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Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan a potential future NFL star

The junior linebacker is ready to raise his game to another level this season and prepare himself for the NFL.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

"2. Raekwon McMillan. The Buckeyes' middle linebacker was just another highly talented player among many in the OSU defense last year. This year, he'll be counted on for much more leadership."

- Chase Goodbread, NFL.com

NFL.com is doing a series called "16 for '16" which features several articles that break down college football's best. This time around, the list was 16 defenders that will be stars in the NFL. Making the list at the second overall spot was Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan. The junior linebacker has been a rising star with the Buckeyes since his highly competitive recruitment ended with him choosing to head to Columbus for his college career. The 6'2 defensive star led the Buckeyes in tackling last season with 119 tackles and played a tremendous role in Ohio State's road to a Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame.

Returning for his third season, McMillan is 'the guy' this year, and will look to head a young but talented defensive unit. His leadership will be key early on in the season for the younger players, but his impact will surely be felt all season long. McMillan is a very solid tackler and is quick enough to be a threat in coverage as well. It makes sense that McMillan is gaining attention on a national level with his skill set, and certainly passes the eye test when determining who will be successful in the NFL.

Ohio State may have lost Nick Vannett to eligibility, but the Buckeyes have found another No. 81 to take his place. 2016 four-star tight end Jake Hausmann hasn't been on the team for very long, but will be looking to slip into the shoes (or in this case, jersey) of Vannett by taking over No. 81 with his new team. Hausmann along with Luke Farrell committed to Ohio State as a part of their 2016 recruiting class. Hausmann in particular committed to the Buckeyes over offers from Florida State, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, among others. He was rated as the fourth-best tight end in the country as well as the fifth-best prospect at any position from the state of Ohio.

Of course, whether Hausmann makes the same impact as Vannett did on the field remains to be seen. Though he may have a difficult time this season, with Marcus Baugh projected to be the starting tight end. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to see some rotating, however, as the Ohio State coaching staff has been known to do that especially getting some work in for some younger players at key positions.

"But the Buckeyes had enough energy left to let out an extended roar upon finding out Monday afternoon that they are a second seed in the Louisville Regional and will be playing Horizon League champion Wright State (44-15) in a semifinal at 2 p.m. Friday."

- Mark Znidar, The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State baseball sealed a Big Ten tournament championship against Iowa and was slotted to head to the Louisville Regional for the NCAA tournament this past week. Now, the Buckeyes are preparing to play Wright State on Friday, with a chance to extend their excellent postseason run. This run marks the first time since 2009 that Ohio State has made the field for the NCAA tournament and you can bet head coach Greg Beals wants to keep the momentum going. The Buckeyes have won 15 of their last 18 games, an impressive stretch that has been accomplished at the perfect time. Now the team will look to continue that on Friday.

The two-seeded Buckeyes, should they get past Wright State, will have to face either Louisville or Western Michigan at the next stage. And though imagining trying to beat Louisville on their own field isn't fun to think about, Ohio State is focused on one step at a time.

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