COLUMBUS, Ohio — The last of the lists is out, and Ohio State has players all over them.
From the offensive line to the secondary, the Buckeyes had more than their share of representatives on the various preseason hype lists, which is no surprise given how high the team will rank collectively when the polls come out ahead of the opener in late August.
Obviously not everybody expected to contribute to a potential national-title run found a way into the minds of the various committees who ultimately will hand out the hardware once an actual season has been played. But just in case there was any confusion, appearing on a watch list in July isn’t mandatory to lift an individual trophy in December — just ask Johnny Manziel.
So with that in mind, BuckeyeNation offers up its own helpful list for potential voters heading into the season, taking a look at some Ohio State players who will bear watching and conceivably could draw some attention to themselves before the year is done.
Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence
- Who should be watching: Nagurski, Lombardi voters
- Why: The sophomores didn’t play enough a year ago to generate any sort of national buzz, but there’s little doubt they each have the athleticism and playmaking ability to become household names quickly this fall. Playing behind veterans in John Simon and Nathan Williams helped bring the talented bookends along slowly while still incorporating them in the rotation during their first year on campus, but the Buckeyes will need to unleash them with those seniors gone and the spots in the starting lineup waiting for Washington and Spence to show their potential off to the rest of the country. The glimpse they showed in the spring game only reinforced how high the ceiling is for the duo, even if it was only a scrimmage.
- Dark-horse chances: No matter how much damage Washington’s strength or Spence’s speed inflicts on Ohio State’s opponents, neither is likely to seriously challenge a destructive force like Jadeveon Clowney this season. But with breakout campaigns now, they definitely can lay the groundwork for a future run at individual glory as juniors.
Continue reading this article at ESPN: Dark horses: Buckeyes voters should watch