Ryan Day and the Ohio State Buckeyes posted back-to-back 11-2 seasons, which would be great for most college football programs – but not for this one. Ohio State’s out for blood in 2023, and they won’t accept anything less than a national championship. Fortunately, the returning talent puts them in that conversation.
Ohio State Buckeyes Top 10 Returners in 2023
Analyzing the returning players at every school is a difficult task in the transfer portal area. As such, we’ve included transfer-portal athletes that were included on each team’s roster page to open fall camp in addition to the rostered players from last year.
1) Marvin Harrison Jr., WR
In case anyone wondered about the importance of Marvin Harrison Jr., just look at what happened to Ohio State’s offense when he left the Peach Bowl. His impact this year should be in the box score, but there are other ways in which he’ll affect the game.
Teams can’t afford to send too many resources his way, but you can bet they’ll bracket him as much as possible. That won’t show up in the box score for him, but his teammates will benefit the most from that. Even with that attention, it’s not going to stop Ohio State from throwing him the ball.
2) Emeka Egbuka, WR
Emeka Ebuka’s coming off the best season of his career, but this year could be even better. With teams focusing on Harrison, Egbuka is poised to see more favorable matchups. He has a future in the NFL too, so the opposition’s scouting report will have both guys circled. Good luck stopping that.
Brian Hartline has done an incredible job of bringing in talent to the wide receiver position, and now we get to see how he can utilize that talent in his new role as offensive coordinator. Day will have his hands on the offense too, and the returning talent allows him some peace of mind, knowing he has options like Egbuka that will make him look good.
3) JT Tuimoloau, EDGE
Remember the hype surrounding J.T. Tuimoloau after the Penn State game? That’s his ceiling, and it’s a terrifying ceiling. Just ask the Nittany Lions. I’m pretty sure Sean Clifford still has nightmares about Tuimoloau all the time. Now, it just comes down to consistency for the Buckeyes pass rusher.
Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer give the Ohio State Buckeyes yet another elite tandem of pass rushers, and consistency will be the biggest key for them. Outside of the Penn State game (3 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions), Tuimoloau was relatively quiet in the box score. If he can elevate his game to hang around near the ceiling more, watch out.
4) TreVeyon Henderson, RB
When he’s fully healthy, TreVeyon Henderson is the best running back on this team by a long shot. His speed and quickness in space make him a nightmare, and his compact frame makes him tough to take down too. Injuries hampered his 2022 season, but he’s looking to get back on track in 2023.
Our introduction to Henderson was electric, and the dynamic playmaking continues to be on full display when he’s on the field. The Ohio State Buckeyes offense is already loaded, but Henderson takes them to another level as a runner and a pass catcher.
5) Tommy Eichenberg, LB
Ryan Day hired Jim Knowles to fix the defense, and the move already paid dividends in 2022. The unit looked much more confident, and guys like Tommy Eichenberg posted career numbers.
Knowles’ aggressive approach allowed the Ohio State Buckeyes defense to play looser than they did in the past, and Eichenberg embodied that change. He recorded 120 tackles and 12.0 tackles for loss last year, and he comes back with a full year of experience in this scheme. This staff hopes that means a much-improved unit in 2023.
6) Michael Hall, DT
Plenty of attention will go towards the edge of the defensive line, and for good reason. However, the interior presents quite the challenge as well. Scouts and analysts already have Michael Hall on their radar, and some in the media have already tagged him as a first-round pick.
He’s an aggressive player with the right mentality for life in the trenches, and he’ll play a key role for the Buckeyes’ defense.
7) Lathan Ransom, S
Lathan Ransom might not be the most talented player on the team, but he’s a valuable player in multiple facets for the Ohio State Buckeyes. From defense to special teams, Ransom’s a playmaker who has a knack for finding the football.
He also posted career bests in tackles (74), tackles for loss (3.5), and interceptions (1) in 2022.
8) Kyle McCord, QB
Replacing C.J. Stroud isn’t an easy task, but Ohio State does a great job of lessening the talent gap on a yearly basis. Kyle McCord reunited with his high school teammate Marvin Harrison Jr., and that chemistry should help this offense tremendously.
McCord doesn’t have to be Superman to help Ohio State win ball games. Clark Kent is just fine. At times, he might have to pull out the cape, but that shouldn’t be a frequent request with an offense full of Avengers at the skill positions.
9) Miyan Williams, RB
He’s not the biggest running back in the country, but Miyan Williams packs a powerful punch in his frame. When Henderson went down with an injury, Williams stepped up and helped steady the Ohio State Buckeyes’ rushing attack.
He averaged 6.4 yards per carry and posted career highs in rushing yards (825) and rushing touchdowns (14) last year.
10) Ja’Had Carter, S
Not many knew Ja’Had Carter’s name before he committed to the Ohio State Buckeyes via the transfer portal, but they’ll know him soon enough. Carter put on a show for Syracuse last year and had a huge game against the Clemson Tigers that showcased his skillset.
With the loss of Ronnie Hickman to the NFL, Ohio State needs someone to step up in that vacancy. Fortunately, they found a hidden gem with Carter.