November 18, 2021

Buckeye Receivers On Pace to Enter Rare College Football Air

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Ohio State could become the first team in Big Ten history with three 1,000-yard receivers

COLUMBUS, Ohio It took Jaxon Smith-Njigba 10 games to accomplish what only five other wide receivers had done in the 131-year history of Ohio State football.

Soon, however, he figures to have company in the group of players to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Because Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave have reservations in the exclusive club and, powered by the nation’s most explosive offense, they figure to be there sooner rather than later.

Smith-Njigba, the youngest player in the group as a true sophomore and a first-year starter, currently leads the team in receptions (59), receiving yards (1,027) and yards per catch (17.4). In the last two weeks, he has put up video game type numbers: 24 catches, 379 yards and two touchdowns.

🎥 JSN Record-Setting Game at Nebraska 

Wilson and Olave each have over 50 receptions and figure to surpass the 1,000-yard receiving mark in the next two-to-four weeks, based on statistical projections. Wilson is 187 yards short while Olave needs 292 yards. If it happens, it will mark the first time in Big Ten history that a team has featured three 1,000-yard receivers, and just the sixth time in FBS history. 

🎥 Wilson Four TDs. vs. Purdue 

FBS Teams With Three 1,000-Yard Receivers

  • Fresno State, 2013: Davante Adams (1,718), Isaiah Burse (1,026) & Josh Harper (1,011)
  • Houston, 2009: James Cleveland (1,214), Tyron Carrier (1,029) & Patrick Edwards (1,021)
  • Hawaii, 2007: Ryan Grice-Mullen (1,372), Davone Bess (1,266) & Jason Rivers (1,174)
  • Tulsa, 2007: Brennan Marion (1,244), Trae Johnson (1,088) & Charles Clay (1,024)
  • Texas Tech, 2003: Carlos Francis (1,177), Wes Welker (1,099) & Nehemiah Glover (1,081)

What makes the 2021 version of the Buckeyes different, though, is how they’re compiling the yardage. Or maybe more specifically, how many are getting a piece of the pie. Ohio State is on pace to have a 4,000-yard passer, three 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher. The balance this high-powered offense possesses is almost unmatched. In fact, of the five team previously to have three 1,000-yard receivers, only one – Tulsa in 2007 – also had a 1,000-yard rusher.

For now, the Smith-Njigba-Wilson-Olave trio will continue to rewrite the Buckeye record books. Olave needs two more touchdowns to set the career record, breaking a 23-year-old record of 34 set by David Boston in 1998. He’s tied for the lead nationally with 11 TD catches, followed closely behind by Wilson, who has nine. Smith-Njigba etched his name in the record book two weeks ago, catching a school-record 15 passes in a win over Nebraska.

🎥 Olave speeds in for six vs. Akron  

And don’t forget about redshirt freshman QB C.J. Stroud, who has 30 TD passes, or freshman RB TreVeyon Henderson, who surpassed the 1,000-yard mark last Saturday. Because perhaps the best way to describe Ohio State’s offense in 2021 is simple: balanced.