Zone-6 is getting taller.
In recent recruiting classes, Ohio State is trending towards taller, longer receivers, and that's not an accident.
|2018||L'Christian "Blue" Smith||6-6||205|
Between Meyer's first full recruiting class in 2013 and the 2015 class, the Buckeyes signed just two players – Noah Brown and Alex Stump – above six feet tall, out of the 11 total receivers that signed with the school in that span.
In 2013, Ohio State brought in speedy, shifty freshmen Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson and James Clark with clear emphasis on finding someone to fill the "Percy Harvin role" in Meyer's offense. Clark and Wilson stood at just 5-10 while Marshall was just 6-0. The Buckeyes also added JUCO transfer Corey Smith to play outside, but he didn't have much height either, standing just 5-11.
The receivers in the 2014 class were similar. Ohio State signed four more quick and speedy athletes – Curtis Samuel, Johnnie Dixon, Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin – none of whom were above 6-0. Though this time, the Buckeyes did sign a larger, X-type receiver in Noah Brown.
2015 was a smaller receiver class as Ohio State took just two receivers: another receiver standing 6-0 or below – K.J. Hill – as well as 6-3 Alex Stump, who caught just one pass at Ohio State before transferring to Vanderbilt following the 2016 season.
Since then, every receiver the Buckeyes have signed has been above 6-1. In fact, the average receiver Ohio State has signed since 2015 is taller than the tallest receiver the Buckeyes signed between 2013 and 2015.
Ohio State added 6-foot-2 Austin Mack and 6-foot-4 Binjimen Victor in 2016, and just a year later they were the team's top-two players at the X receiver position. A year later, the Buckeyes had their tallest receiver class since Meyer's arrival, adding 6-foot-3 Trevon Grimes, 6-foot-5 Jaylen Harris and 6-foot-6 Ellijah Gardiner.
"Everybody wants big and fast. I don't think any school in the country is looking for small. It's the best quality player that's available."– Urban Meyer
According to Meyer, signing taller and longer players at receiver has always been the goal, it just hasn't always happened.
"That's never changed," Meyer said on National Signing Day last year. "It's just can you get them, are they out there, are they good enough. Everybody wants Julio Jones. They don't come around very often."
It seems the Buckeyes are having better luck finding, and signing those players lately, including this year. Ohio State signed three receivers during December's early signing period. All three were above 6-feet tall and for the second year in a row, the Buckeyes signed a 6-foot-6 receiver.
If this trend continues, it's likely Ohio State won't have a single receiver under 6-foot-1 in the near future, after less than 20 percent of its signees between 2013 and 2015 fit that bill.
The Buckeye receivers are getting noticeably bigger, and that's probably a good sign.
"Everybody wants big and fast," Meyer said. "I don't think any school in the country is looking for small. No. It's the best quality player that's available."