Predicting the college football season is almost as impossible as predicting the winning lottery numbers. There will be many surprises and twists that no one saw coming.
Heading into 2018, some things seem to be a lock for Ohio State – such as beating Rutgers. Other things are not as blatantly obvious. Here are some bold predictions that no one but us will see coming, but at the end of the day are very likely.
Tate Martell will start at least one game
It is almost a lock that Dwayne Haskins will be the starter week one. However, it has been recently reported that Tate Martell is still in the mix to be the starting quarterback. With that being said, Martell will have plenty of chances to see the field in 2018 – whether it is through special packages or in relief of Haskins during blowouts.
There are two paths for Martell to fulfill this prediction. The most obvious is that the 5-star quarterback excels when he gets the chances while Haskins struggles and, ultimately, Meyer makes the decision to switch it up on offense.
The other situation, which is more likely to happen, isn’t as obvious. The Big Ten is a physically demanding conference that takes a toll on players. J.T. Barrett had been banged up in recent years, leading Cardale Jones to see the field.
In a perfect world, Haskins would never get hurt, but in reality there is always a chance that the brutal schedule of the Big Ten could result in Martell notching his first career start.
Ohio State will not have a defensive back taken in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft
In recent years, Ohio State has earned the nickname of “DBU” for good reason. Since 2013, the Buckeyes have had six defensive backs drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. This, in part, has been thanks to former coach Kerry Coombs who was responsible for coaching the cornerbacks.
Now Coombs is coaching the secondary of the Tennessee Titans and the effects of his departure will certainly be felt in 2018. Damon Arnette and Jordan Fuller are extremely talented but will have to show a major improvement in their game in order to be a first round pick in next year’s draft.
Mike Weber will lead the team in rushing yards
Heading into 2017, Mike Weber was supposed to be the workhorse in Columbus until he spent the first few weeks with an injured hamstring. This resulted in J.K. Dobbins becoming the feature back in the offense. However, Weber did end up leading the running back unit in touchdowns, with 10.
Although Dobbins appears to be a greater talent, that does not necessarily mean he will be utilized every down. In fact, it would not be shocking if Meyer gave Weber more touches in order to conserve Dobbins for the later part of the season.
Expect a fully healthy Weber to get more touches in 2018, since he will be looking to improve his draft stock.