Our first Buckeye Leaf awards of the 2017 season feature plenty of offensive talent, as both teams lit up the scoreboard April 15 at Ohio Stadium.
James Grega: After what he has been through in his career, it is hard not to give the nod to Johnnie Dixon. The senior caught six passes for 108 yards and two scores in the most live action he has had in his career. Dixon came to Ohio State in the 2014 recruiting class and earned playing time against Kent State before suffering what would be the first of many knee injuries. The performance could be easily compared to those of lesser-known wide receivers of the past that include Bam Childress and Taurian Washington, but if Dixon's performance carries over into the season, he would be a weapon for the Buckeyes offense.
Ryan McGlade: I’m giving my Buckeye Leaf(s) to Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins. Both reserve quarterbacks had impressive performances. Burrow completed 14 of 22 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns, while Haskins went 21 of 32 for 255 yards and two scores. Maybe what’s even more important, neither of the two threw an interception. While both fell victim to a few errant passes, they were pretty accurate for most of the day. Head coach Urban Meyer said after the scrimmage that he will not name the backup signal caller to J.T. Barrett. Going off Burrow’s and Haskins’ outings on Saturday, that may be quite the decision.
Tim Moody: In a scrimmage dominated by offense, I’ll go with a defensive player for my Buckeye leaf. Freshman cornerback Shaun Wade had a slow start to the game – he was even beaten for a touchdown early – but he showed off some physical play down the stretch that is rarely seen from a player so young. Wade might not be a starter this year, but he showed today why he’ll be a star for the Buckeyes down the line.