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Why is this news?: Chris Carter and Antonio Underwood not playing in 2015, Noah Spence possible return?

All the big Ohio State news in one place.

Chris Carter will play his last games as a Buckeye in 2014 after deciding not to return in 2015.
Chris Carter will play his last games as a Buckeye in 2014 after deciding not to return in 2015.
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Two players on the current 2014 team won't be playing football in the 2015 season because of their personal choices. Junior defensive lineman Chris Carter and junior offensive lineman Antonio Underwood won't be playing their senior season and instead will opt out to finish their degrees and graduate from Ohio State.

Coach Meyer commented on the decision from the players, saying it was completely their choice and he wasn't involved in them leaving the program. Carter and Underwood will be honored on Senior Day against Michigan this Saturday as a part of the rest of the senior class. Their time at Ohio State will forever make them Buckeyes in the eyes of Ohio State fans, and they'll get one final game in the 'Shoe to enjoy their time on the team.

While Ohio State might be losing two players after this season, the Buckeyes could also bring back a pretty important player back to their defensive line with the situation involving defensive end Noah Spence. There have been rumors floating around for a while now that Spence could potentially be reinstated to the team after the unfortunate events went down earlier this year.

Spence currently has an appeal hearing with the Big Ten that's happening today, and the outcome could decide whether we see Spence in a scarlet and gray jersey again. If he is reinstated, there is already talk that he could play as soon as the Michigan game, but nothing is set in stone.

As of 5:00 PM, this is what we have on the update front:

"Frankly, I don't think we need it. That doesn't mean three or four years from now we might not be willing to take that risk. But right now, we don't need to take it."

- Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith, via Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group

10 years ago, Ohio State and Michigan agreed to a corporate deal to call their rivalry the SBC Michigan-Ohio State Classic, which would have payed each school $520,000 for two years. The next day, however, the schools backed out of the deal and nothing has come up ever since. Rivalries from Texas-Oklahoma, now called the AT&T Red River Showdown, to Oregon-Oregon State, with The Civil War Series having Wells Fargo as a presenting sponsor, even have corporate deals.

There's no question that there's plenty of interest from a number of companies that would be willing to make a deal with the schools, but the consensus is that Ohio State and Michigan will turn everything down. Smith also added some points about officially changing the name to 'The Game':

"Everyone thinks their rivalry game is the all-time rivalry game. When you benchmark ours against some of the others nationally, there are things that probably set us in a higher order than some others. I don't think we need to fuel it with other things, because it sets itself apart at it is."

It's an interesting take and I recommend you read the entire article if you get the chance.

"Oh yeah, I think he should be in [consideration] everybody's mind. Statistically, the things that he's doing, obviously numbers don't lie. Tom Herman and our offensive staff are putting him and other guys in positions to make plays, and J.T. is doing nothing but capitalizing on every single chance and opportunity. As a freshman, he's doing some things that it took me an ample amount of years to grasp and have an understanding about. "

- Former Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith, on J.T. Barrett for Heisman, via Austin Ward, ESPN

Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett has been slowly entering the spotlight as one of the top players in the country this season, alongside names such as Marcus Mariota, Dak Prescott, Melvin Gordon, and Trevone Boykin as some of the serious contenders for the Heisman Memorial Trophy. Now, Barrett is getting a slight nudge from a former Buckeye Heisman Trophy winner himself.

Troy Smith, winner of the 2006 Heisman Trophy, has recently talked to the media about the young quarterback and how he's already doing things that took Smith himself time to learn as a quarterback during his time at Ohio State. Smith also wonders aloud what it would have been like to play in Urban Meyer's offensive scheme, as he continued in the article:

Smith joked about what his individual numbers might look like in Meyer's spread offense with the chance to throw "shovel passes for touchdowns," but he was otherwise effusive in his praise of Barrett, and pointed to his eye-popping statistics with 42 total touchdowns as a key component in his Heisman platform.

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