A group of former Ohio State Buckeyes are set to showcase their talents in front of NFL scouts with dreams of getting selected in the 2014 Draft.
A total of six Buckeyes — senior running back Carlos Hyde, senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown, a pair of redshirt-senior offensive linemen, center Corey Linsley and left tackle Jack Mewhort, junior linebacker Ryan Shazier and redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby — are scheduled to compete in the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis from Saturday through Feb. 25, according to a press release.
OSU is tied with Wisconsin for the highest number of players invited to the combine from the Big Ten. Alabama has the most of any school with 12 players in attendance.
The 2013 team — which finished 12-2 after back-to-back losses to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game Dec. 7 and then to Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 3 — had notable members who did not receive an invitation to the combine include redshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton, senior safety Christian Bryant, senior offensive lineman Andrew Norwell and redshirt-senior offensive lineman Marcus Hall.
Mewhort, named first-team All-American by ESPN.com and second-team All-American by Walter Camp, “Sports Illustrated” and the Football Writers Association of America in 2013, was a big part of an offensive line that paved the way for the third-most rushing touchdowns in school history (45). OSU also ranked fifth in the country with 308.6 yards per game on the ground in 2013.
Mewhort said he is looking forward to the opportunity to represent the Scarlet and Gray at the combine this weekend.
“Obviously it’s a huge honor, big responsibility,” Mewhort said in an interview with The Lantern Monday. “You’re wearing that Block ‘O’ and people know you’re representing The Ohio State University. It’s my responsibility to go out there and show what the university is made of show that you are proud you get to compete and show that we’re the best of the best, which we are. It’s kind of on our shoulders to do that this year.”
Brown either led or was tied for the most number of receptions on the team during each of his last three seasons in Columbus and was just the second OSU wideout to have consecutive seasons with at least 60 catches, the other being David Boston from 1997-98. His 63 receptions this past season are the fifth-most in school history.
According to the release, Hyde’s 6.1 yards per carry average during his career is the best of any OSU running back in school history, along with his 7.3 yards per carry average in 2013. His 10.2 yards per carry average in the Buckeyes’ 60-35 win against Illinois Nov. 16 is also a school record.
Even after serving a three-game suspension for his involvement in an incident at a Columbus bar in July, Hyde still amassed a team-leading 1,521 yards this past season. After OSU lost the Discover Orange Bowl to Clemson, 40-35, Hyde addressed his career and mentioned how he looking forward to what’s next.
“I almost finished pretty much like I finished my senior year in high school, close to 1,600 yards and like 18 touchdowns. So I think I had a pretty good career my last year here,” Hyde said Jan. 3. “I’m looking forward to the next step in my life.”
Known as “the apex” to coach Urban Meyer and his teammates, Linsley earned All-Big Ten Conference honors each of the past two seasons, in which he started every game and helped the Buckeyes to a 24-2 record over that span.
Despite being suspended for OSU’s first game this past season against Buffalo because of his involvement in an incident at a Bloomington, Ind., bar in July, Roby started 36 of 37 games in which he played at OSU. He scored five touchdowns on defense and special teams in his career and led the country in passes defended with 19 in 2012.
Roby had his ups and downs in 2013 and was the subject of some criticism as a result of on-field struggles. He was beaten by receivers for multiple touchdown passes in games against California Sept. 14 and Wisconsin Sept. 28, and Roby said after the Buckeyes’ 63-14 win against Penn State Oct. 26, criticism just comes with being a cornerback.
“Throughout the season you’re going to have ups and downs. Nobody’s going to be perfect, especially at my position,” Roby said. “Just because you make a few bad plays here and there doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you can’t be this or that.”
A first-team All-American in 2013, Shazier led OSU in tackles in both 2012 and 2013 and finished 15th in program history with 306 total tackles. He also had 15 games with at least 10 tackles.
“Playing in the NFL is something that I have been dreaming about since my days in pee-wee football,” Shazier said in an OSU press release Jan. 4 when he announced his decision to forgo his senior season. “I just feel that now is the perfect time for me.”
Workouts at the combine at Lucas Oil Stadium are set to be televised on NFL Network, with tight ends, offensive linemen and special teams players kicking things off Feb. 22. Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are set to compete Feb. 23, defensive linemen and linebackers are scheduled to work out on Feb. 24, and defensive backs are slated to finish the combine off the following day.
A record 85 underclassmen are among 335 players invited to the scouting combine, according to CBSSports.com.
OSU’s Pro Day is set for March 7 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus.
The 2014 edition of the Buckeyes are scheduled to open their 2014 campaign Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.