Gameday+ | Spotlight player: Ohio State receiver K.J. Hill

Joey Kaufman
Ohio State receiver K.J. Hill [Adam Cairns/Dispatch]

K.J. Hill high-stepped into the end zone in celebration.

It was at Penn State last season when he had caught a 24-yard touchdown pass in the final minutes, the winning score in a 27-26 comeback win over the Nittany Lions.

Hill has been one of Ohio State's most productive receivers, rising to No. 2 on its career receptions list, and several of the senior's biggest moments have unfolded against the Penn State.

Hill caught six passes for 59 yards last season after snagging a career-high 12 passes for 102 yards in the previous season.

When coach Ryan Day was asked to assess Hill's impact throughout his college career, he thought of a saying from a successful NFL coach.

“I think Bill Belichick says, the best thing about a receiver is he gets open and he catches the ball,” Day said, “and that's what K.J. does.”

Hill has caught a team-high 38 passes for 423 yards for six touchdowns this season as a reliable target for quarterback Justin Fields.

“I think K.J.'s just got a tremendous way of just playing the game,” Day said. “He's got great body language for a quarterback. Like certain receivers just, they know how to get open and they know how to talk to the quarterback with their body language. He understands space, he knows how to get open, he's crafty, he's been around, he's clutch. When you just think about all the plays he's made in his career, it's pretty amazing.”

In addition to the winning touchdown last season against Penn State, Hill also caught two passes in the third quarter that put the offense inside the red zone before running back J.K. Dobbins ran in for a touchdown.

With two more regular-season games, plus the postseason, Hill is 10 catches shy of surpassing David Boston atop Ohio State's career list.

A few could come against Penn State, which ranks 12th among the 14 Big Ten teams in pass defense.


Listen to the BuckeyeXtra Football podcast: