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Ohio State well represented in NFL training camps

Sixty-two Buckeyes are on 28 NFL teams right now.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers-Training Camp Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

“And the bulk of Ohio State’s 62 current NFL players were coached at least one season by Meyer: 55, including 13 players off the 2018 Big Ten and Rose Bowl champion team that posted a 13-1 record.”

— Ohio State Athletics

Even though the calendar hasn’t been flipped to August just yet, football season is already gearing up. Training camp is now open across the NFL, and there are a slew of Ohio State Buckeyes playing at the professional level. In fact, there are 62 of them.

Twenty-eight NFL teams have at least one Buckeye on the squad, and 19 have two or more. The New Orleans Saints lead the NFL in Buckeyes, currently holding six on the roster. Those six include Eli Apple, J.T. Barrett, Von Bell, Ted Ginn Jr., Marshon Lattimore and Michael Thomas.

By position, the most represented unit is at defensive back. There’s a reason why Ohio State is getting the “DBU” claim as 13 DBs are playing in the NFL. In addition to Bell, Lattimore and Apple, Kurt Coleman (Buffalo), Gareon Conley (Oakland), Nate Ebner (New England), Malik Hooker (Indianapolis), Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia), Tyvis Powell (Houston), Bradley Roby (Houston), Kendall Sheffield (Atlanta), Denzel Ward (Cleveland) and Damon Webb (Tennessee) are the other Buckeyes tasked with shutting down opposing wide receivers across the NFL.

There’s also three other positions that are filled by at least 10 former Bucks. On the defensive line, 11 Buckeyes are present; on the offensive line, there’s 10; and at wide receiver, there’s 10.

The OSU football program has been not only dominant on the gridiron, but also in sending players to the NFL Draft. Especially when it comes to the first round. Eighty-one former Buckeyes have heard their name called in round one, tied for the most with USC. In the last decade, 15 Buckeyes have been drafted in the first round—that’s second most. Of the current guys in training camp, 55 of them have been coached by Urban Meyer for at least one season.

Of all the Buckeyes, which one is your favorite in the NFL? Sound off below in the comments. And while you’re at it, sign up to be part of FanPulse, too!

“With so much experience, Borland has to be viewed as the favorite to start the season in the middle. But his lack of speed contributed to Ohio State’s disappointing defense in 2018, opening the door for one of his backups to rise to the top of the depth chart.”

— Colin Hass-Hill | Eleven Warriors

NFL training camps and preseason games will ultimately lead to position battles playing out. At Ohio State, there aren’t any preseason games, so the battles will take place throughout camp.

Before their Week 1 against Florida Atlantic, there are a few position tussles that will garner attention. One of the big ones will be on the defense; specifically, the linebacker position between Tuf Borland and Teradja Mitchell.

Colin Hass-Hill of Eleven Warriors did an analysis of what battles we should all keep an eye on. He mentions the potential LB shakeup between Borland, Mitchell, and even Baron Browning. Borland has experience, playing in 14 games (11 starts) and racking up a 67-tackle campaign in Urban Meyer’s last year at the helm of the Buckeyes. However, as noted by Hass-Hill in his article, Borland doesn’t have the afterburners to chase down receivers and running backs.

It’s been mentioned here, too, that the LB position was one of the weak links in the OSU defense last season. With Al Washington and a new coaching staff, expect changes to take place. Even at Big Ten Media Days, one of the answers Ryan Day gave about the defense was that Borland was being pushed by Mitchell. Being pushed could mean a number of things, but I think it means being able to start at linebacker. Mitchell has showed promise, and if he’s able to have a great camp, we could see Borland rotated out of the position before the month of September ends.

“This is the best Big Ten match-up of the weekend. Makes sense to be a noon game if it’s on FOX to condition fans to tune in for the big one at noon”

— Steve Helwagen | Bucknuts

There are plenty of OSU football games that still have ‘TBA’ next to the start time. In fact, half the schedule still has that. We’ll get those times closer to game week as television stations determine who they want playing at each Saturday window.

But that doesn’t stop us from figuring out what those start times may be. Steve Helwagen at Bucknuts did just that, and tried to deduce what time Ohio State would be playing for all their games.

The big one in question, at least in terms of home games, is the Nov. 23 meeting with Penn State. This game has been in the primetime slot in recent years, and even in the 3:30 window. But with Fox putting their best game of the week at noon, there’s a good chance this one will be kicking off from The Horseshoe during the middle of the day.

Additionally, Helwagen went the extra mile and added series history, degree of difficulty, and a mini preview of what’s to come for each game.

When I covered games, I loved the noon/3:30 games because that meant you got home before, like, 9 p.m. But as a fan, I wished every game was in the primetime slot. Night games at the ‘Shoe are a blast.

Anyway, here’s the schedule for the Buckeyes this season, with announced times in bold.

Aug. 31 – Florida Atlantic – Noon
Sept. 7 – Cincinnati – Noon
Sept. 14 - @Indiana — Noon
Sept. 21 - Miami (Ohio) – TBA
Sept. 28 - @Nebraska — TBA
Oct. 5 - Michigan State – 7:30 p.m. (Homecoming Weekend)
Oct. 18 (Friday) - @Northwestern — 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 - Wisconsin – TBA
Nov. 9 – Maryland — TBA
Nov. 16 - @Rutgers — TBA
Nov. 23 - Penn State — TBA (Senior Day)
Nov. 30 - @Michigan — Noon

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