COLUMBUS — Caleb Burton didn’t quite get the chance to flash what he could do for Ohio State down the road in his year with the program.
The second-year wide receiver signed last December and enrolled at Ohio State early to get a head start on his college career. But after just a little more than one year with the Buckeyes, Burton entered his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal on Tuesday afternoon.
A former four-star recruit from Del Valle, Texas, Burton checked in as the No. 160 overall player in the 2022 class. He was ranked as the 28th-best receiver in the country and the No. 26 player in Texas. He was, at one time, considered a five-star receiver early in recruiting process.
Burton spent most of the year battling through injuries, and he ends his short Buckeyes career without appearing in a game, totaling 0 snaps for his time at Ohio State.
But losing a scholarship wide receiver still means something for the program. So Lettermen Row is breaking down the impact of Caleb Burton entering the transfer portal after just one season at Ohio State. Let’s dive in.
Buckeyes still loaded at wide receiver
This is the result of the Buckeyes approach to recruiting wide receivers. They bring in the best receivers in the country during every recruiting cycle, especially in the 2021 and 2023 classes. Burton was a member of the 2022 class of four wide receivers, and all four of them are fighting for playing time amid a loaded depth chart. Burton was a part of that group struggling to make his way up the pecking order this spring.
Even still, Ohio State has plenty of talent to survive some low-on-the-depth-chart attrition. Seniors Xavier Johnson and Julian Fleming are joined by third-year stars Emeka Egbuka, Marvin Harrison Jr. and rising junior Jayden Ballard, along with talented freshmen Carnell Tate, Bryson Rodgers, Noah Rogers and Brandon Inniss, who all have a case for early playing time. Ohio State will be just fine at wide receiver, even after the loss of Caleb Burton to the transfer portal.
Caleb Burton held back by injuries during time at Ohio State
The injuries began to bite Caleb Burton all the way back in high school, when he suffered an ACL injury and missed his junior year at Del Valle High School in Texas while he was still the No. 1 wide receiver prospect in the country for his class. He continued to struggle with different injuries during his lone season at Ohio State, as well, showing up on the unavailable side of the availability report multiple times last fall. He even missed some time this spring with a knee issue, although he returned to practice late in spring. Simply put, Burton was held back all year — and he didn’t have many chances to prove what he could be for the Buckeyes in the future.
Freshman receiver class has chance to be special for Buckeyes
Ohio State coach Ryan Day could see it coming from his freshmen wide receivers before spring practice even began. The Buckeyes knew they were going to see good things from all three early-enrollee pass-catchers, Carnell Tate, Bryson Rodgers and Noah Rogers, meaning the batch of second-year receivers would need to have a big spring to make a move on the depth chart.
“The truth is they’re going to get really pushed by this freshman group,” Day said before spring practice. “You know, the three guys that came in have [already] made an impact. We’ve been very impressed with them — and then Brandon [Inniss] coming in the summer.”
Day was right. Two of the second-year receivers, Kaleb Brown and Kojo Antwi, began to show what they could bring to the offense down the road. Burton and Kyion Grayes, meanwhile, missed some practice time with injuries.
All three freshmen flashed, making their case for playing time in Year One at Ohio State. And that’s not even mentioning Brandon Inniss, who is believed by many to be the best of the freshman receivers. He’ll arrive on campus this summer. Watch out. The 2023 wide receiver haul put together by Brian Hartline and the Buckeyes has a chance to be special.
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