For a quarterback to be at his very best, he needs the best wide receivers.
Terrelle Pryor will be lucky enough to have two veteran wideouts in senior Dane Sanzenbacher and junior DeVier Posey. They could become one of the nation’s best receiving tandems, and their skill sets should give Pryor two reliable weapons.
Sanzenbacher has been dependable for three seasons, catching passes from Todd Boeckman and now Pryor. As he prepares for his final season wearing scarlet and gray, he is still working at being a better target.
“He can get better,” wide receiver coach Darell Hazell said. “He has to work on second-level releases and those types of things, but he’s got a chance to be really special for us this year.”
Pryor found Sanzenbacher several times early in the season, but as the year wore on, Posey seemed to emerge as his favorite receiver.
Posey is an NFL-ready receiver who has a special blend of size, speed and excellent hands. He made his presence known in the biggest contests last season, catching game-changing touchdowns against Penn State and Oregon.
Ohio State has produced several phenomenal wide receivers since Jim Tressel took over in 2001, and Posey could be next.
“He’s got a lot of characteristics of a lot of different guys,” Hazell said of Posey. “He’s got the explosiveness of Santonio Holmes, he’s got almost the top-end speed of Teddy [Ginn], he’s got wiggle like Gonzo [Anthony Gonzales] has in the slot, so he’s got a lot of different characteristics of a lot of those guys. So it’s pretty fun to watch.”
Although Posey has shown flashes of being the next great wideout for OSU, he isn’t content with anything but perfection.
“I want to go from being a good receiver to a great receiver and those are just expectations for myself,” Posey said. “I like to set the bar high and I don’t like settling for anything less than that.”
OSU has nothing to worry about when using a two-receiver set, but when the Buckeyes look to spread the field with more than just Sanzenbacher and Posey, the depth at wideout is something the Buckeyes are still working on.
Last season it looked as if the Buckeyes had found their third guy in Duron Carter. He pushed for playing time all season and made some catches that looked as if his father was still on the field.
Carter, however, has been held back for academic issues and didn’t travel with the Buckeyes to Pasadena for the Rose bowl. He hasn’t practiced with the team this spring.
“It hurts a lot. We miss him [Duron] but the show has to go on,” Posey said. “We can’t wait for him to get back. We love the kid. He is a great guy and he is a great personality in the meeting room, and he is a fun guy, and I know I miss him and we need him as soon as we can get him.”
With Carter unable to fulfill his role as the Buckeyes’ third weapon in the passing game, two players seem to be in line for that duty. Freshman Chris Fields and senior Taurian Washington are two very different players but they are both vying for the same position.
Washington, who has had several opportunities to assert himself over the years, might have one final shot to prove he can be an asset to the Buckeye receivers. He has struggled in his time at OSU with consistency and letting his past mistakes hold him back.
Fields, on the other hand, is a redshirt freshman who has used the lack of viable options to get recognized, and spring practice has been his time to shine.
The Buckeyes will also have three freshman wideouts in James Louis, Ty Williams and Corey Brown who could add depth along with veteran Grant Schwartz and redshirt freshman James Jackson.
“I feel like we have a nice core group and we are looking for some younger guys to step up,” Posey said. “It is just exciting to see younger players do their things. Guys like Chris Fields and James Jackson and guys like Grant Schwartz that you haven’t seen yet.
“It is just exciting to see the younger guys grow.”