Final countdown: Impact player No. 3
August, 29, 2012
By Austin Ward | ESPN.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Training camp is over and game preparations have begun. The torture of the offseason is nearly over, and Ohio State's first game under Urban Meyer is closing in. Leading up to the opener against Miami (Ohio), BuckeyeNation will count down the 10 players who figure to have the biggest impact on Meyer's first campaign, hitting the homestretch with the man in the middle of the defensive line.
Zuma Press/Icon SMIJohnathan Hankins is poised for a big junior season.
- POSITION: Defensive tackle
- BASICS: The big man up front is tipping the scales with 322 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame this fall, but he's lost none of his nimble footwork or quickness as he prepares for a junior season that could make him a first-round draft pick if he elects to head to the NFL early.
- BY THE NUMBERS: Playing on the interior and facing plenty of attention from opposing offensive linemen, Hankins finished fourth in tackles for the Buckeyes last season. He also established himself as a disruptive force in the backfield with 11 takedowns for a loss, which helped start the buzz about his professional prospects as he continues to develop.
- OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPACT: Hankins will no doubt benefit from the offseason he had to build his strength and improve his conditioning, but the biggest lift might come from the hard work of the guy beside him on the inside. Garrett Goebel's play in training camp has drawn rave reviews from the coaching staff, and Hankins is also aware that the senior's ability to occupy double-teams at nose tackle could free him up to make even more plays this fall.
- HE SAID IT: "You never know when somebody is going to go down and you might need to play one of those spots. With me, I’ve played outside and inside, and just knowing the defense gives you a better edge -- knowing your assignment and what the other guy has to do, gives you a potential edge in the game. Knowing everything is an advantage." -- Hankins, on versatility in the trenches
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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