"I know Curtis Samuel is gonna get the ball. Curtis Samuel needs to get the ball and it doesn't matter how he gets it."
After being able to rely on offensive weapons like Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Thomas, and Braxton Miller in 2015, Urban Meyer's Buckeyes need to find some new standouts on offense in 2016. One of those players Meyer is hoping can step up this year is Curtis Samuel. After Samuel broke onto the scene as a freshman with six touchdowns on 69 touches in 2014, he saw his numbers dip a bit last year, with just three touchdowns on 39 touches. Some of the drop in production can be attributed to not only Ohio State's reliance on Elliott in 2015, but also Miller switching from quarterback to H-back last season. It's likely Samuel will equal his 2015 total for touches in the first few games of 2016, as J.T. Barrett will likely rely on Samuel to keep the offense moving.
Urban Meyer has already said that he hopes to get Samuel 10 to 15 touches a game this year, but it's not known exactly how Samuel will be utilized in the offense. Running back Mike Weber is the favorite to get the majority of the touches in the running game, but that doesn't mean Meyer won't want to give Samuel some carries when they are giving Weber a breather. Where Samuel could be really dangerous in 2016 is in the passing game, especially after averaging 13.1 yards per catch in 2015. One thing that Samuel teammates know is that for the Buckeyes to be successful in 2016 they'll have to get the ball into the junior's hands, whether it be in the run game, through the air, or on special teams. If Ohio State is able to do that, they'll be hard to stop on offense this year.
"Year 1 was very difficult. I think Ohio State took us off the hook. If Ohio State hadn't beaten Wisconsin, or let's say hadn't won convincingly, we would've had a very, very difficult decision to make. ... My sense was we were really split on it."
When the first participants in the College Football Playoff were announced in December 2014, there was plenty of questions as to why Ohio State was included over TCU or Baylor. Even though they were down to their third-string quarterback, the Buckeyes made the committee look like geniuses by winning the first College Football Playoff. So what's it like to be a part of the committee and have to make some of the tough decisions on who deserves to be included in the four-team playoff? Four former members of the committee who have been a part of the committee shared with ESPN what goes into making those choices.
The biggest takeaway from what the former members of the CFP committee shared was just how much time they had to spend each week watching football just to help them make their decision. Former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne watched 40-50 hours a week of football, but he enjoyed doing so since he loves football. All the time spent watching football the first two years paid off, as the committee has felt like they put the best four teams in the country in the playoff in the first two seasons. While last year didn't quite have the debate like the first season on who should fill the last spot in the playoff, that doesn't mean a lot of work wasn't put into creating the final field. Now with some new members on this year's committee, we'll get to see if they can do as good a job this year putting together the playoff participants as the first two committees have.
"Columbus is home. We're integrated into the community. We have a great support system, a lot of friends."
The United States Olympic wrestling team will have a little bit of a scarlet and grey flavor, and it's not just because of Kyle Snyder. Heavyweight wrestler Tervel Dlagnev will be competing in Rio, looking to medal after finishing fifth at the 2012 London Games. Dlagnev was born in Bulgaria, but moved to the United States when he was four years old. After growing up in Arlington, Texas, and winning two NCAA titles at Division II Nebraska-Kearney, Dlagnev moved to central Ohio eight years ago to train at Ohio State with the Ohio RTC.
After the Olympics are over, Dlagnev will come back to Columbus as he will become an assistant coach for Ohio State's wrestling team. What will be critical for Dlagnev as he competes in Rio is staying healthy. In London on the day of the opening ceremonies, Dlagnev separated cartilage in his rib cage, which affected his preparation and performance. A year ago Dlagnev underwent back surgery, which has challenged him mentally as he has prepared for the games. At least if Dlagnev isn't able to medal, he'll get to bond with Ohio State junior wrestler Kyle Snyder, who traveled to Rio with Dlagnev. The two will certainly have some stories to tell the rest of the Ohio State wrestlers when the team gets back together in the fall.