"Sometimes, there's a man..."
One of the biggest gripes that Ohio State fans have had in the past few years has been the inconsistent play of the wide receivers, who have at times been sloppy, disinterested, or simply bad. We've looked for game breaking guys to lift that unit up out of the doldrums, but as it turns out, the perfect person for the job might be one of the most underappreciated players on the team.
In 2017, K.J. Hill caught a pass in every game that Ohio State played. Sometimes, like in the bowl win against USC, he squeaked in there with one catch for just three yards. In other games, critical games, like against Penn State, he caught 12 monster passes for 102 yards. In almost every game, Hill was either the number one or two wideout in terms of passes caught, and even in games when he only had one or two receptions, they were usually big ones (even in the losses). But however it shook out, K.J. was there, doing what he does best, which is being one of the most steady influences on a wide receiving corps that has needed that in the past several years.
2018 is starting the same way.
In Ohio State's blowout win in the season opener against Oregon State, Terry McLaurin got most of the press (and deservedly so) by catching four passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns, but K.J. Hill had the most receptions on the team with six, and still counted for 82 yards. Against Rutgers, Hill again led the team in receptions, tying with Parris Campbell, and added another 25 yards.
And tonight, in the biggest game of the year so far, K.J. Hill led all Ohio State receivers with six catches (five of which went for first downs) and 95 yards.
Probably the sweetest thing for Hill? He also caught his fifth touchdown as a Buckeye, and his first in almost a full calendar year. Here's to many more catches, yards, and touchdowns from the player that just keeps producing.
Oh, and PS? It's his freakin' birthday.