Every day from now until the start of the season, Land-Grant Holy Land is highlighting Ohio State football players that you should be watching this season. Check out all of our “Player to Watch” articles to get ready for the season opener against Indiana.
When talking about Ohio State and its weapons this season on offense, Marvin Harrison Jr. gets most of the ink of the media. And it is obviously well deserved. However, while Harrison Jr. is the consensus top receiver in the country, arguably the second-best receiver in the country also takes his practice reps at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Emeka Egbuka comes into the season as one of the top receivers in the country returning to the college football landscape, and he will look to take an even bigger leap during the 2023 campaign. In 2022, Egbuka recorded 74 catches for 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns. He added 11 rushes for 87 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games. He averaged 15.6 yards per catch and 7.9 yards per carry.
During his freshman season, he recorded nine catches for 191 yards and averaged 21.2 yards per catch in 10 games. In total, he has recorded 83 catches for 1,342 yards and 10 touchdowns, and 11 rushes for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
He has been productive from the minute he stepped on campus, and with the receiver room he walked into, it is impressive to make a mark immediately. And all of these stats have come with him battling injuries throughout all of last season.
“I just know that with the trainers that we have, they’re all getting me right,” Egbuka told 247Sports about his injuries “They’ve been on top of it 100 percent, and they helped me so much this past year, this past offseason, just getting my body right and getting back to a place of confidence again. So, I’m super grateful towards all of them. I can’t even speak on all the people who’ve helped me get to this point, but I’m just really excited for this season.”
Egbuka added, “I’m just staying on top of my body to make sure that I can be as healthy as possible. But like I was saying, it is football. So, you’re always gonna have little nicks and bruises.”
Egbuka came into Columbus as a top recruit, ranking No. 9 overall in the 2021 recruiting class, No. 2 in the state of Washington, and the top receiver recruit in the class.
Egbuka comes from Steilacoom High School in Steilacoom, Washington. Scouts were impressed by him because he was the full package of size, speed, and agility.
As of right now, the Ohio State quarterback battle between Devin Brown and Kyle McCord has yet to be decided. However, for Harrison Jr. and Egbuka, it is safe to assume they will produce staggering numbers this season, no matter who the man behind the center is.
What makes Egbuka so dangerous is the multiple ways he can be used and lined up on the field. He is elite at creating space, running after the catch, and can be used in the running game. With Harrison Jr. drawing so much attention along with Egbuka, it truly makes for a no-win situation for opposing defenses. It is almost a guarantee that one of them will tear up any secondary, and in a lot of cases, it is both of them.
There are some question marks for the Buckeyes this season, and we will see how those get answered. The production of Emeka Egbuka and what he will bring to the team this season is not one of them. Pretty much any stat line is not out of the question this season for the rising junior.