Dave Thurman (2:36 pm)
Quick, what comes to mind when you think of Ohio State football? Ask your run of the mill college football disciple that question and most will
immediately answer, “the running game.” Thirty years after Woody coached his last game we are still characterized as a “three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust” team. People think of the Buckeye offense and images of big, strong running backs naturally come to mind: Pete Johnson, Keith Byers, Raymont Harris, Eddie George, and yes, Beanie Wells.
But which position on offense has Ohio State been most successful at
producing, at least in regard to the NFL, over the past 25 years? Try wide
receiver. That’s right. Not offensive linemen, not running back, and (big
shock) not tight end. Now when you ask people which schools do the best
job at producing receivers, I’ll bet next month’s house rent that they will
point to Florida’s Big 3 (UF, FSU & Cryami), along with USC and maybe
Oklahoma. Certainly those in the Midwest would throw in Michigan, which
has had some awfully fine wide outs. But Ohio State? Surely not! Well,
just take a look at the list of some of the better receivers that have
donned Scarlet and Gray the past twenty plus years:
Cris Carter – The best at this position in Buckeye history, he had huge
hands and defined the term “circus catch.” Carter had a great NFL career,
and I would rank him as one of the five best receivers to ever play pro
Jeff Graham – Could really catch the deep pass, and had a fine NFL career.
Brian Stablein – Pretty fast for a white boy, he became a decent
possession receiver at the next level.
Joey Galloway – The fastest player I have ever witnessed in the flesh,
the only thing that could ever stop him was an injury…has enjoyed a long
and very successful NFL career despite a few physical setbacks.
Chris Sanders – Incredible speed, with so-so hands, he had a few good
years in the pros.
Terry Glenn – Incredible speed and really good hands. Parcells may have questioned his manhood but this guy can play, and has done it at both levels.
Dee Miller – Great athlete, who was really ballyhooed coming out of high
school. Early injuries kept him from achieving his full potential but he
was a very good college player who never got to play in the NFL.
David Boston – The closest thing to Cris Carter to come down the pike, he was huge before steroids, and tight-end sized afterwards. He was having a brilliant NFL career, until the ‘roids started to rage!
Ken-Yon Rambo – Never as good as we thought he was going to be, but still an explosive receiver who had a few years in the pay-for-play league.
Reggie Germany – Fabulous body but a really poor work ethic, he became the poster boy for all that was wrong in the Cooper era, but still had his moments on the field, if not in the classroom.
Michael Jenkins – A great money receiver during his college days, his NFL career has been okay, but greatly hampered by poor quarterback play in Atlanta.
Drew Carter – Big and fast, his OSU days were marred by injuries, but he is still playing on Sundays.
Santonio Holmes – Another really fast guy who had some fabulous
highlights in his Buckeye days, and is continuing to produce big-time for
Teddy Ginn Jr. – Has anyone ever looked faster with the ball in their
hands? TGII has another gear, and as he learns more about playing wideout, he should have a long NFL career.
Anthony Gonzalez – Probably underappreciated because of Ginn, he is a
pure receiver and showed it in his rookie season in the big leagues.
Wow! That’s quite a list, isn’t it? And I left out a few pretty good
receivers along the way. Of course, we have two more in the making right now, in the law firm of Brian & Brian (Robiskie and Hartline). Add all
that up and you’ll see that Ohio State has been pretty close to Receiver U.
in the past couple of decades. Sorry Woody, it’s a long way from “Only
three things can happen when you throw the ball and two are bad!” And with the way Tress is recruiting we aren’t going to see tis come to an end any time soon. Now if we could just use those tight ends a little more…