Our series continues looking at a player or a group of players from each Big Ten team who needs a home run type of summer before preseason camp begins. Who needs to hit it out of the park in preparation for the season?
For previous entries, click here.
In the batter's box: Ohio State
Who needs to step it up: The wide receivers
They've been called out repeatedly by Urban Meyer and his assistant coaches. When I asked Buckeyes offensive coordinator Tom Herman this spring who had impressed him in the pass game besides running back Jordan Hall and tight end Jake Stoneburner, he gave me a priceless look, as if to say, "You're serious?" It's no secret that Meyer and Herman want to pass the ball more after taking over an offense that had one of the more anemic aerial attacks (115th nationally, 127 ypg) last year. It's no secret both coaches like Braxton Miller's potential as more than a running quarterback. And it's also no secret that both coaches are looking for someone to step up at receiver to help Miller. This is a very big summer for the entire receiving corps to take a step forward and build chemistry with Miller in the new spread offense. Freshman Michael Thomas had Buckeye Nation buzzing with his big spring game performance (12 receptions for 131 yards), which is an encouraging sign. Perhaps Thomas will be Miller's top receiving option, but it'd be nice if older wideouts like Corey Brown, Devin Smith, Verlon Reed and Chris Fields elevate their play.