Ohio State Football: Buckeyes All-Decade Team

There are plenty of talented Buckeyes to choose from in the past decade, including Ezekiel Elliott

When the calendar flipped from 2009 to '10, no Ohio State fan could possibly anticipate the dramatic changes that the Buckeyes would encounter over the next decade. Jim Tressel had just completed a season that saw Ohio State defeat Oregon in the 2010 Rose Bowl, with a stellar performance by then-sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Who could have foreseen how dramatically everything would change over the next two years?

 

At the conclusion of the 2011 season, Ohio State hired Urban Meyer as its football coach. The transformation of the program would include Ohio State moving from "Tressel Ball" to a wide-open spread attack, an attacking defensive philosophy, and an expanded recruiting philosophy that saw players from all across the country come to Columbus to play and thrive under Meyer's tutelage.

 

Spanning 10 years that included four head coaches from Jim Tressel's last season in 2010, Luke Fickell as an interim head coach in '11, Urban Meyer's tenure from 2012-18, and the elevation of Ryan Day as Ohio State's head coach in '19, there is no shortage of talented players to select an all-decade team. Below are my selections, with some explanation below:

 

QB: Dwayne Haskins (2016-18)

RB: Ezekiel Elliott (2013-15)

RB: J.K. Dobbins (2017-19)

AP: Curtis Samuel (2014-16)

WR: Michael Thomas (2012-15)

WR: Devin Smith (2011-14)

WR: K.J. Hill (2015-19)

TE: Jeff Heuerman (2011-14)

OL: Jack Mewhort (2010-13)

OL: Billy Price (2014-17)

OL: Pat Elflein (2013-16)

OL: Wyatt Davis (2017-present)

OL: Taylor Decker (2012-15)

 

DL: Joey Bosa (2013-15)

DL: Michael Bennett (2011-14)

DL: Nick Bosa (2016-18)

DL: Chase Young (2017-19)

LB: Ryan Shazier (2011-13)

LB: Raekwon McMillan (2014-16)

LB: Darron Lee (2013-15)

CB: Marshon Lattimore (2014-16)

CB: Jeffrey Okudah (2017-19)

S: Malik Hooker (2014-16)

S: Vonn Bell (2013-15)

 

K: Blake Haubeil (2018-present)

P: Cameron Johnston (2013-16)

RS: Jordan Hall (2009-13)

 

Toughest Choice: Cornerback

This was the closest call, without question: Among other considered players were Chimdi Chekwa, Bradley Roby, and Denzel Ward. All three were All-Americans during the decade.

 

Deepest Position: Defensive Line

Among the omissions were Johnathan Hankins and Adolphus Washington, both of whom were named All-Americans. John Simon ranked as one of the best players during both Tressel's and Meyer's tenures. Cameron Heyward played for Tressel and was a first-round draft choice by the Steelers in 2011.

 

Weakest Position: Return Specialist

Jordan Hall is the last Ohio State player to return a kickoff for a touchdown in 2010, and, with the new kickoff rules, may possibly be the last for the foreseeable future. There's not another Ted Ginn Jr. walking through these doors.

 

Where's J.T. Barrett?

It was a tough call to go with Dwayne Haskins at quarterback over Barrett's record-setting career at Ohio State. Haskins' spectacular season in 2018, combined with Haskins two wins over "That Team Up North" in 2017 and '18, gave him the nod over Barrett.

 

Key Stat: 15

During the 2010s, Ohio State had 15 players selected in the first round of the NFL draft.

 

— Written by Chip Minnich, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He also is writing and podcasting for www.theozone.net. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMinnich.

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