There will be some new faces in the starting lineup for the Ohio State Buckeyes this upcoming season, and while we don’t know what they will ultimately amount to on the field, it’s always fun to predict how they will fare, and that’s exactly what Sean Merriman did recently with defensive back Vonn Bell and running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Recently, Merriman made up a list of new starters in the Big Ten that are poised to have breakout seasons in their new roles. On that list, he included Bell and Elliott.
Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State: The Buckeyes are expected to have one of the top defenses in the Big Ten in 2014, but replacing three starters in the secondary is no easy task. Enter Bell, who was a huge recruit and actually saw plenty of action last season as a true freshman. Now, Urban Meyer and the OSU coaching staff will look for Bell to be a leader of this secondary.
On Elliott, taking over for Carlos Hyde:
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State: With Carlos Hyde off to the NFL, Elliott looks like the leading candidate to take over the Buckeyes’ starting running back spot. This 6-0, 210 pound back is built like Hyde and runs with the same smash-mouth demeanor. This is a guy who averaged 8.7 yards per carry last season in a backup role. We know Ohio State loves to run the rock, as it led the nation with 6.8 yards per tote in 2013. Look for the Buckeyes to do much the same this season, with Elliott leading the way.
We still don’t know how each will fare yet, but it’ll be fun to watch these two grow this season.