"First Team: Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Taylor Decker, Darron Lee. Second Team: Cardale Jones, Adolphus Washington."
Sporting News released their college football preseason All-Americans for the upcoming season, including several key Ohio State players. Making the first team were running back Ezekiel Elliott, defensive end Joey Bosa, offensive tackle Taylor Decker, and linebacker Darron Lee. Elliott and Bosa return as two of the top players at their position, and Lee enters his sophomore year after a brilliant freshman season in 2014.
On the second team, quarterback Cardale Jones and defensive tackle Adolphus Washington make the cut. Jones is coming off a spectacular three-game stretch, where he helped engineer wins over Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon en route to Ohio State's first national championship since 2002. While it's unknown whether he will win the starting job for 2015, the Buckeyes know they can trust the gunslinger when needed. Washington turned down the NFL for one more season at Ohio State, and will help anchor a defensive line that has a reputation for being one of the best in the country.
"If you privately polled the OSU receivers, my belief is that they would choose Cardale Jones due to his willingness to put the ball up deep and trust his WRs to go get it. But, it would not surprise me one bit to see J.T. Barrett reclaim the starting job due to his cool, controlled efficiency, and day-to-day high levels of production. As for Braxton Miller, he's still working through his shoulder rehab, so he has some ground to make up."
Another day, another list of opinions on who should be the starting quarterback for Ohio State in 2015. With Braxton Miller coming off of a season-ending shoulder injury last season and cleared to play from here on out, the competition goes three-deep. With Miller, J.T. Barrett, and Cardale Jones, the Buckeyes have the quarterback position in good hands, regardless of who starts. Still, it's one of the top storylines in the country to open this season, and it seems as if everyone has a take on who should start and why. NFL.com analysts gave their take on it recently, with the overall favorite being J.T. Barrett from this list. Four out of six analysts gave Barrett the nod, with two supporting Cardale Jones.
No love for Braxton Miller it seems, but with his number of injuries, it's obvious most people think Barrett and Jones are much safer picks. Regardless of who starts, that player will likely be a Heisman candidate and will definitely be given the task to try and repeat the championship success from last season.
AP released bowl projections for the 2015-16 postseason. Have Ohio State vs Auburn in CFP National Championship game. pic.twitter.com/nEv9BWXC2t— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) June 16, 2015
The Associated Press released their bowl predictions for the upcoming season and slotted Ohio State in the College Football Playoff as one of the four teams to make it. The other three teams were Baylor (matched against the Buckeyes in the semifinal), Notre Dame, and Auburn. Ohio State and Auburn were projected to advance to the national championship game.
Although I don't agree with the Notre Dame pick, it's interesting to see Baylor in the playoff, considering the controversy from last season, where TCU and Baylor were jumped by Ohio State after the Buckeyes plowed through Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. The lack of a conference championship game especially hurt the Horned Frogs and Bears, as the Big 12 was left out of the inaugural College Football Playoff. Now returning as two of the top teams in the country, they'll be looking to prove that they belong in the playoff this season.
"If you look at his career, this is a kid who can score any time he wants to. People think Mickey can't shoot. But if you look at his high school team, guess who one of the leading three-point guys on his team is? It's Mickey. He was 42 percent. That's not bad."
Mickey Mitchell's journey to Ohio State is a fascinating one, to say the least. Bill Landis of Northeast Ohio Media Group writes a nice story detailing how Mitchell came to be at Ohio State after once decommitting and then eventually committing again and finally enrolling. Now starting his basketball career with the Buckeyes, Mitchell has his father's blessing to do what makes him happy and not worry as much about his father's cluster headaches (something that made older brother Mike Mitchell transfer from Ohio State to Texas Tech to be closer to his father).
Now Thad Matta and the Ohio State coaching staff get a top talent on their court and one of the best high school players in the country. The 2015 class is an exciting one, JaQuan Lyle, Daniel Giddens, Austin Grandstaff, and A.J. Harris. With his players enrolled, Matta will get a chance to form a tough group of Buckeyes into contenders.