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Urban Meyer and J.T. Barrett ready to lead Ohio State to The Edge

With play just about to start, Meyer and Barrett are looking forward to the challenge of the upcoming season.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Notre Dame vs Ohio State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“There’s a certain standard at Ohio State. And it shouldn’t change for anybody. I don’t care how many people you lost.”

- J.T. Barrett via Jack McCluskey, The Ringer

Ohio State’s mantra for the 2016 season is “The Edge” and head coach Urban Meyer and quarterback J.T. Barrett know what it takes to push through that edge to the other side. After winning a national championship in 2014, the Buckeyes faltered a bit during “The Grind” of 2015 and now have the task of preparing one of the youngest teams that Meyer has had during his tenure in Columbus. But Ohio State was a young team in 2014, and as Meyer has said, if players break out in a similar way to many of the young players from two seasons ago, a run to the playoff is certainly possible.

With Barrett the unquestioned leader of the team, it’s no surprise that he’s not backing down from the expectations at Ohio State. Even with losing so many starters, the Buckeyes have an abundance of talent at nearly every position. From this point, it’s all about pushing beyond that edge for the young players looking to find that championship-level of play. Despite the inexperience across the roster, the Associated Press ranked the Buckeyes sixth in the country, so it’s not just Ohio State fans that have high expectations about the talent on this year’s roster.

“He's doing what we brought him here for. A cover linebacker, being fast out there. And he's also stopping the run.”

- Sheldon Richardson via Daniel Popper, New York Daily News

Former Buckeye linebacker Darron Lee is starting to make serious strides on the next level as training camp for the New York Jets continues. Teammates of Lee have begun singing their praises of the rookie linebacker. With the speed to be a very good cover linebacker and the aggressiveness to help with blitzing and run defense, Lee was a solid prospect coming into the NFL draft, which is why the Jets took him with the 20th pick of the first round.

There are still some growing pains, but it’s a learning process for Lee. The article mentions a time that Lee bit on a fake from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall was quick to point it out. Since then, Lee has picked up more of the mental aspect of the game and has since played well in scrimmages and the like. In fact, in the practice mentioned in the article, Lee had intercepted two of Fitzpatrick’s passes that day.

“[Reese’s Senior Bowl 2017 Watch List] Pat Elflein, Center. Corey Smith, Wide Receiver.”

- Senior Bowl

Two members of Ohio State were featured on the latest watch list. This time, the Reese’s Senior Bowl 2017 was the list, with center Pat Elflein and wide receiver Corey Smith making appearances alongside a sizable list of college seniors. Elflein was a clear choice having 29 career starts and being made a First-Team All-Big Ten selection for the past two seasons. Smith has been quieter in his accolades but is still a solid receiver for the Buckeyes having played during the 2014 national championship run and even coming up with some big plays.

A sixth-year senior, Smith suffered a broken leg against Indiana in 2015 and earned an additional year of eligibility due to the injury. Now he returns to the Buckeyes with a chance to go out with a bang as one of the few veteran wide receivers on the team. Urban Meyer called Smith one of his favorite players on the roster last season when Smith went down with the injury, and with another shot at donning the scarlet and gray, expect some more big plays from the senior wideout.

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