All some people need is a chance to prove their worth and show their talents.
Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein knows what an unproven, yet talented team looks like, and he is confident the 2016 Buckeyes have what it takes to be successful, not only in the Big 10 Conference, but also, on a national level despite losing 14 players to the National Football League.
“I think we have athletes all over the field and our history on the line, just dominating people and smash-mouthing them,” Elflein said ahead of Saturday’s regular-season opener against Bowling Green at Ohio Stadium. “We have a lot of options to decide what our identity is going to be.
“I want it to be run it up the middle, smash-mouth style, but we have too many athletes all over the field to do that all of the time. We will see what Coach Meyer, Coach Warinner and Coach Beck want to do, and whatever that is, we will do it well.”
And Elflein has not only seen talent on his side of the football.
According to the veteran offensive lineman, his counterparts on the Buckeyes’ defensive front have dealt with the losses of All-American end Joey Bosa and consistent starter Adolphus Washington and proven themselves capable of making plays.
“The whole defensive line in general has gotten better from spring ball,” Elflein said. “Guys have continued to develop and guys that were inconsistent in the spring, now run to the ball every play, and their technique has gotten better. I'm expecting big things out of that defensive line. The twos are just as good as our ones. They have a lot of guys, so that's great for them to rotate guys in and keep guys fresh.”
The Buckeyes will put that offseason and training-camp work to the test for the first time this Saturday when they welcome the Bowling Green State Falcons to Columbus for the regular-season opener for both teams.
“You just have to expect everything,” Elflein said. “Every time we play a team, we always get there best shot, so I'm not expecting them to hold anything back and throw the fire at us.”