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A pair of Ohio State defensive stars are projected to be drafted in the first round

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Buckeyes have a nice showing in Mel Kiper’s first mock draft of the season.

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

“Kiper had only two Ohio State players in the first round in his first mock draft. He projected cornerback Marshon Lattimore going No. 6 overall, to the New York Jets, and safety Malik Hooker heading to Washington with the 17th pick.”

Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch

As Ohio State’s football squad is pivoting to the start of the 2017 campaign, those leaving the program in search of the NFL are starting to see their projected draft spot.

Famed ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. made his first mock draft board of the year that featured a couple Buckeyes projected in the first round. Defensive back Marshon Lattimore leads the OSU delegation and is projected to be the No. 6 pick — going to the New York Jets. The second Buckeye, and fellow defenseman, is Malik Hooker; Hooker is slated to go to the Washington Redskins at the No. 17 slot.

Kiper said three Buckeyes (Curtis Samuel, Raekwon McMillan and Gareon Conley) could go in the second round, according to Rabinowitz’s write up for the Columbus Dispatch. Former offensive lineman Pat Elflein was graded as a potential third round pick by Kiper.

Receiver Noah Brown made the surprise to forgo the 2017 season and enter the draft — surprising Kiper. However, Kiper has Brown being taken off the board in either the third or fourth round, according to Rabinowitz’s article.

The Buckeyes had a few more first round selections in last year’s draft, though. Five Buckeyes saw their name come off the first round draft board, with Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott leading the pack as top five selections.

"Look, he’s what 23-24? For a guy to be doing that meeting with the coaches after practice, and coming in at 6-7 a.m., you’re talking about a (24) year-old. You kidding me?"

Lawrence Timmons on Ryan Shazier, as reported by Christopher B. Mueller (The Times)

Sunday, Ryan Shazier will play for an AFC Championship (and a potential trip to his first Super Bowl) with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was only four years ago that Shazier suited up in Scarlet and Gray as part of the vaunted silver bullet defense. Since being drafted in the NFL, the former Buckeye has made himself a tour de force on the gridiron, and helped anchor a Steeler defense that has shown steady progress — compared to two years before Shazier arrived in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers missed consecutive playoff appearances.

In an article in The Times, Christopher Mueller broke down Shazier’s rise to being a defensive leader for the Steel Curtain. Still in the early stage of his professional career, Shazier gained the trust of the coaches and is doing the things that leaders do. Lawrence Timmons’ quote above describes Shazier’s work ethic and commitment to leading the pack.

So far this season, Shazier has 55 tackles, three interceptions and three forced fumbles in 13 games played. Shazier can add to those numbers this Sunday, as the Steelers face the New England Patriots at 6:40 p.m. on CBS. The winner will be crowned AFC Champion and will have their tickets punched for Super Bowl LI.

“That won’t be welcome news for the Cats, who have lost 12 straight games against Ohio State and 19 of 20 since Thad Matta became the Buckeyes’ coach in 2004.”

Ben Pope, The Daily Northwestern

On the hardwood, Thad Matta and his Buckeyes are starting to find their identity in conference play. After dropping the first four games in Big Ten competition, the Bucks have won back to back contests that came down to the wire.

For Northwestern, OSU’s next opponent, they may not be too thrilled with the Buckeyes starting their winning ways again.

In the Daily Northwestern, writer Ben Pope brought up NU’s drought of missing the NCAA Tournament, and how maybe (maybe) this would be the Wildcats chance to get invited to the Big Dance. However, after losing to Iowa on Sunday and watching the Buckeyes beat Nebraska at the buzzer on Wednesday, Northwestern’s margin of error for getting into the tournament may keep on getting smaller as the Wildcats travel to Ohio State for Sunday’s contest.

Since Matta became the coach in Columbus, Ohio, OSU has dominated the series against Northwestern. We’ll see at 1 p.m. Sunday if Matta can go 20-for-21 against the Wildcats — and put the Buckeyes on a three game winning streak in conference play.

Buckeyes at the College Football Hall of Fame

If you plan on traveling to Atlanta in the near future, you’ll be able to see recent College Football Hall of Fame inductee, and former Buckeye great, Tom Cousineau’s memorabilia on display.

Geoff Hammersley

From a helmet to his Orange Bowl MVP trophy, the 2016 inductee has a small corner of one of the display areas recognizing the 2016 class. Throughout the museum, you can also look at the hall of fame profiles of past Buckeye greats like Chris Spielman and Archie Griffin, as well as the profiles of coaches like John Cooper and Jim Tressel.

Beside Ohio State memorabilia, the hall of fame features trophies from the New Year’s Six Bowl games, breakdown of plays by famous coaches, kicking and passing minigames and the ability to record your own broadcast of famous college football plays. For giggles, you can broadcast your own version of Colorado’s Hail Mary to defeat Michigan in 1994.

It’s definitely a place to visit if you love college football.

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