Ohio State Buckeyes’ Top 10 Returning Players in 2024 Include Caleb Downs, Quinshon Judkins

    After losing control of the Big Ten, the Ohio State Buckeyes and their top 10 returning players look to take back what was once theirs.

    Michigan reigns over the Big Ten, and nothing gets the Ohio State Buckeyes going more than that. After losing control of the conference, Ryan Day and the Buckeyes look to take it back. With the top 10 returning players on the roster, this team has a Big Ten Championship on its mind heading into 2024.

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    Ohio State Buckeyes’ Top 10 Returners 2024

    Analyzing the returning players at every school is a difficult task in the transfer portal area. As such, we’ve included transfer-portal athletes on each team’s roster page to open spring camp in addition to the rostered players from last year.

    10) Will Howard, QB

    While some might think that Ohio State got another version of Kyle McCord, a simple viewing of Will Howard would correct that wrongful assumption. The former Kansas State quarterback fits what this staff hopes to do in 2024, and running the football will be more of a focal point with him as the potential starter.

    Howard’s not a lock to win the job, though. Devin Brown, Lincoln Kienholz, Julian Sayin, and Air Noland should challenge him. His experience as a starter is what gives him a leg up on the competition, even if he doesn’t know the system as well.

    Howard is ready to prove the doubters wrong once again.

    There were plenty of questions surrounding his abilities heading into last year, but he threw for 2,643 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also ran for 351 yards and nine touchdowns, but he won’t have to be a focal point of his new offense with the talent joining him in the backfield.

    9) JT Tuimoloau, DE

    Buckle up for an exciting season from the Ohio State Buckeyes defensive line. While he didn’t replicate his 2022 season, JT Tuimoloau was still a steady force for the Buckeyes defense last year. Under Jim Knowles, the defense took great strides in the previous two years, and now they’re ready to explode in 2024.

    Everyone remembers Tuimoloau’s 2022 performance against Penn State, and the fanbase hopes he can channel that into a full season. He still produced seven tackles for loss and five sacks last year, but he’s ready to put up even more impressive numbers this season.

    8) Donovan Jackson, OG

    Heading into the 2023 season, Donovan Jackson was considered a potential first-round pick. While that didn’t pan out, there’s still a chance it becomes a reality. The Buckeyes offensive line isn’t short of talent, and the skill positions are loaded.

    Jackson was one of eight Buckeyes on College Football Network’s All-Big Ten teams for 2023, and there’s a strong chance he’ll be on the first team this season. With the offense focusing more on the rushing attack, Jackson should thrive and help his draft stock.

    7) Tyleik Williams, DT

    Day got a massive boost from his defense, thanks to a few potential NFL players returning to school in 2024. The defensive line benefited the most when three players decided to return.

    While the loss of Michael Hall Jr. hurts up the middle, Tyleik Williams’ return was huge for this defense. Williams hit his stride last year and recorded 53 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and three sacks. He’ll be tasked with taking on a more prominent role this season, but the talent on the edge makes his life a little easier.

    6) Josh Fryar, OT

    A first-team All-Big Ten selection for CFN, Josh Fryar is back after a big year in 2023.

    MORE: Ohio State NIL, Roster-Building Key to Returning Stars 

    Fryar played 312 snaps over the last two years, and he had the tough task of following in the footsteps of Dawand Jones, Thayer Munford, and Nicholas Petit-Frere. After what we saw last year, he could join those guys at the next level.

    5) TreVeyon Henderson, RB

    When fully healthy, TreVeyon Henderson has a strong case for being the most explosive running back in college football. He’ll once again be in a crowded backfield, but there’s no question he’ll still get a substantial amount of touches.

    Whether as a ball carrier or a pass catcher, Henderson’s quickness and speed put stress on a defense. Getting him in the open field makes life tough for the defenders trying to stop him, but he’s also proven to be a solid back between the tackles.

    He finished last year with 926 yards and 11 touchdowns, and he’s hoping to be one of two 1,000-yard rushers for the Buckeyes this season.

    4) Jack Sawyer, DE

    With how well the Buckeyes have recruited over the years, they’ve seen highly talented players get buried on the depth chart. Iron sharpens iron, and the Buckeyes have produced a lot of it lately, especially on the defensive line.

    A guy like Jack Sawyer just needed to wait his turn, and he didn’t waste his opportunity when it presented itself. Even after just one year as a starter, Sawyer could have gone pro, but he decided to return. He recorded 10 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks last year, and a talented line could help him beat those numbers in 2024.

    3) Emeka Egbuka, WR

    Replacing Marvin Harrison Jr. isn’t easy for anyone, and the Buckeyes staff doesn’t expect anyone to try. It just won’t happen. They’d rather guys like Emeka Egbuka be themselves.

    Egbuka comes back as a veteran of the group after catching 41 passes last year, tied for second on the team. He turned those catches into 515 yards with four touchdowns and has his sights set on a potential 1,000-yard season as the leader of a young but talented receiver room.

    2) Quinshon Judkins, RB

    One of the biggest surprises this offseason. Quinshon Judkins was a stud for the Ole Miss Rebels and was the star of the program for his two years there. His announcement to enter the transfer portal shocked everyone, and now he joins a Buckeyes team that needs him.

    Injuries have plagued the Buckeyes running back room the last two years, so depth was a priority coming into the season. He brings 2,725 yards and 31 touchdowns rushing from his time at Ole Miss, and his arrival means big things for the Buckeyes offense this year.

    1) Caleb Downs, S

    As if the Buckeyes hadn’t shocked us enough, they snagged former Alabama safety Caleb Downs from the transfer portal. Many expected him to transfer to Georgia, but the star safety chose to head to Columbus.

    KEEP READING: 2024 Big Ten Power Rankings

    Downs appears more developed than most younger players, and he produced 107 tackles with two interceptions in his first year as a starter. He joins a secondary with plenty of talent, and he’s a big reason why the Buckeyes have a College Football National Championship on their minds.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!


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