GLENDALE, Ariz. — The six returning starters from the 2015 Ohio State football team were put on draft board to begin the season. Following Saturday night’s 31-0 loss to No. 2 Clemson in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl, a few of them answered questions about their future.
“It will be really hard for me to walk away when we lost 31-0,” said redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett.
Junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan, redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis and redshirt junior cornerback Gareon Conley said they will have to sit down and talk to their families and coaches about possibly leaving early for the NFL draft.
However, two Buckeyes who were draft eligible declared their intentions to return to the Buckeyes. Redshirt junior guard Billy Price and redshirt sophomore defensive end Sam Hubbard said they will return to the program in 2017.
“We just got to get to work in the offseason,” Hubbard said. “We know what it takes now and we got to do more.”
Price listed getting his degree and his performance tonight as motivators to play next season.
“We’ll start off the season training, and this is going to be a burning feeling in my stomach,” he said. “I didn’t do enough to win tonight.”
Having to fill a total of 16 starting spots on offense and defense opened the door for a few players to have breakout season. So good, in fact, that some of those breakout stars have to decide if they will return to Ohio State for the 2017 season.
Redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker, junior H-back Curtis Samuel and redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore all echoed McMillan, Lewis and Conley.
McMillan said it would be difficult to leave on a bad note.
“I gave my all to this program,” he said. “I want to finish it off the right way.”