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Emeka Egbuka latest Ohio State junior to announce he will be back

Jan. 11—Emeka Egbuka announced Thursday morning he will be back in an Ohio State uniform next season.

The Buckeyes' No. 2 receiver the last two seasons, Egbuka is the seventh starter from the class of 2021 to share such a decision, a major shot in the arm for a program looking to regain its status as the top team in the Big Ten after three years of Michigan dominance.

Cornerbacks Denzel Burke and Jordan Hancock and offensive lineman Donovan Jackson all announced their returns Wednesday, joining defensive linemen Jack Sawyer, Tyleik Williams and Ty Hamilton.

Egbuka was the No. 1 receiver prospect in the country in his class and No. 10 overall in 247Sports Composite rankings coming out of Steilacoom, Wash.

He has caught 124 passes for 1,857 yards and 14 touchdowns in 34 games at Ohio State, and the 6-foot-1, 206-pounder has 114 yards rushing and 18 punt returns for 98 yards.

Last season, he missed three games with an ankle injury that required surgery but still finished with 41 catches for 576 yards while Marvin Harrison Jr. led the team with 1,211 yards on 67 catches in 12 games.

Egbuka's return gives head coach Ryan Day and receivers coach Brian Hartline an established veteran in a room that figures to be talented but very young.

Harrison has not announced his future plans, but he is widely expected to enter the 2024 NFL Draft, and two-year starter Julian Fleming has transferred to Penn State for his final season in college.

Jayden Ballard is expected to return for a fourth season, but the top candidates to be in Hartline's rotation figure to be sophomores Carnell Tate and Brandon Innniss. Jeremiah Smith, the No. 1-rated recruit in the country for 2024, is also expected to push for an immediate role while third-year players Kyion Grayes and Kojo Antwi will also be in the mix.