From now until preseason camp starts in August, Land-Grant Holy Land will be writing articles around a different theme every week. This week is all about players to watch this upcoming season. You can catch up on all of the Theme Week content here and all of our ”Player to Watch” articles here.
It is “Player(s) to Watch” Week here at Land-Grant Holy Land, so we want to get a feeling for which football and men’s basketball players you have the highest expectations for coming into the new fall seasons.
So, fill out the survey at the bottom of the page and check back later in the week for the results.
Question 1; Which Ohio State football true freshman do you think will have the biggest season?
I obviously didn't include every true freshman joining the Buckeye football team his fall, but I did want to get the players in the top 250 nationally in the survey. The thing about these types of questions — especially in football — is that they are not solely about talent, you also have to factor in what veteran players are ahead of them in their specific position rooms.
So, while Noah Rogers and Carnell Tate are obviously exciting players for the future of the program, because of how well Brian Hartline recruits the wide receiver position, it might not be the best bet to expect them to have huge breakout seasons. Although, given the injuries that the position saw last season and how underwhelming the 2022 WR crop is, perhaps they will have a shot.
I won’t give my thoughts on this one until the results are in, as to not prejudice your picks, but I do think that there are a number of really interesting options.
Question 2: Which Ohio State men’s basketball true freshman do you think will have the biggest season?
Obviously, when it comes to basketball, it’s a lot easier for true freshmen to have an impact on their teams, and the men’s basketball Buckeyes have some really good rookies joining the squad this fall. Being a Pickerington native, I of course am pulling for Devin Royal, but Taison Chatman and Scotty Middleton will almost certainly also see lots of playing time.
What will be interesting to watch is how Chris Holtmann balances the rotation around the sophomores. Second-year players Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, and Felix Okpara — not to mention senior Zed Key — will be the core of the team this year, but with a handful of impact transfers and a highly ranked recruiting class, filling in the gaps between and around those guys will be key.
Question 3: Other than a quarterback, who will be the Ohio State football MVP?
There are obviously a lot of options here, and I very well might have left out some big ones, so if I did, feel free to include them in the comments below. I think we can all agree that going into the season, Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best player on the team, but I struggle to pick a wide receiver as the MVP.
In terms of production, I think I could make an argument for a defensive lineman or cornerback, but in terms of actual most valuable impact this season, I might side with an offensive lineman... assuming that unit doesn’t completely collapse. Because of how thin and untested the o-line is, if they find a way to be serviceable to even above average, I think that there would be a strong case to be made that an offensive guard or tackle is the key to the team’s success.
Question 4: Who will be the Ohio State men’s basketball MVP?
Honestly, take your pick here. I could easily go Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle, Zed Key, Jamison Battle, some of the freshmen, nearly anybody. While that can be looked at as a negative, since the team doesn’t have a definitive leader, it is also a positive that after all of the turmoil last season that Holtmann seemingly has a ton of options for production on both ends of the floor this year.
I, personally, am pumped for this season and hopefully seeing the Buckeye hoopsters get back to competing for a Big Ten title.