The Buckeye Battle Cry will be counting down the Top 25 players of the past decade all spring/summer. Every Monday and Thursday, Jim will be announcing a new player. Our #1 player will be presented on Monday, August 30th. Three days later, the 2010 season officially begins. To view the previous entries in our Top 25, click here.
Santonio Holmes was the complete package at receiver for the Buckeyes. He ran phenomenal routes that allowed him to consistently break free from even the best DBs. With the addition of game breaking speed, Holmes cemented himself as one of the top receiving threats in the country throughout his career with the Buckeyes.
I personally think 4th is a bit high in this countdown, but since Santonio was a combination of Anthony Gonzalez’s route running and Ted Ginn’s speed, I will go ahead and view this ranking as a nod to the most talented receiving trio in Ohio State history.
On his own, in the record books and on the field, Santonio Holmes finds himself near the top of the storied receiving tradition at Ohio State.
After a redshirt year in 2002, Holmes showed flashes of what was to come in 2003. He hauled in 32 passes for 549 yards, and most impressively, 7 touchdowns that year.
The following year, Holmes was one of the few bright spots on the worst Ohio State offense of the decade, adding another 55 receptions for 769 yards and 7 TDs, leading the team in each category.
Holmes showed flashes in 2003 and was solid in 2004, but 2005 was the year that he really broke through. While his 53 receptions were two less than the previous year (due largely to the emergence of Ginn and Gonzalez), his 977 receiving yards were the 6th most in a season at Ohio State. He also added a career high 11 touchdown receptions that year, tied for the 4th most in a season by a Buckeye.
All together, Holmes has the 5th most career receptions (140), the 5th most career receptions yards (2,295), the 3rd most career touchdown receptions (25), and he can be found in numerous other receiving categories throughout the record books.
To me, the number of touchdown receptions is what separates Holmes from the pack. While Michael Jenkins had 25 more career receptions than Holmes, Holmes hauled in 9 more touchdowns (25 to 16).
Holmes also has the second most receiving yards in a game with 224 against Marshall in 2004, one of only four 200 yard receiving games ever at OSU.
Holmes chose to leave with one year of eligibility left after the 2005 season. However, because of the redshirt season, he was in school for four years. He was drafted in the first round of the 2006 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Stealers, validating his decision to leave school early.
His NFL career has seen some amazing highs with a Super Bowl MVP in 2008, but has recently run into the rocks due to some less than smart off the field behavior.
Holmes was traded to the New York Jets in 2010.
For being a part of the most talented trio of receivers ever at OSU, for his place in the record books, for his always exciting and outstanding performances on the field, and for his Super Bowl MVP, Santonio Holmes is #4 on our countdown of the top 25 Buckeyes of the last decade.