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.
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BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35