrust of Hope's article. i.e., That the WR group "must improve" for a more successful passing game in 2018.

Many of us disagree with that opinion. We believe a VAST improvement will occur immediately when a true passing QB plays in '18. And will our WR's work to polish their skill sets? Sure. But if they don't get any better in the off-season, our passing game will vastly improve anyway - just by having a QB who can consistently make all the throws on the route tree (to our highly talented WR's). Haskins and Burrow can make all the throws. JT couldn't. That's my opinion.

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

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CowCat's picture

Dude, just give it a rest. JT has moved on.

It saddens me that the most prolific QB in OSU history gets this much hate, even after he's gone. He shattered practically every QB record in OSU history. He set B1G records. He was the only OSU QB to go 4-0 vs. TTUN. 

But somehow you know more than the coaches?

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

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