Ohio State Football: 3 Buckeyes on 2013 National Watch Lists
If you were wondering whether we've reached the dog days of the offseason yet, the slow-trickling release of the national watch lists for college football's major awards should give you your answer.
We're exactly 100 days away from the first 2013 matchup, and with excitement growing for the coming season, so too comes the excitement for the individual players on our favorite teams.
On that note, Ohio State has announced that three Buckeyes have already been named to a pair of national watch lists.
Last week, cornerback Bradley Roby and linebacker Ryan Shazier, both juniors, were named to the Lott Impact Trophy watch list. On Tuesday morning, senior center Corey Linsley made the initial Rimington Trophy watch list.
Ohio State spokesperson Jerry Emig announced the news via Twitter:
Two watch lists revealed and already three Buckeyes being watched: Corey Linsley (Rimington) and Bradley Roby & Ryan Shazier (Lott IMPACT).— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) May 21, 2013
The Lott Impact Trophy is awarded annually to the defensive player who best exemplifies integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity throughout the season. Both Roby and Shazier made the initial watch lists after outstanding sophomore campaigns.
Roby became the best player in a very talented and experienced secondary in 2012. The lockdown corner led the nation in passes defended per game (1.73) and ranked third on the team with 63 total tackles (41 solo).
And while John Simon was the "heart and soul" of the Buckeyes' defense, Shazier was the most productive member of the unit. The third-year linebacker had an incredible season, piling up a team-high 115 tackles and 17 tackles for loss (which led the Big Ten). Shazier also registered five sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
The Rimington Trophy is an award given to the nation's top center, and with Linsley joining three other returning starters up front for the Buckeyes, Ohio State's offensive line should shine in 2013.
Linsley, who transitioned from the guard position to center when Urban Meyer was hired by Ohio State, earned a starting spot in a unit that turned into a surprising strength for the Buckeyes in 2012. Linsley helped turn what was an anemic offense in 2011 into a unit that led the Big Ten in scoring (37.2 points per game) in 2012.
LeCharles Bentley was the last Ohio State player to win the Rimington Trophy (2001), and James Laurinaitis last won the Lott Impact Trophy in 2008.
There will certainly be more Buckeyes added to various watch lists as we move through the summer. Guys like Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde, Devin Smith, Corey Brown, Jack Mewhort, Christian Bryant and CJ Barnett are all top players at their positions and should earn some preseason attention.
David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.
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