Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaelen Gill (26) breaks numerous tackles by Rutgers defenders en route to a 32 – yard touchdown reception during the fourth quarter on Saturday, November 16, 2019 in Piscataway. Ohio State won, 56 –
By the end of that 62 – 39 Buckeyes victory – after the first two touchdown receptions of his career and a blocked punt – Olave commanded a piece of the present with a lasting place in the rivalry’s lore.
Could another young Ohio State player step up from relative anonymity with a starring role in Saturday’s continuation of the series?
Here are four prime candidates. For reference, players such as Zach Harrison, Garrett Wilson, Jeremy Ruckert and Sevyn Banks were not considered due to their extensive playing time already.
Jameson Williams, wide receiver:Who better to pick up where Olave left off than another speedy receiver? The trick for Williams will be rolling in enough to see significant snaps. However, he has clearly demonstrated what he can do in space if the ball finds his hands. He also serves as a gunner on kickoff returns.
Javontae Jean-Baptiste, defensive end:We don’t know yet if OSU will choose Saturday to burn the final game of Jonathon Cooper’s pending redshirt eligibility. Jean-Baptiste has been quietly productive as a reserve, totaling 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 11 games. With his length he can be a force without reaching the quarterback, by tipping passes or tripping up ballcarriers in the backfield.
Jaelen Gill, H-back:The redshirt freshman’s 32 – yard touchdown catch against Rutgers accounts for nearly his entire season’s worth of production. He may be the future answer in the slot after K.J. Hill moves on. As we’ve seen before, those players sometimes declare their arrival in these spotlight moments.
Teradja Mitchell, linebacker:If cornerback Shaun Wade cannot play (or, perhaps even if he can, depending on his condition) someone will take his place on special teams. Mitchell has 12 tackles in seven games. If Michigan overcompensates to account for Olave or others coming off the edge in punt block scenarios, perhaps Mitchell can take advantage coming through the interior.
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