Cleat Geeks

Ohio State’s Most Exciting Player for 2015?

When considering the most exciting Ohio State football player for the upcoming 2015 season, you must consider a player at one of the offensive skill positions that can be a threat to score on any given play. This player has mastered the fundamentals of the game with an explosiveness that opposing teams can only try and contain.

For Ohio State, the obvious choices may be Cardale Jones, Braxton Miller or Ezekiel Elliot with their diverse skill sets. However, the Buckeyes are one of the few teams in the country with a bevy of gamechangers on their roster and to avoid conforming to the masses, Jalin Marshall is 2015’s most exciting player.

Lining up in the slot in 2014, Marshall’s redshirt freshman season was all but ordinary. He finished the championship season with 145 rushing yards (25 attempts) and 1 rushing touchdown while hauling in 38 passes, for 499 yards, and 6 touchdowns. The triple-threat that is Marshall also returned 25 punts for a total of 283 yards and a score.

 

After beginning last season slowly, he became a pivotal cog in the championship run with a breakout performance against Minnesota on the road. He accumulated 5 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown while gaining another 12 yards on the ground.

This performance was matched, and raised, a week later with the Indiana Hoosiers in town. With Ohio State trailing 20-14 deep into the third quarter, Marshall ignited the crowd with a 54 yard punt return that gave the Buckeyes the lead.

The fourth quarter was owned by Marshall’s three touchdown receptions of 6, 15, and 54 yards and Ohio State would finish the game with a 42-27 victory.

This is the type of player Urban Meyer went after on the recruiting trail back in 2012 when Marshall was a 5-star prospect and rated as the #1 wide receiver in the state coming out of Middletown HS (Middletown, OH). He was also considered the 6th-best receiver in the 2013 class and the 32nd-best prospect overall.

 

His speed, awareness, elusiveness, and fearlessness are what make him a commodity in today’s game. Many people like to associate Urban Meyer with a ‘Percy Harvin’ type player and Jalin Marshall may finally turn out to be just that.

Though 2014 was a solid performance, Marshall is expected to continue his rise and be the all-purpose player that can breakdown and beat any defense. And if the Ohio State Buckeyes are going to repeat as National Champions in 2015, they will need Marshall to prove he is the all-around receiver with gamechanging abilities.

He may not play a role that can carry a team on his back, but when paired with Ezekiel Elliot, Michael Thomas, and the top quarterbacks in the country, he is as electric as they come and can provide the instant offense that so many teams crave.

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