Photo: Wide receiver Terry McLaurin // Courtesy: 97.1 The Fan
|BY: LORI SCHMIDT|
When Urban Meyer took over as Ohio State’s coach, he famously referred to the wide receiving corp he had inherited as a “clown show.”
The Buckeye head man believes they have come a long way since then.
“As a whole, our wide receivers are one of our best groups culturally,” he told reporters. “There are zero issues there. It’s just show up, go to work, be at your body weight, and give it your best. Those players usually turn out to have very good careers.”
As it happens, though, he won’t stop reminding his pass catchers of where they were.
“He’ll tell you that straight to your face and remind you not to go back to those ways,” said KJ Hill. “It gets drilled on us every day.”
“I don’t think he reminds us to get on us, or yell at us, or whatever,” added Parris Campbell. “He just reminds us to keep what we have going.”
Four years ago, strength coach Mickey Marotti predicted that Campbell, as well as teammate Terry McLaurin, would help turn the culture around. (McLaurin remembers Marotti telling him the same thing after a particularly grueling workout.) However, between the two of them, they combined for just 31 receptions a year ago. Gone are the team’s three leading receivers from 2016: Curtis Samuel, Noah Brown and Dontre Wilson.
Still, there’s an optimism that the passing game can improve to where the standard is what the wide receivers call “all-gold everything.”
A big part of that is the addition of offensive assistants Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day. The other big part is the emphasis they’ve put on being able to successfully complete the deep ball.
“If we can’t execute the deep ball, we’re going to be handing the ball off all game,” said receiver Austin Mack.