Comparing Ohio State's 2018 Wide Receiver Roster To Urban Meyer's Previous Buckeyes Teams

By Dan Hope on June 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm
Johnnie Dixon, Parris Campbell and Binjimen Victor

Joe Maiorana – USA TODAY Sports

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Ohio State’s 2018 roster is loaded with talent, per usual, but how does it compare to the Buckeyes’ previous teams since Urban Meyer has arrived in Columbus?

Here at Eleven Warriors, we’re taking a position-by-position look at how the Buckeyes’ current roster stacks up with Ohio State’s rosters from Meyer’s first six seasons as head coach.

That look continues today with Ohio State’s wide receivers, where the Buckeyes return nearly their entire roster from last year.

All six wide receivers who played regularly last season – Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill, Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon, Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor – are back for 2018. In total, the Buckeyes are set to have 13 scholarship wide receivers on their 2018 roster. So while the jury is still out on the current edition of "Zone 6" and whether they are good enough to take Ohio State’s passing game to new heights, there’s no question that the Buckeyes are deep at the position.

How does that depth, as well as the returning experience of the group, compare to what the Buckeyes have had in their wide receiver room for each of the past six seasons? It’s time to take a look at the numbers.

Ohio State’s wide receiver rosters for every season from 2012 through 2018 are listed below with each player’s year of eligibility, number of recruiting stars (based on 247Sports’ composite rankings) and how many games they had appeared in and started going into each respective season, with analysis to follow on how this year’s group stacks up with the rest.

Note: Players who were listed as H-backs on Ohio State’s roster are included in the wide receiver rosters below. Players who made position switches are only listed for the years in which they were listed as wide receivers or H-backs.

2012

Corey Brown, Junior (★★★★) – 22 games, 10 starts
Chris Fields, Redshirt Junior (★★★★) – 21 games, 8 starts
Devin Smith, Sophomore (★★★) – 13 games
Evan Spencer, Sophomore (★★★★) – 9 games, 1 start
T.Y. Williams, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 7 games, 1 start
Verlon Reed, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★) – 5 games, 5 starts
Frank Epitropoulos, Freshman (★★★)
Ricquan Southward, Freshman (★★★)
Michael Thomas, Freshman (★★★)
Taylor Rice, Redshirt Senior (Walk-on)
Ryan Ross, Redshirt Sophomore (Walk-on)
Brandon Ojikutu, Sophomore (Walk-on)
Peter Gwilym, Redshirt Freshman (Walk-on)
Frank Kangah, Redshirt Freshman (Walk-on)
Kato Mitchell, Freshman (Walk-on)

2013

Corey Brown, Senior (★★★★) – 34 games, 21 starts
Chris Fields, Redshirt Senior (★★★★) – 29 games, 8 starts
Devin Smith, Junior (★★★) – 25 games, 10 starts
Evan Spencer, Junior (★★★★) – 21 games, 5 starts
Michael Thomas, Sophomore (★★★) – 11 games
Jeff Greene, Junior (★★★)
Corey Smith, Junior (★★★★)
Jalin Marshall, Freshman (★★★★★)
James Clark, Freshman (★★★★)
Frank Epitropoulos, Redshirt Freshman (★★★)
Brandon Ojikutu, Junior (Walk-on)
Peter Gwilym, Redshirt Sophomore (Walk-on)
Kato Mitchell, Sophomore (Walk-on)
Devlin McDaniel, Freshman (Walk-on)
Joe Ramstetter, Freshman (Walk-on)

2014

Devin Smith, Senior (★★★) – 39 games, 22 starts
Evan Spencer, Senior (★★★★) – 35 games, 17 starts
Dontre Wilson, Sophomore (★★★★) – 14 games, 2 starts
Michael Thomas, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★) – 11 games
Frank Epitropoulos, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★) – 4 games
James Clark, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★) – 3 games
Jeff Greene, Redshirt Junior (★★★)
Corey Smith, Redshirt Junior (★★★★)
Jalin Marshall, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★★)
Noah Brown, Freshman (★★★★)
Parris Campbell, Freshman (★★★★)
Johnnie Dixon, Freshman (★★★★)
Terry McLaurin, Freshman (★★★★)
Kato Mitchell, Junior (Walk-on) – 3 games
Peter Gwilym, Senior (Walk-on) – 2 games
Devlin McDaniel, Sophomore (Walk-on) – 1 game
Joe Ramstetter, Sophomore (Walk-on)

2015

Michael Thomas, Redshirt Junior (★★★) – 26 games, 14 starts
Dontre Wilson, Junior (★★★★) – 24 games, 5 starts
Jalin Marshall, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★★) – 15 games
Noah Brown, Sophomore (★★★★) – 15 games
Corey Smith, Redshirt Senior (★★★★) – 14 games, 1 start
Jeff Greene, Redshirt Senior (★★★) – 11 games
James Clark, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 6 games
Johnnie Dixon, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★) – 1 game
Parris Campbell, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★)
Terry McLaurin, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★)
Torrance Gibson, Freshman (★★★★)
K.J. Hill, Freshman (★★★★)
Alex Stump, Freshman (★★★★)
Kato Mitchell, Senior (Walk-on) – 4 games
Devlin McDaniel, Junior (Walk-on) – 1 game
Joe Ramstetter, Junior (Walk-on)
Austin Clutter, Freshman (Walk-on)

