Ohio State football WR Julian Fleming a game-time decision against Notre Dame
Julian Fleming will be a game-time decision for Ohio State’s season opener against Notre Dame on Saturday night.
If Fleming is held out, it could leave the Buckeyes without a potential starter at wide receiver.
During a practice in preseason training camp that was open to reporters last month, he was lined up with the first-team offense at one of the outside receiver spots opposite Marvin Harrison Jr.
Fleming also started along with Harrison in the Rose Bowl, replacing Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson after the veteran pass catchers opted not to play in the bowl game.
As a sophomore last fall, Fleming caught 12 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown.
But the nation’s former top-ranked receiver prospect in the 2020 class has dealt with injuries since joining the Buckeyes, missing five games a year ago due to a hamstring issue. A shoulder injury that lingered from high school also impacted him as a freshman.
While Fleming was listed as a game-time decision on Ohio State’s pregame availability report, his status is unclear as the team does not provide specifics on injuries.
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Fleming reported feeling fully healthy at the start of spring practice and had also shaken off a shoulder injury scare in an intrasquad scrimmage.
Three players were listed as unavailable, including running back Evan Pryor, linebacker Mitchell Melton and walk-on cornerback Lloyd McFarquhar.
Pryor suffered a season-ending knee injury last month and Melton has been out after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament in the spring game in April.
Outside of Pryor, the Buckeyes emerged from preseason practice about at full strength, a development coach Ryan Day reflected on Thursday.
"The balance you try to find is how do you make your team tougher and more physical and calloused, but then make sure they’re healthy and ready to go in this first game," Day said. "I think we struck that balance."
Wide receiver Kamryn Babb, who reaggravated his left knee and had been wearing a brace in recent weeks, appears to be available. He was not listed on the report.
Babb, who has had four ACL injuries over his career, described the setback as a "little nick" last week and expressed optimism about playing against the Irish.
Ohio State football 2022 schedule
- Week 1: Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3, in Columbus, Ohio
- Week 2: Ohio State vs. Arkansas State, Sept. 10, in Columbus, Ohio
- Week 3:Ohio State vs. Toledo, Sept. 17, in Columbus, Ohio
- Week 4: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, Sept. 24, Columbus, Ohio
- Week 5: Ohio State vs. Rutgers, Oct. 1, Columbus Ohio
- Week 6:Ohio State vs. Michigan State, Oct. 8, East Lansing, Mich.
- Week 7:Ohio State vs. Iowa, Oct. 22, Columbus, Ohio
- Week 8:Ohio State vs. Penn State, Oct. 29, State College, Pa.
- Week 9: Ohio State vs. Northwestern, Nov. 5, Evanston, Ill.
- Week 10:Ohio State vs Indiana, Nov. 12, Columbus, Ohio
- Week 11: Ohio State vs. Maryland, Nov. 19, College Park, MD.
- Week 12: Ohio State vs. Michigan, at noon Nov. 26, Columbus, Ohio
Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman