Day delighted at returning Buckeye starters

24 January 2021 22:39:34 GMTPlus10

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day says the number of returning starters for next season is "unbelievable", reckoning it shows the maturity of players who could have chased the money but want to be fully ready for the NFL.

Like every year, the Buckeyes will be losing some key members of the team that won the Big Ten Championship, beat Clemson to win the Allstate Sugar Bowl and reached the College Football Playoff final.

Quarterback Justin Fields, running back Trey Sermon and cornerback Shaun Wade are mong the big names to have declared themselves ready to enter the draft, but leading wideout Chris Olave's decision to stay for his junior year was a huge boost for Day.

Starting offensive tackle Thayer Munford and defensive tackle Haskell Garrett will also be back, both taking advantage of an extra year of eligibility given to all players by the NCAA.

Master Teague III, who began the 2020 season as the starter at running back, will return as a fourth-year junior and the battle to succeed Fields as QB will be keenly fought in summer training camp.

In C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller III, Ohio State have two of the top prep signal-callers in the country from their 2020 recruiting class and have also added their first five star QB recruit out of high school in Kyle McCord to compete with them.

"For those guys who decided to come back, what a great opportunity for them," Day said, via ESPN.

"I think that's what a lot of them understood was that it's one thing to go be able to play in the NFL, it's another thing to be ready when you get there.

"There's so many people that just want to run to the NFL and go start making money, and that's great. But at the end of the day, you have to perform and you have to produce."

The Buckeyes are 6/1 to win the NCAAF Championship with Clemson at 7/2 and Alabama 3/1 to retain their CFP crown.

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