April 19, 2007

It could be Small's world after all

The dust is just now starting to settle at Ohio Stadium.

After two great seasons of Troy Smith piloting one of the most electrifying offenses in Ohio State history, the Buckeyes begin "Life After Troy" in 2007. Also departing with the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback are running back Antonio Pittman and playmakers Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez. With all that talent heading out of Columbus, that national eye has turned to former prep standout Chris Wells as the heart and soul of what many expect will be a more conservative offense this season. And while Beanie should be just that for the Buckeyes when he recovers from his sprained ankle, not everyone is buying a huge drop off across the rest of the starting offense.

"I can definitely see Ray (Small) filling right in as the speed receiver like Teddy was," cornerback Malcolm Jenkins said. "And Brian Hartline really fits the mold of a Gonzo. He's quick, has good hands and runs good rights. The only thing he's really lacking is experience."

Having lined up across from Ginn and Gonzalez every day in practice the past two seasons, Jenkins certainly knows just how talented a duo the two departing juniors were during their time in the Scarlet and Gray. After watching the things Ginn could do on the field the past three years, it almost seems impossible to imagine another player of his kind coming along this decade, let a lone one year later.

"I know it sounds a little crazy," Jenkins said. "But I really think Ray can be the next Teddy Ginn."

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