Let’s start with a couple of the Buckeyes entering their rookie season.
DeVier Posey (WR – Houston Texans) His rookie season started with Icy Hot all over his helmet and pads; Posey tweeted that Houston vets showed the rookies a thing or two when training camp started just last week. Posey has incredible ability; he was vexed his senior season due to NCAA sanctions that made him miss 10 games during 2011. He was expected to be a stand out for the Buckeyes and I’m sure the Texans will get to utilize his full potential.
Dan “BOOOOOOM” Herron (RB – Cincinnati Bengals) I’m convinced that no one loves yelling “BOOOOMMMMM!!!” as much as I do; but the loyal Buckeyes who also happen to be Bengal fans get to continue this tradition through next season. Another Buckeye plagued by lack of playing time his senior year, Herron faced an NCAA suspension which limited his time on the field in 2011. He is a force to be reckoned with, and his ability to make something out of nothing will be happily accepted in Cincinnati. I expect big numbers from him his rookie season, he has the entire state of Ohio watching.
The rest of the rookie Buckeyes include: Nate Ebner (S– New England Patriots), Mike Adams (OT – Pittsburgh Steelers), J.B. Shugarts (RT – Cleveland Browns) and Mike Brewster (C – Jacksonville Jaguars).
There is nothing better than watching NFL football on Sunday, listening to the starting line-ups and hearing a player claim, “THE Ohio State University”; I love hearing the emphasis on THE, it shows they are just as proud of where they came from as I am. There are several, now famous, names you’ll be hearing a lot more of this season, all of which came from Ohio State.
Santonio Holmes (WR – New York Jets) Drafted in 2006, Holmes is no stranger to drama. If he wants to be successful on the field, he needs to shut his mouth, and learn how to be a good teammate. Every team has disagreements, but to air your dirty laundry in public, and openly speak out against your quarterback (M. Sanchez), is a known taboo. Every game last season seemed to follow a pattern: let Holmes catch the ball a couple of times, score 1 touchdown, and then ignore him the rest of the game. Whether good or bad, you will see Holmes in the news several times this season
Kurt Coleman (S, DB – Philadelphia Eagles) Drafted in 2010, Coleman is quickly proving his worth to the Eagles organization. During the 2011 season, the Eagles were playing a close game against the Redskins, when Coleman proved clutch with THREE interceptions! This was a career high for him and for Philadelphia football. Comparing his stats from 2010 and 2011, there is a notable increase in skill. Being an Eagles fan, I can’t wait to see what he’s going to bring this year.
Brian Rolle (LB – Philadelphia Eagles) Drafted in 2011, he joined his former teammate Coleman in Philly. He impressed during his rookie season, and showed a lot of spunk for the position. He was a captain for the Buckeyes his senior year, so him earning a starting role at WILL linebacker this season isn’t very surprising. As he continues to grow, he will prove very valuable for the Eagles defense.
Brian Hartline (WR – Miami Dolphins) Drafted in 2009, this former Buckeye will get a chance to shine this year; the Dolphins are only working with three wide receivers this season, including the very controversial Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson. Hartline is looking to get a lot more touches, and with HBO’s series Hard Knocks featuring the Miami team this year, were likely to see Hartline a lot more often.
Dane Sanzenbacher (WR – Chicago Bears) Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011, Sanzenbacher is earning his way for the Bears. He scored three touchdowns last year and started getting into a rhythm with the rest of his team. Recent developments and injuries have actually awarded him with the starting role going into the 2012 season. His quick feet and almost super-hero like catching ability should make him someone to watch for years to come.
Chris “Beanie” Wells (RB – Arizona Cardinals) Drafted in the first round of the 2009 Draft, Beanie was headed to Arizona. Currently down with a knee injury, Coach Whisenhunt says he should be good to go by the second preseason game. His knee has caused a lot of questions since his time at OSU, but if he can get healthy, there is no question he could have the results he used to as a Buckeye.
Ted Ginn, Jr. (WR – San Francisco 49ers) Drafted in 2007, he has a lot of talent to compete with at the 49ers; including Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham. He has proved to be valuable as a kick and punt returner ranking 3rd and 4th in the NFL. His true test is to see if he can start getting some offensive touchdowns this season. With his lightning quick legs, if he gets his shit together, he will be dangerous to any team.
James Laurinaitis (LB – St. Louis Rams) Drafted in 2009, Laurainitis has made Buckeye nation proud with his outstanding showing each and every season. Being a starter since his first NFL game, he maintained the energy level he played with Saturdays at The Shoe; he has 310 career tackles, and 5 career interceptions. He will continue to be great and do great things as long as he keeps playing football.
Mike Nugent (K – Cincinnati Bengals) Seasoned vet Mike Nugent is a name you’ve heard before, and thanks to the Bengals, you’ll continue to hear for a while. His last name created one of the most infamous chants of the Buckeyes, and he continues to play in the state that started it. 2012 marks his eighth year in the league, but with his incredible accuracy (33 of 38 field goal attempts in 2011) and producing the second-lowest average kick-off return, he will be around for at least a few more years.