ESPN revealed its annual list of the top 100 players in college football this week, and it should come as no surprise that Ohio State was well-represented with five Buckeyes making the cut.
A team of 20 cast more than 13,000 head-to-head votes to come up with the list. In the end, Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Spencer Rattler came out as the top player overall, followed by LSU junior cornerback Derek Stingley, Oregon junior defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal and North Carolina junior quarterback Sam Howell.
Ohio State senior wide receiver Chris Olave leads the way for the Buckeyes at No. 6, while junior wide receiver Garrett Wilson (No. 19), fifth-year senior defensive tackle Haskell Garrett (No. 30), fifth-year senior offensive tackle Thayer Munford (No. 49) and senior defensive end Tyreke Smith round out the selections.
No. 6 - Chris Olave (+21 from last year’s rankings)
“Olave had 50 receptions for 729 yards and seven touchdowns in a shortened season last year, and the previous season he had 849 yards. He is a feature of Ohio State's offense and is going to be a big asset to the Buckeyes' new quarterback in 2021. With another big season, Olave should solidify himself as a top NFL draft prospect.”
No. 19 - Garrett Wilson (N/A)
“Wilson comes into the 2021 season as half of the best receiving duo in the nation opposite of Chris Olave. He caught 43 passes for 723 yards and six touchdowns last season, and he is expected to take another leap in 2021, even with the Buckeyes having a quarterback without college experience.”
No. 30 - Haskell Garrett (N/A)
“Garrett is using his extra year of eligibility provided by the NCAA because of COVID-19. He has the most game experience of any Ohio State defensive player with 41 games and despite being shot in the face prior to the season in 2020, Garrett played in all eight games during the season. As a potential All-American at defensive tackle, Garrett is going to be one of the main pieces of the defensive line in 2021.”
No. 49 - Thayer Munford (N/A)
“Munford is another Buckeye taking advantage of the extra year of eligibility, coming back in 2021. He has played most of his career at left tackle, but could end up moving inside to left guard for Ohio State this season as the coaches are looking to get all of their best offensive linemen on the field at one time. He has played in 45 of the past 50 games over the past four seasons for Ohio State, which is the most of any Big Ten offensive lineman. That experience will help him if he doesn't transition to a new position, but either way, he should be one of the top lineman in the country.”
No. 61 - Tyreke Smith (N/A)
“Ohio State has been a factory for NFL-caliber defensive linemen, and Smith is yet another that's going through the system. He played in all eight of Ohio State's games last season, with his biggest one coming against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl with two solo tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and one pass defended. Expect more of that in 2021 before he transitions to Sundays.”
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