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Five key players for Buckeyes this season

Mike Greco • Aug 16, 2014 at 6:07 PM

The Ohio State University opens the football season two weeks from today.

The Buckeyes will be in Baltimore to take on Navy.

Last season, OSU went 12-2 overall, which was a success for the most part.

They failed to win the Big Ten or the Orange Bowl.

Now, as they embark on this season, OSU has veterans to lead the team, but newcomers will have to step up and take on added roles.

Here's a list of my top five key players this season:

1. Taylor Decker. The only holdover from the offensive line, Decker will be counted on to lead this season.

He will be joined by Pat Elflein, Chad Lindsay, Billy Price, Darryl Baldwin, Antonio Underwood, Jamarco Jones, among others.

Whoever is in there, will be the key to making sure the running game is strong and keeping quarterback Braxton Miller upright.

2. Speaking of Miller.

There's no question he's one of the most dynamic players not only in the Big Ten, but in the nation and should garner Heisman Trophy votes.

With a new set of backs, Miller will be counted on even more this season.

The Buckeyes were 88th in the nation in passing last season.

3. Cardale Jones: It's hard to imagine a backup quarterback as a key player.

But the standard was set high, as OSU had Kenny Guiton in the fold the past few seasons.

Now, Jones will get that opportunity if something happens to Miller.

4. Ezekiel Elliott: Carlos Hyde takes his 1,521 yards to the NFL.

Elliott shows promise of being the next great OSU back.

Can he make a big impact?

Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball, Rod Smith and even speedsters Dontre Wilson and Curtis Samuel are also options.

5. Sean Nuernberger: The freshman kicker had an impresive spring and is in line to take over for Drew Basil.

Kyle Clinton is the other option.

Basil went 9-of-10 in field goals and hit 77-of-79 extra points last season.

Those are my key players for the season.

Who are yours?

Let me know in the comment section below.

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