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The Top Bucks: Who Are The Five Best Players On Ohio State's Roster?

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IAugust 4, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 05:  Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after a 5 yard touchdown reception against the Texas Longhorns during the fourth quarter of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Game on January 5, 2009 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Over the offseason, I have profiled the top recruits for 2009, the players that could surprise, and the ones expected to be stars for the 2009 Ohio State Buckeyes.

Now with camp beginning this weekend in Columbus, it's time to look at the best players on the Buckeyes roster.

The criteria for this list is based on the amount of impact expected of the player combined with hype and previous performances.

Here's a look at the five best Buckeyes pre-2009:

5. G Justin Boren

The famed Michigan transfer from just outside Columbus comes home and has brought nastiness to the offensive line.

Boren, who joined his younger brother, a 2009 recruit at FB/LB, on campus last January, is expected to start at LG next to sophomore C Mike Brewster.

He has all-Big Ten potential at lineman and is a powerful, nasty run-blocker who should bring a new attitude to an offensive line unit many felt lacked nastiness in the last few seasons. Time will tell if that attitude spreads, but his talent is easily noticeable.

4. RB Daniel "Boom" Herron

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A spring star a year ago, Herron emerged as Beanie Wells' spell back and performed quite well, scoring a touchdown in each of the Buckeyes' final four games.

Herron has a small frame, but runs with great vision and fearlessness. He hits holes with authority and is not afraid to run like he is bigger than he is.

Boom played very well when he was relieving Beanie, but he fits more in what is expected to be a more open offensive attack with zone options.

Now that he is expected to be the feature back this season, Herron will be called upon to prove that he is no fluke.

3. S Kurt Coleman

Coleman is one of only two returning starters in the secondary, and might just be the captain of the defense and of the back seven.

All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2008, Coleman had a nose for the football, recording four interceptions from his SS spot.

He flew under the radar in the last two seasons mostly because of Malcolm Jenkins' amazing success in the secondary.

Coleman and fellow S Anderson Russell return this season to head one of the best safety tandems in the conference. Look for Captain Kurt to be an impact player and leader in his final year in Columbus.

2. DE Thaddeus Gibson

In the second half of the 2008 season, Gibson's stock went up with a bang after great performances against Penn State and Michigan.

The man nicknamed "Destroy Everything Moving" by his coaches, recorded five sacks, along with a pair of forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery of 69 yards and a TD against Michigan State.

The stats are mostly skewed due to starting the year as a backup and a passive defensive scheme to start the season.

Whenever the defense played fiercely last season, Gibson was in the middle of it, including harassing Texas QB Colt McCoy for portions of the Fiesta Bowl.

He is expected to start, and he has an amazing opportunity to build off a great second half and become a true star of the Scarlet & Gray.

1. QB Terrelle Pryor

By now, the hype surrounding the phenom's second year in Columbus is palpable through the entire state.

Teammates have been raving about his improved passing ability and overall presence in the huddle. With Wells gone, Pryor instantly becomes the focal point of the offense, but he does have a year worth of experience under his belt.

Pryor has also worked to improve his physique, and now stands at 240 lbs and reportedly has an electronic 4.33 40-yard dash.

That is a very scary thought to most defensive coaches on the schedule.

If he is as improved a passer as his teammates believe he is, the rest of the country is in for a rude awakening.

He has that potential, and a work ethic to go with it. If the opportunity presents itself, the Davey O'Brien Watch Lister has the chance to truly become one of the elite players in the country.

September 5th is still a few weeks away, but there is no better time to speculate than just before the pads start popping on campuses all over the country.

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