Miamisburg’s Josh Myers among 7 Ohio State football captains

Josh Myers: Seven things to know
Josh Myers: Seven things to know

Center is entering his fourth year in Columbus

Josh Myers of Miamisburg is one of seven captains for the 2020 Ohio State football team.

He is joined by fellow junior offensive lineman Wyatt Davis, senior defensive lineman Jonathon Cooper, senior linebackers Justin Hilliard and Tuf Borland, junior defensive back Shaun Wade and junior quarterback Justin Fields.

“I think this group is really impressive in many areas,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said in a conference call. “When you look at their accomplishments in their young career as a group, it’s already really long and like I said very impressive.”

ExploreOhio leaders offer updates on status of contact sports in the state

Myers, Ohio State’s starting center last season, is the first Buckeye captain from the Miami Valley since Springfield native Braxton Miller (Wayne High School) in 2015.

Myers was a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2019 and helped pave the way for a J.K. Dobbins to become the first Buckeye to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season.

Like Myers, Davis was a first-year starter who impressed on the offensive line last season. The California native was a first-team All-Big Ten pick and made multiple All-America first teams after a dominant season at guard.

“You have to be a leader to play center,” Davis said of Myers. “Josh was a great leader for us this past season, and he was just making the game so much easier to play, but now with this role of being captain, it definitely holds us to a higher expectation.

“Even though last year we weren’t captains, we were always trying to lead the other guys and build them up and now that role I feel like we have expanded our leadership, larger than just the offensive line and really to the whole team. Being a captain at Ohio State is really such a great responsibility and now the expectation of always doing things right is at an all time high.”

Myers echoed that sentiment.

“Wyatt actually took word for word what I was gonna say,” Myers added. “Our leadership needs to expand to more than just the offensive line, which I think we’ve both been doing since the latter half of last season and into winter and spring and then the quarantine.”

Borland is one of two returning captains from last year and is only the second three-time captain in Ohio State history, joining quarterback J.T. Barrett (2015-17). Borland was All-Big Ten honorable mention the last two seasons, and the Illinois native enters his final college campaign with 180 tackles, including 15.5 for loss.

The other returning captain is Cooper, another fifth-year defensive player. The Gahanna, Ohio, native unexpectedly took a medical redshirt last season after being slowed by a preseason injury and enters 2020 with 52 total tackles, including 11.5 for loss.

Hilliard returns for a sixth season at Ohio State after the five-star recruit from Cincinnati’s first couple of years in Columbus were marred by injuries. He is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and has 51 tackles in his career.

Wade, another five-star recruit coming out of high school in Florida, considered entering the NFL Draft but opted to return for a fourth year at Ohio State. He had a breakout season as a Swiss Army knife for the defense in 2019 and is expected to get more work at outside cornerback this fall after logging 26 tackles (four for loss) and an interception last season.

The youngest captain is Fields, who was an immediate hit last season after transferring from Georgia. He was named Big Ten Quarterback and Offensive Player of the Year while appearing on five All-America second teams. The Heisman Trophy finalist threw for 3,273 yards and accounted for 51 touchdowns, including 10 on the ground. His touchdown-to-interception ratio (41-3) led the nation while his passer efficiency rating (181.43) was third.

Ohio State is scheduled to begin preseason practice Friday.

The seasonopener was originally scheduled to be against Bowling Green on Sept. 5, but that was wiped out when the Big Ten decided to play only conference games this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new schedule has not been announced yet, but it is expected to include additional Big Ten games on top of the nine that were originally scheduled.