Jalin Marshall

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Ohio St.’s nine early draft entrants just miss matching LSU’s 2013 feat

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Not surprisingly, Ohio State will officially be forced to replace a handful of departing talent if it wants to find itself back in the College Football Playoff chase in 2016.

After a few days worth of reports trickling out, OSU officially announced Thursday that nine Buckeyes have decided to leave collegiate eligibility on the table and make themselves available for the April NFL draft.  The school wrote in the release that “[t]he group consists of three players who were fourth-year juniors (QB Cardale Jones, SAF Tyvis Powell and WR Michael Thomas), three who were true juniors in eligibility this season – SAF Vonn Bell, DE Joey Bosa, RB Ezekiel Elliott – and three who were sophomores in eligibility this year but who also red-shirted one of their three seasons with the Buckeyes: CB Eli Apple, LB Darron Lee and WR Jalin Marshall.”

That should be the extent of the attrition as the only other draft-eligible Buckeye, offensive lineman Pat Elflein, has previously announced that he will be returning.

The school also noted the historical context of the number of departures:

While this number of underclassmen declaring for the draft is high for Ohio State, it is not a record, according to NFL.com. Although a public relations administrator for the site wasn’t sure of the record, he did indicate LSU had 10 underclassmen declare one year.

That would be the number of early entrants for the Tigers who declared for the 2013 draft. That number would actually be 11 if Tyrann Mathieudismissed from the Tigers football program in August of 2012 for what turned out to be the failure of multiple drug tests, is counted for LSU.

Regardless of where it stands in relation to LSU, it’s an extraordinarily high number of losses for an Ohio State team that has lost just four games in Urban Meyer‘s four seasons in Columbus.

“We have some young people – some fourth-year guys, two who have graduated – who have a national championship and have decided to chase their dreams,” Meyer said in quotes distributed by the school. “Everyone was so professional about it. … I’m a fan of great players and a bunch of those guys are going to play for a while. You have to look at it that way. We recruited well and the door is open now.”

The good news for Meyer & Company is that they have recruited very well, and should have the talent to replace those lost.

The Buckeyes have landed four Rivals.com Top-10 recruiting classes during Meyer’s reign, with rankings of fourth (2012), second (2013), third (2014) and ninth (2015). The class the Buckeyes are expected to sign is currently fourth, although they could get to at least No. 2 by signing day a month from now.

Ninth Buckeye departs Columbus as safety Vonn Bell enters NFL Draft

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And then there were nine.

Shortly after wide receiver Michael Thomas made his intentions known, safety Vonn Bell followed suit by declaring for the 2016 NFL Draft.

“I have decided to make myself eligible and enter the 2016 NFL Draft,” Bell said in a statement through Ohio State, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “It has been an honor and a privilege to play at the best university in the country, to play for the best coach in the country, and to help bring the 2014 national championship to The Ohio State University and the best fans in the country.

“My time here has been very special to me and my family. And I thank all Buckeye fans for their love and support.”

Bell played in 42 games and spent the past two seasons as a starter. This season he collected 65 tackles, two passes defended and consensus First Team All-America honors.

 

The full list of departing Buckeyes stands (as of this writing) at: Thomas, Bell, running back Ezekiel Elliott, quarterback Cardale Jones, defensive back Eli Apple, defensive back Tyvis Powell, linebacker Darron Lee, wide receiver Jalin Marshall and defensive lineman Joey Bosa.

That, uh, a lot.

Ohio State’s Jalin Marshall is seventh Buckeye to declare for NFL Draft

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Another day, another Ohio State Buckeyes player heading to the NFL Draft a year early. Wide receiver Jalin Marshall announced his decision to leave Columbus for the NFL today, leaving with two years of eligibility behind at Ohio State.

Marshall was Ohio State’s second-leading receiver in 2015 with 477 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games this past season. In addition to playing wide receiver, Marshall helped out on special teams for the Buckeyes as well. In the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, Marshall returned four punts for 73 yards. He ended the season with 379 punt return yards.

Marshall is the seventh Ohio State player to declare for the NFL Draft with a year of eligibility remaining. He joins Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Cardale Jones, Darron Lee, Tyvis Powell and Eli Apple, who also declared on Monday. Ohio State managed to lose no underclassmen to the NFL Draft last year, coming off a national championship.

Tyvis Powell the latest Buckeye leave a year early

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A year ago Ohio State, coming off a national championship, managed to keep all of its underclassmen from leaving early. A year later it has been quite a different story. Safety Tyvis Powell is the latest underclassmen to declare his intentions to enter the 2016 NFL Draft with a year of eligibility remaining at Ohio State.

