With National Signing Day behind us, Ohio State is football is looking toward the 2016 season, and NFL-bound players are anxiously preparing for the biggest job interview of their lives. With seven months before the Buckeyes kickoff in their pursuit of a second national championship under Urban Meyer, there are still plenty of opportunities to catch some of your favorite players ahead of the season.
NFL Scouting Combine (Feb. 23-29, 2016)
The Ohio State Buckeyes could upend their current record for players taken in a single NFL draft, with upwards of 13 Buckeyes expected to hear their name called in April. Six players were invited to participate in the Senior Bowl, and even more were invited to attend the Combine. Over 300 draftable college football players descend onto Indianapolis for their chance to show their skills and uniqueness to scouts and executives for all 32 NFL teams. Players have just four days to interview with the media and individual teams, and show their physical prowess on the grandest scale.
Ohio State Pro Day (~ Early Mar. 2016)
Urban Meyer has already claimed that this year's Pro Day will exceed any that have come before. The head coach already hosted 38 NFL representatives for an early look at all the Buckeye NFL prospects. Players who weren't invited or didn't accept their invitation to the NFL Combine will still get a chance to show off in front of scouts during the workout at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
In addition to junior and seniors who have declared for the Draft, 2015 graduates who haven't landed on a team could participate in the scouting event once more. Players who participated in the Combine will then have to decided whether to sit on their laurels and go with their initial numbers, or have a second chance to land better 40-yard dash times or have a better showing in position drills.
Ohio State's spring game (Apr. 16, 2016)
The next time you'll get a chance to see the Scarlet and Gray take the field will be during the team's annual scrimmage in mid-April. This will be the first time fans get to see the early enrollee 2016 freshmen and get a better idea of what holes are left by the NFL-bound juniors and seniors.
The spring game is the perfect time to shake off the winter blues and head to The Shoe for some tailgating and football. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m., just after the Ohio State men's lacrosse game against Michigan. Tickets for the game are $5-$15 and include admission to the lacrosse game.
The 2016 NFL Draft (Apr. 28-30, 2016)
This is going to be a great draft for Buckeye fans. With so much Ohio State talent predicted to go in the first round, and considerably more within the first four rounds, viewers will need to get used to hearing, "THE Ohio State University." With so many available players, it's hard to pinpoint exactly how many will be picked up by teams during the three-day event; some experts think 7-8 players could go in the top 50, with 13 overall being taken. A lot of the talent out of Ohio State during this draft class has the ability to see playing time in their rookie season.
Big Ten Football Media Days (~End of Jul. 2016)
This is the unofficial start to the football "pre-season" and fans first chance to hear from coaches and players before they get back to work. All 14 head coaches along with one former player from each school will sign autographs, in addition to current players taking part in brief, live interviews. This will be Jim Harbaugh's second time at the Big Ten event, with probably more questions headed his way after an interesting recruiting season and losing in 2015 to both of the school's rivals.
2016 Fall Camp (Aug. 2016)
Fall camp hasn't always been good to the Buckeyes. In 2014, the team lost Braxton Miller during these practices to a non-contact shoulder injury, and in 2015 couldn't move past the quarterback competition. This year, the team has a clear starter at quarterback in J.T. Barrett, and will have a lot of young blood competing for spots in the now-scarce depth chart. This year's camp will be a must-watch for Buckeye fans to get introduced to the incoming 2016 talent, and to see how far the team has to go in order to make another championship run.
Ohio State football is back (Sep. 3, 2016)
The Buckeyes are fresh off a one-loss season that kept them out of the Big Ten title game and subsequently the College Football Playoff. With all the talent needed for yet another undefeated season, the team fell short, failing to find an offensive rhythm throughout the year. The 2016 season should be a little different, with Barrett being the one and only, clear-cut starting quarterback, and a slew of incoming receiving talent.
|Opponent / Event
|Time / Result
|vs. Bowling Green
|vs. Rutgers *
|vs. Indiana *
|at Wisconsin *
|at Penn State *
|State College, Pa.
|vs. Northwestern *
|vs. Nebraska *
|at Maryland *
|College Park, Md.
|at Michigan State *
|East Lansing, Mich.
|vs. Michigan *