Noah Rogers was one of four receivers signed by Ohio State in their 2023 recruiting class. He enrolled early and participated in winter workouts and spring practice. It wasn’t long before he began making plays in practice, which came as a surprise to nobody.
Rogers came to OSU via Rolesville, North Carolina, where he was the No. 8 receiver in the nation, and the No. 53 player overall. He finished his high school career with over 3,200 yards receiving, which included a junior season where he posted 1,432 yards receiving on 70 catches, scoring 22 times.
What To Like
Noah Rogers has the kind of size at 6-foot-2 and 194 pounds that could fit in anywhere on an offense. He projects as an outside receiver, but two of his three catches in the 2023 Ohio State spring game came out of the slot. He has picked up on the offense quickly.
Receivers coach Brian Hartline teaches his receivers to play all three positions — X, Z, and the slot — so that they can move around and aren’t pigeonholed into roles or rigid rotations. Rogers’ skillset will eventually allow him to come in for any receiver needing a break — and eventually may actually be pretty soon.
In terms of on-field tendencies, there is a lot to like. As one might expect, Rogers was a nightmare for defenders down the field.
Unsurprisingly, Noah Rogers was a dangerous deep threat in high school. pic.twitter.com/IDXCy2hamw— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) July 8, 2023
Most blue-chip high school receivers have plenty of highlights of them catching deep balls against defenders who probably aren’t going to be playing high-level college football. And while deep speed is a great thing to have, a defense can counteract it with deep safeties and a tenacious pass rush.
When looking at what a receiver can become, it’s also important to see what they can do with the football when they’re no longer in a one-on-one situation against a cornerback. What do they do when it’s one on three? How even are those odds?
For Noah Rogers, no matter how many defenders may be coming after him, he isn’t necessarily outnumbered.
Noah Rogers doesn't need a throw downfield to hit a home run, however. pic.twitter.com/qHobZOjlec— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) July 8, 2023
Immediate expectations for a freshman wide receiver at Ohio State should always be quite measured. For instance, Jaxon Smith-Njigba had just 49 yards receiving as a true freshman, and Marvin Harrison, Jr. had just five catches in the regular season as a true freshman in 2021.
The depth of talent at Ohio State is such that playing time for a true freshman can be sparse. The opportunity for snaps is helped by being versatile and mature, which describes Noah Rogers pretty accurately. By enrolling early and going through spring, he has given himself the best beginning to his career that he could.
This season may be slow going for Rogers — just like the other three freshmen, but don’t be surprised when there are a few plays that catch your eye. And for the Buckeye fans who don’t follow this thing as closely as you, they’ll be asking, “Who is that No. 80?”
As a sophomore, however, go ahead and start relaxing your doubts on what Rogers might do at Ohio State.
The Bottom Line
Noah Rogers is one of the most-promising wide receiver prospects that Ohio State has signed over the past decade. He has the size to use his body against cornerbacks in press-man situations. Even though he has deep speed and elite agility after the catch, he can also be a chain mover. He can be trusted to make a catch on third down and get to the marker. Tough yards aren’t a problem.
Rogers is a natural athlete who possesses some uncanny playmaking abilities. He then combines those attributes with the kind of work ethic that guarantees he will make the most of his opportunities.
Ohio State freshman wide receiver Noah Rogers has the ability to make the tough plays seem routine. pic.twitter.com/VkNNiKtNdj— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) July 8, 2023
Previous Closer Look editions
Quarterback Lincoln Kienholz | Wide Receiver Carnell Tate | Wide Receiver Brandon Inniss | Tight End Jelani Thurman | Offensive Lineman Vic Cutler | Offensive Lineman Luke Montgomery | Offensive Lineman Joshua Padilla | Defensive End Joshua Mickens | Defensive Tackle Kayden McDonald | Defensive Tackle Jason Moore | Cornerback Jermaine Mathews, Jr. | Cornerback Davison Igbinosun | Safety Ja’Had Carter | Safety Jayden Bonsu