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Ohio State Football: Most Valuable Players to Buckeyes' Undefeated Start

Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller have been a lethal pair.
Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller have been a lethal pair.Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Stephen SheehanCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2012

Urban Meyer's arrival in Columbus restored life to a program in shambles, but the two-time BCS national champion hasn't been the only valuable commodity for the Buckeyes in 2012. 

The former Florida Gators coaching icon inherited a quarterback molded for his spread offense, and Meyer has transformed Braxton Miller from a talented youngster into a legitimate NFL prospect. 

Miller's rapid year-two development has been perhaps the most significant factor in Ohio State's 9-0 run that's seen the Buckeyes score 38.6 points per game, good for 21st in the nation. 

Just a year ago, Miller came to Ohio State as Rivals.com's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback, and although he displayed a knack for making big plays, he lacked consistency.

This year, he's been tremendous as both a runner and a passer, putting himself in serious discussion for the Heisman Trophy.

Checking in at 6'2", 210 pounds, Miller utilizes his 4.47 wheels to make plays with his feet, while also displaying improved touch as a passer. 

Amazingly, Miller is the No. 5 rusher in the country (1,093 yards) and has accounted for 24 total touchdowns. 

After enduring through the colossal headache that was Terrelle Pryor, Miller has been a godsend for the Buckeyes. 

Miller hasn't had to shoulder the load by himself on offense as junior Carlos Hyde has been a weapon out of the backfield. 

The 6'1", 235-pound running back showed promise as a sophomore, but he has truly emerged as the Buckeyes' top rushing threat outside of Miller. 

During his last four games, the Florida native has been money, averaging 110.5 yards on the ground while scoring nine total touchdowns. 

With the Miller-Hyde package operating at full capacity, Ohio State's offense has been a nightmare for opponents to defend. 

Defensively, any list of Buckeyes MVPs begins and ends with defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. 

The 6'3", 322-pound junior chews up and spits out offensive linemen and is the team's third-leading tackler with 46 stops. 

Although he doesn't boast big sack numbers, Hankins simply can't be blocked one-on-one because of his incredible strength, hand usage and shedding ability. 

Expect the Buckeyes' defensive MVP to declare for the draft and come off the board very early. 

If there's any defender who rivals Hankins for MVP honors, it has to be the team's leading tackler Ryan Shazier. 

A former 4-star prospect who received heavy attention from programs like Florida, LSU and Alabama, Shazier has blossomed into a star playmaker for Meyer. 

Despite just average size (6'2", 230 pounds), Shazier has been an animal, recording 84 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, four sacks, an interception, nine passes broken up and two forced fumbles. 

Just a sophomore, the future looks bright for the Florida native. 

As long as Ohio State's superstars finish the season the way they've started, Meyer and the Buckeyes will enjoy an undefeated 2012 season. 

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