Ohio State has big shoes to fill at wide receiver this season.
Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson entered the NFL as first-round selections after each scoring 13 touchdowns in 2021. However, the Buckeyes are far from depleted at the position.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba returns for his junior season following a 1,606-yard campaign. He'll continue to wreak havoc in the slot as Ryan Day determines his best outside options.
Per Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors, Day said he could mix and match his outside receivers more than last season, when Olave and Wilson held down the fort.
Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming received first-team reps during Thursday's practice.
Harrison stepped up when Olave and Wilson opted out of the Rose Bowl. The son of Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison scored three touchdowns in Ohio State's 48-45 victory over Utah.
Fleming was the nation's top-ranked receiving recruit when joining the Buckeyes in 2020. He's collected just 19 catches in a limited role over two seasons.
However, Harrison and Fleming aren't Day's only choices. Per Hope, the coach praised Emeka Egbuka.
“His work ethic’s off the charts," Day said of the second-year receiver. "His toughness is off the charts. His ball skills are really good. If he keeps stacking days, I think he’s going to have a really good year.”
Day also said he's "been very impressed" with walk-on Xavier Johnson, who lined up with Ohio State's second-team offense Thursday.
Even without Olave and Wilson, quarterback C.J. Stroud is expected to lead a dynamic Ohio State offense.