In today's 'Day After,' I'm going to take a look at the Buckeyes wide receiver, Dane Sanzenbacher.
When you think of the Ohio State Buckeyes wide receivers, it's likely that the first player that pops into your head is DeVier Posey, and for good reason. It's common knowledge that Posey was Terrelle Pryor's favorite target last season, catching at least four balls from Pryor in eight games last year, finishing the year with 60 catches, 828 yards and eight touchdowns. He picked up right where he left off last season, catching four balls, two for touchdowns, for 41 yards. This could be Posey's break-out season.
Then there's Dane Sanzenbacher. You know, he's that possession receiver that is entering his senior season covering all those underneath routes. He's the receiver that flies under the radar.
Here's the problem. Sanzenbacher was the receiver flying WAY over the radar during last night's game. He caught a game-changing, 65-yard touchdown pass to put the Buckeyes ahead 21-7 moments after Marshall had blocked a field-goal to get within seven points. Yeah, I know, not the mark of a possession receiver, is it. You know why?
Posey is fast. He's not blazing fast, but he was a record-breaking sprinter in high school, and clocks in in the ballpark of 4.5 for his 40 time. He's big as well, and his athleticism can allow him to go up and get balls. Sanzenbacher is just as fast. He's also a record-setting sprinter in high school, who runs around a 4.5 40. He's not nearly as big, but he's physical, as he showed last night at the tail end of his touchdown run.
Sanzenbacher would catch two more balls, going for 113 yards altogether for a 37.7 yard average. I know, typical possession receiver stats, right?
Sanzenbacher caught nine balls for 64 yards in last year's Rose Bowl, which fits the role of possession receiver very well. Of course, he did lead the Buckeyes in yards-per-reception, with 15.8 yards per catch. So what is it? Is he a possession receiver? Is he a game-breaker? Is he physical? Is he diminutive? The answer isn't an easy one, which fits this offense just fine. With the majority of the focus on the bigger Posey, Sanzenbacher fills the underdog role just fine. With the same attributes to bring to the table as Posey, minus the size, he's going to find himself downfield plenty this year, especially with Terrelle Pryor getting the green light to look there for his receivers.
With Jake Stoneburner becoming a factor underneath, and the emergence of a young group of receivers playing out of the slot, Sanzenbacher will be freed this season to go deep. Sanzenbacher has always had a knack to find an open slot in the field, whether it be a zone-buster, or with regards to one-on-one coverage, and Pryor is getting adept at looking at all his options. What does that mean? A breakout season for Sanzenbacher, who is also a team captain this year.
Sanzenbacher has always saved his best for last, as the Oregon game proved last season. Expect the same for his last call with the Buckeyes in 2010.
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