3 most important Ohio State football players for this season

In the most critical Ohio State football season of Ryan Day's career, these three players are the most important to their success.

Jan 30, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State University football quarterback transfer Will Howard
Jan 30, 2024; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State University football quarterback transfer Will Howard / Doral Chenoweth / USA TODAY NETWORK
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2. Josh Simmons

Ohio State went into the transfer portal in 2023 to help upgrade the offensive line. They came out with Josh Simmons, who was a transfer from San Diego State. Simmons then won the starting left tackle job and was the starter there all season.

Simmons wasn't very good in 2023. He had by far the most penalties of any Ohio State offensive lineman. He had multiple holding calls, including one that took a touchdown off the board. Yet, Day seems committed to keeping Simmons as the starter at left tackle this year.

Day thinks Simmons has all of the physical tools to protect Howard's blindside. Having all of the physical skills is fine, but can he actually play without committing penalties? Can he get to the second level on run plays? Is he going to significantly improve this offseason?

The offensive line is the most important total unit on this team. Right tackle is more of a pressing issue, but Simmons protects Howard's blindside. McCord's protection wasn't stellar last year from either tackle spot, but maybe Howard's mobility helps that a bit.

Simmons might have a short leash this year though. If he's not playing well, the Buckeyes might be forced to make a move and take him out. Despite not having much depth up front, Howard can't only be getting two seconds to decide where to throw the ball.

The final player on this list is also a new player the Ohio State football team got from the transfer portal.