Ohio State’s season is over and done with, but the Buckeyes could be a very different team in 2016. So many key players, most notably running back Ezekiel Elliott, safety Tyvis Powell and quarterback Cardale Jones, have declared for the upcoming NFL Draft that Ohio State could only have six starters return next season.
This possibility was posted to Reddit and it’s oddly realistic. Should guys like running back/wide receiver Jalin Marshall, safety Von Bell, receiver Michael Thomas and cornerback Eli Apple declare for the draft, there would indeed only be six returning starters in Columbus. Those six would be quarterback J.T. Barrett and offensive linemen Pat Elflein and Billy Price on offense, while the defense would see linebacker Raekwon McMillan, defensive end Tyquan Lewis and corner Gareon Conley return.
This would put the Buckeyes at the bottom of the barrel in terms of overall experience, even if coach Urban Meyer does have some top recruits coming in, namely five-star defensive end Nick Bosa. The good news is that Meyer is a strong enough coach that when it comes to experience, Ohio State shouldn’t be affected too much and still be one of the nation’s stronger teams.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports