Predictions for the upcoming college football season has started and that includes a high achievement from Sporting News for multiple Ohio State players.
Sporting News magazine named four Ohio State players as All-Americans prior to the start of this season. Whether those players ultimately finish with that achievement will be determined.
The four players mentioned by Sporting News are guard Pat Elflein, middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan, quarterback J.T. Barrett, and punter Cameron Johnston. Elflein and McMillan were named to the first team, while Barrett and Johnston is on their second team.
Both Elflein, a senior, and McMillan, a junior, could end up as early to mid first round picks in 2017. Barrett meanwhile is in his junior season and after inconsistent playing time looks to continue the Buckeyes success.
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It will not be a surprise to see Barrett in New York City at the Heisman Trophy award ceremony at the end of the season. Johnston has made progress each season. Now as a senior, he could be in the running for the Ray Guy award which is earned by the top punter in the country.
Those achievements are great, but Sporting News’ prediction for how the 2016 Ohio State season is not as positive.
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Four players listed as All-Americans is very good, but when the season is over I 100% expect that number to be above five. Defensive End Sam Hubbard and cornerback Gareon Conley should get serious consideration. Those two players should be considered that much because of how they played last season.
"The Buckeyes are ranked by Sporting News as the No. 4 team in the nation, behind Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma. That ranking comes despite Ohio State losing 16 starters from last season."
Not only that, but also due to the fact that both will be asked to do a lot more in 2016. Hubbard is someone who the national media will be much more familiar with very soon and Conley is an underrated corner who actually has more talent than former Ohio State CB Eli Apple.
I, along with many of you I am sure have seen and read Ohio State predictions on the season. Unfortunately, some of them have mentioned the Buckeyes only will win either eight or nine games. Sporting News’ season prediction for Ohio State is actually one of the better ones that has been mentioned.
Still, expectations are still higher than that for the Buckeyes. As long as inconsistencies are shored up on offense, Ohio State has more than enough talent to be a playoff team and national title contenders.
I take those eight or nine win predictions with a grain of salt. As long as they do win at least nine though, there should be an abundance of achievements for Ohio State football players.