Mark Twain once said of spring, “In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” Perhaps Mark Twain spent time in the great state of Ohio in the spring months as he made that comment.
As it gets closer and closer to the official start of Ohio State spring football, I have decided to write a series of articles on a weekly basis to identify and rank the position groups, from least to most concerning, as they pertain to the upcoming 2023 season. Each week, I will point out questions I have about these position groups, and it is my hope that several, if not all, of these questions will be answered by the Ohio State Spring Game on April 15.
The Wide Receivers | Concern Ranking: 9th
- Scholarship Players Lost From The 2022 Squad: Kamryn Babb, Jaxon Smith-Njigba
- Scholarship Players Returning From The 2022 Squad: Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming, Jayden Ballard, Xavier Johnson, Caleb Burton, Kaleb Brown, Kojo Antwi, Kyion Grayes, Marvin Harrison, Jr.
- Freshmen Players Participating In 2023 Spring Football: Bryson Rodgers, Noah Rogers, Carnell Tate
Reason For My Ranking: Looking at this position group, Ohio State has the luxury of all of their leading receivers from the 2022 season back for another year. Granted, Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming will not be participating in spring football after surgeries as a precautionary measure, and it is widely expected that Marvin Harrison Jr. will be participating, but on a limited “pitch count” to ensure his availability for fall camp.
Even without these players in the mix, this is the deepest and arguably most talented position group on Ohio State’s roster.
1. What role will Jayden Ballard have in 2023?
Ballard enters his third year in the program, and has an opportunity to establish himself as the team’s best deep threat option at the position. Listed at 6-foot-2, 196 pounds, Ballard has caught nine passes in his two seasons, and averaged slightly better than 19 yards per reception. This spring may present a terrific chance for Ballard to showcase his talent.
2. Will any of the WR signed in 2022 make a move on the depth chart?
Ohio State signed Kojo Antwi, Kaleb Brown, Caleb Burton, and Kyion Grayes in their 2022 recruiting class. Both Brown and Grayes had one reception in limited playing time. Brown played in four games, while Grayes played in two. If ever there was a time for these four players to try to establish themselves in the eyes of the coaching staff, these upcoming spring sessions will be crucial, as...
3. Can any true freshmen WR make an impact on the depth chart?
Ohio State offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Brian Hartline continues to recruit and sign tremendously talented players for the wide receiver group, with Bryson Rodgers, Noah Rogers, and Carnell Tate signed and on campus for the spring. Brandon Innis will be arriving on campus this summer, as well.
All were heavily recruited, and could possibly move up the depth chart with impressive performances. It is more than likely that these players will not play considerably in 2023, with Egbuka, Fleming, and Harrison still on the roster, but this spring could set them all up for consideration for significant playing time in the 2024 season.