Powell was a three-year starter for Ohio State and he has had quite an impact on the success of the program with some key plays along the way. Powell graduated in December, doing so in three and a half years. He also leaves a year early despite his evaluation from the NFL Draft advisory board suggesting he will not be likely to be chosen in the first two rounds of the draft in the spring.

“It doesn’t matter what round it is,” Powell said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. “When I get there, I just want to leave a mark. I’ve never been the top person (coming in) anyway. I’ve always had to work for what I had. It doesn’t matter if it’s first round or second round. It’s all about what you do when you get there. With my work ethic, I’m going to work as hard as I can to stay as long as I can.”

Powell joins defensive end Joey Bosa, running back Ezekiel Elliott, quarterback Cardale Jones and linebacker Darron Lee as Ohio State players leaving the school early for a chance at the NFL. There could be mopre to come as well, with safety Vonn Bell, cornerback Eli Apple and wide receiver Jalin Marshall all reportedly contemplating their futures.

Ohio State’s depth is already taking some dings in 2016 with these early departures, and that could take them down a peg when it comes to predicting who the top team in the Big Ten East will be in the fall. Michigan appears to be on the rise under Jim Harbaugh and certainly has momentum going into the offseason with a blowout of Florida, but Ohio State has recruited exceptionally well under Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes will continue to fill their holes with some good quality players as a result.

No. 8 Ohio State pounds No. 10 Michigan, awaits PSU-MSU result

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Whatever Ohio State team that was that took the field last in last week’s debacle against Michigan State, you had to know a different group would make the trip up north to Ann Arbor. Looking like the version of itself many expected the entire season, No. 8 Ohio State thumped No. 10 Michigan 42-13 at the Big House.

Similar to games past in this run of dominance the Buckeyes have enjoyed over the Wolverines — make it four in a row, 11 of the past 12 and 13 of 15 since Jim Tressel‘s arrival in 2001 — Ohio State dominated both lines of scrimmage. Ezekiel Elliott and J.T. Barrett combined to rush for 353 yards.

It was enough to leave one believing this Buckeyes team, the team we saw Saturday afternoon, in the second half against Virginia Tech and a handful of times elsewhere, truly is the best team in the country – or at least one of the top four. It was also enough to leave one wondering why last week’s performance was allowed to happen.

The downpour started on the Buckeyes’ second possession when, two plays after a roughing the punter penalty at its own 9 extended the drive, Elliott rumbled 66 yards and Barrett walked in from seven yards out two snaps later. After a Michigan field goal, Ohio State again rumbled 75 yards, with Elliott and Barrett rushing on all but one of the eight snaps, capped by a five-yard Elliott rush.

Jake Rudock hit Jehu Chesson for a five-yard touchdown to pull the Wolverines within 14-10 at the half, but Michigan’s second-ranked rush defense found no answers for Ohio State’s ground game in the locker room.

Ohio State moved 82 yards in eight plays, capped by a highlight 25-yard Jalin Marshall touchdown grab, to push the lead back to two scores.

The Buckeyes put the game out of reach for good with two more lengthy drives — consuming 84 and 75 yards — punctuated by Barrett (13 yards) and Elliott (10 yards) scoring dashes.

Barrett put the cherry on top with a 17-yard touchdown run, ending his day with 19 carries for 139 yards and three touchdowns to go with 113 yards and a touchdown on 9-of-13 passing. Elliott totaled 214 yards and two scores on 30 carries.

As a team, Ohio State out-rushed the Wolverines 371-57, pounding out an even seven yards a carry while limiting Michigan to 2.28.

The win moved Ohio State to 11-1 on the season (7-1 Big Ten) and keeps the club’s faint hopes of a second straight Big Ten championship alive, pending Saturday afternoon’s Michigan State-Penn State result, while keeping the Buckeyes in the mix to benefit in the event Clemson, Alabama, or Oklahoma lose between now and Selection Sunday. At the very worst, Ohio State, which remains unbeaten in true road games under Urban Meyer and 6-2 overall inside Michigan Stadium since the turn of the century, figures to be in line for an at-large berth in the Peach or Fiesta bowl.

Michigan (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) now has a month-plus with which to reconcile a season that looked and played much better than a Brady Hoke season, but offers a very similar result. Jim Harbaugh‘s Wolverines had a plan and executed it, but in the end they’re left with another season without a win over Michigan State or Ohio State, another season without a Big Ten championship, and another season ending outside a major bowl game.