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Insider

Collier ready to kick the Ohio State tires

9/16/2013
Tom Hauck for Student Sports

Stephen Collier (Leesburg, Ga./Lee County) sat at a restaurant on Saturday and started drooling, but it wasn’t over a dozen wings or a Screamin’ Nacho Burger.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Collier was seeing just how good Ohio State’s offense can be under Urban Meyer in a 52-34 win over California. That got the 2014 Buckeyes pledge thinking about a few years from now, when he could be leading the offense.

“Oh man, it’s going to be like a kid in a candy shop, and I’ll be that kid,” the quarterback said. “I’m so excited to play with that level of talent. It’s not every day you’ll be able to play with those kind of guys.

“They’re all about getting better and they’re all on the same team. It’s really going to be a pleasure and something that I’ve never got to experience.”

While some of the current receivers could be gone by the time he gets the keys to the car, Collier knows Ohio State’s dragsters won’t need much fine-tuning.

Freshmen Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, James Clark and junior college transfer Corey Smith are already in the fold as athletes/wide receivers.

Parris Campbell Jr. (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary), Lonnie Johnson (Gary, Ind./West Side), Noah Brown (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII), Malik Hooker (New Castle, Pa./New Castle), Terry McLaurin (Indianapolis/Cathedral) and Curtis Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus) ar ecommitted to arrive with Collier next season.

The fact all 10 run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds or faster has Collier getting excited.

“You have to get the ball in the playmakers’ hands,” Collier said. “It’s whoever is open at the time and is going to make it happen.

“All these guys have playmaking ability and can make things happen. There isn’t a drop-off between the guys. There’s no telling how good we can be. The ceiling is unbelievably high.”

Collier can’t wait to step on the field with Wilson, Marshall, Clark and Smith, but broke down the six high school seniors he’ll step onto campus with next year.

Parris Campbell Jr.: “He’s a playmaker. He has the ability to make things happen. He’s fast, obviously. He was in the finals of the SPARQ 40-yard dash. He’s really explosive and makes plays with his feet.”

Lonnie Johnson: “He’s physical. He’s big and gets the job done. He’s got amazing hands and he’s a cool person to be around and talk to.”

Noah Brown: “He’s big, strong, fast and physical. If you watch his highlight tape, it takes two or three guys to bring him down. For a receiver to be able to do that, it’ll be great playing with him.”

Malik Hooker: “He’s another one that is explosive and fast. He’s just able to maneuver the defense how he wants. His highlight tape is awesome to watch. He really makes plays happen. He’s really shifty. It’ll be tough stopping him.”

Terry McLaurin: “This is a good one because I’ve thrown with him. He’s a hard worker. He’s probably one of the fastest -- if not the fastest -- persons I’ve ever seen. He dusted everyone at the Ohio State camp we were at. He made defensive backs look silly all day. He’s really going to be a huge part of igniting the offense. He’s a spark. He’s unlike anyone I’ve ever thrown with.”

Curtis Samuel: “He’s big and strong and lean. It’s hard to take him down also. He works hard and uses his feet well. He’ll be an awesome addition.”

It’s not about numbers or prestige with Collier, who is off to a strong start this season after throwing for 1,788 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior. It’s about the possibility of getting better and improving an already solid game.

“It’s definitely going to make me a better quarterback,” Collier said. “They’ve fought and worked hard to get where they’re at, so just being around that will do amazing things for me. I know they’ll demand excellence.

“You have too many weapons and too many things at your disposal to not score points. They’re pushing me just by what they’re doing. If I’m not putting up crazy numbers, I’m not doing my job. We have the talent -- there’s no doubt about that.”