Every year it happens. The snow melts, temperatures rise, the grass greens, and Heisman Trophy discussions begin. These lists are nothing more than fodder for discussion, but it is fun to dream of what might be. Here’s a look at our way too early Heisman candidates from your 2018 Ohio State Buckeyes.
Ohio State Buckeyes on the way too early Heisman radar
As with every year, Ohio State will come into the 2018 football season with high expectations. There will be holes to fill on both sides of the ball, but with the great recruiting classes Urban Meyer has brought in over his tenure, rebuilding is not in the vocabulary.
With plenty of talent to go around, let’s take a look at several players who may stand out and earn a trip to New York City at seasons end.
J.K. Dobbins – Running Back
Let’s start with one of the most dynamic freshman running backs in the country. After a nagging hamstring injury kept incumbent running back Mike Weber on the sidelines in week one, Dobbins embraced the “Next Man Up” mantra.
Thrust into the starting lineup as a true freshman, J.K. was a man among boys. In 14 games Dobbins put up monster numbers, rushing for 1,403 yards, seven touchdowns, and averaging 7.1 yards per touch.
He has the skill to get to New York, but will have to contend with some new faces on the offensive line with departures of Billy Price and Jamarco Jones. But hey, the O-line is no different from the rest of the team and has loads of talent to plug in. Dobbins will have no problem picking up where he left off.
There will also be the concern of time share with a healthy Mike Weber, but I believe that can actually be a benefit. Remember, Weber played in 12 games last season, but the two seemed to compliment each other more than hurt each other.
Current odds of winning the Heisman Trophy: 20/1
Dwayne Haskins – Quarterback
The quarterback competition at Ohio State will likely be a hard fought battle through spring camp and into the fall. The Buckeyes have an embarrassment of riches at the QB spot, but I predict Haskins will come out on top.
We got our first real look at Dwayne Haskins in The Game after J.T. Barrett left with an injury. Entering the game trailing by a touchdown, Haskins played the role of a seasoned vet. He moved the ball with both his legs and pinpoint accurate arm to lead Ohio State to a 31-20 victory.
The Game is where legends are made. Just think back to the likes of Troy Smith or Cardale Jones. When you perform under that spotlight and have success, the hype is deserved.
Haskins will face the same concerns as Dobbins with a new look offensive line, but without the year of experience in playing time. My guess is there’ll be a learning curve, but there’s no doubt the skill is there.
Current odds of winning the Heisman Trophy: 33/1
Nick Bosa – Defensive End
I know, I know… only one defensive player has ever won a Heisman Trophy (we don’t need to mention his name), but Nick Bosa, much like older brother Joey, is a game changer.
Nick asserted himself as the unquestioned leader of a stout defensive line in 2017. Routinely drawing double teams, Bosa still managed to be a disruption in the backfield with 16 tackles for a loss that included 8.5 sacks.
Nick Bosa is an absolute beast and only getting better. He is powerful, quick and a headache to block. If you’re an opposing coach facing The Buckeyes in the fall, you are making a special game plan for No. 97.
I agree with the odds makers, Bosa is a long shot to win the Heisman Trophy, but he might just be the best player in college football.
Current odds of winning the Heisman Trophy: 75/1
Contact/Follow @BuckeyeWire for continuing coverage of Ohio State football and basketball.