COLUMBUS — Ohio State sophomore wide receiver Noah Brown, who was challenging for a starting job, suffered a broken leg on Wednesday and will miss the entire football season.
Brown was injured late in practice and had surgery on Thursday.
He had been mentioned by several teammates and coaches as someone who had looked good in preseason practice.
Brown’s injury leaves Ohio State even more inexperienced at receiver for its season opener at Virginia Tech on Labor Day.
Thomas and tight end Nick Vannett are the only experienced pass catchers available with Jalin Marshall, Corey Smith and Dontre Wilson suspended for the opener for an unspecified violation of team or university rules.
Former quarterback Braxton Miller and young receivers like Johnnie Dixon, James Clark, Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell and Torrance Gibson could fill in. Also, running back Curtis Samuel has spent some time practicing at receiver. He had 11 catches last year as a freshman.
Brown appeared in 13 games last season but had only one catch for nine yards. But he was being counted on as both a receiver and a blocker this season for the Buckeyes.
Brown earned more playing time late last season and averaged 19 plays a game in the Big Ten championship game, the Sugar Bowl and the national championship game.
Last year’s leading receiver, Michael Thomas, singled him out as a player who had looked impressive in training camp during OSU’s media day. And cornerback Eli Apple said he was “probably the most improved receiver” on the Buckeyes’ roster this summer.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.