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Ohio State’s Billy Price looks to replicate same success as Pat Elflein last season

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The senior returns to the Buckeyes at a new position - center.

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“Of course, Elflein went out and won the Rimington Award, given to the nation's best center, in 2016 and he'll get drafted at that position in two months. No pressure, Billy Price. Elflein set the bar high. And now Price is making a similar move.”

- Bill Landis, Cleveland.com

Former Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein was one of the best guards in the country for two seasons with the Buckeyes and then in 2016 made the switch to center, and made it look easy, winning the Rimington Award for the nation’s best center. Elflein initially did so to help his draft stock, showing his versatility to NFL teams about playing on the inside of the offensive line. Now, Billy Price will try to accomplish a similar feat in the 2017 season. Price has spent the past several seasons as a starter at guard but now in his fifth year at Ohio State, will slide over to center.

The move is easier said than done, but the experience Price has at this point in his career should certainly make it less difficult. It also helps he’ll have a veteran signal caller behind him in J.T. Barrett who also returns for his senior year. Obviously, it’s going to be tough to fill the same shoes that Elflein wore in terms of winning awards, but the nice thing is that Price doesn’t have to be the best center. Just a good one. It’s up to the offensive line as a whole to be much better than they were just a season ago, and it’s possible that it starts with Price.

“[Games to be excited about in 2017] Oklahoma at Ohio State, Ohio State at Michigan, Penn State at Ohio State.”

- Morgan Moriarty, SB Nation

One of the best parts about the offseason of college football is the simple matter of already looking ahead to the upcoming games that season. For 2017, there are already three key games that should have Ohio State fans excited about the season. When Oklahoma and Baker Mayfield come to Columbus for what should be a fun game in the second consecutive meeting between the teams. Last season the Buckeyes pounded the Sooners in Norman. Then, of course, you have to count in the fact that another season of college football means another epic showdown with Michigan.

After the first overtime game between the two teams, with Ohio State coming out as the victors, there’s certain to be some extra hype for the meeting in Ann Arbor this year. And finally, Penn State (the reigning Big Ten champions) heads to the Horseshoe to face an Ohio State team that will be looking for some revenge after being upset in the fourth quarter to the Nittany Lions.

“[Biggest strengths on each Big Ten team] Ohio State - The pass rush.”

- Brian Bennett, ESPN

ESPN broke down each team in the Big Ten and the biggest strength for each one. Some of the answers may surprise you, but Ohio State’s pass rush is something that is definitely going to be lethal for the Buckeyes this season. When you consider that both Tyquan Lewis and Sam Hubbard are returning, that alone is enough to strike fear in many opposing quarterbacks minds. But then you get to throw in rising sophomore Nick Bosa who already has shown flashes of similar skills to his brother former Buckeye Joey Bosa. Add in Jalyn Holmes and incoming freshman Chase Young, and that’s going to be a nightmare for opposing teams to deal with.

Perhaps the most notable on the list, however, was Penn State’s backfield. Obviously returning Trace McSorley is great for the Nittany Lions but they also return running back Saquon Barkley. The matchup is going to be tough to face for the rest of the Big Ten as Penn State looks to defend its Big Ten title and are coming off an epic Rose Bowl win over USC.

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