I know that Jeremiah McClellan is one of my favorite receivers in this class. If the Buckeyes land him today, they’ll be getting a guy who can play inside or out. He is strong after the catch, can run the jet sweep, and has no problem being physical before, during, or after the catch.
I think Brian Hartline will be able to move Jeremiah McClellan around, which will allow him to see the field more substantially earlier on. Mylan Graham told me a couple of months ago that the plan was for McClellan to be the Buckeyes’ slot receiver in this class. His ability to move around will also mean he doesn’t need to come off the field when they’re looking to put Carnell Tate or Jeremiah Smith or Graham in the slot.
I wonder how much the absence of Tyleik Williams has helped Tywone Malone, because he sure seems to have used it to his advantage. He has obviously moved up the depth chart, but is also doing something with the reps. He’s been running with the first-team at three tech a bit now, which is going to be beneficial down the road.
I think I’m still of the belief that Kenyatta Jackson is ahead of Caden Curry on the depth chart. The way Ryan Day and Larry Johnson talked about him in the spring, and then seeing him with my own eyes in camp, I’m on board. People talk about players who flash, but my lasting memory of Friday’s practice was Kenyatta Jackson literally flashing past a left tackle and getting into the backfield. I turned my head to see the play as it began and because of players standing between me and the play, I just saw brief glimpses of a white jersey through a picket fence of scarlet jerseys as he exploded towards a quarterback like a sprinter reaching for the tape. It was impressive. I didn’t know who it was, but suspected it was Jackson. That was confirmed when I finally got to see his jersey number.
I think people still aren’t making enough of a deal about this being year two in the defense. This is the first time any of the Ohio State players have been in the same defense with the same coordinator for a second year in a row. They are no longer learning a new language. They are fluent. They speak it so well now that they wouldn’t even need subtitles if this defense was a telenovela. But they’ve still got to tackle and cover. Knowledge is fine. Results are better.
I wonder how many national titles the Buckeyes would have won over the last decade if they got to use the 2019 defense every year.
To read the rest of this very extended edition of What I Know, What I Think, What I Wonder, you can click here, but you must be a premium member of Buckeye Huddle. Additional topics include the quarterback competition, the need for a “special” quarterback, the ongoing attempt to quiet quit Julian Fleming, finding a special role for Luke Montgomery, how deep the defensive end rotation will go, the main concerns remaining for the Buckeye defense, and much, much more.