My Prediction: 5 breakout players for the 2015 season

After a very exciting championship run, led by a young 2013 recruiting class, the near future looks very bright for the Ohio State Buckeyes. After losing 5 seniors to the draft, and several more that went undrafted, there are players that need to, and will step up to help to repeat this season. Here, I’ll take my best guess at who those guys will be.

1. Noah Brown – 6-2, 225 lb Sophomore Wide Receiver from Sparta, NJ. This is a pretty sure, and easy pick. He played very limited minutes last year with only 1 carry for -4 yards, and 1 catch for 9 yards, but he does the Evan Spencer type things that don’t really go in the stat-book. He was relied on to be a great blocker in  the run game, and they consistently would run the ball in his direction when he was on the field.  After dropping about twenty pounds from last year, he is primed for a good season. “Noah Brown has had probably as good of a spring as I could’ve wanted” said WR coach Zach Smith. Urban Meyer even said “If he just takes care of more business in the classroom, then I was going to announce him as one of the starting three of four.”

2. Curtis Samuel - 5-11 200 lb Sophomore RB/H-Back from Brooklyn, NY. He is another easy pick, and one that almost doesn’t count as a breakout player, because he had a pretty solid season last year, especially for a true freshman. Urban recruited him for the H-Back position, but he looked good at RB, so they kept him there. Early, in the season, many people thought that he was perhaps the best RB on the team. After a fumble against the University of Cincinnati, he didn’t get as many touches throughout the rest of the season, but he still ended up with 383 rushing yards, and 6 TD’s on 58 carries. “The days of Curtis Samuel playing 10 plays are over. It’s our job to get him on the field for 40 or 50 plays.” Urban Meyer said after making the decision to move him to H-Back mostly because of how good Ezekiel Elliott is. Tony Alford (New RB coach) remembers the first time Curtis caught his attention “Literally the first drill we did in winter conditioning I was here and I blew the whistle and he did something. I remembered I turned and looked and said, ‘What was that?’ It was like a flash.” I expect Curtis to be very successful at his new position.


3. Dante Booker - 6-3 233 lb Sophomore Linebacker from St. Vincent – St. Mary in Akron, Ohio. In 2013, he won Ohio Mr. Football (First defensive player since Andy Katzenmoyer in ’95), and according to 247sports, he was the 13th best player in the nation coming out of High-School. Even though the starting linebackers have already been established (and he’s not one of them), I expect him to find some quality playing time, and once that happens he could take off. In the two deep he could realistically back up the WILL (Joshua Perry), and the MIKE (Raekwon McMillan). He will likely be the 2nd string WILL, and Camren Williams hasn’t proven that he can step up at the MIKE, and even though Nick Conner had a flashy spring game, Dante has more experience and is much better fundamentally, so there is plenty of need for him to be able to step up. When talking about Dante, Joshua Perry said “The kid, like I’ve said before, he’s an athletic freak, so when stuff starts coming together it looks really good out there.”

4. Erick Smith - 6-0 202 lb Safety from Cleveland, Ohio. He was a member of the 2014 recruiting class, and part of the trio that came from the Buckeye pipeline in Glenville. (Now only a duo since Marcelys transferred to UK). Coming into his freshman year last year, he had high expectations from the coaches and the fans. He was going to be needed specially since we lost 4 safeties that previous off-season. He didn’t get to play much last year because Tyvis Powell and Vonn Bell fortunately stayed healthy. He was a key and consistent member of one of the best kick-off teams in the nation (The Piranhas). Also, when he did get game action he showed what all they hype was about with his ball-hawking, and hard-hitting abilities. He was also one of the more impressive players in this year’s spring game with 2 interceptions. “Erick’s the man. If I ever break a shoestring, ain’t nobody going to blink an eye. Everybody’s going to be like, ‘We’re good.'” said known comedian Tyvis Powell. I think Erick will have a great season even though there’s an experienced and skilled pair of safeties ahead of him.


5. Tyquan Lewis - 6-4 260 lb Defensive End from Tarboro, NC. He was a member of the 2013 class, which is arguably the best recruiting class in Ohio State history, and he was one of the five to enroll early. He redshirted his freshman year, and then played sparingly this past year, playing behind Joey Bosa on the two-deep. After a year without a true Viper, and Steve Miller and Rashad Frazier filling in for Noah Spence at that position, Tyquan is looked to finally bring it back.  He will most likely be the starter, but he will face some stiff competition in Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes. Larry Johnson wants that rotation to keep the guys fresh, so I anticipate that Tyquan will do very well this year. Larry Johnson and Joey Bosa also had very high praise for Tyquan this spring. “He’s playing much faster than he was playing last year, and I think he understands the defensive concept a little bit more. He’s had a really outstanding spring.” said Coach Johnson. When asked what stood out about Tyquan to Joey, he replied with “Speed, he’s physical, he’s just a freak out there.”





Tommy Schutt– Injuries have haunted his career thus far, but Urban and the Buckeyes will be looking for that senior to step up in place of Michael Bennett.

Gareon Conley– Replacing Doran Grant, Gareon will be looking to show that he is better than what happened in the first quarter in East Lansing last year. He has so much athleticism and talent, I think he will step in very nicely, and potentially be better than Doran was.




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