Ohio State Football: 5 Players We Are Most Excited to Watch in 2013

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IJune 24, 2013

Ohio State Football: 5 Players We Are Most Excited to Watch in 2013

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    Ohio State is certainly expected to be one of the most exciting teams in college football in 2013 after going 12-0 in Urban Meyer's first season.

    With nine returning starters from the Big Ten's highest-scoring offense and one of the top recruiting classes in the country coming together, there's no reason fans shouldn't be excited about the Buckeyes.

    Both sides of the ball feature a wide array of talented players who should help the Buckeyes do big things in 2013.

    Some have been around for awhile, and others are about to make their first true impact at the college level.

    Here are five players Ohio State fans should be most excited about this season.

LB Ryan Shazier

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    It's hard to not like a linebacker who can hit and fly all over the field like Ryan Shazier can.

    He became a much more complete player toward the end of his sophomore season and is the only returning starter in Ohio State's front seven.

    In short, how Shazier plays will be a good barometer for how the Buckeyes defense looks.

    Shazier should continue to develop into a more complete linebacker and put his name up there with some of the best to recently play the position at OSU.

DE Noah Spence

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    Ohio State has to replace its entire starting defensive line, but it seems to have a good piece to plug in with sophomore defensive end Noah Spence.

    Spence was the 2011 Maxwell Club High School Player of the Year and played in every game last season for the Buckeyes. Despite not having much of an impact on the stat sheet, Spence got quite a few snaps in significant moments, which should prepare him for this season.

    He boasts a great combination of pass-rushing moves along with great athleticism, which may make him a dangerous player off the edge.

    The Buckeyes have had quite a few good pass-rushers in recent years, from Will Smith to Vernon Gholston. Spence can certainly stake his claim if his sophomore year goes as expected.

RB/WR Dontre Wilson

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    It should say something about what Urban Meyer expects out of freshman running back Dontre Wilson that he will allow him to wear the No. 1 as a true freshman.

    Wilson has a highlight tape that is outstanding at any level, but made more impressive by the fact that he did it against Texas 5A opposition, which is among the most rugged levels of high school football in the country. He can hurt defenses as a running back, and also as a receiver.

    He may not get quite the amount of snaps that some fans expect from his tape, but that's largely because there's a lot of experience in front of him.

    But rest assured, Wilson is too good to not get some touches as a true freshman. And when he does, he has the ability to go all the way from almost anywhere on the football field.

WR Devin Smith

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    It's a tossup between Devin Smith and Corey "Philly" Brown as to which one is the more exciting player, because both have made their share of big plays.

    But last year, Smith was always on the receiving end of the big pass from Braxton Miller, averaging over 20 yards a catch and scoring a team-high six receiving touchdowns.

    Smith does need to be more consistent and not disappear from games at times. But when he is in the game, he has a huge impact.

    A little more consistency with his hands and ability to get open will make Smith an even more dangerous receiver than he already is.

QB Braxton Miller

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    It's pretty obvious that Braxton Miller is one of the most exciting players on the Buckeyes, if not the country itself.

    Miller finished No. 5 in the Heisman Trophy voting a year ago after throwing for over 2,000 yards, rushing for over 1,200 yards and accounting for 28 total touchdowns.

    Miller made opponents look silly with his quick-twitch elusiveness and field vision to lead the Buckeyes in rushing. His passing was a bit inconsistent, but far better than it was in his freshman season.

    He can still get even better with a full year in Meyer's offense under his belt and should continue to grow and create problems for defenses as a junior.


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