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Ohio State Buckeyes’ Key Players and Newcomers for 2013

Urban Meyer Ohio State Buckeyes

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes football season will always be remembered as what could have been, as the team was faced with a bowl ban on a season where they went 12-0 and demolished the competition they faced.

While imaging what they could have done is fun, they are now eligible for a bowl game again and are looking to repeat that undefeated season and make their way back to the National Championship landscape in Urban Meyer‘s second season as the head coach.

Urban Meyer has done a great job of using the players left to him by former head coach Jim Tressel, as well as bringing in guys that are able to compete right away. In order for the Buckeyes to make another Big Ten championship run, many key players need to step up.

On the offensive side of the ball, running backs Rod Smith and Bri’onte Dunn will be very important to the Buckeyes success. In 2012, quarterback Braxton Miller was the team’s leading rusher. The production from the running backs needs to drastically improve to stop teams from keying on Miller.

Another key player will be backup quarterback Kenny Guiton. Braxton Miller takes a lot of shots with his style of play and could be injured at any second, so it’s important Guiton is ready to play every game.

On the defensive side of the ball, the biggest key player will be cornerback Doran Grant. The reason for this is because all three of the other defensive backs are established, especially opposing corner Bradley Roby. This means teams are going to target Grant hoping to exploit his inexperience.

For newcomers to the Buckeyes, one player to watch will be freshman Jalin Marshall. Marshall, a five-star recruit, posses freakish athletic ability and is being compared to Percy Harvin, whom Urban Meyer used in a variety of ways with great success.

Another key newcomer to watch will be running back Ezekiel Elliott. A four-star player, Elliott has the chance to contribute right away to a Buckeye back field with a bunch of uncertainty going into 2013.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.