Ohio State Football: Top 5 Players To Watch For 2018

Ohio State Football: Top 5 Players To Watch For 2018

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Ohio State Football: Top 5 Players To Watch For 2018


Ohio State lost some key personnel last year, but at a place like Ohio State, there are always more in the cupboard to still have a dream season. Here are five players that need to be big for the Buckeyes if they are going to compete for the loftiest of goals again.


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Ohio State Football: 5 Players To Watch For 2018

There are always stars on a football team that have to come up big, most specifically at a place like Ohio State. Under Urban Meyer, OSU has always set its sights on championships, and it’ll be no different in 2018.

But how does Ohio State move the pieces around on the chess board to ensure that happens. Better yet, what are those chess pieces that are going to be used.

Here’s a look at five players to watch in 2018 if OSU is going to do special things again.

 RB – Mike Weber

Everyone gets all warm inside when the topic of J.K. Dobbins comes up, but the guy that Ohio State will need more than you think next year is Mike Weber.

The coaches were very high on what No. 25 had become heading into last year, but a hamstring injury kept him from showing us all why. He displayed some explosiveness at the tail end of last year, but that was after we all saw what Dobbins could do.

As electric as he is, I don’t think Dobbins is an every down back, and another guy to throw in the mix keeps him more fresh and apt to break off a big one.

I really believe everyone might be surprised at the split in carries between the two. Weber is THAT good, and if he’s healthy, you’re going to see them both on almost equal footing.

WR – Parris Campbell

Let’s stay on offense here and go to another playmaker. Campbell’s another guy that was slowed because of injury last year., but when he was in there, his game-breaking ability and speed were evident. He took several short yardage catches and turned them into big gainers.

The entire receiving corps is back next year, but the H-Back position has always been one close to Urban Meyer’s heart, and Campbell is that guy.

If he can stay healthy, he’ll get featured more on screens, jet-sweeps and end-arounds. His presence on the field will open things up and clear out the clutter for the other pass-catchers to go to work.

QB – Dwayne Haskins, Jr.

Oh yes. The heir apparent if you will to take over for Mr. Everything, J.T. Barrett. We can’t forget about Tate Martell or Joe Burrow competing for the job, but Haskins showed what he can do in the second-half comeback against Michigan, and feels and looks like the next man up.

But that was a very small sample size.

Next fall, he’s going to get scouted and game planned to death by opposing defensive coaches, and we’ll get a better feel for what he can bring to the table.

Haskins has a big, accurate arm, and has been able to stand tall and poised in the pocket from what we’ve seen, but he’ll need to get better in reading defenses and progressing through his options.

There’s not much time to get polished up with a game against TCU in AT&T Stadium just three games into the schedule, so time will be of the essence.

How Haskins progresses, and how he plays on a consistent level will go a long way towards where this team ultimately goes.

DE – Nick Bosa

As good as Bosa has been, he has yet to be completely healthy. He came in his freshman year off of a knee injury, and still nursed it to some extent last year.

He was in on the key downs and played a ton, but you can look for him to get a lot more snaps in 2018 now that Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis are off to the NFL.

He might be the most gifted and polished pass rusher in all of college football, and if Ohio State has any designs of being an aggressive and attacking defense again, it’ll all start up front.

If it’s staring up front, then Bosa has to lead the way on a D-line that is retooling just a bit.

LB – Tuf Borland

Borland looks like the guy that’s set to take over the full-time middle-linebacker spot. To be fair, he started to get the bulk of the playing time there towards the end of the season, but now it’s his with no questions asked.

He’ll have to live up to his name if OSU’s going to continue its tradition of stout defenses, because it all starts with the quarterback of the defense.

At 6-1, 229 lbs., Borland isn’t the biggest guy for the position, but he’s been good at diagnosing plays, getting off blocks and into the fray. In today’s game, he also has to be good and dropping back and staying with a tight-end or tailback out of the backfield.

He was good last year, but the coaching staff will be counting on him even more in 2018. It’s time to make that next jump as a sophomore and show out.

 

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