Stock Up/Stock Down: Young Buckeyes On The Rise Heading Into Indiana Matchup

By James Grega on August 29, 2017 at 10:10 am
J.K. Dobbins

Kickoff in Bloomington, Ind. is so close you can almost hear the ball being kicked into the air. 

Our weekly Stock Up/Stock Down feature returns for the 2017 football season, giving you our picks for the teams, coaches and players that are trending in the right (or wrong) way for the upcoming week. 

The focus will certainly be on Ohio State most weeks, but expect to see some other schools from the Big Ten appear in this space from time to time. 

That said, let's dive into Week 1 of the college football season.

Stock Up

J.K. Dobbins - Ohio State freshman running back

We have heard over the past two weeks that starting running back Mike Weber will be good to go for the season opener against Indiana on Thursday night. However, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer declined to answer Monday whether or not Dobbins could start the game if Weber is not physically ready to play an entire game. Regardless of whether he starts or not, I am buying stock in Dobbins because I believe he will get a good amount of carries against the Hoosiers, while Ohio State remains cautious with Weber. 

Thayer Munford - Ohio State freshman offensive tackle

Munford was Ohio State's lowest rated offensive line commit in the 2017 class, but he was one of only two true freshman linemen to crack the two-deep on the Buckeye's first depth chart. Munford, a product of both Cincinnati La Salle and Massillon Washington High School, is listed as the backup to Isaiah Prince at right tackle and has made a positive impression on Meyer since arriving for fall camp. I don't expect him to play with the first-team offense (unless there is an injury), but I also don't expect him to redshirt this season.

Indiana's Secondary

By no means does this mean I am picking Indiana to beat Ohio State on Thursday, because I am not. However, Indiana returns four starters from the 2016 defense in its secondary, which figures to be a confident bunch. The Indiana secondary limited J.T. Barrett to just 93 passing yards last season, 37 of which came on a late touchdown pass with the game in hand. I believe the Buckeye offense will be improved, but I would not rule out a big play or two from the back end of the Indiana defense. 

Stock Down

Ohio State's Secondary

Before you jump all over me with your takes, let me explain mine. I don't think the Buckeye defensive backs are bad, nor do I believe they will have a subpar season. That said, I think they will struggle against a veteran Indiana quarterback with multiple wide receivers that stand around 6-foot-4. One thing that should help them is a dominant OSU pass-rush, but if the Buckeyes don't get home, I think Indiana has the size outside to make some big plays downfield. 

Josh Myers - Ohio State freshman offensive lineman

Myers was rated as the No. 53 overall prospect in the 2017 class by 247Sports, but failed to crack the two-deep depth chart to open the season. Meyer said Myers has "a ways to go" before seeing the field as a Buckeye, a statement that came as a surprise to some. Having come from a run-dominant offense at Miamisburg High School, Myers is still working on improving his pass protection, which should come in time. For now, however, it appears Myers could be due for a redshirt season. 

Michigan's Uniforms

I thought Michigan made a great move last season, going to the all-white look on the road. The matte helmets were even a solid change to their Jordan brand apparel. But the new all-maize look the Wolverines have decided to wear for their season opener against Florida? Woof. They look too much like the L.A. Rams or West Virginia for one, and the look cheapens their more traditional look, which is among the most recognizable in college football. I will say that the maize uniforms don't look nearly as bad as the bumblebee look from a couple years back. 

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