"He definitely improved. He definitely has grown up a bunch. He had a good spring, a physical player which we thought he was, but he really started gravitating to starting to learn this offense the way you'd like him too."
Ohio State running back Mike Weber wasn't the shoo-in for starting this fall by any means. But after the team dismissed Bri'onte Dunn this week, Weber is now the sure favorite to be the starting running back in the fall. Though the Buckeyes have plenty of talent stockpiled on its rushing core (including Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson, and freshman Antonio Williams), Weber has been deadlocked with Dunn all preseason long. Now with Dunn out of the picture, it's essentially Weber's job to lose. And if the spring game in April was any indication, Weber should have no trouble handling the carries coming his way this season.
In reality, the real negative impact on Dunn's dismissal is the lack of depth behind Weber. Sure, Samuel and Wilson are both able to play in the backfield, but the coaching staff has or had plans of using them in other areas to give quarterback J.T. Barrett plenty of options to use this fall. Now the coaching staff might do some tweaking to some of the gameplans, depending on what Weber can do as a lone back.
"1. Ohio State - QB: J.T. Barrett, RB: Mike Weber, WR: Noah Brown"
ESPN has been breaking down its list of the top trios in the Big Ten for the 2016 season, and Ohio State was ranked as having the top trio in the conference. The trio of quarterback J.T. Barrett, running back Mike Weber, and wide receiver Noah Brown topped the list as the top offensive trio in the Big Ten. The most interesting part about this list is that although the Buckeyes have one of the top signal callers in the country with J.T. Barrett, the other two are virtually unproven. Weber was one of the standouts in the spring game in April, but hasn't yet proven himself on the big stage.
Brown, meanwhile, was slotted into one of the starting receiver spots in 2015 before suffering a broken leg a week or so before the opening game against Virginia Tech. Before his injury, the hype surrounding Brown was at an all-time high, as many of his fellow teammates and even the coaching staff were showering praise on the wideout. He's been quieter this offseason, but is still potentially a major threat for opposing defenses once the season starts.
"Ohio State's All-Century team: Best lineup since the 2000s"
ESPN has been going through each Big Ten school and putting together an "All-Century" team since the 2000s and Ohio State's lineup brought back some good memories. At quarterback, of course, was Troy Smith. Ezekiel Elliott and Chris "Beanie" Wells were slotted in a running back. For your wide receivers, Michael Jenkins and Santonio Holmes with Ben Hartstock at tight end. Braxton Miller even made the list at the all-purpose spot. Some notables on defense were Joey Bosa, Johnathan Hankins, Will Smith, and Vernon Gholston on the defensive line (what a dream lineup that would be). A.J. Hawk, James Laurinaitis, and Ryan Shazier manned the linebacker spots while defensive backs included Mike Doss, Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Gamble and Bradley Roby.
Mike Nugent was the placekicker while Cameron Johnston took on punting duties (honorable mention of Andy Groom) and of course at kick returner/punt returner, none other than Ted Ginn Jr. The offensive line had plenty of familiar and star names such as Nick Mangold, Taylor Decker, LeCharles Bentley, Pat Elflein, and Jack Mewhort.