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Ohio State’s Jamarco Jones hoping to make leap in 2017

Jones has been with the Buckeyes for four seasons and is looking to improve upon his game.

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

“It has been his approach to the game, specifically to his technique and knowledge of the offense — he spends more time preparing each day and is one of the most intelligent guys I have been around. That preparation has led to him becoming a better player, and that has spread to the rest of the offensive line.”

- Greg Studrawa via Tim May, The Columbus Dispatch

Senior offensive tackle Jamarco Jones has been somewhat of a staple of the offensive line for the Buckeyes these past few seasons, and 2017 will be no different. Protecting J.T. Barrett’s blindside will continue to be Jones’ role on the team, but he’s still looking to improve his game to help Ohio State reach another College Football Playoff. Jones is in the best shape of his life, according to him, sitting at 310 pounds, which is the same weight he had when he first joined the Buckeyes. The difference now is that most of the 310 pounds is muscle.

Jones has also been working on his technique (as much as you can without pads, at least) and his foot speed has been improving as well. Jones knows if he can make himself the best player he can be, then the offensive line will have a much easier time than in recent years. With the disappointment from the loss to Clemson in the national semifinal game still lingering in the minds of the Buckeyes, they’re eager to put the pads back on and continuing to strive to be ready for the season opener against Indiana.

“There are some holes on the depth chart, but this is the biggest and most pressing. Fifteen months ago, C.J. Jackson was still at Eastern Florida State. Now, he’s the only true point guard on Ohio State’s roster after the departures of JaQuan Lyle and Braxton Beverly.”

- Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch

The recent departures from the Ohio State basketball team are a little worrisome as Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch pointed out. The most significant hole on the Buckeyes right now is at the point guard position, where Ohio State has only one true point guard on the roster. C.J. Jackson transferred from Eastern Florida State and just like that, he may end up playing heavy minutes or perhaps even starting depending on how the rest of the team shapes up.

Derek Funderburk and Braxton Beverly leaving the program came at a time of transition, as Chris Holtmann is entering his first season as head coach of Ohio State. Losing two players from the start doesn’t help his hopes for an improved season, but he also has helped bring in some talent from his recruiting class at Butler. It will be up to him and the rest of his coaching staff to make sure the Buckeyes come out well prepared for the season.

“27. Dallas Cowboys (13-3): Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State. 30. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5): Jerome Baker, OLB, Ohio State.”

- Jared Dubin, CBS Sports

Mock draft season is year-long, and CBS Sports has released its 2018 NFL mock draft. The first round includes two members of Ohio State: Tyquan Lewis and Jerome Baker. Lewis is perhaps the most obvious choice for the Buckeyes, as he’s dominated at defensive end for the past couple of seasons alongside Sam Hubbard and Joey Bosa. Lewis, with a strong 2017 campaign, could solidify himself as a top choice at defensive end and ensure himself a spot in the first round of the NFL draft.

Baker, meanwhile, had a breakout season in 2016, when he filled in for the injured Dante Booker. He really made a splash against Oklahoma on a national stage and hasn’t really looked back since. With his performances over the course of the year, his stock has surely risen and if he continues to be successful on the field, there’s no reason he can’t improve further and get himself up to that first round status.