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Jeffrey Okudah is a player to watch for Ohio State this spring.

Ohio State football: Players to watch as Buckeyes start spring practice; Denzel Ward posts blazing fast 40-yard dash at combine

Ohio State football is the No. 1 topic in Wake Up  most days — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Ohio State begins spring practice

Football is back! Well spring football, anyway. Ohio State will host its first spring practice of the 2018 season Tuesday, leading up to the April 14 spring game at Ohio Stadium. There are plenty of position battles and potential breakout players for fans to keep an eye out for during the next five weeks. Land of 10’s Ryan Ginn highlighted the five Ohio State players to watch during spring practice.

Ryan Shazier, Malcolm Jenkins to serve as honorary spring game captains

Speaking of that April 14 spring game, two Buckeye legends will be on hand in Columbus. Ryan Shazier and Malcolm Jenkins will serve as honorary captains for the game, Ohio State announced Monday. Shazier, the Steelers linebacker, will be returning to Ohio State following a serious spinal injury he suffered on Dec. 4 that kept him in the hospital for eight weeks. Jenkins, meanwhile, is now a two-time Super Bowl winner after picking up a ring with the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

“I’m thrilled and I can’t wait to see these two heroes back in Ohio Stadium,” Urban Meyer said in a news release. “The respect and admiration I have for each of these young men is off the charts, and I am so proud of our program and for the Ohio State fans that these players want to come back and be a part of our spring game.”

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Denzel Ward posts 4.32-second 40-yard dash

Denzel Ward is hoping to become the first cornerback picked in the 2018 NFL Draft. He had the right kind of showing in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Ward ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash, tying him for the best mark among all participants at the combine.

Beanie Wells reveals he’s dealing with traumatic brain injury

Former Ohio State star running back Beanie Wells disclosed Monday that he is dealing with a traumatic brain injury on Monday. Wells had missed a portion of time from his job hosting the Tim & Beanie show on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, but he went on the radio Monday to discuss his prognosis. Wells is continuing to get treatment and said the injury was caused by football.

“I was getting headaches, my speech was getting a little bit indifferent and also I was forgetting the littlest things,” Wells said. “I went in for the MRI and the brain has plaque. I have some plaque separation, and when you have that plaque separation, it shows that you’ve experienced some sort of traumatic brain injury. Obviously that traumatic brain injury for me comes from playing football.”

Ohio State basketball drops to No. 17 in AP poll

Ohio State’s basketball team slipped four spots down to No. 17 in the latest AP poll released Monday. The Buckeyes, who lost to Penn State in their only game of the Big Ten Tournament, have the week off as they wait to learn their first-round opponent in the NCAA Tournament. CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm weighed in on what kind of seed Ohio State should expect to receive.

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