5 Ohio State Football Players With the Biggest Shoes to Fill in 2014

5 Ohio State Football Players With the Biggest Shoes to Fill

Ezekiel Elliott
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The 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes were loaded with talent in key areas. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, many of those players have since moved on from Columbus. However, the Buckeyes are deep with talent and are capable of filling the void left by stars like Carlos Hyde and Ryan Shazier. They will be needed if the Buckeyes are to contend for an FBS title this year.

Here are five players who have the biggest shoes to fill during the 2014 season.

5. Vonn Bell, Safety

Vonn Bell
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5. Vonn Bell, Safety

Vonn Bell
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Vonn Bell saw a healthy amount of action after three-year starter Christian Bryant went down during the Wisconsin game last season. In 2014, Bell will be the starter from the outset and will need to play huge for a secondary that had its fair share of problems in 2013. The Buckeyes also lost senior C.J. Barnett at safety, so the Buckeyes will be tested through the air. Look for Bell to step up in a big way for OSU in 2014.

4. Taylor Decker, Left Tackle

Taylor Decker
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4. Taylor Decker, Left Tackle

Taylor Decker
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In 2014, Taylor Decker will move from right tackle over to left tackle to replace Jack Mewhort, who was drafted in the second round in the NFL Draft. Decker will be in the spotlight throughout the year as the main protector of prized quarterback Braxton Miller. Decker's 2013 season started out shaky, but he was able to stabilize defensive ends and linebackers on the right side.

3. Doran Grant, Cornerback

Doran Grant
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3. Doran Grant, Cornerback

Doran Grant
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Although Grant started alongside fellow cornerback Bradley Roby last season, he steps into Roby's No. 1 CB spot in 2014. CB was a large area of concern last season; Grant and his fellow cornerbacks will be under the microscope. At times, Grant struggled to keep up with defenders and prevent the big play, but new defensive coordinator Chris Ash specializes in the defensive secondary; Grant and the defensive backs should be much improved in 2014.

2. Joshua Perry, Linebacker

Joshua Perry
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2. Joshua Perry, Linebacker

Joshua Perry
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Replacing an All-American is never easy, especially when he totaled over 100 tackles. But Joshua Perry is tasked with replacing Ryan Shazier in 2014. Perry saw significant action last season, but he will be given Shazier's role this year, and those will be tough shoes to fill. Perry's athleticism and playing time last year should allow him to be a solid replacement for Shazier.

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott
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1. Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott
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Just a sophomore, Ezekiel Elliott appears to be the frontrunner to replace Carlos Hyde in 2014. However, the Buckeyes have a number of guys who can step into the role if needed. Elliott brings a running style that mixes speed and toughness, whereas Hyde was mainly known for his ability to keep the play going and not allow an easy tackle to be made. Elliott will be Braxton Miller's battery mate this year and should be able to carry the RB torch.

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