2016

Dontre Wilson, Senior (★★★★) – 33 games, 6 starts
Curtis Samuel, Junior (★★★★) – 27 games, 2 starts
Corey Smith, Sixth-Year Senior (★★★★) – 18 games, 1 start
James Clark, Redshirt Junior (★★★★) – 18 games
Noah Brown, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 15 games
Terry McLaurin, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 12 games
Parris Campbell, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 8 games, 3 starts
Johnnie Dixon, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 6 games
K.J. Hill, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★)
Alex Stump, Redshirt Freshman (★★★★)
Austin Mack, Freshman (★★★★)
Binjimen Victor, Freshman (★★★★)
Devlin McDaniel, Senior (Walk-on) – 1 game
Joe Ramstetter, Senior (Walk-on)
Austin Clutter, Sophomore (Walk-on)

2017

Terry McLaurin, Redshirt Junior (★★★★) – 25 games, 4 starts
Parris Campbell, Redshirt Junior (★★★★) – 21 games, 12 starts
Johnnie Dixon, Redshirt Junior (★★★★) – 13 games
Austin Mack, Sophomore (★★★★) – 13 games
K.J. Hill, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 11 games
Binjimen Victor, Sophomore (★★★★) – 5 games
Trevon Grimes, Freshman (★★★★)
Jaylen Harris, Freshman (★★★★)
Ellijah Gardiner, Freshman (★★★)
Elijaah Goins, Senior (Walk-on*) – 12 games
C.J. Saunders, Junior (Walk-on) – 1 game
Garyn Prater, Freshman (Walk-on)
De’Shawn White, Freshman (Walk-on)

2018

Terry McLaurin, Redshirt Senior (★★★★) – 39 games, 18 starts
Parris Campbell, Redshirt Senior (★★★★) – 34 games, 24 starts
Johnnie Dixon, Redshirt Senior (★★★★) – 26 games
​Austin Mack, Junior (★★★★) – 26 games, 11 starts
K.J. Hill, Redshirt Junior (★★★★) – 25 games, 4 starts
Binjimen Victor, Junior (★★★★) – 19 games, 2 starts
Demario McCall, Redshirt Sophomore (★★★★) – 10 games
Jaylen Harris, Sophomore (★★★★) – 3 games
Ellijah Gardiner, Redshirt Freshman (★★★)
Kamryn Babb, Freshman (★★★★)
L’Christian “Blue” Smith, Freshman (★★★★)
Chris Olave, Freshman (★★★)
C.J. Saunders, Senior (Walk-on*) – 13 games
Gage Bican, Junior (Walk-on)
Luciano Bican, Junior (Walk-on)
Jeremy Bridges, Sophomore (Walk-on)
Connor Gessells, Sophomore (Walk-on)
Garyn Prater, Sophomore (Walk-on)
Darryl Sinclair, Sophomore (Walk-on)
De’Shawn White, Sophomore (Walk-on)
Davion Johnson, Freshman (★★★ Walk-on)
Xavier Johnson, Freshman (★★★ Walk-on)
Austin Kutscher, Freshman (Walk-on)
Sam Wiglusz, Freshman (Walk-on)

*Placed on scholarship for senior season

Overview: What stands out about this year’s wide receiver roster, when compared to last year’s wide receiver roster, is how the Buckeyes bring back almost their entire position group, with the only exceptions being Elijaah Goins – a promoted walk-on who played almost exclusively on special teams – and Trevon Grimes, who spent only a partial season with the program before transferring to Florida.

Although the past numbers show that it isn’t necessarily unusual for the Buckeyes to have six or more wide receivers going into a season with game experience, the Buckeyes truly have a wealth of it this season. The Buckeyes’ top six receivers have combined for 169 game appearances and 59 starts, both of which are higher totals than the Buckeyes have ever had across the entire position group in Meyer’s first six seasons at Ohio State.

Considering that all six of those receivers were four-star recruits, it’s certainly arguable that they have underwhelmed so far in their Ohio State careers, as none of them have truly emerged as stars at the position. As a whole, though, there’s no question that this year’s Ohio State receiving corps is deep with talented players.

While it’s not uncommon for Ohio State to have 15 or more total wide receivers on their roster, Meyer’s Buckeyes are as deep as they’ve ever been at the position this year. In addition to 13 scholarship receivers – tying the most Meyer has had at Ohio State (2015) – the Buckeyes also have a deep group of walk-ons, including two receivers who were rated as three-star recruits (Davion Johnson and Xavier Johnson) but spurned scholarship offers to walk on at Ohio State.

The wealth of experience and depth on this year’s roster comes as a result of Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin, Johnnie Dixon and K.J. Hill all deciding to return for another season after considering entering the 2018 NFL draft. The Buckeyes could potentially have far less experience at wide receiver next season, when Campbell, McLaurin and Dixon will all be gone and Hill, Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor could also consider declaring for the draft.

For 2018, though, the Buckeyes have the luxury of having both a multitude of wide receivers with game experience and plenty of young receivers who will also be trying to earn their way on the field.

Even with all of those experienced receivers returning, it’s difficult to say where Ohio State’s 2018 roster at the position might rank among Meyer’s previous rosters, because none of the returning receivers have shown the same level of playmaking ability than Michael Thomas and Devin Smith did in Meyer’s earlier seasons.

They have as much potential to be a great group of receivers as any group that Meyer’s Buckeyes have ever had, though, because of all the depth of highly recruited players they have.

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