Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10
Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard could be a first-round draft selection in 2018.

Examining Ohio State’s loaded roster, a tough break for ex-Buckeyes WR Devin Smith and more

Ryan Ginn

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know — Monday through Friday — around the world of Ohio State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

Today is Monday, May 1, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.


Oh, look, Ohio State still has good players

Ohio State now has had 19 players drafted in the last two years, an outrageous number by any standard. No team during that time has done more.

It stands to reason, then, that the Buckeyes might be due for a dip in production next season. Or not. It seems as though Ohio State’s 2018 draft class might be able to match or surpass the 12-player showing in 2016.

Some 2018 mock drafts already have made the rounds. One from Dieter Kurtenbach at FOX Sports tabbed defensive ends Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis as first-round picks, as did Land of 10’s mock draft.

Those two are the big names, but Ohio State’s starting lineup is loaded with pro potential. My colleague Ben Axelrod compiled a list of more than a dozen Ohio State players who could be drafted next year.

Some names are obvious. Hubbard and Lewis will be top prospects. So will center Billy Price and offensive tackle Jamarco Jones. There are a lot of solid players who seem likely to be drafted players such as defensive end Jalyn Holmes, defensive tackle Michael Hill, linebacker Jerome Baker, tight end Marcus Baugh and cornerback Denzel Ward.

And, of course, there are a slew of highly rated players looking to make the leap. Parris Campbell finally is lined up at his natural position. Isaiah Prince could show the improvement that many of his predecessors have in their second season as a starter. Mike Weber could turn into a big-play back.

It wasn’t known until the fall camp in 2016 that Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooker would start for the Buckeyes. Eight months later, they came off the board in the first half of the first round of the NFL draft. At Ohio State, there’s almost an endless supply of players waiting to follow in their footsteps.

Devin Smith can’t catch a break

In 2014, Devin Smith helped vault Ohio State to a College Football Playoff title. Since then, it seems as if nothing has gone his way.

The New York Jets announced that Smith underwent surgery after tearing his right ACL on April 17. It came on the opening day of the team’s offseason program, and Smith will miss the 2017 season.

That’s a terrible break for a player who already has dealt with a rash of injuries. Via ESPN, here’s a look at what Smith has faced since the Jets selected him in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Smith has been plagued by injuries from almost the first moment he stepped on the field. As a rookie, he fractured his ribs on the second day of training camp. He returned and worked his way into the receiver rotation, only to suffer torn knee ligaments late in the 2015 season. As a result, he was unavailable until midway through 2016.

In two seasons, Smith, a former standout at Ohio State, has played in 14 games. He has 10 receptions for 135 yards and 1 touchdown.

The latest injury is brutal for a player who has spent most of his pro career to date trying to get healthy after setbacks.

“It’s bad luck and bad timing because the kid worked so hard to get back,” coach Todd Bowles said.

Ohio State goes 2 for 2 against Michigan

Sunday was a good day for the Ohio State men’s and women’s tennis teams. Both squads took down Michigan in the finals of the Big Ten Tournament to claim a conference title.

The men’s team is ranked second in the country and won its 10th Big Ten title in the last 12 seasons. That’s an amazing feat, but perhaps even more incredible is the fact the Buckeyes have beaten Michigan 24 consecutive times.

Led by No. 1-ranked singles player Francesca Di Lorenzo, the Ohio State women also made quick work of the Wolverines in the conference final. The win was the 14th straight for the fourth-ranked Buckeyes.

Not a bad way to head into the postseason.

Terrelle Pryor shows off his parenting skills

It’s never too early to learn how to take a hit. Let’s go to former Ohio State star Terrelle Pryor for a lesson today.

Kid took it like a champ, though.

B1G happenings

• This story on formerly homeless Nebraska recruit Andrew Ward is a must-read.

• Former Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah is set to start for the Detroit Lions.

• Penn State wrasslin’ added another good recruit.

• Check out Land of 10’s 2017 NBA mock draft.

Former Michigan football captain dies at 78.

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