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After a disappointing 2017 season, Ohio State running back Mike Weber has high expectations for 2018

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The running back is hoping a healthier junior campaign will lead to more carries and help him crack the 1,300-yard goal he has set for himself.

Michigan State v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

“It’s really exciting. It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for since I got here, to put the team on my back in a game and just be the workhorse. That’s one of my goals. I asked for it, and hopefully I get it this year and I’ll show people what I can do.”

Ohio State running back Mike Weber via Tony Gerdeman, The Ozone

After a freshman season in which cracked the 1,000-yard barrier, Mike Weber’s sophomore season left plenty to be desired. The season started with a hamstring injury, which led to freshman J.K. Dobbins become Ohio State’s primary running back. Even when Weber was healthy, he saw a limited workload, as he was splitting carries with Dobbins and quarterback J.T. Barrett.

Despite only getting 96 carries in 2017, Weber did make some noise with his big-play ability. Weber had three carries of at least 40 yards in November, and only two other running backs in the country had more carries of at least 40 yards during the month. The stat is even more impressive considering Weber only received 37 carries in November, while the other two running backs had at least 29 more carries than Weber.

There was plenty of speculation that Weber might be headed to the NFL after the 2017 season, but he decided to return for his junior season. Weber not only wants to help Ohio State win another Big Ten title, but he also wants to be a part of a national championship team. The running back also has some personal goals which brought him back to Columbus for another year, as he is hoping to rush for at least 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns.

At first the goals might seem a little lofty for Weber, but they might be a little easier to be attained than some might think. At least this year Weber shouldn’t see his quarterback eat up so many carries, as there likely won’t be as much of an emphasis on the quarterback running the football now that J.T. Barrett has exhausted his eligibility. Also, if Weber is able to stay healthy throughout the season, he could rack up even more big runs which will help his totals.

Weber wouldn’t have returned to Ohio State if he thought he was going to be an afterthought in the Ohio State offense this year. With a new starting quarterback, the Buckeyes need the veteran leadership in the backfield from a guy like Mike Weber, and they’ll likely show their appreciation for the junior returning for another season by giving him the carries and workload that he craves.

“He’s really smart, tough, willing to do anything it takes to win and he slings the ball. He can throw the ball around the yard.”

Former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett on Joe Burrow via Josh Katzenstein, The Times-Picayune

If there was ever anyone who could give LSU fans a bit of an insight into new quarterback Joe Burrow, it would be J.T. Barrett. Now with the New Orleans Saints, Barrett was asked about Burrow at the annual crawfish boil for Saints rookies, and Barrett had a glowing evaluation about the Ohio State transfer.

Barrett spent three years with Burrow at Ohio State, with Burrow redshirting in 2015, serving as Barrett’s backup in 2016, and sitting third on Ohio State’s quarterback depth chart in 2017 after suffering an injury. Even though Burrow didn’t see much time on the field for the Buckeyes, he was impressive in the few snaps he was able to get in mop-up duty.

If Burrow is able to take control of LSU’s starting quarterback position early, the Tigers could be a threat in the SEC this year. In recent years, LSU has had a strong running game but their offense was hampered by not having much of a passing game to lean on. Burrow could change that, as his intelligence and passing ability could give the Tigers a passing threat that could keep opposing defenses on their toes.

“Last year, I was burned out after a long season that I just wasn’t there mentally. This year I know for a fact the chance isn’t going to come again, so I’m going to do my absolute best.”

Ohio State men’s tennis player Mikael Torpegaard via Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State men’s tennis player Mikael Torpegaard is hoping he has saved his best for last. In his final act with the Buckeyes, Torpegaard is trying to take home an NCAA singles title. Two years ago, Torpegaard reach the finals, but wasn’t able to win the title. Last year Torpegaard entered the tournament as the top seed, but fell to the eventual champion in the third round.

After being a part of the Ohio State team that finished runner-up in the NCAA team tournament earlier this week, Torpegaard quickly had to turn his attention the singles tournament. Torpegaard is already one step closer to the final after beating Arizona State’s Michael Geerts in the first round on Wednesday.

Torpegaard’s final season with the Buckeyes didn’t have quite the shine that last year’s season did, but the Denmark product had to deal with knee tendinitis and plantar fasciitis. Also, Torpegaard has his eyes on the bigger picture, with a lot of the work he has put in being designed to help him succeed at the professional level. Even if he isn’t able to bring home an NCAA title, Torpegaard will still be remembered as one of the best tennis players to suit up for Ohio State in quite some time.

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