COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Missouri vs Ohio State
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Ohio State's offense got a big boost on Thursday when wide receiver Emeka Egbuka announced on his Instagram account that he will return to the Buckeyes for his senior season. Egbuka had 41 catches for 515 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games last season while fighting through an ankle injury. The Buckeyes finished the regular season with an 11-1 record and berth in the Cotton Bowl.

"During my time thus far at Ohio State, I have grown and learned more than I thought possible," Egbuka wrote. "These last three years have come with trials and tribulations but overwhelming joy as well. Over the last couple weeks as I continued to pray and seek the Lord on what was in store with my future and throughout all of it, He has remained faithful."

His return will give new quarterback Will Howard a trusted option outside as Howard adjusts to the Buckeyes after transferring from Kansas State. Howard is much more of a dual-threat than his predecessor, Kyle McCord, with nearly 3,000 yards of total offense and 30 touchdowns accounted for in 2023. If Egbuka can get back into his 2022 form and stretch the field, it will prevent safeties from creeping up against the run. That will allow Howard and Ole Miss transfer Quinshon Judkins plenty of room to do work on the ground.

The 6-foot-1, 206-pound native of Steilacoom, Washington, enjoyed a tremendous season as a sophomore in 2022 by catching 74 passes for 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns, which earned him second-team All-Big Ten honors. He finished his the 2022 campaign ranked ninth in the nation with 10 catches of at least 20 yards and top 15 in catches of at least 20 yards. 

Egbuka's return is a big boost to a Buckeyes receiving room that likely won't have Heisman Trophy finalist Marvin Harrison Jr. definitely won't have veteran Julian Fleming. Though sophomores Carnell Tate and Brandon Inniss have promise, Egubka was a one-time blue-chip prospect who provides stability on an offense that appears to be undergoing some significant changes. 

The 2024 season is going to usher in a new era in the Big Ten with Washington, Oregon, USC and UCLA joining the league. Egbuka's return to an offense that thrives with explosive plays should make Ohio State one of the favorites to win a conference that will look far different.