On Wednesday, Ohio State came out with a historic hype trailer to showcase its long history of talented quarterbacks. The list of accomplishments included B1G Player of the Year honors, Heisman Trophy awards and national championship victories.

If you missed it, here you go:

It was an impressive list, and one that made me think.

As a result of that great quarterback play, you could make an impressive list of Buckeye receivers, too. Santonio Holmes, Ted Ginn, Jr., Devin Smith, Anthony Gonzalez and Michael Thomas were just a few of the star Ohio State receivers the last 15 years.

But if you put a highlight reel together of those Buckeye wideouts from the last 15 years, there’s one accomplishment that wouldn’t be listed. None of them hit the 1,000-yard mark in a season. That’s right. Since Michael Jenkins did it in 2002, no Buckeye wideout reached that elusive 1,000-yard plateau.

That’s not just a J.T. Barrett trend or an Urban Meyer trend. That’s an Ohio State trend.

It’s one of those things that when you look at it, it just doesn’t make sense. Whether you want to chalk it up to recruiting, the non pro-style systems or the bevy of NFL talented yielded from those non 1,000-yard receivers, none of it makes sense.

So let’s try and put it all in perspective.


B1G Breakdown

If you’re looking around the B1G trying to figure out how rare it is to see a school go 15 years without a 1,000-yard receiver, stop. I took care of that for you.

With the exception of Nebraska — which hasn’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since 1972 because Tom Osborne didn’t need the forward pass to win national titles — every B1G team had at least one 1,000-yard receiver since 2003. In fact, they all had one since 2008.

A total of 30 1,000-yard receivers came out of the B1G since 2003, none of which were Buckeyes. Of the 10 other teams that have been in the conference for the duration of that stretch, eight of them had multiple 1,000-yard receivers (Iowa and Minnesota only had one).

Here’s the breakdown of the B1G’s 1,000-yard receivers since 2003:

  • Michigan, 5
  • Michigan State, 4
  • Purdue, 4
  • Illinois, 3
  • Indiana, 3
  • Penn State, 3
  • Wisconsin, 3
  • Northwestern, 2
  • Iowa, 1
  • Minnesota, 1

Yes, unfortunately for Ohio State, Michigan leads the way in 1,000-yard receivers in that stretch. And B.J. Cunningham, a Columbus native, accomplished that feat for Michigan State in 2011.

In the world of negative recruiting, one would think that would be an obvious red flag. If you’re a Michigan or Michigan State coach and you drop that stat on a 17-year-old kid, it would have to make him at least consider if his talents will be maximized at Ohio State.

For all we know, that scenario played out before. But if it has, the recruiting numbers don’t suggest it one bit.


(Non) Recruiting Impact

If you handed out a superlative for the most, um, confident college football assistant on Twitter, it would go to Ohio State receivers coach Zach Smith. He had some well-documented social media beefs with Nebraska and Tennessee in regards to their recruiting pitches as “Wide Receiver U.”

Smith is the outspoken leader of Zone 6. He helped cultivate a swagger that permeated throughout the Buckeye receiver fraternity. That attitude is used in the recruiting world, and with great results.

If the 1,000-yard receiver drought hasn’t slowed down Ohio State from producing the top talent at the position. Since Smith’s first full recruiting cycle at Ohio State (2013), here’s the breakdown of top 50 receivers (247sports composite) that committed to B1G teams:

  • Ohio State, 11
  • Michigan, 8
  • Penn State, 8
  • Michigan State, 5
  • Nebraska, 4

On the surface, those numbers aren’t dumbfounding. Meyer gets the most talent in the B1G at virtually every position. Given the fact that both Michigan and Penn State had complete coaching staff overhauls during that stretch, it’s not crazy to think that OSU got more talent at that position than its intra-division rivals.

So if Meyer is recruiting more receiver talent than any other B1G team, why hasn’t just one of them produced a 1,000-yard season?

RELATED: Ohio State releases QB hype trailer that leaves out Terrelle Pryor

Shoot, the Buckeyes play in at least 13 games every year. In 2013, they played 14 games and when they won it all in 2014-15, they had 15 games to get someone to the 1,000-yard mark. Still, future NFL wideout Devin Smith couldn’t quite get there with J.T. Barrett’s historic freshman season and Cardale Jones’ epic postseason run.

