The 2017 Ohio State football season didn’t go exactly as planned. Following their second-loss of the year, the national focus on the Buckeyes has shifted to the postseason, and the never-too-far-behind NFL draft. The first round of invitations for the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl have now been sent, and some might have gone to the nine Buckeyes listed on this year’s Watch List.
This year’s potential Senior Bowl stars include, J.T. Barrett, Marcus Baugh, Billy Price and Jamarco Jones on offense. And over on defense, you’ve got Michael Hill, Jalyn Holmes, Tyquan Lewis, Damon Webb and Chris Worley.
The Senior Bowl watch list contains 400 of the best FBS senior players in college football, and will be whittled down to 110 roster spots to fill the North and South squads. Typically, teams are coached by NFL organizations -- last year’s coaches and staff featured Hue Jackson and the Browns against John Fox and the Bears’ staff.
Fortunately, teams are split by region/conference, meaning that whichever Buckeyes end up getting a formal invitation -- and accepting it -- should all be lining up for the same team at least one more time before the end of their college careers. The Senior Bowl marks a great opportunity for players to gain some one-on-one time with coaches, which can create quite the ripple through the draft scouts should someone really stand out and impress.
It won’t just be these nine looking for a chance to take their talents to the pros. There’s another — rather long list — of 10-11 juniors and sophomores who could make the decision to declare early for the draft, and waive the remainder of their college eligibility. Those decisions among players, coaches and their families, likely haven’t been made yet, but having to no longer prep and plan for the CFP, means a few of those guys are starting to consider their options.