clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

J.T. Barrett, Raekwon McMillan, and Pat Elflein will be 2016 Ohio State captains

Urban Meyer wraps up the 2015 season, and looks ahead.

The 2015 season is now over, several players have already announced their decision to move on the NFL, and Urban Meyer took the podium one last time to wrap up the Fiesta Bowl and the season.

He's already ensured some of the captains for 2016, including J.T. Barrett, Raekwon McMillan and Pat Elflein. Meyer said the coaches aren't waiting until August to make the announcement, these are the guys who are going to lead during the offseason.

Despite people being very critical of the team following the loss to Michigan State, Meyer said, "I am absolutely ecstatic with the way they stay professional." He said the team "played like their hair was on fire" the last two games and that's all he could have asked for.

Fiesta Bowl Recap

  • Meyer said the Fiesta Bowl was a "really really good bowl experience" and one of the "best special team effort since we've been together for 4 years".
  • The punt return team was the most improved all season, capping off a successful outing against Notre Dame.
  • When asked about why he didn't put Cardale Jones in at the end of the bowl game with the lead they had, Meyer seemed a little surprised, "I didn't think about it, that might have been something appropriate, but I didn't think about it."

Draft declarations

  • Meyer lauds his players for being very professional in their decision making to take the step to the NFL, and attributes it to their love for the fans, University, teammates and coaches.
  • Of the nine players who announced they would leave early to go Pro, Meyer confirmed "a couple" of guys surprised him. The only name he would say was Tyvis Powell, but understood he was a four-year player who already earned his degree.
  • This isn't the biggest class he's lost, noting one year at Florida he had 12 players send in their draft paperwork

Looking ahead

  • Meyer notes the future is extremely bright, and thinks offensively they're doing great. There are a lot of young players who will get a chance to step up in 2016, with Corey Smith possibly getting NCAA approval for a sixth year.
  • When asked for five names that could make an impact on offense in 2016, Meyer was quick to note Isaiah Prince, Noah Brown, Marcus Baugh, JeMarco Jones, then a right guard. He also mentioned Mike Weber at running back, and suggested Bri'onte Dunn and Dontre Wilson need to step up to earn a starting role. Wilson has already gained some weight, and is about 195/198 pounds, just a few pounds shy of the coaches 200-pound goal.
  • There are 7 or 8 incoming players that will join the team mid-semester, leaving about 4 or 5 spots left in the 2016 recruiting class. Meyer was sure to note, "I really like this class coming in."
  • Meyer also noted he's made a renewed commitment to a "more balanced offense," something fans saw a little more of during the Fiesta Bowl.