Embed from Getty Images Wide receiver Pairs Campbell was the Ohio State Buckeyes heart and soul. A loud voice of leadership in the Buckeye locker room as well as standout performances on the field. Campbell, did it all. Now he is heading for the NFL draft. Leaving Ohio State with a void to fill.
90 receptions along with 1,063 receiving yards, Campbell also lead Ohio State with 12 touch downs. In Ohio State fashion it is “next man up.” But, given the rather large shoes to fill who has an opportunity to be that next man?
Wide receiver KJ Hill, who was thought to also declare for the NFL draft chose to return to the Buckeyes. Perhaps the most sure-handed of the Ohio State receivers he will have the first chance to nail down the spot. Hill though is not as fast as Campbell.
Ohio State is getting ready to open spring practice with a new head coach, new defensive coaches and a new quarterback in Justin Fields. That is a lot of new all at one time. Ohio State certainly would have benefited if Paris Campbell returned to the program.
A closer look at KJ Hill reveals, he is perhaps the best route runner of all the Buckeye receivers. His precision and sharp cuts help shake would be defenders.
It is Hill’s intangibles, that can make up for his lack of speed. Hill is certainly no slow-poke. But Campbell, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.31 at the NFL Combine. KJ Hill is almost a full step behind Campbell.
It is something to watch in spring practice. Quarterback Justin Fields will be looking for a receiver he can trust who either is or will become a go-to player. It is a safe bet as long as the new signal caller picks up the Ohio State playbook he will find where the player in space will be.
KJ Hill should emerge as that player.