Buckeyes

Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins, Nick Bosa among 2018 Heisman Trophy candidates

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

It’s only January, so the 2018 college football season is a little more than seven months from kicking off, but that doesn’t mean it’s way too early to talk about the upcoming season. While a number of outlets released their way-too-early Top 25 almost immediately following the national championship a couple weeks ago, Bovada has now released their way-too-early 2018 Heisman Trophy odds.

Two Ohio State Buckeyes made the cut: Running back J.K. Dobbins and defensive end Nick Bosa. Their odds debuted on Wednesday, with Dobbins (12-to-1) having the fifth-best odds and Bosa (75-to-1) having the 23rd-best odds.

Just one day later, those odds took quite a drastic change on Wednesday, especially for Dobbins. In the updated list, the running back is now a co-favorite to win college football’s most prestigious award next fall.

For the first time in over four years, the Buckeyes will have a new starting quarterback for the entire season. With the departure of three-time captain and quarterback J.T. Barrett, Ohio State is expected to have a new-look offense. Although they return all of their receivers and both running backs, including Dobbins, the scarlet and gray will go from having a more conservative offense that had a quarterback who loved running the ball to an offense that’s expected to be led by Dwayne Haskins, Jr., a gunslinger who reminds many Buckeyes fans of Cardale Jones.

With a quarterback like Haskins, Dobbins (along with running back Mike Weber) are expected to have plenty of opportunities and room to run the ball. With that said, in his first season in Columbus, Dobbins totaled 194 carries for 1,403 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with 22 receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman, good enough for second team All-Big Ten honors. Not bad for a guy who missed his entire senior season after breaking a bone in his leg on the first play of his final high school season.

Much like his brother, Joey, Nick Bosa has been an elite defensive end during his short time in Columbus. While splitting time due to Ohio State’s stacked defensive end unit, he had 34 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and two passes defended as a true sophomore in 2017, good enough for first team All-Big Ten. Although the Buckeyes lost plenty of talent due to graduation or early declarations, many expect that the defensive line will (somehow) be even better, largely due to Bosa.

While it isn’t a surprise that Dobbins and Bosa are on the list of Heisman candidates for next fall, the fact that Haskins didn’t make the cut is eye-popping. Expected to lead one of the best offenses in the country, the gunslinger should do quite well for himself in his first season as the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes.

To keep track of the 2018 Heisman Trophy odds, you can follow them here.