Who will lead Ohio State's deep, talented Zone 6 unit in production?

Austin Wardover 3 years
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Johnnie Dixon and Austin Mack by Joe Maiorana

The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics on the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.

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There was one thing absolutely clear for Ohio State after it wrapped up spring practice and headed into the offseason: It has no shortage of weapons in the passing attack. The Buckeyes are deep, they have experience to work with and the competition for catches could be ridiculously tough. The real issue might be just figuring out the best way to deploy all those targets in a rotation that could easily include seven wideouts — or more.

That also doesn’t make it any easier to make preseason predictions about Zone 6 at this point. When it comes to volume of receptions, K.J. Hill is probably again the odds-on favorite after snagging 56 last year while continuing to pose a matchup problem for defenses as an option at H-back. For home-run threats, Parris Campbell’s top-end speed will again make him a leading candidate to pace the Buckeyes in yardage thanks to an ability to score in the blink of an eye. But depending on the category, there are still a few more different answers available.

Ohio State-Binjimen Victor-Ohio State Buckeyes-Ohio State football-Zone 6-wide receivers-depth chart

Binjimen Victor has the potential to be a game-changer for Ohio State. (Bruce Thorson/USA TODAY Sports)

Best red-zone threat? Make it Binjimen Victor.

Dark-horse pick to emerge and dangerous slot weapon? C.J. Saunders has earned his shot, and Demario McCall needs a role in the attack also.

Touchdown machine? Seemingly all Johnnie Dixon does is find the end zone.

The indispensable worker and selfless blocker? Terry McLaurin shouldn’t be overlooked.

Most complete wideout? Austin Mack is absolutely on the brink of stardom.

So, this isn’t meant to hedge any bets here. When it comes to highest upside, the pick here at this point is Austin Mack. But I don’t think statistically that will mean that the junior will post numbers that look like a traditional go-to wide receiver or that he’ll even be the guy who Dwayne Haskins automatically locks on for any key third-down conversion.

This unit is deep enough to have multiple receivers worthy of that sort of reputation, and truthfully, it would qualify as a failure for Ohio State if Zone 6 doesn’t meet that standard. But looking at that unit this season, the best way to evaluate them will be as a whole — with no one individual likely to stand much above the rest of the Buckeyes.

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