Since 1950, the country's best football-playing seniors have faced off in a North vs South battle ahead of the NFL Combine and draft. It's one more chance for NFL scouts and executives to see these players up close and personal, meet with them, and start setting the expectation for a professional career. Held in Mobile, Alabama since 1951, several Buckeyes will make their way down South for the esteemed competition.
Ohio State has four players -- formerly six, before Taylor Decker bowed out and Joshua Perry suffered a groin injury -- suiting up for the North team in this year's Senior Bowl. They will train with and learn from the Dallas Cowboys coaching and support staff through Saturday's game. The staff bring all their technology and equipment to Alabama for a full NFL-like experience.
The Buckeyes lead the North team with most players, and -- coincidentally -- the South is lead by Alabama. As a bitter rivalry goes, Ohio State and Alabama is near the top; it has everything, Big Ten vs SEC, Urban Meyer vs Nick Saban, National Championship totals and more. This will be one more opportunity for the college football 'civil war' to play out on the grid iron.
Who to watch
The week of practice ahead of the Senior Bowl game has been very beneficial for the former Ohio State stars. Braxton Miller was the early highlight, with scouts and analysts clamoring over the former quarterbacks athleticism and natural ability to play receiver. Tight end Nick Vannett caught the eyes of several NFL teams mid-week, proving himself to be an asset in the red zone, in addition to a versatile position player.
On defense, Adolphus Washington stood out on the line, showing that he was both quick and stout, splitting the offensive line on more than one occasion. Washington has the skill-set of a first-round draft pick, but his success in the interviews with teams will be critical following his arrest for solicitation. Safety Tyvis Powell continued to be a leader on the sideline, even for players he had just met, and practiced what he preached snagging several interceptions throughout the week.
Ohio State foursome @seniorbowl Tyvis Powell, Adolphus Washington, Braxton Miller, Nick Vannett #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/mjM3Dw4Lzz— College2Pro.com (@BoMarchionte) January 27, 2016
One player who will miss the game is LB Joshua Perry. In addition to impressing scouts with his physique, with one expert saying he was "Chiseled as heck. Prob best frame here.", he also had a good Day 1 practice, until he suffered a groin injury that will keep him sidelined for the bowl game. Perry should get another chance in front of NFL honchos during the Combine, to which he is expected to earn an invite.
The 2015 senior class was special to Urban Meyer, and one he wont soon forget.
Proud of the Buckeyes performing well at the Senior Bowl! pic.twitter.com/wQXGw5He8G— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) January 27, 2016
You can bet the head coach will be tuning in to see how his players perform in their last test as college players.
Hue Jackson on #Buckeyes: "There’s some good looking ones out here. I have a lot of respect for Urban Meyer, know him personally" #Browns— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) January 27, 2016
Looks like this is just the beginning of a very exciting new chapter for Ohio State greats.
How to watch
When: 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
TV: NFL Network
Streaming online: NFL GamePass