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5 Ohio State Football Players Headed for Breakout 2014 Seasons

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5 Ohio State Football Players Headed for Breakout 2014 Seasons

Ohio State Football 2014 Breakout Players
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Buckeyes will be a team on a mission in 2014 after their 24-game win streak and national championship dreams perished on the Lucas Oil Stadium field last December in the Big Ten Championship. Some key players from that team departed, but as you would expect from a program like Ohio State, others will step up to fill the void left. Here are five players on the verge of breakout seasons.

5. Vonn Bell

Vonn Bell Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

5. Vonn Bell

Vonn Bell Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Bell got his feet wet last season, but the true sophomore will be asked to be the man for the Buckeyes in 2014 with three starters from the defensive backfield gone. Bell's start in the Orange Bowl against Clemson was highlighted by an acrobatic interception that serves as a nice teaser of the athleticism the safety will put on display this year. This kid has future star written all over him.

4. Dontre Wilson

Dontre Wilson Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

4. Dontre Wilson

Dontre Wilson Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer's big recruiting coup from Texas, Wilson has Percy Harvin-like potential in the former Florida Gators head coach's system. Although he wasn't a focal point of the offense, the freshman showed more than enough in limited action last season to suggest he is more than hype. A blur once he's in the open field, Wilson provides the playmaking ability the Buckeyes desperately need in 2014.

3. Adolphus Washington

Adolphus Washington Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Getty Images

3. Adolphus Washington

Adolphus Washington Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Getty Images

OSU's defensive line will be, quite simply, elite in 2014. While teammates Noah Spence, Joey Bosa and Michael Bennett have rightfully been labeled as the unit's stars, Washington looks primed to breakout after a switch to defensive tackle has him entrenched in the starting lineup. With so much talent around him, Washington will flourish in the Buckeyes' press-coverage scheme as another rusher rearing down on opposing quarterbacks.

2. Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA Today Sports

2. Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA Today Sports

Carlos Hyde's 1,521 yards and 15-touchdown season is going to be a challenge to follow-up, but Elliot proved he is capable of being the Buck's new workhorse back after averaging 8.7 yards per carry on 30 rushing attempts last season. If there's one thing you can be sure of, Ohio State is going to run the football — and then run it some more -- making Elliot an immediate all-conference candidate. Don't blink twice if he hits 1,000 rushing yards.

1. Doran Grant

Doran Grant Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

1. Doran Grant

Doran Grant Ohio State Football 2014 Season Breakout Players
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The only full-time starter to return in OSU's defensive backfield, Grant is ready to anchor his unit after recording 58 tackles, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups last year. With some experienced QBs headlining the Big Ten East division, Grant will be crucial to the Buckeyes' success as the 2014 squad's boundary corner. Expect the senior to get the better of opposing pass-catchers more often than not.