The season creeps ever so slowly toward us. To escape the summer doldrums, we thought we'd add a burst of excitement from the Big Ten football front.
We're taking a look at the most exciting player on each of the league's teams, a guy who is either so talented or productive (or both) that it's hard to take your eyes off of him during a game.
The reigning national champs are on deck with a closer look at the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Most exciting player: H-back Jalin Marshall
The Buckeyes can generate electricity at seemingly every position on the field, particularly on an offense that is stocked with an embarrassment of riches at both the skill positions and at quarterback.
But even on a team that could start any one of three options under center and not miss a beat and has a running back who is the popular preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, the versatility and variety Marshall provides to the attack gives him a slight edge in this category for Ohio State.
His ability to change a game and provide a jolt of energy in the blink of an eye was summed up perfectly with his four-touchdown explosion in the second half last fall against Indiana, bringing a listless performance by the Buckeyes to life with a dazzling 54-yard punt return for a score and then building on that with three touchdown grabs to turn a close matchup into a rout.
Marshall is dangerous as a receiver in the slot thanks to his speed, and by the end of his redshirt freshman season, he had developed into one of Ohio State’s most productive threats with 38 receptions for 499 yards and six touchdowns. The Buckeyes also aren’t afraid to shift him around the formation and use him as a rusher as well, and he added 154 more yards and a score on the ground. And in addition to putting his skills to good use on special teams, if for some reason the Buckeyes again find themselves low on quarterbacks next fall, Marshall was actually next in line behind Cardale Jones if it had come to that during the postseason run to the national title.
Marshall can do just about anything the Buckeyes need, which means it’s never safe to look away when he’s on the field.