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Ohio State’s Dante Booker looks for a breakout season after missing 2016

A healthy Booker adds even more firepower to the OSU defense.

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

“Booker played on special teams on the 2014 national title team and got almost 100 snaps in 2015, but he is mostly an unknown to outsiders. But those inside the program believe Booker, a fourth-year junior, has all the qualities to emerge quickly as a star.”

Bill Rabinowitz on Dante Booker looking to rebound from injury | The Columbus Dispatch

As Ohio State football continues camp, linebacker Dante Booker is looking to continue getting back onto the gridiron after missing last season with an MCL tear. In an article by Bill Rabinowitz of The Columbus Dispatch, Booker talked about how it was the end of last season that he felt healthy enough to play, however, with the way Jerome Baker was tearing up the linebacker role, it didn’t make sense for Booker to utilize his eligibility.

Last season, Baker returned an interception for a touchdown against Oklahoma, and picked up 13 tackles versus Wisconsin. Combined with a healthy Booker, who had experience on the 2014 national champion team, the linebacking corp looks ready to put on a tour de force performance in 2017. Especially with Booker, who said there was an “even greater fire” in getting back on the field, expect great things to come from the fourth-year junior.

In his career at OSU, Booker has played in 23 games and started in one—the Bowling Green game he was injured in, and has accumulated 31 tackles.

“There have been many peaks during his tenure, but Meyer's success since heading to Columbus has been incredible. Though he was criticized early on for playing in a "down" conference and scheduling weak out-of-conference opponents, he scoffed at the notion.”

Brad Shepard on the greatest college football teams since the start of 2000 | Bleacher Report

With the football season just weeks away, Brad Shepard of Bleacher Report broke down a list of the best college football programs since the start of the new millennium. To no surprise, the Buckeyes showed up on the list—but not at No. 1.

Through the work of Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer over the course of the last 16 seasons, OSU ended up as No. 2 on the list of best programs since 2000. OSU has gone 181-39 with four different coaches at the helm. In that time span, the Buckeyes have gone to 3 BCS national championship games, 2 College Football Playoffs, and won 2 national titles. Throw in the handful of Fiesta Bowls and other top bowl games, and the Buckeyes’ success has been one of the constants in the ever changing football world.

For those wondering, Ohio State was the only team from the Big Ten to crack the list. The Buckeyes are sandwiched between SEC foes—and foes that they’ve faced in big games. LSU ranked No. 3 on the list, and Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide was the No. 1 team on the list.

“The Buckeyes host...Pittsburgh at 5 p.m. Saturday in Columbus...The Buckeyes, led by 21st-year head coach Lori Walker-Hock, return 16 letterwinners and five starts off a 2016 team that finished with an 11-7-3 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, marking Ohio State’s seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the last eight seasons.”

Ohio State women’s soccer continues on their exhibition schedule | Ohio State athletics

We’ve been highlighting football, but with school coming back to session, there are a slew of other OSU sports that are starting up, too. Tomorrow, the women’s soccer team kicks off another exhibition contest; this time it’s at 5 p.m. against Pittsburgh.

The last time the Buckeyes-Panthers played was back on Aug. 28, 2013 in Columbus. In that regular-season match, the Buckeyes walked away with a 2-0 win behind goals from Kayla Varner and Alexis Degler, and improved to 3-0 on the season.

All of OSU’s exhibition and regular-season contests at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium are free of charge. So if you can’t catch the Pitt match on Saturday, there are 11 regular-season games to see the Scarlet and Gray.

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