The Buckeyes will take the field with a handful of H-backs in 2018, which sparked some speculation that perhaps K.J. Hill would move outside. As of last week, however, Hill says that he will remain at H-back in 2018, once again pairing with Parris Campbell for a tremendous duo.
They will be joined this coming season by Demario McCall, C.J. Saunders, and incoming freshman Jaelen Gill, for a loaded group of playmakers. Even with the new additions, Hill’s role will continue to be sizable. He did lead the Buckeyes with 56 receptions this past season, but the competition for snaps won’t allow him to rest on his laurels. Not that he was planning to.
“I feel like my route running needs to get a little bit better,” he said of what he is working on for 2018. “Coming out of my routes full speed instead of coming out of them lackadaisical sometimes. Mainly that and then my body. I want to get more developed in my body by getting faster and stronger because I’m young for my age and my class. I want to develop more.”
Leave No Doubt
As K.J. Hill and his teammates work toward the 2018 season, they will do so with the regrets and failure of the missed opportunities in 2017 driving them.
They watched Alabama win a national title earlier in the month from the No. 4 spot that they thought they had earned.
How did it feel watching it happen?
“No comment,” said running back J.K. Dobbins. “But I felt like we were the best team in the nation.”
The Iowa loss cost them a title shot, and while they have moved on from the game, they have not moved on from the lesson.
“Just leave no question to the committee, which we did last year,” Dobbins said. “Just play well every week. Leave no doubt and keep working hard like we do and it will take care of itself.”
And does Dobbins believe the Buckeyes are on the same level as a Georgia or Alabama?
“We’re there,” he said. “We have the best coach in the nation and we have the best players in the nation, so we’re there.”
One of the most talked about happenings during the national title game was Nick Saban’s decision to bench starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in favor of true freshman Tua Tagovailoa. The move proved to be correct and the rookie led the Crimson Tide to a second half comeback and victory.
Watching the game, at least one Buckeye was impressed by Saban’s decision.
“That was a good move,” said defensive end Nick Bosa. “I think that’s why Nick Saban’s great. He’s willing to put the team before one player and just really put the best player in the game and that’s why he’s looked at as one of the best coaches ever.”
Is this where the tea-drinking frog meme goes?
Leading by Example
When Mike Weber decided to return to Ohio State, he did so with the understanding that he would be regularly involved in the Buckeye offense. He knows that opportunities won’t just be given to him, however. That’s not how this works.
Weber and J.K. Dobbins will compete every day, which is only going to help them get better and get ready for the 2018 season. It won’t just help them, however. Their example will set the tone for the rest of the team as well.
“We’re real competitive with each other,” Weber said. “We push each other through everything, whether it’s doing pushups or racing. Anything. I feel like that helps us both get better as players. And other teammates see that and they go harder too. I feel like we lead by example in the weight room.”