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Ohio State preparing for early departures to the NFL

There are some surefire early exits, but some that aren’t so obvious.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Conference-Football Championship-Northwestern vs Ohio State Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

“But Malik Harrison should be considered a lean to leave after leading Ohio State in tackles this season. After three years in the starting lineup, Michael Jordan is a potential candidate to move on after proving he could play both center or guard.”

- Austin Ward, Lettermen Row

Despite preparations for the Rose Bowl taking place, Ohio State also has to take a peek into the future. The Buckeyes stand to lose a decent chunk of the team that went 11-1 in the regular season, including beating archrival Michigan. Dre’Mont Jones and Dwayne Haskins appear to be locks to head to the NFL early, though Haskins says he hasn’t made his decision yet and will wait until after the bowl game to decide. Some other early exits could include wide receiver K.J. Hill after a great season, and even running back Mike Weber. Nick Bosa already announced midseason that he would be entering the draft as well.

Of course, there are some questions about guys like Malik Harrison who finished the season strong. Michael Jordan and Damon Arnette are both guys that have the ability to move on, and Jordan Fuller was a safety blanket in a weak secondary starting the season off. Of course, there are also players who will likely stay, including Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor, Jonathon Cooper, and Robert Landers.

“We spent almost 24-7 it seems like, just developing relationships off the field. Going to the movies, doing things like that. That’s big, because you need to be able to trust your brother next to you.”

- Teradja Mitchell via John Brice, Lettermen Row

Freshman linebacker Teradja Mitchell may not have shown up much this season in the stat sheet, but the coaching staff knows the impact he had on special teams. It shows in the film room, and Mitchell earned plenty of praise from that side of things. Next season he’ll likely be expected to take on a larger role, but he credits the unity that the linebackers and the rest of the team have with each other to help him prepare for the Rose Bowl and beyond.

With the linebackers not living up to expectations for much of the season, it was nice to see a turnaround in the last couple of games, and finally showing up against Michigan in the biggest game of the season. They continued that momentum against Northwestern, and will look to do the same against Washington in a few weeks.

“The Buckeyes’ punter has not had as many chances as others to shine in the past couple years, but with more than half of his punts this season pinning teams inside the 20, he flipped the field whenever his team needed it.”


ESPN came out with its own list of all-conference players and awards, and for the Big Ten, the Buckeyes were well represented. Dwayne Haskins was a no-brainer at quarterback, and Parris Campbell made the wide receivers list. Michael Jordan made the cut at center, and Dre’Mont Jones got the nod at defensive tackle. Even punter Drue Chrisman earned honors of making the list, something he did not do in the actual conference awards.

Haskins also earned the Player of the Year honors for the conference, which makes sense given he spectacular season. Rondale Moore from Purdue got the True Freshman of the Year award, which I think most Ohio State fans would agree with.