Urban’s ballers will be running amok next year, in the NFL. The Ohio State team that won the 2014 national title (and had the talent to play for one in 2015) has had NINE players declare early for the 2016 NFL Draft.
Not surprisingly, those nine include some key contributors.
- Vonn Bell – All-American S
- Joey Bosa – Prospective No. 1 Pick DE
- Cardale Jones – Rocket Armed QB
- Ezekiel Elliott – 3,500-plus yards and 37 TD at RB the past two years
- Michael Thomas – Potential 1st round Pick WR
- Darron Lee – 2nd Team All B1G LB
- Tyvis Powell – three-year starter at S
- Eli Apple – 2nd Team All B1G CB
- Jalin Marshall – RB/WR/PR
That’s not including the senior class. Taylor Decker, a consensus 1st team All-American tackle, departs. So do QB Braxton Miller, DTs Tommy Schutt and Adolphus Washington, LB Joshua Perry, C Jacoby Boren, RT Chase Farris, and TE Nick Vannett.
That will be a historic draft class, and a historic amount of attrition to overcome in 2016, however one wants to tabulate the number of “returning starters.”
The offensive staff performance this year was…questionable. The defense will be coordinated by Greg Schiano, last a coordinator in 2000 for 18 months. Also notable: for perhaps the first time in the Meyer era the Buckeyes actually face a football schedule next season.
Ohio State plays Oklahoma in Norman non-conference next year. With the B1G switching to nine conference games, Ohio State drew Wisconsin (away), Northwestern, and Nebraska from the West. Michigan State away and an improving Michigan squad to close the season.
Urban Meyer recruits well. Ohio State still has talent. But, things could get interesting.