Three Buckeyes earn preseason All-American honors

Pete Nakos3 months
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Chris Olave 4 by Birm-Lettermen Row
Chris Olave is the top returning wideout in college football. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

COLUMBUS — Ohio State consistently assembles one of the most talented rosters in the nation.

This year’s roster is no different. The Buckeyes are heavy favorites to make the College Football Playoff for the third-consecutive season.

Wide receiver Chris Olave, offensive lineman Thayer Munford and defensive lineman Haskell Garrett will all lead the charge as Ohio State looks to bounce back from its loss in the national championship to Alabama. The trio all earned first-team preseason All-American honors Thursday from the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Olave is widely considered to be the top returning wide receiver in college football. After a stellar 2020 season, many draft experts expected the wideout to leave and become a first-round pick. Instead, he opted to return to Ohio State for another season and is now positioned for to boost his draft stock even more.

“There’s a lot of reasons I came back,” Olave said this spring. “I feel like I could have gotten a lot stronger in the weight room, try to play with more strength. That’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 and Jameson [Williams] in the offseason. There’s a lot of guys in Zone Six that I feel like I could get better and be better myself, more as a person. Coach Hartline is one of the best coaches in the country. Just another year in the system, and I feel like I’ll be good.”

Thayer Munford-Ohio State-Football-Buckeyes

Thayer Munford is positioned to be a first-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Munford also returned for another season, working to complete his degree and become the best tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s protected for two of the most prolific passers in Buckeyes history — Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields. And he’s created running lanes for J.K. Dobbins and Trey Sermon, too. This season he’ll help lead an offensive that’s protecting a first-time starting quarterback.

Although he missed most of the spring with an undisclosed injury, Garrett is expected to be healthy for the fall. Another Ohio State player who turned down the NFL, he emerged as one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the country last season. He missed an offseason working with Larry Johnson, but a strong summer workouts will set him up for a monster season.

Chris Olave, Thayer Munford and Haskell Garrett will be the leaders for Ohio State this fall. Thursday’s news was just the affirmation of the talent on the Buckeyes’ roster.