“It's not that you'd better be able to make plays or you shouldn't be here. It's more like, ‘Can you make plays consistently, and can you -- when tired -- make plays?’ If you're fresh and you can make a play, cool, we recruited you and I hope so. It's not that impressive.”
No matter which team you root for in college football, each season there’s always a couple of incoming freshman that people get excited about. For Ohio State, some of the young receivers in previous seasons have been a lot of the focus. Last season, Austin Mack made quite a bit of noise in spring and fall camp only to not make much of an impact during the season. Now, another freshman receiver coming in, Jaylen Harris, is being praised by the coaching staff as someone who has tremendous talent and could make a difference as early as this season. But what happened to Mack?
Simply put, Mack knew he wasn’t ready. The article goes more in depth, but if you read it, it seems like Harris could potentially learn from a player like Mack who had just as much hype coming out of camp despite not actually being prepared for a starting spot. Still, Mack is now ready to contribute and will look to help replace some of the talent gone from the wide receiving core this season. Whether Harris follows the same path as Mack last season remains to be seen, there’s still several more weeks of fall camp to be played out before the season opener against Indiana.
“He is the most twitched-up dude I have ever played against. And I played against Alabama when I was 20 years old, and those are some monsters down there. He is the most twitched-up dude, and watching him play this year compared to last year, last year he was just kind of running around being a young guy, hey let's flip my hips and go hit somebody. Now he's able to read an offensive lineman and read what an offense is doing and he's so explosive, if you are a half-step behind, he beats you every time.”
If you’re looking for a player to claim they’re going to have a breakout year, a good bet would be Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones. Having played defensive end for the majority of his high school career, he has the speed of an end with the size of a tackle and could end up being a nightmare for opposing offensive lines. Just ask current Buckeye center Billy Price, who had possibly the highest praise for the defensive tackle, as seen above. Price compares Jones to players from Alabama and still considers him the most ‘twitched up dude’ that he’s faced off against. Price is on a track to following in the footsteps of Pat Elflein who switched positions to center to help his draft stock and is looking to have similar success.
Even Jamarco Jones got in on the praise of Dre’Mont Jones, saying he reminded him of former defensive tackle Adolphus Washington, but much quicker. It seems like the plan of moving Jones to defensive tackle is starting to work out as the offensive linemen are having trouble keeping him at bay. And with the recent comments from Greg Schiano about Ohio State’s defensive line, it’s hard to contain the excitement for this group.
“[Heisman odds] J.T. Barrett 10-1, Mike Weber 50-1”
The latest batch of Heisman Trophy odds have been released by Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, and it features two members of Ohio State on the list. Senior quarterback J.T. Barrett has the fourth-best odds in the country to win the award, at 10-1. The other Buckeye was running back Mike Weber who currently sits at 50-1 odds which is good for 18th-best in the nation. Among running backs, Weber is sixth in the odds to win.
The last time Barrett was involved in Heisman talks was his freshman year in 2014 when he took over for the injured Braxton Miller and finished fifth in the voting that season. The last member of Ohio State to win the award came in 2006, when quarterback Troy Smith took home the hardware on his way to a national championship appearance.
Another sportsbook, Bovada, released their Heisman odds, as well as national champion odds. You can read those odds here.