Ohio State is back at work preparing for their Fiesta Bowl game with Notre Dame, and the Buckeyes are back on the field practicing for the Fighting Irish.
Last weekend, Ohio State gave a lot of reps to the younger players, in what has become known as "Showtime" over the years.
We were able to speak with two sources that attended practice over the weekend, and they both talked about which youngsters stood out in "Showtime."
Mike Weber was the only player listed by both sources, so he was the clear MVP for the younger guys. He ran the ball hard, blocked well, and basically made his case that he should be the replacement for Zeke Elliott. Had he not been injured early in the year, Weber almost assuredly would have been the backup to Elliott. Don't be surprised to see Mike Weber as the number-one runningback next fall.
Parris Campbell continues to block well, BUT he has caught the football better recently. That is his ticket to regular playing time. Everyone knows he has speed and plays hard, but he has to be trusted to catch the football. They love his work ethic, and he is STILL a very young player in terms of age.
Dre'Mont Jones is back out there after recovering from knee surgery, and could be a valuable member of the defensive line going forward. Similar to Adolphus Washington, in that he can play inside or outside. I believe he ends up playing defensive tackle as he adds weight and bulk.
K.J. Hill is making his case for regular playing time at one of the outside receiver spots, and has really impressed recently. Has the body type and hands that remind people of Mike Thomas as a younger player. He has a chance to be a starter next season, or at least the third down option.
Damon Arnette was impressive in coverage, and also showed the mental ability that he needs to prove he knows this defense. He can cover man-to-man, and that trait alone could see him at the nickel or at cornerback next season. Will battle Marshon Lattimore and Damon Webb for playing time.
Malik Hooker is a guy they need to be ready to play next year, especially with Erick Smith being injured and the NFL status of both Tyvis Powell and Vonn Bell still up in the air. Has alweays been a physical specimen, but now the mental part is catching up.
Jalyn Homes is in a battle with Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis for playing time next year, and he flat dominated over the weekend. They know he can rush the passer, but he needs to be stronger against the run. Will be in the rotation next year.