Final countdown: Impact player No. 5

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Training camp is over and game preparations have begun. The torture of the offseason is nearly over, and Ohio State's first game under Urban Meyer is closing in. Leading up to the opener against Miami (Ohio), BuckeyeNation will count down the 10 players that figure to have the biggest impact on Meyer's first campaign, rolling along with a veteran who could line up anywhere on offense.

No. 5

JAKE STONEBURNER
    [+] EnlargeJake Stoneburner
    Greg Bartram/US PresswireJake Stoneburner will line up at several positions this fall for Ohio State.

  • POSITION: Hybrid wide receiver/tight end
  • BASICS: The senior can still block in the running game at tight end if needed at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, but his route-running, reliable hands and mobility also make him a potential matchup nightmare for opponents as a wideout.
  • BY THE NUMBERS: Stoneburner had an uncanny ability to turn his receptions into touchdowns last season, finding the end zone seven times while sharing the team lead with 14 catches for Ohio State's underwhelming passing attack.
  • OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPACT: Both Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman have experience turning an athletic tight end into a weapon all over the field, and they have grand plans for Stoneburner. The senior could line up as a traditional tight end or he could slide out to the slot. He could line up in the backfield or get isolated on the perimeter. There doesn't appear to be a limit to what Stoneburner might do in the new spread offense, and he figures to have no shortage of changes to influence what the Buckeyes do with the football.
  • HE SAID IT: "Jake is a guy that is playing wide receiver right now, but he can do tight end things and fullback things. To say that he was a 280-pound, on-the-line tight end ever -- we’re all joking. He’s still doing some things for us, and he’s always been an athletic, receiving tight end. That kid is naturally gifted in the throw game and he’s got the body type and the ability level to do things in the run game. Not a whole lot changed, he’s just playing more receiver because that’s probably his strength right now." -- wide receivers coach Zach Smith

Austin Ward | email

Ohio State/Big Ten reporter

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