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2017 Fierce 40 Previews: #1 Ohio State

by DJ Boyer on Aug. 27, 2017

#1 Ohio State Buckeyes

2016 Recap:
Winning 11 games seems like a great accomplishment but Ohio State was embarrased by Clemson after getting shutout 31-0 against Clemson in the College Football Playoff. Ohio State got a controversial bid despite not being in the Big Ten Championship game.


Coaching:
Urban Meyer has had success at every stop along the way and a two loss season in Columbus is something that feels like a failure to he and the staff. Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is one of the most sought after head coaching prospects at the college level and he has a ton of talent to work with at Ohio State. Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson have experience at the skill positions on offense, much like Clemson had a season ago.

 

Offense

What will set Ohio State apart from the other top tier teams this season is leadershuip at the most important position on the football field...quarterback. J.T. Barrett is a senior who has been in just about every situation imaginable while leading the Buckeyes before. Sprinkle in a dominant offensive line with potential first round picks like center/guard Billy Price and the emerging Jamarco Jones at tackle and you have a quarterback who can keep his jersey clean. The primary receiving targets will be wide receiver Parris Campbell and underrated tight end Marcus Baugh. Demario McCall is starting to look like the X factor and the sophomore has done nothing but impress the coaching staff with his big play ability all spring. When you talk about Ohio State it comes down to running the football and playing a smashmouth Big Ten style and Mike Weber is back after gaining 1,096 yards as a freshman.
 

Best Draft Prospects: Mike Weber RB 1st Round 2019 (Early Declaration Candidate).

                                       Billy Price OG/C 1st Round 2018.


Defense

You will be hard pressed to find a more effective and productive starting defensive end combo than Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard. Lewisflirted with going pro last season and was graded as a 2nd round pick while Hubbard emerged as the replacement to Joey Bosa and he could be in the running for a lot of defensive hardware at seasons end. Speaking of Bosa, younger brother Nick Bosa is back for his sophomore season and will spell the ends and bring a relentless motor himself. Chris Worley and Jerome Baker lead an active linebacking corps with amazing range and sideline-to-sideline speed. Damon Webb is back at free saftey the lone returning starter from a unit that essentially lost eveyone else to the NFL. The Buckeyes may have to work a bit at finding the right player combinations in the secondary which makes pressuring the quarterback an even higher priority for this squad.

Best Draft Prospects: Sam Hubbard DE 1st Round 2010 (early Declaration Candidate and Potential Top 5 Overall Selection).               

                                       Tyquan Lewis DE 1st/2nd Round 2018.


Special Teams:

Special teams are a bit unsettled for the Buckeyes as a new punter will be in town and the competition for kicker could see the Buckeyes using a pair during the regular season. Parris Campbell looks to be the primary return man for Ohio State.


Schedule:

Ohio State will host the Oklahoma Sooners during week 2 after dismantling them in Norman a season ago. Wisconsin is not on the docket and many of the tough games are at home (Penn State and Michigan State). Ohio State will have to travel to face Michigan on the road but their is no home field advantage in that game as all bets are off and the road team has actually enjotyed success over the years in that grudge match.


Draft and Overall Outlook:

We expect some more propsects to emerge on both the offensive and defensive line with the depth the Buckleyes enjoy. The schedule and the experience at the skill p;ositions seem to set up just like it did for Clemson a season ago.

 

DJ Boyer