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4 former Ohio State players are expected to be the best rookies on their new NFL teams

A new wave of Buckeyes in the NFL is coming.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

“From the No. 1 overall pick to small-school third-rounders, our NFL Nation reporters predict the rookie on every team who will have the biggest impact in 2017."

- ESPN

ESPN experts believe that four Ohio State rookies will be the best first-year players on their respective NFL teams. Those four players were Marshon Lattimore of the Saints, Gareon Conley of the Raiders, Malik Hooker of the Colts, and Raekwon McMillan of the Dolphins.

McMillan is the only non defensive back on the list, and was selected in the second round of the draft. ESPN’s James Walker said of McMillan, “Considering the Dolphins' recent track record of linebacker injuries, McMillan likely will find himself getting plenty of snaps. The second-round pick is a natural middle linebacker who could move outside and eventually take Koa Misi's starting job this season.”

The most pressure might be on Hooker though, where the Colts have struggled mightily in the defensive backfield for years. “The former Buckeye will get every opportunity to be the Colts' Week 1 starter because of his ball-hawking ability,” Mike Wells wrote. “The Colts didn't return a single interception for a touchdown last season. Hooker returned three of his seven picks for scores at Ohio State in 2016.”

“A few months removed from the playoff disaster, it's a bit easier to step back and appreciate what Meyer has accomplished thus far in Columbus.”

- Matt Brown, Sports on Earth

This isn’t new to anybody, but Urban Meyer is damn good. As Brown points out, the last time we saw the Buckeyes on the field, it was an ugly 31-0 loss to Clemson. While that wasn’t ideal, everything else the Bucks have done since his arrival has been spectacular.

According to Brown, “All five of Meyer's teams have won at least 11 game and finished the season ranked in the AP top 12. All four eligible teams played in major bowl games.” It’s also worth noting that while the one team wasn’t eligible after what was left of the Jim Tressel era, the team still went 12-0.

Brown takes a deeper dive into Meyer’s standing when it comes to winning percentage, national championships, AP to p10 finishes, first-five-yeras SRS average, and SRS differece five years before and after arrival. If you didn’t truly appreciate Meyer before reading this, you certainly will afterward.

“The American Football Coaches Association has put together a change that would alter the way redshirts are counted. Could it have helped Ohio State a few years ago?”

- Ryan Ginn, Land of 10

As of now, a player who plays a single snap loses the chance to redshirt, unless they have a season-ending injury after 3 games or less. The rule change would allow for a one-time exemption, so players could redshirt up to four games.

Ginn points out a few ways this could have helped Ohio State. The first being how the Buckeyes could have used Sam Hubbard late in the 2014 campaign when needing extra help on the defensive line. Another, was using K.J. Hill in 2015, when the passing game wasn’t doing all that well.

He feels the biggest one, though, came in 2013. Michael Thomas didn’t have a good fall camp in 2013, his sophomore year. So Zach Smith and the Buckeyes decided to redshirt Thomas, despite him showing much improvement in practice. Later on that season, they could have used him against Michigan State in the Big Ten title, and against Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Of course, we all saw what Thomas became for the Buckeyes, and how he turned in a wonderful rookie season with the Saints.

“Ohio State has taken a step toward a new arena for its men’s and women’s hockey teams by requesting bids on a potential project.”

- Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State men’s hockey currently shares The Schott with the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The university, however, is considering a new facility just for hockey.

Shaun Richard, who is the associate athletic director in relation to hockey, told Rabinowitz nothing is set in stone. “We’re more just doing our homework to get some numbers and get some concrete information for if we were to take that next step and do something,” Richard said. “We are not committed to doing this at all. We have no money committed at all. We have no site picked out.”

“It’s just something we want to look at,” he told Rabinowitz. “No timelines, no nothing, but hopefully some good information coming back so we can make some good decisions in the future.” The arena would likely seat 4,000 people, and have two rinks. One for the men’s and women’s teams, and the other for intramurals and rec sports.

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