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The Top 10 of the Last 10 Years - Ohio State Football

2023 Ohio State University

The last ten years may have been one of the most prosperous eras in Ohio State's illustrious history as they won the Big Ten Conference Title five times, had three top-3 Heisman Finalists, won a National Title, made it to a New Year's Six Bowl Game every year, and beat their rival to the north eight times. Say what you will about the way they have ended every year, but it's no doubt that they have put together some of the best teams the Buckeye state has ever seen. With great teams come great players and Ohio State has not been short handed on talent over the last decade. Here's the list of the top-ten best players to dawn the Scarlet and Gray uniforms over the last ten years.

2023 Ohio State University

#10 - Marvin Harrison Jr.

In just one year he put together the second best season of the 21st Century by any wide receiver that Ohio State has had in that time and has quickly shot to the top of every scouting board in the nation as teams prepare for his departure to the NFL in 2024. He is undoubtedly one of the most skilled and gifted players that has ever played in the Horseshoe and only a handful of other players in Ohio State's entire history can say they had a better single season performance than Harrison Jr. A single season he was able to dominate after playing in just one game in his entire career prior to the 2022 season. That game was the 2022 Rose Bowl in which he pulled in three touchdowns and had over 100 receiving yards. If Harrison Jr. can match his 2022 season in 2023, he will quickly find himself near the top of these lists for decades to come.

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#9 - Bradley Roby

From 2011-2013 there was no one more feared in the secondary than Bradley Roby. Articles were being written about him on the weekly continuing to question just how high in the draft he could go despite being just 5'11. But the three-year starter at Ohio State left with eight interceptions, two pick-six's, 15 pass deflections, and over 175 total tackles. His dominating presence in 2012 & 2013 helped elevate Kerry Coombs to stardom as a defensive backs coach and brought about a five season era that sent just about every starting corner at Ohio State to the NFL. If Roby had chosen to go to any other university while coming out of Peachtree Ridge High School, the last ten years of Ohio State Football would have looked very different.

#8 - Ryan Shazier

Although he has been most remembered these days for his career-ending injury in the NFL and his journey back to being able to walk in the aftermath. He was one of the most dominant linebackers in Ohio State history during his time in Columbus. Shazier led the team in tackles in two consecutive seasons and is 16th all-time in total tackles in University history. He also holds the Buckeye record for third most tackles for loss in a season and is one of just two players from the last decade to finish their career in the top-ten for tackles for loss in a career. Ryan Shazier was one of the best to ever wear the Scarlet and Gray at Ohio State and his three year career was certainly one that should be remembered and studied by all future linebackers that come to play in Columbus.

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#7 - Chase Young

A Heisman finalist, a Buckeye record holder, a No. 2 overall pick, and one of the greatest statistical seasons out of any defensive player in college history. That is Chase Young's legacy at Ohio State. He holds the top Buckeye records for tackle for loss in a game, sacks in a game, sacks in a season, and is second all-time for sacks in a career. As well as being fourth for tackles for loss in a career. Having a defensive player nominated for the Heisman is a large enough feat on its own, but to combine that with the numbers he put up in his career easily has Young as one of the best Buckeyes of all-time. His presence on the defensive line helped keep a Buckeye defense that had many problems ranked as one of the best in the nation.

2023 Ohio State University

#6 - J.K. Dobbins

The most productive running back of the last twenty years in Columbus was obviously going to be high on this last as Dobbins is the number two running back in Ohio State history in career rushing yards. He held down the backfield for three years and for three different quarterbacks collecting 4,459 yards alongside 38 touchdowns. He was able to accomplish these feats all while splitting carries with Mike Weber Jr. for his first two years and then once he was handed the keys to the offense in his Junior season as the top back he did what no Buckeye had ever done before him and ran for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. He left Ohio State as a three-time Big Ten Champion and undefeated against That Team Up North.

#5 - Billy Price

While it's hard to judge the impact of an offensive lineman compared to that of a quarterback of a linebacker. Billy Price had an impact like no other before him and no other since. He started a school-record 51 consecutive game helped lead the Buckeyes to the National Championship as redshirt-Freshman for one of the best offensive lines in recent memory. As a National Champion, unanimous All-American, Rimington Award Winner, and two time team captain, Billy Price certainly has the resume to land him on any last talking about the greatest players in Buckeye history. So when it comes to the last decade it's hard to find a lineman that has done more than him at Ohio State.

2023 Ohio State University

#4 - Jaxon Smith Njigba

The all-time leader at Ohio State for receiving yards in a single season with 1,606 yards and coming in at number four on our list is Smith-Njigba. Despite only playing one full season with the Buckeyes due to injuries you can find his name in the Ohio State record books 23 times. His 2021 season was nothing short of spectacular as he posted that 1,600 yard mark as the number three wide receiver in an offense that sent the two men above him to the NFL. If not for an injury in the Notre Dame game of the 2022 season that would hold him out for the entire season, he would likely hold about every receiving record and would probably number one on this list and he likely would have gone down as one of the greatest football players in college history.

2023 Ohio State University

#3 - Dwayne Haskins Jr.

Another single-season phenom finds their way onto this list, but it's hard to deny that the late-great Dwayne Haskins is not the best quarterback in Ohio State history. In 2017, starting QB J.T. Barrett was injured in the final game of the regular season against the Buckeyes northern rivals and the nation was introduced to the legend of Dwayne Haskins Jr. As a redshirt freshman Haskins stepped up down by six-points in the third quarter and dropped a dime to Austin Mack on just his second pass attempt on third and long. From that point on everyone in the nation knew that this kid from Potomac, Maryland was gonna be special and he never disappointed. In 2018 after J.T. Barrett finally handed over the reigns to the offense and went off for the NFL it was time for Haskins to be the guy and did he ever. His name is in the Ohio State record books over 60 times and he played in just one season. Haskins is the all-time record holder for yards in a season and touchdowns in a season. Despite the one year of action he also is in the top-10 for each of those stats for career numbers. He left Ohio State unbeaten against TTUN, a Rose Bowl Champion, and a Heisman Finalist.

2023 Ohio State University

#2 - Joey Bosa

The most dominant force Ohio State has ever seen on the defensive side of the ball played from 2013-2015 and began a line of dominant defensive ends at Ohio State. Joey Bosa was one of the most fundamentally sound players to ever come through college football. His ability to use his hands to keep offensive lineman away is one of the best displays of the technique ever seen in live-action games and he used his amazing abilities to wreak havoc on the Big Ten for three years. While he doesn't hold the top record for any stats at Ohio State and may not always match up on paper to some of the other great defensive players in Ohio State's history there is no denying by anyone that watched him play that he was one of the best players to ever play in Columbus.

2023 Ohio State University

#1 - Ezekiel Elliott

He was the most electrifying running back of the last twenty years for the Buckeyes and it was behind him that the Buckeyes were finally able to make it back to the top of the mountain and become champions for the first time since the 2002 season. Elliott stole the attention of the entire Buckeye Nation and had every fan screaming "ZEKE" every time he touched the field. His run of 85-yards through the heart of the south beat Alabama and sent Ohio State to the National Championship game and was the highlight of his final three games of the season in which he combined for 696 yards on the ground and 8 rushing touchdowns. Over the last decade there have been a ton of great players and great statistical achievements in Columbus, but through all those players and all that time no one has stolen the show quite like Ezekiel Elliott did at Ohio State.


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