Ohio State spring football review: Wide receivers

Receiver has been a strength at Ohio State for several seasons.

Will that be true again this fall?

The material seems to be in place, but coach Brian Hartline had no shortage of work to do this spring.

Here’s a look back at what happened and what is next.

(Click here for our review of the quarterbacks and running backs.)

(Re-)setting the scene:

Hartline lost superstar Marvin Harrison Jr., versatile Xavier Johnson and outside blocking back Julian Fleming, but the cupboard is always stocked at Ohio State.

Seniors Emeka Egbuka and Jayden Ballard are back with a bevy of sophomores and true freshmen hoping to work their way into Hartline’s rotation.

That includes Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss, Bryson Rodgers, Kojo Antwi, Kyion Grayes and Jeremiah Smith.

Then what happened?

Smith was the talk of spring, mostly because he was impossible to ignore whenever practices were open.

The nation’s No. 1 recruit, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 215, certainly did not look like someone who should be preparing for prom as he displayed great athletic ability and body control for a player of any age.

Inniss missed the end of spring practice after having a medical procedure Day prescribed as precautionary.

None of the new guys knocked anyone socks off in the spring game, but Smith had a couple of highlight-worthy plays in a practice open to the media the previous day.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Prediction for this unit:

Egbuka, who has battled injuries each of the past two seasons, has All-America potential if he is out there every week.

Tate earned enough of Hartline’s trust last year to expect him to be a regular this fall, and the coach said he was as impressed with Smith off the field as everyone else is with him on it.

That would be a seemingly solid top three, but there is some question about what else Hartline really has.

The Inniss’ injury situation injects more unknown because he was considered the top receiver in Ohio State’s class of 2023.

This might not be the dominant unit fans have grown accustomed to seeing, but it is also unlikely to be called upon to carry the offense like it has at times over the past few seasons.

About the Author