With seven Ohio State Buckeyes on the Athlon Sports preseason All-Big Ten team, OSU clobbered Michigan in number of elite stars, but is there reason to be concerned?
Athlon Sports released its annual preseason All-Big Ten team ahead of the 2017 season. While we are three plus months away from the start of the college football season, let’s face it. Buckeye fans don’t care what time of year it is when it comes to the Scarlet and Gray. What exactly does the Athlon feature say about the Buckeyes?
There are seven Buckeyes on the first team alone, including J.T. Barrett. That might come as a surprise to frustrated Ohio State fans, but let’s face it. Barrett has statistically been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the nation during his time in Columbus and has not just broken records, but outright shattered them.
Mike Weber, Billy Price, and Jamarco Jones join Barrett on the offensive team while Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard, and Jerome Baker earned First Team honors on defense. Lewis shouldn’t be a surprise as the 2016 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year and Hubbard as a leading threat on the edge. But seeing Jerome Baker, who impressed in 2016, make the first team should be the first of many honors for the linebacker.
In case you were wondering, Michigan only had three players on the First Team (OL Mason Cole and DL’s Rashan Gary and Maurice Hurst) and ZERO players on the Second Team. That is 100 percent the result of the mass exodus of players from the 2016 team. Gone are first-round picks Taco Charlton and Jabrill Peppers. Gone is Amara Darboh and so is Chris Wormley. Jake Butt is no longer catching passes at tight end. So while Michigan will get a lot of national attention, the cupboard is a bit bare, on paper.
Maryland, Purdue, and Illinois didn’t place anyone on the first or second teams. Maryland should be especially disappointed, as Dwayne Haskins certainly could have garnered preseason hype at quarterback if he had not flipped to Ohio State during his recruitment.
More from Factory of Sadness
- Bet $1 on ANYTHING to Unlock $200 Guaranteed with Crazy Bet365 Ohio Promo!
- 3 reasons why the Cleveland Cavaliers have a good shot to win the East next year
- It might be too soon to say it but it looks like the Cleveland Guardians are back
- Are the Cleveland Browns a Top 10 roster heading into the 2023 season?
- Eastern Conference Solidarity: Back the Heat with $5 Bet, Win $200 Bonus INSTANTLY with DraftKings Promo
What might surprise some Buckeye fans is seeing Denzel Ward make the second team. While Ward has talent and played well in 2016, he doesn’t exactly come into the 2017 season with the high expectation of some past first-year starters. Damon Webb also made the second team, giving the Buckeyes two members of the secondary that saw an incredible three players go in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Damon Arnnette, Kendall Sheffield, Shaun Wade, and Jeffrey Odukah were absent from any of the teams, which is a bit surprising given the opportunities available in the Buckeye secondary this season.
If there is anything to worry about it’s the fact that the first pass catcher of any kind for the Buckeyes is tight end Marcus Baugh, who earned fourth-team honors. Baugh is recovering from off-season surgery and the wide receiver group is a mystery, at best. Maybe it’s Austin Mack or Ben Victor. Maybe Demario McCall lights it up like Curtis Samuel. Heading into 2017, there just isn’t anyone on the roster that warrants preseason honors other than Baugh.
It’s only the end of May, so much can change between now and the Indiana season opener. There’s bound to be some breakout star or some unknown player that finds a way to make an impact. For now, the Buckeyes have plenty to be happy about heading into 2017.