Speaking of Barrett, he was one of the several talented dual-threat quarterbacks that started at Ohio State. In fact, go back to when Craig Krenzel left in 2003 and you’ll find that Ohio State’s starters were almost exclusively dual-threat quarterback recruits.

If you’re a blue-chip receiver recruit with hopes of playing in the NFL, wouldn’t you want to play in a pro-style system with a pocket passer? Surely that swayed at least one recruit away from Columbus. The fact that Ohio State still landed as much talent at the position — given its style of play and the 1,000-yard receiver drought — is hard to fathom.

NFL Talent

A thought probably crossed your mind while you were reading that. Ohio State shouldn’t be held back by some stat in recruiting because of its talented NFL receivers. To a certain extent, that’s correct.

Since 2003, the B1G had 53 receivers drafted. Nobody in the conference produced more NFL wideouts than Ohio State, and frankly, it wasn’t close:

  • Ohio State 13
  • Michigan 8
  • Michigan State 7
  • Wisconsin 6
  • Illinois 4
  • Indiana 4
  • Penn State 4
  • Nebraska 2
  • Minnesota 1
  • Iowa 1
  • Rutgers 1
  • Maryland 1
  • Northwestern 1

In five of those 15 drafts, Ohio State had the first B1G receiver off the board. On two occasions, including last year, Ohio State was responsible for the B1G’s first two receivers off the board.

Yet NONE of them racked up 1,000 yards in college.

One could argue that there were too many mouths to feed at Ohio State during that stretch. Perhaps TOO much talent prevented one from having that special statistical year. Or maybe it was because Ohio State had too many dominant tailbacks that took away from the passing game.

RELATED: Five B1G players that will improve their draft stocks at the combine

Well, that’s not a bad argument. But look at Alabama. Nobody recruits more talent at the tailback position than the Crimson Tide. And in terms of five-star receiver recruits, they aren’t lacking in that area, either. But guys like Julio Jones and Amari Cooper were still able to put together statistical seasons that earned them Heisman consideration.

It’s interesting that the knock on Thomas coming into the 2016 NFL draft was his lack of production as a No. 1 receiver at Ohio State (he never reached 800 receiving yards in a season). If he had just one season like Jones or Cooper, he would’ve probably been the first receiver off the board. Instead, Thomas winded up being the sixth receiver drafted — he certainly hasn’t forgotten that — and he finished his rookie year with nearly 500 more receiving yards than all of them.

In a way, Thomas might be the perfect representation of Ohio State’s unconventional receiver pipeline.


So what?

Chances are, Meyer hasn’t spent any time thinking about the 1,000-yard drought. The guy has three national titles and none of those teams had 1,000-yard receivers. In fact, Meyer’s last 1,000-yard receiver came when he was at Utah in 2004.

Still, as previously mentioned, this isn’t entirely Meyer’s doing. The drought wouldn’t predate his arrival in Columbus by 10 years if that was the case.

On paper, Ohio State has had more talent to work with at the receiver position (both as recruits and as NFL prospects) than any B1G team, yet none of them delivered that truly dominant year. Conventional logic says that should’ve caught up to the Buckeyes awhile ago. It hasn’t yet.

RELATED: NFL.com All-Rookie team consists of six former Buckeyes

This year, Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown will both likely get drafted. Samuel’s biggest question mark is that he didn’t get a ton of pro-style touches playing the H-back position. Brown, who came to Ohio State as a four-star recruit, left early after catching 32 passes for 402 yards. Yet it was Brown — not B1G leading receiver Biletnikoff finalist Austin Carr — who received an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine.

There might not be another program in the country following the model Ohio State is with receivers. Have your pick of any program in America, go to a place that doesn’t use a pro-style system, don’t rack up the numbers you could elsewhere, but win a ton of national TV games and still head off to the NFL to make millions.

Perhaps sometimes there are benefits of being a consistent, powerhouse program that defy conventional wisdom.