Ohio State Football: Silver Lining With Players Moving On


A look at how these Ohio State players can still help the program even though they are leaving for the NFL.

Every Buckeye fan would love to see three players leaving for the NFL wear Scarlet and Gray one more season. However, Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley and Raekwon McMillan will still help Ohio State by turning pro. Their individual stories will be an inspiration to prospective recruits as well as players on the current roster.

Hooker and Conley are examples of what players can achieve at Ohio State if they persevere. A four star recruit is often extremely disappointed when he is red-shirted his first year and has to battle his way up the depth chart. Often they think the grass may be greener elsewhere and will consider transferring to another school.

According to reports, that was what Hooker was thinking his freshman year. Instead of taking that option, he stayed at Ohio State and performed well on special teams in 2015. This season he finally got his chance to start and made the most of it.

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Conley came to Ohio State as part of a tremendous group of defensive backs in the 2013 class. He saw Eli Apple and Vonn Bell start their second season but Conley played mostly on special teams.

Like Hooker, he got a chance to start his third year at Ohio State and performed well. Conley played even better in 2016 and has now made a big impression on NFL scouts. A great lesson for the younger guys on the roster.

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Every highly ranked recruit should take a look at Raekwon McMillan’s accomplishments so they will understand the possibilities when you play for Urban Meyer. The head coach tells recruits that if they are willing to work hard and compete even harder, they will have a chance to see playing time immediately. McMillan believed Urban, did what was required of him, and was an integral part of the 2014 championship team as a freshman.

Now, after two outstanding seasons as a starter, he is ready for the NFL. Don’t you think any top recruit would love to have that same opportunity?

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As much as Buckeye fans would love to see these three players wear Scarlet and Gray one more time, it just makes sense for them to move on to the NFL. And Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley and Raekwon McMillan will still be helping the Buckeyes by doing so.