Parris Campbell averaged just one reception per game and did not score a receiving touchdown last season for Ohio State. As the Buckeyes charge to the midway point of spring practice, however, the redshirt junior looks prime to be much more involved this fall.
“He's standing out big time,” Urban Meyer said on Tuesday after the Buckeyes closed the book on their sixth session since drills opened on March 7. “He's one of my favorite players just because he's so unselfish and goes so hard.”
Meyer slotted Campbell as his No. 1 receiver when asked about Zach Smith's wide receivers room on Tuesday. Campbell has worked almost exclusively in the slot in the practices the program has allowed media to see and has shown a noticeable jump in his game.
Ohio State needs more than one guy to make plays in the passing game, however. K.J. Hill, Terry McLaurin, Austin Mack, Johnnie Dixon and Binjimen Victor all saw some form of time last season. But only Hill had more than 200 yards receiving — and he missed two games with an ankle injury.
Here is how Meyer sees the pecking order so far this spring:
“I'd put Parris No. 1, I'd put K.J. and Terry McLaurin either 2/3. I'd put Ben Victor, he's as talented as any that I've ever coached and then Austin Mack, Johnnie Dixon's having a good spring. So they all [are]. Brendon White's actually making good plays for us. And then Eric Glover-Williams, he's just gotta get everything in order. He's real skinny, gotta develop it. Because he's got talent.
Glover-Williams came to Ohio State as a defensive back and made the switch to offense this past winter. He looked quick and like a viable playmaker on Tuesday (and has so far this spring), also taking reps at punt returner.
White didn't know where he would fall this spring after enrolling in January. He played everything at Olentangy Liberty High School and has a big enough body where he could play linebacker. Ohio State is pretty deep at that position, however, which is why Meyer and Smith have him at receiver. The Buckeyes need someone to step up in that room.
“I'm overall somewhat impressed with where we're at,” Meyer said. “Have to get much better.”
Ohio State has a long way to go before its season opener on Aug. 31 at Indiana. But the head coach spoke more highly than he has of the group in recent memory on Tuesday.
“We're still playing around who is going to play where but that's a huge position for us,” Meyer said.