5 Ohio State Players That Have the Most to Prove to Urban Meyer in Gator Bowl

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2011

5 Ohio State Players That Have the Most to Prove to Urban Meyer in Gator Bowl

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    Urban Meyer will completely take over the Ohio State football program following the team’s bowl appearance in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl against Florida.

    He’s bringing in many of nation’s top recruits and a solid list of coaches coaches, and in no time, the Buckeyes should be back to be competing for a national championship. But there are plenty of players on the current team who have to prove their worth to the coach when when the new regime comes in. 

    Think Braxton Miller is a shoo-in to be the focal point of the offense? That's up to Meyer to decide. Miller isn't alone. Everyone needs to impress. 

    Here are the five guys who have the most to prove.

Braxton Miller

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    The thing people are most excited for is how Meyer will develop Ohio State’s stud dual-threat quarterback Braxton Miller.

    He is already being unfairly compared to Tim Tebow, but like it or not, the expectations are that high.

    Watching him in practice is one thing, but for Meyer to see how he manages a game will be really important heading into the offseason. Special things can happen with the two working together, but he has to see how Miller operates.

Carlos Hyde

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    Dan Herron will graduate at the end of this year, which will likely leave the running back duties to Carlos Hyde. He has the highest yards-per-carry average on the team at 5.4 and has six touchdowns on just 101 carries.

    He isn’t the most graceful or explosive back in the world, but having that power in combination with Urban’s spread offense could make special things happen.

    He was surprisingly clocked with the fastest 40-yard dash time of any running back, so maybe we’ll see a different style of running from him next season.

Devin Smith

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    Smith is the most explosive receiver that the Buckeyes have right now, and he’s only a freshman.

    He has more receiving yards than anyone on the team, and he didn’t even accumulate any stats in five games. He was also the recipient of Ohio State’s miracle Hail Mary against Wisconsin.

    The passing game was atrocious this year, and that won’t work next year under Urban Meyer. Smith is excited for the new offense and is the guy poised for a breakout season.

Bradley Roby

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    Roby will be the best defensive back on Ohio State’s roster next year with three interceptions, five pass break ups and 41 tackles.

    The defense held strong throughout most of the year, but giving up 40 points to Michigan has left a lot of people wondering just how good the unit really is.

    Meyer is a great offensive coach, but his defenses at Florida were pretty good too. Offense wins games, but defense wins championships, and having a lock-down corner will certainly help in that regard.

Ryan Shazier

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    He didn’t get much time to showcase what he can do, but Shazier has made an impact in that time. He didn’t start at linebacker until November 19th against Penn State, but he made 15 tackles in his debut and gutted out an inspiring performance against Michigan after spraining his MCL.

    Linebackers are a point of emphasis for the Buckeyes, and they failed to impress for most of the season this year due to inexperience.

    Shazier could become a focal point of the defense if he continues to play at that level and with that kind of heart.