Senior day is bitter sweet for the players, coaches and fans of Ohio State football. For years these players have devoted themselves to playing with heart and passion every single Saturday. After Urban Meyer took over as head coach, Ohio State’s offense has improved ten-fold from past seasons, which makes sense given how many players (and seniors) are having career-high years in receptions, rushing and touchdowns.
It’s always hard to say goodbye to those players who truly make a difference; this year’s offensive senior class is one that will be particularly missed.
Kenny Guiton (QB)
The fearless quarterback Kenny Guiton is one of the players Buckeye fans wish they could keep forever. His selflessness on and off the field, coupled with his ability to perform in tough situations, makes him a legend at Ohio State. This season alone, Guiton has amassed 75 passing completions for 749 yards and 14 touchdowns, but that’s just in the air; he also has 311 rushing yards for five touchdowns. His 19 season touchdowns is just one behind starting quarterback Braxton Miller.
As one Buckeye fan put it, “I’ll miss knowing he’s there on the sidelines; if something were to happen to [Braxton] Miller, I didn’t have to worry about the back-up being able to finish the job.”
This season alone, Guiton has scored 19 total touchdowns which is impressive for anyone, let alone someone considered the “back-up”. Guiton provided Ohio State fans with a peace of mind that few players can.
Carlos Hyde (RB)
After missing the first three games of the 2013 season due to suspension, he set out to prove himself worthy throughout the rest of the season. On par to have a record breaking year, he is closing in on 1,000+ rushing yards with Indiana and Michigan still on the schedule.
Hyde is that running back that can put his shoulder down and drive through a defensive line, have defensive players hanging on the tail of his shirt and still get a first down; it’s just the type of player he is and shows the amount of strength and determination he has.
For someone who in past seasons wasn’t utilized (and wasn’t happy about it) and talked about leaving, he and the rest of Ohio State are happy he stayed. Hyde is flourishing under Urban Meyer’s coaching style and in addition to his two receiving touchdowns, he has rushed 120 times for 947 yards and 11 touchdowns (that’s 13 touchdowns total for those keeping track). With two games left this season, there is no doubt these numbers will increase substantially and add his name to the record book.
Jordan Hall (H)
For someone shrouded in controversy and suspended for the majority of the 2012 season from “tattoo-gate”, Jordan Hall laced up his cleats in 2013 and proved a point to everyone. Not only did Coach Meyer’s new offense offer more play making options for the halfback, but Hyde’s early season suspension put a lot of weight on his shoulders to perform on the ground. Having his best season as a Buckeye, Hall has 79 rushes for 519 total yards; he’s also responsible for, a career-high, eight touchdowns for Ohio State.
Corey Brown (WR)
Urban Meyer utilized Corey (Philly) Brown in a couple new ways this season, most notably as a punt returner. Brown’s quick feet and great hands made him a natural at this position, and after a few early mistakes, finally found his groove. His real strength though is as a receiver; like others on this list, 2013 has been a career season for the senior. With 48 receptions for 596 yards and nine touchdowns, Brown made a huge difference for Ohio State’s offense this year.
Chris Fields (WR)
As a veteran receiver, Chris Fields continued to improve on his talents from years past. Last season verses Purdue, Fields caught a touchdown with two seconds left to play, leading the Buckeyes into over-time and continuing their undefeated streak. Throughout the 2013 season he may have only played in three games, but he continued to impress with 15 receptions for 181 yards and a career-high six touchdowns.