|Robiskie, Hartline now go-to receivers for Buckeyes|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 13 April 2007 12:54|
Who are these guys?
Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez jumped to the NFL a year early and Roy Hall graduated, taking with them around 70 percent of the catches, yards and touchdowns provided by the wideouts during Ohio State's 12-1 run to the national championship game last season.
Robiskie and Hartline, the top two returnees, along with Ray Small and Albert Dukes, combined for all of 56 catches - three fewer than Ginn had by himself.
``We need to earn the respect of the people around us,'' Hartline said this week after one of the Buckeyes' spring workouts. ``That's how the people before us did it and that's how we should do it too.''
Many of Ohio State's scrapbook moments from recent years have revolved around big plays by their big-play wide receivers - now departed.
It won't be just the fans who will have a hard time making the transition to a new set of receivers. The coaches feel the same way, but remain optimistic.
``No, they're not up to the standards - yet. It's only April,'' position coach Darrell Hazell said of the receiving corps. ``Hopefully, by September we'll be hitting on all cylinders. We've got a long way to go. But we've got some good players. As long as they keep listening and learning, we'll be OK when it's all said and done.''
But to hear Robiskie tell is, there's no need to wait.
``If you ask us, we can do everything,'' he said. ``We've got a strong corps. We've got diversity among us in what we can do. It's so great because we all can do different things: we can stretch the field at the same time, we all can go into traffic and make those tough catches.''
Robiskie had 29 catches a year ago, and was on the receiving end of the 50-yard arrow from Troy Smith against Penn State that all but sealed the Heisman Trophy for Smith.
A junior, he has soaked up what he saw from Ginn and Gonzalez. He said their message was a simple one.
``Play fast every play,'' said Robiskie, whose father is a long-time NFL assistant. ``In high school, you might think you can take a play off here and there, but that doesn't happen here. Those guys said you've got to go hard every play because you're going against some of the best every week.''
Hartline, a quarterback until midway through his junior year in high school, has fought a hamstring injury this spring but figures to be in the rotation at wingback. At 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, he doesn't have breakneck speed and isn't all that physical, but he has shown a willingness to make tough grabs in traffic.
``He's a high-energy, high-motor guy that everything he does is at a fast pace - you love that about him,'' Hazell said. ``There's some things you've got to gear him down, slow him down and have him see things a little bit differently. But you'd rather have them that way than the other way.''
Small has Ginn-like speed, while Dukes, who is from the same Florida town and school as former Buckeyes receiving star Santonio Holmes, will see a lot more playing time on offense. He had just two catches a year ago.