All indicators level towards an Ohio State School Soccer Playoff Nationwide Championship victory subsequent January.
The Buckeyes, already with nice expectations due to the selections by a number of draft-eligible gamers to return in 2024, acquired arguably the most important increase to their championship odds on Friday.
5-star switch security Caleb Downs, who was anticipated to comply with his former place coach at Alabama to Georgia, stunned the school soccer world by as an alternative deciding on Ohio State.
Whereas the Buckeyes misplaced their greatest participant, large receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., they’ve a number of different gamers who have been anticipated to be drafted within the first or second spherical of the 2024 NFL Draft however are returning.
An All-SEC freshman, Downs led the Tide with 107 tackles in 2023. He additionally had two interceptions, a compelled fumble and fumble restoration.
Earlier this offseason, Ohio State additionally added All-SEC sophomore working again Quinshon Judkins, who had 3,006 yards from scrimmage and 34 complete touchdowns in two seasons at Ole Miss.
They be a part of a powerful returning class, together with edge-rushers Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau, defensive sort out Tyleik Williams, cornerback Denzel Burke, working again TreVeyon Henderson and large receiver Emeka Egbuka.
Sawyer, Tuimoloau and Williams have been the Buckeyes’ three greatest defensive linemen in 2023, every rating within the prime three in sacks and tackles for loss. Burke had a team-high 9 go deflections whereas Henderson led the workforce with 926 speeding yards and averaged 5.9 yards per carry.
An ankle sprain restricted Egbuka to 10 video games, however throughout his sophomore season in 2022, he had 74 receptions, 1,151 receiving yards and 12 complete touchdowns.
Per ESPNBet, Ohio State (+600) has the second-best odds of profitable the nationwide title, trailing Georgia (+375).
With Downs’ addition, in addition to Michigan’s important losses, which embrace quarterback J.J. McCarthy, working again Blake Corum and probably head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Buckeyes are primed to snap their three-game dropping streak within the rivalry in 2024.
The one query Ohio State has is at quarterback. 2023 starter Kyle McCord transferred to Syracuse, and Ohio State plucked former Kansas State quarterback Will Howard from the portal.
Howard led the Wildcats to a Huge 12 title in 2022 and is fifth in program historical past with 5,786 passing yards. How shortly he gels along with his playmakers and learns offensive coordinator Invoice O’Brien’s system will in the end decide whether or not Ohio State lives as much as its potential.