It was announced on Wednesday afternoon by Eleven Warriors that the three players chosen to represent the Ohio State football team at Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis, Indiana this year will be senior tight end Cade Stover, along with junior wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and junior defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau.
It is an honor to be chosen as a representative of your university and teammates. It’s also a plus if you are well-spoken and have a good rapport with the media. Obviously, you want men who will give good quotes without embarrassing themselves and their teammates. There are also certain players coaches might want to keep from the media at this point in the season as well.
For instance, it probably wouldn’t be wise to send Kyle McCord and or Devin Brown, since both quarterbacks are in the midst of a battle for the starting position. Exposing either one of them to the media at this point would be like taking candy from a baby for experienced media members. Instead, Ryan Day and his staff are taking three individuals who are considered incredibly important pieces to the success of this year’s football team.
Stover is coming into his fifth and final season having completed his redshirt junior year as the starting tight end. Last season in 2022, Stover had 36 receptions totaling 406 yards for an average of 11.3 yards per catch. He also added five touchdowns.
I anticipate the Lexington, Ohio native to be one of the teams’ captains this season. I also believe he can improve on his 2022 statistics this season if he can stay healthy. Given an inexperienced quarterback, having a sure-handed big man who can catch the ball in traffic is going to be important, especially at the beginning of the season.
Harrison Jr. is one of the highest-ranked receivers by NFL scouts in college football history. His junior season was one for the ages, finishing 2022 with 77 receptions for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns.
His tireless work ethic and legendary workouts have caught the attention of top-level scouts. Recently, ESPN analyst Matt Miller tweeted that one “NFL scouting friend” just gave Harrison a perfect preseason grade as a player, stating that he had no apparent weaknesses in his game and that he could be the best player in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Harrison has the opportunity to etch his name in the record books this season with the Ohio State football program with some pretty incredible career statistics if he has another season similar to the one he had last season. Just like Stover, however, he will need the new starting quarterback to play well enough to give him that opportunity.
Harrison’s ability to play and perform at an elite level at all three receiver positions will make it difficult for defensives to zero in on him with double coverages without leaving themselves exposed in other areas, which should help him achieve success this year.
Tuimoloau will lead the Ohio State football team’s defense which is looking to improve greatly in 2023. After taking solid first steps last season under first-year defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, the Buckeyes resorted back to poor defensive back play in their final two games of the season.
If Tuimoloau and company up front can become big game disrupters, then all areas of the defense should improve, including on the back end. Last season the Edgewood, Washington native finished with 28 total tackles, three and a half sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and two interceptions.
The Big Ten Media Days event will be televised on the Big Ten Network on Wednesday, July 26, and Thursday the 27th.