Garrett Wilson Says One Factor Is Why The Saints Chris Olave And His Former Ohio State Teammates Have NFL Success

Chris Olave's former Ohio State Buckeyes teammate praises him and other alumni for their success in the National Football League.
Chris Olave (left ) and Garrett Wilson (right) are projected first-round draft picks.

Composite Example Two
Chris Olave (left ) and Garrett Wilson (right) are projected first-round draft picks. Composite Example Two / Adam Cairns / USA TODAY NETWORK

"We all was competitive as hell. Like, every single day," Garrett Wilson emphasized to reporters regarding the Ohio State wide receivers. Think about it. The room in 2021 consisted of future NFL wideouts Chris Olave (Saints), Garrett Wilson (Jets), Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Seattle), and Xavier Johnson (Bills).

Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson entered the 2022 NFL Draft as the top picks of their respective teams, the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets. Olave was selected one spot below Wilson, at No. 11 overall, in the first round.  

The former Buckeye receivers, Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, ran a close race for AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. An Olave late-season injury hampered his candidacy. Eventually, the sports writers voted for Wilson as the 2022 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year with 18 first-place nods, and Chris Olave fell to fourth place with 5 first-place votes.

Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson At Ohio State
Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Garrett Wilson (5) celebrates a 51-yard touchdown with wide receiver Chris Olave (2) during the second quarter of the NCAA football game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Purdue 2 / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

For New Orleans, Ohio State has consistently produced top-tiered talent with excellent draft choices over the recent years, with players like Malcolm Jenkins, Vonn Bell, Michael Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, Peter Werner, and Chris Olave. The Saints have drafted 17 Ohio State players over their 57-year history, a number equaled only by Nebraska," Bob Rose wrote.  Also, they have acquired Buckeyes via trades and free-agent signings, most recently, defensive end Chase Young.

Wilson addressed the media last week at Jets OTAs about why Ohio State wide receivers are successful in the NFL. "I think they recruited a certain type of receiver," Garrett commented. "There's lots of five stars, not a lot, but a good amount each cycle. And the ones that want come to Ohio State State ain't scared to play with another five-star, and one that came in before them, which says a lot about someone. It says a lot about the confidence they have in their ability and their willingness to come in and learn and just get better."

New Orleans Saints WR Chris Olave
Dec 10, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (12) reacts to making a touchdown against Carolina Panthers safety Vonn Bell (24) during the second half at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

WHAT'S NEXT FOR CHRIS OLAVE IN NEW ORLEANS

You noted Chris Olave's confidence in his rookie campaign as veteran wideouts Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry were out most of that season due to injuries. The newcomer led the Saints receiving corps with 72 receptions, 1,042 receiving yards, and four touchdowns in 15 game appearances and nine starts. Olave missed one game in 2023-24, but Derek Carr targeted him frequently, resulting in 87 receptions for 1,123 yards and five touchdowns.

"Just going into this offseason knowing that (the Saints) believe in me as the Receiver 1, I'm excited to get to work. But I'm just trying to take that next step forward and try to go from a good player to an elite player. So just trying to be consistent every day and put in the work to be able to be one of the top receivers in the game."   - Saints WR Chris Olave On Elevating His Game

Chris Olave
Aug 1, 2023; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (12) catches passes during training camp at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Olave is now a three-season veteran with the Saints. New coaches, offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak and wide receivers coach Keith Williams, are already in the laboratory designing plays for the Carr-to-Olave connection to thrive.

Our John Hendrix noted on Olave, "The new Klint Kubiak offense could help unlock even more production for Olave, as well as several other players on the Saints roster."

Year No. 3: With great talent comes great responsibility. Olave, Garrett, and the rest of the Ohio State products embrace the challenge for their teams. Can Olave stay healthy and lead the charge for the New Orleans Saints wide receivers in 2024-25?

We shall see.


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Kyle T. Mosley

KYLE T. MOSLEY