With just two weeks left in the regular season, plenty of teams are fighting for a spot in the postseason. With that said, the NFL announced the 2018 Pro Bowl selections Tuesday night. On the list are five former Ohio State Buckeye standouts, three on the NFC roster and two on the AFC roster. With five former Buckeyes selected, Ohio State leads the way with the most alumni in the game, followed by Alabama and Georgia, who both have four each. Let’s take a look at the five:
- Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa
- New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas
- New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore
- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier
- Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins
In just his second year in the league, Joey Bosa is already one of the best defensive ends in the NFL. Through 14 games, he has 61 tackles (49 solo), 11.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and one pass defended this season. He set the record for the most sacks through a player’s first 20 games with 19 sacks. Bosa is the only one of the five former Buckeyes to be named a starter.
Much like Bosa, Michael Thomas is also one of the best at his position in only his second year in the NFL. In his second season, Thomas racked up 94 receptions (136 targets) for 1,085 yards and five touchdowns. His frame and route-running ability puts him a step ahead of many others in the league, and to think he’s only 24 years old. The second-year wide out is on pace to break the Saints record for most catches in a season, too. Thomas is the first New Orleans wide receiver to make the Pro Bowl since Drew Brees took over behind center for the Saints prior to the 2006 season.
Only a rookie, Marshon Lattimore has made quite a name for himself already in the NFL. Considered one of the league’s top lockdown cornerbacks, he has four interceptions (one being a pick-six), 13 passes defended, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery in 11 games this season. Just 21 years old, Lattimore is the youngest Pro Bowler in Saints history.
Before going down with a back injury that could potentially end his career, Ryan Shazier was having his best season so far, totaling 89 tackles (68 solo), three interceptions, 10 passes defended, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. Although he is a Pro Bowler, that’s all put on the back burner when it comes to his injury. Even if he can’t play football again, let’s hope that the 25-year-old is able to walk after going through therapy following multiple spinal surgeries.
At this point, it seems as though Malcolm Jenkins has been in the league for quite awhile, but somehow, he’s only 30 years old. While being one of the leaders on the Eagles’ defense, the safety has had quite a season so far with 63 tackles (52 solo), two interceptions, eight passes defended, and one sack in 14 games.
Given injuries and whoever participates in the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl rosters are due to change prior to the game. With that said, Ohio State football’s staff and players love to use the slogan #DevelopedHere, and this is yet another reason why that hashtag is so true. Much like they are across the NFL, there will be plenty of scarlet and gray represented in Orlando on January 28 for the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl.