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Ohio State Football: Receiving Stats For Days

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Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey -- two Don Dadas of offensive efficiency.
Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey -- two Don Dadas of offensive efficiency.

SB Nation's Bill Connelly, requisite numbers bad ass, college football/tennis encyclopedia, and all around boss recently provided us, the internet at-large, a Library of Congress worthy document detailing 7 seasons worth of NCAA receiving data. Going beyond the typical yards and catches, Bill also detailed the number of times each player was targeted, simply put, how many times a particular receiver was thrown at. I'd bookmarked the article in question weeks ago but with the site launch, the spring game, the draft, and typical miscellaneous real life distractions, it completely slipped my mind. The immortal MGoBrian took the liberty to inadvertently get things refocused in the right direction by outlining the pertinent information related to the Wolverines from the figures. In the spirit of this past weekend's NFL Draft (and more specifically all the mind numbing copycat league references, which I suppose in pointing out I'm being somewhat the copycat), I present to you the Ohio State answer to the data in question.

Remember, the 2006 Jim Tressel does LSD season and the 2005 Jim Tressel smokes pot (e.g. the gateway to offensive progressiveness) offenses aside, we're looking at WalrusBall across the board (and 2011, Walruspocalypse Now, natch).

Year Team Player Targets Catches Yards YdsPerTarget YdsPerCatch
2010 Ohio State Dane Sanzenbacher 78 55 948 12.2 17.2
2005 Ohio State Ted Ginn Jr. 68 51 803 11.8 15.7
2006 Ohio State Brian Hartline 22 17 256 11.6 15.1
2007 Ohio State Ray Small 23 20 267 11.6 13.4
2005 Ohio State Santonio Holmes 86 53 977 11.4 18.4
2009 Ohio State Brandon Saine 20 17 224 11.2 13.2
2007 Ohio State Brian Robiskie 84 55 935 11.1 17.0
2010 Ohio State Reid Fragel 11 9 121 11.0 13.4
2008 Ohio State Brian Hartline 45 21 479 10.6 22.8
2007 Ohio State Brandon Saine 16 12 160 10.0 13.3
2010 Ohio State DeVier Posey 88 53 848 9.6 16.0
2006 Ohio State Anthony Gonzalez 77 51 734 9.5 14.4
2011 Ohio State Devin Smith 31 14 294 9.5 21.0
2011 Ohio State Verlon Reed 14 9 132 9.4 14.7
2009 Ohio State Dane Sanzenbacher 60 35 563 9.4 16.1
2006 Ohio State Brian Robiskie 41 29 383 9.3 13.2
2007 Ohio State Jake Ballard 17 13 149 8.8 11.5
2008 Ohio State Dane Sanzenbacher 32 21 272 8.5 13.0
2005 Ohio State Anthony Gonzalez 44 28 373 8.5 13.3
2006 Ohio State Ted Ginn Jr. 93 59 781 8.4 13.2

When Dane Sanzenbacher was at his best, it wasn't just some kind of white possession receiver affirmative action; he was legitimately Ohio State's highest productivity capable receiver relative to the number of times he was thrown towards. While Ted Ginn's lack of route running efficiency may have doomed him from ever being more than a special teams threat at the NFL level, his other worldly speed made him a force to be reckoned with his sophomore season in Columbus. Fiesta Bowl vs N.D.-year Santonio Holmes was also quite the weapon (though I remember at the time it seemed his overall game wasn't exactly given its fair due). The differences between Ted Ginn as a #1 in 2006 and as a #3/#4 in 2005 are also quite astounding.

Brian Hartline pre-quitting and taking his ball and going home because his BFF was benched was quite the weapon from the four slot (though to be fair, his 2008 numbers as a number 2 speak glowingly even in lieu of his final half of the season apathy). You can also get a small window into why Jim Tressel potentially gave Ray Small so many chances. This also has me more excited for a potential return-from-injury Verlon Reed than I ever thought possible. And you've got to love Fragelrock's purported efficiency and the unsurprising high marks from Jake Ballard. <3 u, Walrusball. And by <3 u, I mean h8 u. DIAF. Forever and ever. Amen.

To see the lowest of lows, we flip things and look to the bottom twenty:

Year Team Player Targets Catches Yards YdsPerTarget YdsPerCatch
2011 Ohio State Corey Brown 28 14 205 7.3 14.6
2009 Ohio State Jake Ballard 21 14 150 7.1 10.7
2005 Ohio State Marcel Frost 10 7 70 7.0 10.0
2006 Ohio State Rory Nicol 22 13 151 6.9 11.6
2005 Ohio State Antonio Pittman 24 17 161 6.7 9.5
2011 Ohio State Jordan Hall 17 12 114 6.7 9.5
2011 Ohio State Reid Fragel 10 5 64 6.4 12.8
2009 Ohio State Duron Carter 28 13 176 6.3 13.5
2008 Ohio State DeVier Posey 19 11 117 6.2 10.6
2010 Ohio State Brandon Saine 33 23 195 5.9 8.5
2011 Ohio State Carlos Hyde 13 10 73 5.6 7.3
2008 Ohio State Ray Small 27 18 149 5.5 8.3
2005 Ohio State Ryan Hamby 16 9 85 5.3 9.4
2010 Ohio State Zach Boren 13 10 68 5.2 6.8
2011 Ohio State Chris Fields 22 8 114 5.2 14.3
2005 Ohio State Roy Hall 27 16 134 5.0 8.4
2006 Ohio State Stan White, Jr. 12 8 57 4.8 7.1
2009 Ohio State Daniel Herron 14 11 66 4.7 6.0
2007 Ohio State Dane Sanzenbacher 18 11 82 4.6 7.5
2011 Ohio State Dan Herron 10 8 34 3.4 4.3
2007 Ohio State Rory Nicol 25 16 84 3.4

5.3

These figures are mostly comprised of little utilized fullbacks, forever alone'd tight ends, and fourth/fifth wide receivers. Of course Philly Brown supposedly being the Bucks' #1 last season with those kind of figures shows just how nightmarish things got last year.

We move on to who was most targeted, which should show either how much respect a certain receiver (or receivers) got within a particular year's offense, or just how damn bleak things got:

Year Team Player Targets Catches Yards CatchRate Target %
2009 Ohio State DeVier Posey 110 60 828 54.5% 38.3%
2005 Ohio State Santonio Holmes 86 53 977 61.6% 29.4%
2006 Ohio State Ted Ginn Jr. 93 59 781 63.4% 28.7%
2008 Ohio State Brian Robiskie 71 42 535 59.2% 28.4%
2007 Ohio State Brian Hartline 86 52 694 60.5% 28.3%
2007 Ohio State Brian Robiskie 84 55 935 65.5% 27.6%
2010 Ohio State DeVier Posey 88 53 848 60.2% 27.2%
2010 Ohio State Dane Sanzenbacher 78 55 948 70.5% 24.1%
2006 Ohio State Anthony Gonzalez 77 51 734 66.2% 23.8%
2005 Ohio State Ted Ginn Jr. 68 51 803 75.0% 23.2%
2009 Ohio State Dane Sanzenbacher 60 35 563 58.3% 20.9%
2008 Ohio State Brian Hartline 45 21 479 46.7% 18.0%
2005 Ohio State Anthony Gonzalez 44 28 373 63.6% 15.0%
2011 Ohio State Devin Smith 31 14 294 45.2% 14.0%
2008 Ohio State Dane Sanzenbacher 32 21 272 65.6% 12.8%
2006 Ohio State Brian Robiskie 41 29 383 70.7% 12.7%
2011 Ohio State Corey Brown 28 14 205 50.0% 12.6%
2011 Ohio State Jake Stoneburner 25 14 193 56.0% 11.3%
2008 Ohio State Ray Small 27 18 149 66.7% 10.8%
2010 Ohio State Brandon Saine 33 23 195 69.7% 10.2%
2011 Ohio State Chris Fields 22 8 114 36.4% 9.9%

I don't think it's entirely a stretch to call DeVier Posey the schematically most leaned upon wide receiver of the latter half of the Tressel-era. Ted Ginn Jr. and Brian Robiskie check in second and third in that department respectively. It's also no surprise Brandon Saine got as many looks as he did given the notorious reputation his mits had, though seeing Small adds to the "I haz a sad"-ness of his career as a whole. Chris Fields being targeted as much as he was last season pretty much says at all.

Now let's look at who were (numerically speaking, anyways) the best at catching the ball amongst these groups:

Year Team Player Targets Catches CatchRate YdsPerCatch
2008 Ohio State Brian Hartline 45 21 46.7% 22.8
2011 Ohio State Devin Smith 31 14 45.2% 21.0
2005 Ohio State Santonio Holmes 86 53 61.6% 18.4
2010 Ohio State Dane Sanzenbacher 78 55 70.5% 17.2
2007 Ohio State Brian Robiskie 84 55 65.5% 17.0
2009 Ohio State Dane Sanzenbacher 60 35 58.3% 16.1
2010 Ohio State DeVier Posey 88 53 60.2% 16.0
2005 Ohio State Ted Ginn Jr. 68 51 75.0% 15.7
2006 Ohio State Brian Hartline 22 17 77.3% 15.1
2011 Ohio State Verlon Reed 14 9 64.3% 14.7
2011 Ohio State Corey Brown 28 14 50.0% 14.6
2006 Ohio State Anthony Gonzalez 77 51 66.2% 14.4
2011 Ohio State Chris Fields 22 8 36.4% 14.3
2009 Ohio State DeVier Posey 110 60 54.5% 13.8
2011 Ohio State Jake Stoneburner 25 14 56.0% 13.8
2009 Ohio State Duron Carter 28 13 46.4% 13.5
2011 Ohio State DeVier Posey 21 12 57.1% 13.5
2010 Ohio State Reid Fragel 11 9 81.8% 13.4
2007 Ohio State Ray Small 23 20 87.0% 13.4
2007 Ohio State Brian Hartline 86 52 60.5% 13.3
2007 Ohio State Brandon Saine 16 12 75.0% 13.3

Even with a comedically awful attitude, Brian Hartline's worth to a Jim Tressel offense was probably unfairly undervalued. The prospects of Devin Smith as a #2 or #3 have to have you licking your lips even more now and hey, given all the 2011's that show up here, maybe with an actual non-zombie sea mammal calling the passes, 2012 might not be so ground oriented after all.