Ohio State Football: 3 Buckeyes Primed for Breakout Seasons

With Braxton Miller at quarterback, Ohio State has a chance to make a serious run at major college football’s first-ever playoff.

For Urban Meyer to get his team to the big show, however, other players will need to have breakout seasons for the Buckeyes.

That’s especially true when you factor in who Ohio State must replace. Players such as Carlos Hyde, Ryan Shazier and Bradley Roby—in addition to four senior starters along the offensive line—have Meyer searching for playmakers and leadership heading into the 2014 season.

Whether they’re stepping in for a new starter, looking to boost an unproductive unit or eager to explode in an expanded role, these three players are primed for big seasons.

Ezekiel Elliott

With Hyde rushing his way into the Ohio State history book, there weren’t a lot of opportunities for other ball-carriers in 2013.

That was especially true for Ezekiel Elliott, a former 4-star running back out St. Louis, Missouri. The speedy playmaker saw action in half of Ohio State’s 14 games, rushing for 262 yards on just 30 carries (8.7 yards per rush) to complement three total touchdowns.

On the brink of his sophomore season, Elliot’s role is expanding in a big way.

The search for Hyde’s replacement started in the spring, when candidates such as Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn had a chance to shine. Elliott seized control, though, and set himself up to become the Buckeyes’ starting running back this fall.

Even though he played sparingly,…

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