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Ohio State’s Isaiah Prince ready to lead on offensive line

From a slow start to his career to now, Prince has taken the steps needed to become a leader.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Ohio State vs Southern California Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

“I don’t think I would have had the success I’ve had today if I didn’t have the downfalls I had then. Those downfalls ... showed me who I am as a person.”

- Isaiah Prince via Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch

Everyone can remember the start that Isaiah Prince had with the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2016. Thrust into the starting lineup, Prince seemed out of place among the other linemen on the field. His performance against Penn State was especially bad, and fans weren’t shy about letting Prince know about it. As a young player trying to find some footing at a new level, it can be a struggle when your fans don’t support you. Still, through it all, Prince improved over the past couple of seasons and is now heading into 2018 as a leader.

From the bottom of the lists in terms of offensive lineman rankings, to finding himself on the Outland Trophy watch list (given annually to the nation’s best interior lineman), Prince is ready to take the next step and show the guys that were in his position how to grow. As someone that’s been in the program for several years, he’s being looked up to in the offensive line room now, and all signs to point this being a great year for him.

“Dante has always had the mindset that I’ve known him to have since I’ve been here. Which is a shut up and work mindset. He hates complaining, when anybody complains, when anybody quits. He’s super motivational, and he’s a hard-nosed worker. I don’t see anybody out-running or out-working Dante Booker at that linebacker position.”

- Dre’Mont Jones on Dante Booker via Bill Landis,

Another player to keep an eye on this season is Dante Booker. The fifth-year senior linebacker is ready for his moment. And Urban Meyer believes Booker is up to the challenge, heaping praise on the veteran all offseason.

Booker has dealt with injuries for a lot of his career in the scarlet and gray but is coming into the season healthier than ever. With a defense that lost a lot of key members, getting Booker back can help ease the transition in the earlier stages of the season.

A knee injury early in 2016 sent him home for the season, while in 2017 he dealt with a concussion for most of the latter part of the year. But now Booker seems fit and has already graduated, meaning he can focus on football.

While he’s not a lock for starting, Booker can compete with the rest of the linebackers - Baron Browning, Justin Hilliard, Malik Harrison, and more - and still show his stuff. He’s likely to get plenty of time on the field this season regardless of whether he starts or not.

“According to game contracts obtained by Eleven Warriors, Ohio State will pay $1.7 million to Oregon State for its season-opening game at Ohio Stadium on Sept. 1, and will pay a total of $1.5 million to Tulane for the Green Wave’s trip to the Shoe on Sept. 22.”

- Dan Hope, Eleven Warriors

Ohio State will be shelling out some major money for their visitors this season. The Buckeyes will be paying $1.7 million to Oregon State as you can see above, and Tulane will get a nice payment of $1.5 million for visiting Columbus later on. But the good news for Ohio State is that they’ll actually receive $5 million, according to Eleven Warriors, for making the trip down to Texas to face off against TCU.

Eleven Warriors has a whole listing of what the Buckeyes have had to pay the past couple of years and even discuss what they’ll be paying in the future for visits from Washington in 2025 and Texas in 2026.