Roundup: Ohio State Players on 2015 Watch Lists, How They Compare to Rest of the Big Ten

By Eric Seger on July 13, 2015 at 8:35 am
Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliott, B1G Title Game

It's foolish to place hordes of stock in college football preseason watch lists — the number of players recognized in the heat of the summer mainly just serve as a mini plate of hors d'oeuvres for fans drooling on themselves as they wait for kickoff.

The talent that is noted, however, does serve as a bit of a barometer for teams across the country. Those players mentioned on watch lists don't always pan out and have great seasons, but the organizations that decide who is on them know their way around college football.

Ohio State returns 15 starters from a team that won its first national championship under Urban Meyer in 2014. An improbable run as it was, the Buckeyes return such a loaded roster they're the attractive choice to win it all again in 2015.

And watch lists have taken notice. Four Buckeyes were named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award (nation's best player), while five others found their names on the watch list for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy (national defensive player of the year).

Below is a breakdown of the watch least for each preseason award released last week, with each of the Big Ten contingents on each.

Paul Hornung Award Watch List (Nation's Most Versatile Player, 44 Players Named)

OHIO STATE: Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson


ILLINOIS: V'Angelo Bentley

NEBRASKA: De'Mornay Pierson-El

MARYLAND: William Likely

RUTGERS: Janarion Grant

Maxwell Award Watch List (Nation's Best Player, 80 Players Named)

OHIO STATE: Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett, Ezekiel Elliott

PENN STATE: Christian Hackenberg, DaeSean Hamilton

INDIANA: Nate Sudfield


NEBRASKA: Tommy Armstrong Jr.

NORTHWESTERN: Justin Jackson

RUTGERS: Leonte Carroo

WISCONSIN: Corey Clement

Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List (Nation's Best Defensive Player, 82 Players Named)

OHIO STATE: Joey Bosa, Joshua Perry

MICHIGAN STATE: Shilique Calhoun, Ed Davis


MINNESOTA: Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Eric Murray

WISCONSIN: Vince Biegel, Michael Calhoun

MARYLAND: William Likely

NEBRASKA: Maliek Collins

PENN STATE: Anthony Zettel

RUTGERS: Darius Hamilton

Rimington Award Watch List (Nation's Best Center, 65 Players Named)

OHIO STATE: Jacoby Boren

PENN STATE: Angelo Mangiro



IOWA: Austin Blythe

PURDUE: Robert Kugler

John Mackey Award Watch List (Nation's Best Tight End, 33 Players Named)

OHIO STATE: Nick Vannett


PENN STATE: Kyle Carter

IOWA: Jake Duzey


Ray Guy Award Watch List (Nation's Best Punter, 25 Players Named)

OHIO STATE: Cameron Johnston

MINNESOTA: Peter Mortell

Bronko Nagurski Award Watch List (National Defensive Player of the Year, 88 Players Named)

OHIO STATE: Vonn Bell, Joey Bosa, Darron Lee, Joshua Perry, Adolphus Washington

MINNESOTA: Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Eric Murray


PENN STATE: Jordan Lucas, Anthony Zettel

WISCONSIN: Vince Biegel, Michael Caputo

IOWA: Drew Ott

MARYLAND: William Likely

MICHIGAN STATE: Shilique Calhoun

NEBRASKA: Maliek Collins

Outland Trophy Watch List (Nation's Best Interior Lineman, 81 Players Named)

OHIO STATE: Taylor Decker, Pat Elflein, Adolphus Washington

MICHIGAN STATE: Jack Allen, Jack Conklin

INDIANA: Dan Feeney

IOWA: Austin Blythe

NEBRASKA: Maliek Collins

RUTGERS: Darius Hamilton


These totals are based off the watch lists that have already been released, but there are still a few others to be announced this week. Among them include the Jim Thorpe, Butkus, Biletnikoff and Davey O'Brien Awards.

More Buckeyes are bound to show up on those lists, as well, with the surplus of talent on currently on roster and love from analysts being ever present.

"I do believe this year's team is even stronger than the 2014 version," college football savant Phil Steele said. "And, unlike last summer when the QB depth was questioned by many, they now have three quarterbacks who have either been a Heisman contender or led the team to a national title."

The talent gap between Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten is also tangible, especially with regards to archrival Michigan. Ohio State had a player listed on recently release watch lists 19 times. Michigan had one.

Bleacher Report's Ben Axelrod delved into this discrepancy further over here, and DJ mentioned it in Sunday's Skull Session.

The Buckeyes are set to be loaded this year, and most everyone knows it.

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