McLaurin looking to contribute
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State redshirt freshman receiver Terry McLaurin has made it clear that he is an ultimate team player. The Indianapolis (Ind.) native will get a chance to return to his home state this week with the visiting Buckeyes as Ohio State looks to improve to 5-0 and knock the Hoosiers from the ranks of the unbeaten at the same time.
The former four-star recruit held double-digit offers as a high school senior but Ohio State made him work for it and that was something that really spoke to the Cathedral high school star. McLaurin left his first Ohio State camp without an offer in hand but a set of instructions and if McLaurin worked on some things, came back and showed that he had made progress, an offer would be waiting.
McLaurin took that as a challenge and did what the coaches asked of him and the rest is, as they say, history.
"To be honest, that is probably what made me choose Ohio State, the fact that they were going take the things you did well and compliment you on those but also tell me what I needed to work on, go back and work on those things and then seem how much you progressed and got better, that is how it is around here," McLaurin said on Monday during team interviews.
The second-year player is currently part of four phases of Ohio State's special teams as well as seeing a little bit of time on offense as a receiver and is happy to be able to play a role for the 4-0 Buckeyes.
"I felt like any special teams that they needed me on, punt, kickoff, return, I was going to be willing to help the team in any way that I can," McLaurin said. "I found that through the first four games that I have been trying to make just the biggest impact that I can going down making tackles and making a block to spring the returners, any way that I can just to help this team out. I am all for that."
In some places the special teams are made up largely of players who are not good enough to see the field on either offense or defense, and often times the result shows. That is not the case with the Buckeyes and McLaurin is proud to represent the special teams.
"It is our bread-and-butter," McLaurin said. "The best players play on special teams, starters like Vonn Bell and Michael Thomas, they start on special teams as well, so coach (Urban) Meyer wants the best players, to put (them) on the field at any particular time, so you are going to see our starters out there along with our best guys who may not be starters but can contribute on special teams."
McLaurin has not recorded his first reception of his career but knows that his time is coming and will continue putting in the work as he focuses on the things that the coaches want to see improvement in before McLaurin will become a bigger part of the offensive scheme.
"I have a pretty good feeling of the playbook and how things work but I just need to work on being consistent enough to where the coaches can have the faith in me to be an every-down guy," McLaurin said. "I don't want to be a guy that can go in one play and be out for four plays, I want to be a consistent enough guy to contribute to our football team."
It would be a dream come true if that first catch came against the Hoosiers for McLaurin, but even if it does not, he is out living his dream and contributing all he can to the success of the greater goal.
"I enjoy just playing for this football team and contributing anyway that I can (with) special teams, offense, whatever I am asked to do I will try and do my best at that," McLaurin said. "To me it is just another week, I am just so happy that we are playing my home state school."