Who will play 'Percy position' for OSU?

As many know by now, Ohio State couldn't land recruiting target Stefon Diggs, who on Friday ended a drawn-out and moderately annoying decision-making process by choosing to stay home and play for Maryland.

Ohio State had saved a roster spot for Diggs, rated as the nation's No. 3 athlete and No. 13 overall prospect by ESPN Recruiting. The thought is that Diggs, who played both running back and wide receiver in high school and displayed excellent quickness, potentially could fill a spot that looms large in Urban Meyer's offense.

It's a receiver/running back hybrid, better known as "The Percy Position" because of Percy Harvin, who stood out for Meyer at Florida. Harvin recorded more than 400 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards in each of his three seasons with the Gators, topping out at 764 rush yards and 858 receiving yards in 2007. He scored 10 touchdowns in 2007 and 17 in 2008.

Although Meyer didn't really find another Harvin in his final two seasons at Florida -- Jeff Demps filled the role at times -- he knows what an effective and dynamic hybrid player can do for his offense.

And while Ohio State addressed numerous needs in its decorated 2012 recruiting class, namely defensive line, the Buckeyes didn't appear to fill the Percy position.

From SI.com:

"The question I have is, do we have that dynamic player on offense?" said Meyer. "Where's the Ted Ginns of the world? Were they hiding [last] year? I hope we have those guys. That's a big concern of mine right now."

It's possible Ohio State can fill the Percy position from the current roster. Talented players could easily get lost in the ultra-conservative offensive scheme the Buckeyes employed last season. Ohio State barely passed the ball. On the other hand, no wide receiver caught more than 14 passes (Devin Smith and Corey Brown led the team, along with tight end Jake Stoneburner). Senior DeVier Posey would have easily eclipsed that number had he been eligible all season, but Ohio State's receiving corps was a weakness.

Ohio State signed three wide receivers in the 2012 class: Michael Thomas (already enrolled), Frank Epitropoulos and Ricquan Southward. But all are bigger players, seemingly more suited to receiver than a hybrid position. If one could see time at the Percy position, it would likely be Southward.

There are some hybrid candidates among returning players:

  • Jordan Hall (5-9, 195, Sr. in 2012): Meyer's offense might be the system Hall has been waiting for. He has had the potential to be a hybrid player, but hasn't been in an offense than encouraged it. Hall logged 99 rushing attempts in 2011, but also caught 12 passes for 114 yards (9.5 ypc). He boasts good speed as a return man, and has a similar size profile to Harvin's. Don't be surprised to see Hall's role increase under Meyer.

  • Corey "Philly" Brown (5-11, 182, Jr. in 2012): Brown tied for the team lead in receptions, and averaged 14.6 yards per catch with a touchdown. He didn't record any carries, but rushed for 3,000 yards in high school and also ran track. Like Hall, he fits the size/speed profile Meyer usually wants for this spot.

  • Devin Smith (6-3, 190, So. in 2012): Smith tied for the team lead in receptions, and seemed to have good chemistry with quarterback Braxton Miller. He had no carries in 2011, and might be better suited as a wide receiver rather than in a hybrid role. It'll be interesting to see how the coaches use him in the spring.

Whether Ohio State finds an answer from the current roster or the incoming recruits, you can bet Meyer and his staff will make the Percy position a priority in 2013 recruiting.