No. 112: Corey "Philly" Brown, #10, WR, Ohio State
2011 Stats: 14 catches, 205 yards, 1 TD
In terms of athleticism, Corey Brown is right up there with just about anyone in the Big Ten. He's lightning fast and, at 6'0" and 186 pounds, isn't lacking for size. He's the most productive wide receiver on the Ohio State roster, with 22 career catches for 310 yards, and he's likely to take on a wide variety of responsibilities in this new offense.
Brown is also a moderately good return man, and we may see more of him on special teams this season. Jordan Hall is expected to start there for now, but Meyer hasn't named starters, and these roles usually evolve over the course of both the offseason and the season itself.
Brown really struggled to establish any sort of rhythm with Braxton Miller last season. Were it not for a wide-open bomb early on in the Michigan game (one where Brown nearly didn't make it into the end zone before his knee hit; watch the play at right), Brown would have been held out of the end zone entirely. His hands are mediocre at this point, which is bad news for a slot man.
After a lackluster 2011 season where Ohio State showed a near-total disregard for passing the football, Corey Brown is in place to be one of the most important players in the new Buckeye offense. He's the starting slot receiver, and if anyone knows a thing or two about creative uses for a slot receiver, it's Urban Meyer. Think of his use of Percy Harvin, for example.
Brown is set to substantially improve his production from 2011 levels—which, frankly, isn't asking much. While we're not expecting him to match Harvin's rate of about six or seven carries a game, we do see one or two per week happening. Combine that with about 25-40 catches (this is still a run-heavy offense, mind you), and Brown could have himself quite a year.