INDIANAPOLIS — The Ohio State dominance of the Big Ten is extending into the preseason.
The league unveiled its preseason honors list on Thursday morning to kick off the return of Media Days at Lucas Oil Stadium, and the Buckeyes claimed more than half of the spots to represent the East Division.
Chris Olave, Thayer Munford and Garrett Wilson were all given spots from the media panel, a staggering reminder of the elite talent the program is bringing back as the four-time defending Big Ten champions look to defender their crown.
Indiana quarterback Michael Penix and Penn State wide receiver Jahan Dotson rounded out the list with the Ohio State superstars — two of them who elected to return for another season with the program instead of heading to the NFL Draft.
“There are a lot of reasons I came back,â€ Olave said in the spring. “I feel like I could have gotten a lot stronger in the weight room, try to play with more strength. Thatâ€™s one of the flaws I had in my game last year. I wanted to come back and work with [strength] Coach Mick [Marotti] another year, compete against Garrett … in the offseason. Thereâ€™s a lot of guys in Zone Six that I feel like I could get better and be better myself, more as a person.
“[Wide receivers coach Brian] Hartline is one of the best coaches in the country. Just another year in the system, and I feel like Iâ€™ll be good.”
Olave has already proven he’s among the best weapons in the country, and his partnership with Wilson promises more explosiveness for the Ohio State passing attack regardless of who wins the quarterback job.
It also will surely help to have one of the nation’s best left tackles to protect the passer, and Munford also earned recognition from the Big Ten as the season creeps closer.
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