Two B1G names mentioned as players who need to 'elevate' play by 247Sports
If you really wanted to, you could go through every roster in the B1G and highlight the names of players who need to improve their game in order to help make their team more successful.
But that’s going to take a lot of paper.
Instead of naming all of those players, 247Sports developed a list of 10 players who “must elevate” their level of play in 2018 from across college football. Only two names from the B1G were mentioned: Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson and Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah.
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Here’s what 247Sports had to say about Patterson:
Yeah, Patterson wasn’t on Michigan’s roster last year. But the Wolverines need him to go ahead and elevate anyway. From a pure talent perspective, Patterson’s as good as there is in the country. 247Sports’ top ranked passer in the 2016 class, Patterson is mobile and accurate with some of the nicest throwing mechanics you’ll find. He also, at least in the structure of Ole Miss’ offense, turned the ball over a lot. Patterson threw nine interceptions a year ago in seven games, including a trio of the against California and Arkansas. Those numbers need to come down, especially in the more rigid structure of a Jim Harbaugh offense.
The turnover comment is a fair criticism of Patterson, especially since he’s jumping to the B1G East, where he’ll face opportunistic defenses like Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State. Oh, and the Wolverines have Wisconsin and Notre Dame on the schedule, too.
Next, 247Sports talked about Okudah:
A rising sophomore and former five-star recruit, Okudah is everything you’d want in a defensive back. He’s long, fast and strong with great fluidity and ball skills. Okudah played OK in limited snaps a year ago. He drew only a 57.5 PFF College grade, but he also didn’t allow a touchdown. By the way, Okudah played the 2017 season with a labram injury that required surgery in the offseason. The Texas native comes with first-round draft pick potential at corner. Ohio State needs him to play at that level in 2018. Ward covered up for a lot of defensive mistakes. If Okudah can do the same, it’ll allow the Buckeye pass rush to be all the more effective.
The Buckeyes will see several teams capable of moving the football through the air. Games against TCU, Michigan State, Penn State, and even Purdue. Shutting down those air strike attacks is important for the Ohio State defense and Okudah.
At the end of the year, we’ll see whether Patterson or Okudah has elevated more, as the Buckeyes and Wolverines will square off in the season finale, quite possible with a division title on the line.