Last season, the Buckeyes played the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in the draft in Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley. In 2018, the Ohio State Buckeyes will face many great opponents. First let’s take a look at the honorable mentions. These players were recently ranked inside of Sports Illustrated’s top 100 college football players of 2018.
- Ben Banogu, DT, TCU
- Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
- L.J. Scott, RB, Michigan State
- Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan
- Lavert Hill, CB, Michigan
- Khaleke Hudson, LB, Michigan
5.) Chase Winovich, LB, Michigan:
Last season, Chase Winovich was one of the most productive linebackers at Michigan. On the season, Winovich accounted for 19 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. Against Ohio State, Winovich had nine tackles and recorded a sack. Now a senior, Winovich has a chance to be one of the top linebackers in the conference.
4.) Stanley Morgan, WR, Nebraska:
Last season, Stanley Morgan Jr. was arguably the top wide receiver in the Big Ten. On the season, Morgan Jr. caught 61 receptions for 986 yards and 10 touchdowns. Against Ohio State, the Nebraska star made three receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown. With new head coach Scott Frost the Cornhuskers are expected to have a much more explosive offense, expect a big year from the wide receiver.
3.) Devin Bush, LB, Michigan:
Devin Bush is an elite linebacker. Bush can not only generate pressure on the quarterback but he can also cover very well. Last season, Bush recorded 95 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks and one interception. In addition, he was selected First Team All-Big Ten for his performance last year. Bush is one of the top draft prospects at his position for the 2019 NFL Draft.
2.) Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State:
Penn State has the top quarterback in the Big Ten returning with Trace McSorley under center. Last season, McSorley threw for 3,570 yards and 28 touchdowns. McSorley beat the Buckeyes in 2016, but fell just short in 2017. Now the gunslinger will have Ohio State at home where he could easily beat the Buckeyes.
1.) Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan:
Coming into college, Rashan Gary was one of the top players in the country. He was ranked the top player by four major recruiting networks. In 2017, Gary was First Team All-Big Ten for for his position. Stats-wise, Gary recorded 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. In 2018, Gary is expected to anchor the Michigan Wolverines defense and show why he was the top player in his recruiting class.