Ohio State mailbag: Which player is in line for a breakout season?

Have Ohio State football questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every  Wednesday  for the  Land of 10 Ohio State mailbag to talk all things Buckeyes. This week, we’ll discuss breakout players, the Ohio State offense and the extent to which some young players will contribute. 

My top choice here is H-back Parris Campbell, who will finally be playing his natural position at Ohio State. He’s athletic, versatile and experienced, and I think he’ll thrive in that role. So why wasn’t he there sooner? It mostly just didn’t make sense with Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, Braxton Miller and Curtis Samuel all occupying that spot for parts of the last few years. Now it’s Campbell’s turn, and I think he’s ready. It doesn’t hurt that he’s spent the last couple years developing as a wide receiver, either.

Defensively, I’ll go with Damon Webb. His recruiting ranking was second only to Raekwon McMillan in Ohio State’s tremendous Class of 2014, and he played as a true freshman on the national championship team. The talent is there. Last season he was a first-year starter playing with three first-round picks, so opposing offenses seemed to gravitate toward him. However, Greg Schiano has praised him extensively in spring and fall for the strides he’s made. With a year of starting experience, he’s going to be a weapon in the defensive backfield this year.

J.T. Barrett, Jamarco Jones, Michael Jordan, Billy Price, Branden Bowen, Isaiah Prince, Marcus Baugh, Mike Weber, Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon. You heard it here first.

Tremendous question right here. That’s a strong contender for sure, especially if Campbell shines as I forecasted above. Some other possibilities, with help from my co-workers:

  • Billy Davis was Urban Meyer’s best man
  • Any position change (as we’ve also seen with Hubbard and might this year with Rashod Berry)
  • There’s a looming quarterback battle

I’m just sad Antjuan Simmons flipped to Michigan State, depriving Ohio State viewers of four years of incessant reminders from broadcasters that he went to school across the street from Michigan Stadium.

All is well. He’s backing up a player projected to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft at a position that doesn’t do a lot of rotating. The Buckeyes have had a bit of a logjam at linebacker recently but that should clear up after this year with either two or three starters leaving. Expect Jones to be in the starting lineup next fall. Sometimes things just take time.

A lot! It won’t be Oregon-level fast, but the days of inexplicably abandoning it for large periods of time appear to be over. Here’s what Kevin Wilson had to say about it in late July.

“It’s not like you’re frantic,” he said. “It’s no different than playing up-tempo basketball. You still have to execute. You can’t throw it away. What you try to do is get in a rhythm and get the defense on their heels to get those guys maybe not doing as much, but you still have to execute.

“You don’t want to rush, but you want to go fast. It’s learning how to play within yourself at a reasonable tempo.”

That’s going to be the default setting for Ohio State, not something used sparingly.

Oregon State in 2018. I think Campbell will produce this season and hold down the starting job all season. But we will see McCall contribute in some form or fashion this year, just not as a starter at H-back.

It does not. Ohio State plans to rotate six or seven receivers/H-backs, and I think that’s sincere. Campbell and McLaurin will get plenty of snaps, but so will younger guys such as Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack and maybe a freshman such as Trevon Grimes or Jaylen Harris.

Assuming his health stays on track — and there’s no reason to think otherwise — he should be heavily involved in special teams. He’ll also back up Dante Booker and appears likely to be the first linebacker off the bench.

Not a fan. I think if there’s not enough differentiation, you’re better off not naming any in the preseason and just having week-to-week game captains with five or so permanent captains chosen at the end of the year.

Yes and yes. All signs point to Weber being ready in time, but J.K. Dobbins has done enough to get some carries in the opener as a complement to Weber.

Is this implying Rupert a bad name? I love the name Rupert. Rupert Grint has an amazing name. Anyway, the best two names on the 2017 Ohio State team are Michael Jordan and Tuf Borland.

Have a question about Ohio State football? Tweet us @Landof10OSU and we’ll try to answer your question in a future mailbag. Check to see if your question already was answered by reading previous Ohio State football mailbags   here.

The post Ohio State mailbag: Which player is in line for a breakout season? appeared first on Land of 10.

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