We have 44 days until the start of Ohio State Football. This summer months, sports dead zone causes me to cling on to anything football related. With this upcoming season marking Urban Meyer’s second as the admiral of this Buckeye squad, and with me having severe writers block, I figured I would go through my preseason “what to watch for” list, in order to give my Buckeye craving some sort of cathartic release as well as maybe get some of you on the same page as myself.
1.Braxton Miller, The Pass Happy Quarterback
Of course…of course, I am stoked to watch this guy play again. He is the epitome of what I think a quarterback should be: talented with both his arm and feet, humble, and a leader both on, and off the field. He is quickly making his way up my list of all-time favorites to don the scarlet and gray. What makes me excited however, is not watching him juke people out of their underwear, or make some insane play that would never fly in the plot of a Disney sports movie. No I am excited for him to take me on the Santa Maria and show me to the canons. That’s right, I want to see him slinging balls left, right, and downfield. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt comfortable with a quarterback throwing the ball, but I think this is the year Braxton will restore my faith in the pass.
2. The Magnificent Front 7
With the loss of the veteran leadership on the defensive line, as well as the almost non-existence of linebackers – save Ryan “I’ll play on one leg and still get the most tackles on the team” Shazier – I’m curious to see how this years front 7 will step up. No doubt they are young, but they are young and talented. It’s been a very long time since we had two sophomores anchor the defensive line, and Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence and poised to do just that. With the loss of two linebackers already, I have to believe that Curtis Grant will finally step up and be that dominant player that his physique would suggest. I personally think our defense is going to hinder on our middle linebacker position…No pressure Mr. Grant.
Okay, even I’ll admit that was bad. I love having a shut down corner. It was great when we had Chris Gamble and literally no quarterback would throw his direction. What I want to see out of Roby though is a cornerback that can bait a quarterback to throw his way and then jump the route, which he’s already proven he is fully capable of doing. I have no doubt that with his speed, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with. I also love his outspoken confidence, and I think he has the capability of both talking the talk and walking the walk as they say.
4. El Guapo’s Plethora of Touchdowns
For anyone who doesn’t get that reference I would like to direct you to one of the greatest movies of all time. And for those who don’t know that Carlos Hyde’s given nickname is El Guapo, in the immortal words of Biggie: If you don’t know, now ya know. I think Carlos Hyde is going to be a total freak show this year. I know people are already calling for him to Urban’s first 1,000-yard tailback, and I totally believe that is possible. He has the drive and the motivation to go down as one of the greats in Ohio State history. I’m fully expecting him to plow over cowering defensive backs to hit his 1,000-yard mark.
Not since the 2008 incoming freshmen have I been so stoked about an incoming class and the effect they will have on the field immediately. I could see Trey Johnson and Mike Mitchell getting immediate playing time at linebacker. Vonn Bell, the nations number one safety coming out of high school could also lay some lumber, as could Eli Apple at cornerback. However the one player I am already man-crushing on is Dontre Wilson. Take a look at his high school highlights and tell me this kid isn’t going to be a player. He has some ridiculous speed burst, and a natural ability to bust open the big play. Mark my words, we will be hearing his name called this fall.
I hope that gets a few of you as hyped up as I am about this upcoming football season. Be sure to check back when fall camp starts, for updates about our take on what could be a magical 2013 Buckeye football season.