We continue the Better Know a Buckeye series with its 19th installment in 2018. Here, we profile Kamryn Babb, a wide receiver from St. Louis.
- Size: 6-1/189
- Position: WR
- Hometown: St. Louis, MO
- School: Christian Brothers
- 247 Composite: ★★★★
- National Ranking: 73
- Position Ranking: 13 (WR)
- State Ranking: 3 (MO)
- U.S Army All-American
- The Opening Finals
It didn't take long or too much effort to sell Babb on the idea of playing for Ohio State. He loved his visits in May and June of 2016, which resulted in a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. A Missouri lean to that point, Babb favored Ohio State for good after seeing Ohio State's thrilling win against Michigan in the 2016 regular season finale. He waited over a year before making his commitment to Ohio State public.
I retell this recruitment below. Thereafter, I provide a wide receiver prospect that Ohio State fans should like for how he fights for extra yards. I offer a projection that Babb will redshirt in 2018 and close with some junior-year highlight film to watch at the end of the feature.
Ohio State found Kamryn Babb in the summer of 2016. He already held offers from the major programs in his vicinity that would be scanning St. Louis hard for talent. Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri, and Nebraska all extended offers before the end of his sophomore year. A series of visits in that May and June, culminating in a camp performance that earned Babb an instantaneous offer.
— Kamryn Babb (@kamm_o) June 17, 2016
Babb, at the time, may have been leaning more toward staying in-state and playing for Missouri. It may have been the most "prestigious" of any offer he received before Ohio State, the extent to which Missouri is still the gem of its state notwithstanding its varying football fortunes. The path of his recruitment changed toward Ohio State when Babb took an unofficial visit to Columbus for the regular season finale against Michigan. The game itself was far from pretty but the end result created great theater for a recruit getting his first in-game experience at Ohio State. It resonated strongly with Babb.
— Kamryn Babb (@kamm_o) November 27, 2016
That flipped his recruitment ever since, making Ohio State the odds-on favorite to land his commitment and signature. He visited other programs in the spring, including Michigan and Michigan State at the end of March. He fielded other major offers, including Alabama, Auburn, Texas, and USC, among others. However, it was clear he favored Ohio State.
It's conceivable Babb may have committed long before he did. He was on a commitment watch in early summer last year, even if that never materialized.
His recruitment took a left turn when Babb tore his ACL in an August practice. This effectively ended his senior season before it started and it put Babb into a panic mode about whether he would start seeing offers pulled. The first call he made was to Urban Meyer and Zach Smith, who assured him his offer was still on the table.
Others still assured him their offer was still valid but calling Meyer and Smith first was a strong signal of interest. With his senior season over, Babb took time before making things official. He scheduled his official visit for October to get one final look for the Penn State game and, reportedly, make a silent verbal commitment. He made his decision public in December.
Kamryn Babb publicly committed to Ohio State on Dec. 12, 2017 as the 19th member of what would become Ohio State's full 2018 recruiting class. He chose Ohio State over Alabama, Missouri, and Nebraska, among others.
Never wouldve thought Id be in the position Im in today, anything is possible with God.. All praise to the Lord above.
Jeremiah 29:11 pic.twitter.com/d5OJQ0y0CW
— Kamryn Babb (@kamm_o) December 13, 2017
Babb long signaled he wanted to play for Ohio State, a clear statement of interest ever since his visit to Ohio State for the Michigan game in 2016. The atmosphere and the relationship were ultimately what hooked Babb to the idea of playing for Ohio State.
However, this feature should give some credit for Zach Turnure. Turnure was a walk-on who played at Christian Brothers in St. Louis. He never knew Babb but became a point man for Babb and teammate Cameron Brown during their recruitment. He helped answer questions at the margins of Babb's recruitment and played a nominal, but still important, role in landing Babb's pledge.
Babb signed with Ohio State during the early signing period eight days later and enrolled earlier this month.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) December 20, 2017
WHERE HE EXCELS
Babb most closely resembles an H-back kind of receiver in Ohio State's offense. Expect him to factor into that rotation as he develops.
Christian Brothers' coaching staff loved finding Babb in flash screens. You'll see a lot of them in the highlight film below because Babb routinely got more out of those plays than the typical prospect. Babb isn't the fastest receiver but he fights for extra yards and does well to cut against the grain to earn extra yards.
Babb also shows a lot of little things fans would like to see from a high school prospect. Namely, he's an astute route-runner and catches more with his hands than his body. This is rare even for the most talented wide receiver prospects because it's easy to get accustomed to using superior athleticism to create separation. Babb, by contrast, shows diligence on the routes he runs and even some promise in extending his hands away from his body to make a catch.
MUST WORK ON
Babb seems more like a possession receiver than a deep threat or "home run" receiver. He won't beat too many people deep even if he can further develop how well he locates spaces between the linebackers and safeties. It'll be a limitation given the kind of receiver Babb is.
His ACL tear last year will compound this. It's the second significant injury in as many years for Babb. It's ultimately fair to wonder if Babb, never the fastest wide receiver, can maintain the level of explosiveness off the line of scrimmage necessary to see serious time at wide receiver for the Buckeyes.
Babb had plenty of time to heal from his ACL tear last August so the aforementioned worries are valid but should not be construed as immediate concerns. However, there's still important time and development lost to an ACL tear and the wide receiver rotation already has its fair share of players. In fact, every player of consequence returned. I don't see a path to the field for Babb in 2018.
Here is a junior-year highlight film of Kamryn Babb.