Well, it's exactly eight weeks until Ohio State opens their season at home on Aug. 31 at noon against Florida Atlantic.
The Buckeyes come in on paper with a young, but talented squad led by first-year head coach Ryan Day and several new assistant coaches.
It wouldn't be (almost) football season without some #bold #predictions, right? Let's do it now.
Garrett Wilson Cracks the Wide Receiver Rotation
Wilson came in to Ohio State as a five-star prospect, rated as the No. 20 overall player in the 2019 class. He stuck with the Buckeyes despite Urban Meyer's retirement, saying that he is excited to play for Ryan Day. He has certainly looked the part of a five-star prospect after enrolling, and could get on the field right away.
The one thing standing in the way will be the returning talent on the roster. K.J. Hill will be a redshirt senior, and one who should catch 100 passes after snagging 70 a season ago. Binjimen Victor (21 catches, four touchdowns) and Austin Mack (26 catches, one touchdown) will also be seniors and Chris Olave, fresh off an incredible end-of-season run, will be a sophomore.
But I think Wilson will prove too electric to keep off the field entirely and with the frequency that Ohio State substitutes at wide receiver, it's safe to say he will receive some playing time.
Behold: Garrett Wilson. pic.twitter.com/oH56Bwn4Eh— Eleven Warriors (@11W) April 13, 2019
Ohio State Returns to "BIA" Status
After the departure of Kerry Coombs and somewhat of a talent exodus, Ohio State's defense struggled last year. Those struggles rippled somewhat back to the secondary. This season, Ryan Day has completely re-tooled the defensive coaching staff: Greg Mattison and Jeff Hafley come in to coordinate, Matt Barnes will work with the secondary, and Al Washington has come in to help with the linebackers.
Once again, I think that this will ripple back and help the secondary overall. Jeffrey Okudah returns as a junior, and one who will likely be a first-round pick if he has a strong season. Shaun Wade, who was good a year ago, will be a redshirt sophomore with a lot of hype. Jordan Fuller could have been an early-round pick last year, but decided to stay in school to get his degree and potentially improve his draft stock.
All of these reasons combined should create optimism for this prediction.
Clayton Thorson throws a floater off his back foot to Flynn Nagel, who was easily out-leveraged over the top by Shaun Wade. Wade comes down with the interception. pic.twitter.com/8oUiERPfxi— Fed Scivittaro (@MeshPointScout) December 2, 2018
Jonah Jackson, Young Guys Arrival Revamps Offensive Line
Ohio State's offensive line, despite having three seniors and a junior start, still struggled at times last year. Now, four of the five starters are gone (Thayer Munford is the one returner) but the talent is there. Jonah Jackson has transferred in from Rutgers for his final year of eligibility, and Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers, two former five-star prospects, will anchor two of the spots on the line.
Expect Ohio State's offensive line to take a step up this year, despite losing four starters. They better hope nobody gets hurt, though, because the depth isn't exactly super strong.
Ohio State Makes Playoffs, Loses There
Y'all may not like this one. Ohio State will do well in the regular season, thanks in part to a relatively easy schedule (at least, until the final two weeks). From there, they will head to Indianapolis and win again, making it an easy decision for the committee to place them in the College Football Playoff.
The Buckeyes will earn the No. 3 seed behind Clemson and whichever one of Georgia and Alabama win the SEC. I think Ohio State will play the SEC winner and Ryan Day's team will stumble there. The talent is there for Ohio State, and a Justin Fields vs. Georgia game would be super fun to watch. That's what I'm rooting for.