Generational athletes should be exceptionally rare, but Ohio State has been spoiled.
The past few years, Buckeye fans have had the privilege of witnessing some of the greatest athletes at their respective sports in program history – all at the same time.
But with that also means they must depart at the same time, giving Ohio State big shoes to fill in the coming years.
Here are five departing seniors who will go down in school history as one of, if not the greatest athletes at their respective sports.
Sean Melton – Men's Gymnastics
Sean Melton leaves Ohio State as one of the top gymnasts in program history.
A nine-time All-American and seven-time Big Ten champion, Melton set an NCAA record on the parallel bars with a score of 16.175 and owns the school record in the all-around with a score of 91.600.
Melton was named the 2016 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, and became just the fifth Buckeye in history to receive the 2018 Nissen-Emery Award, college gymnastics’ highest honor, presented annually to that year’s outstanding senior gymnast.
Though he leaves Ohio State, Melton's gymnastics career is far from over as he'll continue to compete for the U.S. Senior National Team.
Kelsey Mitchell – Women's Basketball
Kelsey Mitchell was undoubtably the most prolific scorer in Ohio State women's basketball history, and arguably the top player in program history.
Mitchell leaves Ohio State as not only the top scorer in school and conference history, but the No. 2 scorer in NCAA Division I history. She also made more three-pointers than anyone in NCAA history and has the most consecutive games with a made three-pointer.
The number of honors and accolades she received as well as the school and conference records she broke in a Buckeye uniform are almost too many to count. Mitchell was the only four-time All-American in program history and was the Big Ten Player of the Year three out of her four seasons.
Following her Buckeye career, she was the No. 2 overall pick to the Indiana Fever in the 2018 WNBA Draft.
J.T. Barrett – Football
J.T. Barrett is without doubt one of, if not the greatest and most decorated quarterback in Ohio State history.
A four-year starter and the only three-time captain in Ohio State history, Barrett owns Big Ten records for career total offensive yards (12,697), touchdown passes (104), touchdowns responsible for (147). He also owns a slew of school records, including the record for career completion percentage (63.5), touchdown passes (104), passing yards (9,434) and passing yards per game (188.7)
And he did in on the ground, too. Barrett owns the Ohio State record for quarterback rushing yards (3,263), and has the fifth-most rushing touchdowns in Ohio State history with 43, trailing only Pete Johnson, Keith Byars, Eddie George and Ezekiel Elliott. He's one of just two quarterbacks ever to throw for 100 career touchdown passes and rush for 40 touchdowns, joining Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour.
Barrett is now trying to find success at the next level as part of the New Orleans Saints organization after joining the team as an undrafted free agent.
Nicholas Szerszen – Men's Volleyball
Without doubt the most dominant player in Ohio State men's volleyball history is Nicholas Szerszen.
Szerszen left Ohio State as the school's all-time leader in leader in kills (1,678), points (2,030), aces (238), aces/set (.53) and total attempts (3,273), and he ranks in the top-10 in school history for digs (238; 3rd), points/set (4.53; 8th) and kills/set (3.75; 8th).
No other player in program history was ever named the national player of the year, but Szerszen earned the honor for three-straight years in 2016, 2017 and 2018 while leading the Buckeyes to back-to-back national titles in 2016 and 2017, and to a deep tournament run in 2018 even after an exodus of talented seniors before the season.
Szerszen is now playing overseas at the professional ranks for an elite Polish club.
Kyle Snyder – Wrestling
Kyle Snyder wasn't just one of the most dominant wrestlers in the NCAA last season, he was perhaps the most dominant in the entire world, and will go down as one of the top athletes ever to compete in the Scarlet and Gray, along with names like Jesse Owens and Jack Nicklaus.
His accomplishments are nearly too many to list. He was a three-time Big Ten and NCAA champion, a four-time All-American, and the became both the Youngest Olympic and World champion in United States wrestling history with gold medals at the 2015 World Championships in Los Vegas and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
We're unlikely to see anyone like Snyder in a long, long time.