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Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel deserves Heisman praise as well

J.T. Barrett isn’t the only Heisman Trophy candidate on Ohio State, according to Urban Meyer.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

“I think it's a little harder at that position to get it, the H-back. But he certainly is having that kind of year that he should be in the conversation.”

- Urban Meyer via Austin Ward, ESPN

When discussing Heisman Trophy candidates, the name that comes immediately to mind for Ohio State is quarterback J.T. Barrett. And for good reason, considering the junior signal-caller has led the Buckeyes to a 4-0 record and doing so in record-breaking fashion. But head coach Urban Meyer says there’s another candidate that should be considered: Curtis Samuel. The Buckeyes H-back has been phenomenal this season and has proven his versatility in his ‘Percy Harvin’ role. This season alone, Samuel has rushed for 328 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries and has 23 receptions for 345 yards and three touchdowns.

Meyer admits it would be hard for Samuel to win the award simply because he’s not just dominating a single statistic but his overall effort is certainly noteworthy at this point in the season. Ohio State would surely be an entirely different team without him. While Samuel probably won’t win, it’s never a bad thing to get this sort of recognition from your head coach. After spending two seasons as Ezekiel Elliott’s backup and dabbling in some receiving duties, Samuel’s role in the offense has finally blossomed and he’s seeing the immediate returns.

“He came to me one day and said, 'Since we're always the guys picking up the running backs, how about you pick me up?’”

- Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland.com

With all of the scoring that Ohio State had against Rutgers in the 58-0 blowout win, it might have been easy to miss. But when Mike Weber took a handoff and sprinted past the defense for a 46-yard touchdown run, Weber flipped the script for the usual endzone celebration with his teammates. In previous visits to the endzone, an Ohio State running back will normally get lifted up high by the first offensive lineman to meet him at the finish line. Instead, on his touchdown run, Weber tried to return the favor and it didn’t quite go as planned.

There was a clear miscommunication as Weber tried to lift Pat Elflein off the ground and Elflein only got about four inches in the air before coming back to the ground. Weber explains that Elflein forgot to jump in the air and didn’t help him out much, but takes the blame for not remembering against Tulsa, when Weber scored his first touchdown of the season. It’s a funny story that’s worth taking a look at the video provided by Cleveland.com.

“It’s so rare we get to see returning NCAA champions hit at any time during the season and we’ve got two great ones set to tangle the very first weekend of the season. It’s surely going to be memorable.”

- NWCA Executive Director Mike Moyer via Jason Bryant, NWCA Online

Gabe Dean of Cornell, a two-time NCAA champion, and Ohio State’s Myles Martin, the returning NCAA champion, have officially confirmed their participation at 51st annual NWCA All-Star Classic on November 5 at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. The event has served as the major kickoff event since its inception in 2012. Dean is weighed at 184 pounds while Martin wrestles at 174 but will make a jump up in the weight class for the match.

This particular match is the first matchup of returning NCAA champions at the All-Star Classic since another Buckeye, Logan Stieber, defeated Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple in 2014. Dean will likely enter the favorite as he’s been one of the most dominant wrestlers since he stepped into the college ranks while Martin won a national championship last season as a No. 11 seed.

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