Ohio State lost a world-class talent when running back Ezekiel Elliott and his 3,961 career yards was drafted No. 4 by the Dallas Cowboys this past April.

Filling Elliott’s shoes would be nearly impossible for just about every football team in college football, but Curtis Samuel has helped make it a smooth transition.

With 755 total yards and six touchdowns through his first five games, Samuel has served as a key figure in the Buckeyes’ explosive offense, which has been nearly unstoppable so far this season having already scored 266 points (53.2 per game, 3rd in FBS) and ranking No. 3 nationally in rushing yards (323.6).

“I think Curtis is one-of-a-kind, honestly,” Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett told Eleven Warriors. “The versatility he has, at whatever position he chooses to play, is incredible. He has a big impact on our games.”

When he touches the ball, good things happen. Samuel currently sits at No. 5 among all non-quarterback players across the country with 8.2 yards per play. No player in college football history has ever had 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season, but the do-it-all Buckeye has a real at becoming the first.

Samuel is Ohio State’s leading receiver with 23 catches for 345 yards. He’s also second on the team in rushing, trailing only Mike Weber, with 410 yards on 50 carries. Is he a Heisman candidate? If not right now, he’s getting close.

Ohio State and its destructive backfield will take on No. 8 Wisconsin in Madison Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.


Tyler Waddell is a news desk writer for Saturday Tradition. For tips or questions, send him an e-mail at [email protected] and give him a follow on Twitter (@Tyler_Waddell).