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Buckeye Bits: Jimmy Sotos out for tonight’s game, ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Todd McShay think Justin Fields should stay at Ohio State, more

All of the latest Ohio State news from around the beat and beyond.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois State at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

How we feeling Buckeye fans? Still mourning? Over it? Glad the season’s over? At least we beat Clemson? A little of everything? Look, this college football season was pure insanity, and the fact that the Buckeyes played football at all, let alone made it to the national championship, is pretty amazing.

Moving on. There isn’t a lot happening across the Ohio State beat (for once), so today’s round up is pretty short and sweet! So check out today’s headlines below, and then turn on Big Ten Network to catch the Ohio State men’s basketball team take on the Northwestern Wildcats at 7 p.m. ET!

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

From around the gridiron...

Heading into the national championship game, Thayer Munford had 224 pass-block snaps, two QB pressures allowed and zero sacks allowed, earning him the fourth-highest grade in PFF’s rankings of Big Ten OT seasons.

Let’s not dwell on the past and, instead, direct our gaze to the future. Because friends, the future is oh so bright in Columbus. Keep an eye on some of the Buckeyes’ rising stars, including an extremely talented group of freshmen wide receivers, linebacker Cody Simon, kicker Jake Seibert, safety Lathan Ransom, and many more who are expected to have much bigger roles come September.

Why does it feel like the 2020 NFL Draft was two days ago? It’s somehow time to reenter the world of mock drafts, and what better way to begin than with the ESPN draft expert himself, Todd McShay. In his latest mock draft, released on Jan. 7 before the national championship game, McShay has Shaun Wade going No. 13 to the Chargers, Justin Fields going No. 15 to the Patriots and Chris Olave with the No. 25 pick to the Jets. However, after the Buckeyes’ loss to Alabama, McShay adjusted his predictions. During his First Draft Podcast with Mel Kiper, McShay said Wade’s draft stock decreased:

“I think he proved he belongs inside. He’s a nickel corner. He can play a little free safety. He can move around. He’s physical. He’s tough. He can tackle in the open field really well. We saw that last night. But he is not cut out, at least at this point, to be a perimeter, cover corner that takes away your No. 1 wide receiver. He’s just not. We’ve seen it all year. It’s too bad to see. Everyone expected it because you watch Jeff Okudah go to the NFL Draft and he was kind of waiting his turn. And everyone expected he’s the next guy up, the five-star recruit. And he just hasn’t been.

“Wade’s a slot cover corner who can play that overhang. He can be physical. He can play the run. He can be very effective. He can play on special teams. I think he’s a day-two pick. He’s probably a second-round pick when it’s said and done.”

Olave’s draft stock increased:

“I think he’s one of the best five or six wide receivers in this class. If he’s not late first, he’s going to be early second round. You see his routes and you see what he’s able to do getting in and out of breaks. It’s a great class. That’s the problem. You’ve got DeVonta Smith. You’ve got Ja’Marr Chase from LSU, Jaylen Waddle coming off the injury, Rashod Bateman, Terrace Marshall, who has emerged from LSU. Elijah Moore is emerging, really had a great season coming out of Ole Miss this year. But Chris Olave, in my opinion, he has the ability to accelerate out of cuts and get down the field. That’s something NFL teams are really going to love. I’ll be shocked if we get to pick 50, and he’s not off the board.”

and Kiper said that Fields would benefit from staying another year:

“I think going back to Ohio State for another year, as opposed to coming into the National Football League without the momentum from having a great season like he did two years ago, (he can) right things. He can work on things fundamentally. Ohio State’s got a ton of talent coming in every year. They’re always reloading, they’re not rebuilding there. Ryan Day will have plenty of talent. I think it’s worth a minute or two discussion as to whether Justin Fields would be better off going back to Ohio State for the 2021 season.”

Dabo: Not Over It.

From around the hardwood...

Both of Ohio State’s top point guards will be out in Wednesday’s game against Northwestern. It was announced Wednesday afternoon that senior guard Jimmy Sotos has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury, joining senior guard CJ Walker, who is out due to torn ligaments in his right hand.

From around the mat?...

Apparently we should keep our eyes and ears on Ohio State’s wrestling team, as the head coach just teased us all via Twitter on Wednesday afternoon.