COLUMBUS – Terry McLaurin embraces the role he has in Ohio State’s offense and the comparisons to the player who has best filled that role in Urban Meyer’s seven years at OSU.
The senior wide receiver is fifth in catches (9) and second in touchdown catches (4) for Ohio State this season.
But it is the things he does that don’t show up on the stat sheet that Meyer starts with when he talks about McLaurin.
“He’s one of the most unselfish players I’ve ever been around. I’m starting to throw him into the Evan Spencer category,” Meyer said earlier this season.
The most catches Spencer had in a season was 22 and his high in touchdown catches was four. But he was highly proficient at blocking and played a huge role in Ohio State’s College Football Playoff semifinal win over Alabama in 2014 when he threw a touchdown pass, took out two players with blocks on an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown run and recovered a fourth-quarter onside kick.
Meyer isn’t the only one who sees a comparison between McLaurin and Spencer. McLaurin says he aspires to be the same type of player.
“I remember Evan. He didn’t necessarily get all the love he deserved. But when it was time for somebody to make a play or a block or a catch or the onside kick recovery against Alabama, he made it,” McLaurin said Wednesday after practice.
“I pride myself of being that kind of guy whether it’s a catch, a block or special teams. I want to be that guy Coach Meyer and my teammates trust to make a play. You just want to be the guy your teammates trust.”
McLaurin has a pinned tweet at the top of his Twitter timeline which shows him blocking two Tulane players on the same play. In that tweet he said, “To be honest, this makes me happier than scoring.”
Asked about that play on Wednesday, McLaurin said, “Obviously you put in a lot of work to make plays and score touchdowns and that’s fulfilling. But making a block and things like that, that’s what makes you different.”
Freshman linebacker Dallas Gant, from Toledo St. John’s High School, was one of several freshmen who are expected to play all season and will not be redshirted, Meyer said on his radio show on WBNS-FM 97.1 on Thursday.
“He’s going to play the rest of the year,’ Meyer said about Gant.
Some other things Meyer said on his radio show:
– Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley is “very similar to J.T. Barrett.”
“Obviously, he’s a winner and he’s a leader. He is a great player. The dual threat (quarterbacks) — the ability to run and throw – are difficult to prepare for,” Meyer said.
– Linebacker Tuf Borland, who came back sooner than expected from an Achilles tendon injury, is no longer limited in how many plays he can be on the field. “Tuf Borland is no longer on a pitch count,” Meyer said.
– Left tackle Thayer Munford, a first-year starter, “is playing at a very high level.” Also, he said defensive lineman Davon Hamilton “played his best game” in OSU’s 49-6 win over Tulane last Saturday.
– Defensive end Nick Bosa “is doing very well, getting healthy.”