A couple days ago, we mentioned that Georgia Tech receiver Jeff Greene is transferring to OSU, and and talked a little bit about why, at least from a Georgia Tech point of view. As our Matt Brown mentioned, being a wide receiver in a Georgia Tech offense is about as useful as being an admiral in the Afghanistan Navy (it's a land locked country, son), and it makes sense that he might not be happy there.
But is Ohio State the best landing spot for him?
For one thing, standard transfer rules apply, so Greene has to sit out a year, making 2014 the earliest he can see the field. Last year, this would've been hailed as something akin to the cavalry coming over the hill to save the day. Wide receiver talent was either unknown or a 'clown show', as Urban Meyer infamously called it. Greene's arrival would have been welcome news, and his size and potential would have been something we would have been eager to see.
But now? Well, let's just say a lot has changed in a year.
Both Devin Smith and Philly Brown played well last year, and are expected to really step up this year. Brown is a senior and will be gone in '14, and Smith will be a senior in 2014. As electric as Smith can be at times, I think it's safe to say that at this point, he'll be back and barring anything unforseen, will be firmly entrenched as the starter.
That still leaves one starter spot potentially up for grabs, though. What does the rest of the depth chart look like for Greene come 2014, and what are his chances of seeing the field?
First off, let's look back to our Eric Schieve's Exploring the Depths piece about the WR's. If we project into the future, based on a balance of talent/experience, you would have to think that JUCO transfer Corey Smith will be the clubhouse favorite to line up opposite Smith. After Smith, perennial Spring Game MVP Michael Thomas would be next in line. Evan Spencer is kind of lurking in the shadows, and he will be a senior come 2014 and ready to compete for that other spot as well.
It's not out of the realm of possibility that Greene can overtake one, or maybe even two, but all three? I think that's a big hill to climb. Corey Smith looks ready to play at the FBS level, and it's not inconceivable that he will push Devin Smith and Brown for playing time. Thomas, if he can harness his talent, will be right there with him. Add to the fact that they've both been in the system and know it well, and then compare it to the relatively simple passing game of the triple option, that's one more hurdle for Greene to climb.
And that's to say nothing about the other extremely talented incoming newcomers. In addition to Smith, highly touted Jalin Marshall could very well be in the rotation sooner rather than later. Dontre Wilson (in addition to time at RB/H-back) should be in the mix, as will James Clark. It's not even out of the question Gareon Conley sees some time on offense, too.
And this is all before the final class of 2014 is signed. Of the seven current commits none are currently receivers, but that will most assuredly change by the time sooner rather than later, so there's yet another hurdle for Greene to overcome.
But all that said, Greene just wouldn't be transferring to and walking on at OSU unless the coaching staff saw something they feel would be an asset to the team, and will be given every opportunity to make an impact and see the field.
Whether or not that happens is all up to Jeff Greene at this point.