Originally written on Buckeye Empire  |  Last updated 11/16/14
It seems that every big name receiver in recent Ohio State history has a catch or catches that cement them in Buckeye football lore forever. For instance, we all remember Michael Jenkins making a spectacular over the shoulder catch against Purdue in the “Holy Buckeye” game to keep Ohio State’s undefeated season alive in 2002. We also remember just three years later Anthony Gonzalez in Ann Arbor Michigan making “The Catch” to set up the go ahead touchdown to seal a Buckeye win. And one would be unlikely to forget Ted Ginn Jr. burning star Texas corner Aaron Ross in Austin, Texas to help Ohio State defeat the Longhorns. All of these receivers made great plays in a Buckeye uniform, but how do they compare with Buckeye junior Devin Smith? As we all know, Smith is no stranger to making big plays in his first two seasons in Columbus. As a freshman, Smith made the biggest play of the 2011 season catching a deep lob pass from quarterback Braxton Miller that seemed to hang in the air for days, to secure an upset win over Russell Wilson’s Wisconsin Badgers. Fast forward to week 1 of the 2012 season, a game in which Smith made what has been argued as the catch of the season. Smith leaped, spun in mid- air and snagged a pass from Miller with one hand sending the crowd at The Shoe into an uproar of “Ohhh’s” and “Ahh’s.” Now entering his junior season, Smith has high expectations from fans in Columbus and around the college football world. As a freshman, Smith led the Buckeyes in receiving yards (294) and was in a three way tie for first on the team in receptions (14). While the numbers do not jump off the page, we are to be reminded who was calling the plays and who was delivering the passes during that less than impressive 2011 season as the Jim Bollman show has since left town. As a sophomore in the new and much improved Urban Meyer offense, Smith more than doubled his receptions and total receiving yards while adding six touchdown receptions. While he did not lead the team in receptions (second only to Corey Brown), Smith established himself as a home run threat as half of his touchdown receptions covered 60 or more yards while his shortest touchdown catch being the one-hander against Miami (OH) which covered 23 yards. Entering his junior season at The Ohio State University, the 6’1 198lb receiver is looking to make an even bigger splash. Smith has already done so in 2013 during Ohio States spring game in Cincinnati. Smith connected with Miller on a 20 yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone to give the Scarlet team a 7-0 lead. During this off-season, Smith changed his number from the familiar #15 to #9 and was added to the 2013 Biletnikoff Watch List along with teammate Corey ‘Philly’ Brown. The Biletnikoff award of course, is given to the nation’s top receiver at the end of the season. The last Buckeye to win the award was Terry Glenn in 1995 which was just the second year of the award’s existence. Winning the award is likely on Smith’s mind as for some time his Twitter profile picture featured a picture of himself in game action with the trophy in the background. If Smith is to write his own chapter as one of the great Buckeye receivers, it will take more than spectacular plays and ESPN Top Ten appearances; it will take bringing a Big Ten and National Championship back to the state capital in Columbus, Ohio.
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