Awards watch: More attention for Shazier
July, 15, 2013
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The wait is almost over. The season is almost here, and the annual release of preseason watch lists for the biggest awards in college football confirms it.
It also helps provide a useful distraction during the final month leading up to the start of fall training camp. BuckeyeNation will be tracking all the Ohio State players considered by the various committees, and we'll be handicapping their odds of bringing trophies back to campus.
David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty ImagesRyan Shazier slipped under the national radar last fall, but that probably won't happen again.
- What: The nation's top linebacker
- On the list: Ohio State junior Ryan Shazier
- Credentials: Despite boasting numbers that usually produce hardware and doing so for a team that went undefeated, Shazier seemingly slipped under the national radar as a sophomore last fall. That won't be the case for Ohio State's star linebacker this season since he's a proven commodity, and now that the program is again eligible for the postseason, it may ensure the spotlight stays on Shazier all season. Opposing offenses will have to pay attention to him for sure. He has speed in locating the football, an ability to wreak havoc in the backfield and a knack for coming up with a timely turnover. It all makes him a threat to change the game at any time.
- Head to head: Showcase opportunities against other linebackers currently being watched by the committee -- Chris Borland (Wisconsin), Jonathan Brown (Illinois), Glenn Carson (Penn State), Anthony Hitchens (Iowa), Christian Kirksey (Iowa), Khalil Mack (Buffalo), James Morris (Iowa).
- Odds: Just from the Big Ten, Shazier has plenty of company on the list, so for starters, he'll need to shine in the league against a handful of deserving tackling machines. But there's already some evidence that few players in the country can match the diverse way the junior stuffs the stats sheet, and now that Shazier is completely healthy after being slowed for half the season a year ago with a sports hernia, the numbers and attention might really hit another level.
Saban vs. Meyer
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State