The 2013 football season did not end well for the Ohio State Buckeyes. After winning 24 straight games, they ended the 2013 season with 2 straight losses. I’m sure the Buckeyes are more than anxious to get the 2014 season going to redeem themselves.
It sounds a lot worse on paper than it really was. Michigan State had one of the nation’s great defenses and the loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl could have easily gone the other way and it was the last game for several Clemson greats.
Ohio State will be back in full force in 2014 with something to prove.
The Buckeyes offense returns 5 starters and the biggest returner is Braxton Miller (6-2,215) who seems to have been around since Woody Hayes days.
Miller missed several games in 2013 with injury but still managed to throw for over 2000 yards and run for over a 1000. If not for the return of Jameis Winston, Miller very well could be the front runner for the Heisman Trophy even though he only finished 9th last season.
Miller’s back up a season ago was Kenny Guiton. Guiton was so good that he would have started for any other B1G team a year ago and would have put up similar numbers to Miller. If Miller goes down, Guiton may be missed considerably.
However, tOSU is loaded at QB. Hopefully, Miller never goes down with injury, but if he should the Buckeyes have Sophomore Cardale Jones (6-5,240) and redshirt freshman JT Barrett (6-1,225) fighting it out for playing time. Cardale Jones is a freaky specimen with a big time arm. Barrett is a hotshot former 4 star recruit out of Texas and has a strong arm as well and is very athletic.
Also on the scene for next season is Stephen Collier (6-3,205) a 3 star recruit out of Georgia. Collier is much in the same mold as Braxton Miller and Barrett but was only rated a 3 star which occasionally means nothing.
The Buckeyes are set at QB for a while. It will be interesting to see who wins the back up job and if the loser of that battle will stick around. Speaking of sticking around, kudos to Kenny Guiton for staying around and fighting for the Buckeyes.
RB is a different story for the Bucks. Losing Carlos Hyde and his 1500 rushing yards is a pretty big deal. But, they do have Ezekiel Elliott (6-0,225) returning for his sophomore season, and he is not without ability. Elliott put up 262 yards on the ground in 2013.
Rod Smith (6-3,230) also saw action last season. Also on the roster is home grown product Warren Ball (6-1,225) and Bri’onte Dunn (6-0,215) both big guys that should be able to run between the tackles. Incoming freshman Parris Campbell (6-0,185) could play here or in the secondary.
The Buckeyes need one of these guys to step up this season, but they will be fine.
At the H-back position they return potential super star Dontre Wilson (5-10,185). He very promptly and smoothly ran for 250 yards as a true freshman a year ago.
Devin Smith (6-1,195) and Evan Spencer (6-2,210) return at WR and caught 66 passes between the both of them. Gone is Philly Brown the team’s leading receiver. Jalin Marshall (5-11,205 a highly recruited redshirt freshman was in the mix but recently tore his meniscus. Michael Thomas (6-3,200) redshirted a year ago and should play this season. He was an absolute receiving terror coming out of high school in California
There are plenty of bodies returning here, but watch out for 4 star recruits, Johnnie Dixon (5-11,195) out of Florida and Terry McLaurin (6-0,185). Both oare highly recruited 4 star guys. McLaurin is quick and shifty and Dixon is just a flat out burner. Dixon also played some DB and would make an excellent CB if needed. But, he’s a potentially big time WR at the college level. He enrolled early and is going through Spring Drills.
TE returns Jeff Heuerman (6-5,255) and he caught 26 passes a year ago. Nick Vannett (6-6,260) also returns after catching 8 balls last season. Both are capable blockers.
The third TE, Marcus Baugh (6-4,250), has been in some trouble and I hope he returns in 2014.
Offensive line lost 4 out of 5 starters. Huge right tackle Taylor Decker (6-7,315) returns but will move to Left Tackle where you want your best offensive lineman.
Jacoby Boren (6-1,285) should start at Center. Darryl Baldwin (6-6,305) was a back up OT last season and will move into the Right Tackle position. Antonio Underwood (6-2,305) is a beast and will start at the Left Guard positions. Pat Elfien (6-3.300) played some a year ago and will play Right Guard.
Watch for hot shot recruits Terrance Knox (6-4,295), and Jamarco Jones (6-4,300). Both could play or provide quality depth right away.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Buckeyes struggled at times in 2013. But, there is hope because they return 7 starters and especially hopeful because they return all 4 starters from their front 4 and they were really young last season.
DE’s Noah Spence (6-3,255) and outstanding true freshman Joey Bosa (6-5,285) both are back and ready to wreck havoc on opposing offenses. This tandem had 15 sacks a year ago and should be more productive this season. Jamal Marcus (6-1,245) played in the Orange Bowl and should play a lot in 2014.
The tackles, Michael Bennett (6-2,290), Adolphus Washington (6-4,290) both return. Bennett had 7 sacks last season.
Tommy Schutt (6-2,300) and Joel Hale (6-4,310) return for depth, both are experienced.
Highly rated recruits, Jalyn Holmes(6-5,235) at Defensive End and Dylan Thompson (6-5,275) at Defensive Tackle could play early.
Curtis Grant (6-3,245) is back at MLB, but not sure he will hold off super incoming freshman Raekwon McMillan (6-2,250) from Hineswood, Georgia. He’s an outstanding 5 star LB from Georgia that may be one of the better high school LBs I have seen. He is big and strong and fast enough to play RB. He hits hard and is very intense. AJ Hawk was one of the best college LBs in the last decade and McMillan just may be right there before he is done. The kid is a player. I don’t know how the Buckeyes stole him from the Georgia Bulldogs or the SEC
Joshua Perry (6-4,250) returns on the strong side and he was solid a year ago ranking 4th on the team in tackles. The weak side is open and Darron Lee (6-1,225) and Trey Johnson (6-1,225) could be the leader. Mike Mitchell, a guy with huge potential. is transferring out. Dante Booker ((6-3,210) is another highly rated recruit that could play early, or possibly true freshman Kyle Berger (6-2,220).
The defensive backfield returns Doran Grant (5-11,195) at CB and Armani Reeves (5-10,195) played a lot and should start at the other corner.
Eli Apple (6-1,195) and Gareon Conley (6-0,190) were super recruits a year ago and redshirted. Marshon Lattimore (6-0,180) is an outstanding CB coming in from Cleveland. True freshman Damon Webb (5-10,180) could help out as well. CB is in good shape.
Tyvis Powell (6-3,205) and Vonn Bell (5-11,200) should be the safeties, but Bell will be out for a while because of a knee injury. Cam Burrows (6-0,210) is the only other safety on campus right now and a freshman will have to play right away
Ohio State should be it’s usual contending self next season. I am believing that the winner of the Michigan State-Ohio State game should win the Big 10. I am circling Saturday November 8th on my calender now.
Urban Meyer should have his guys ready for this grudge match.
The Buckeyes have recruited extremely well the past few seasons and it should pay off again this year. This year’s class is loaded as will be the 2014 edition of the Ohio State University Buckeyes