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Buckeye Football Notebook: 'Oh my God, this is what I've been waiting for'
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — Urban Meyer has talked previously about knowing Clemson fairly well because they have recruited the same players over the years. Because of that, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney can obviously say the same thing.

Two such players that he knows about are junior defensive end Jalyn Holmes and junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who were both recruited by Clemson.

"I actually met Raekwon at Clemson," Holmes said recently. "It’s funny to me because at that time you never think about this. That was a great program but I’m glad I came here."

What did they talk about on that visit?

"Just talking about the things that were going on up here, people we knew, just talking about our experiences and comparing them," he said. "We talked about Ohio State and Urban Meyer -- what could we do if we were at Ohio State, what could we do at Clemson, just comparing the two."

Despite the visit, Holmes was never too high on Clemson for a number of reasons, and maybe one reason in particular.

"I had to go because my high school football team did a team camp there," Holmes said. "I was weighing my options but I was already heavily toward one side. It was extremely too hot (at Clemson) for me. It was just too hot. It was nasty hot."

The Buckeyes have faced some good quarterbacks this season, with Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield being the best. Against Clemson and Deshaun Watson, they will face a similar passer who also has the capability to escape pressure.

"He’s a Heisman trophy finalist for the last two years for a reason," defensive end Sam Hubbard said of Watson. "He’s mobile, I feel like he doesn’t run the ball on the zone reads as much as he could, but he’s a great pocket-passer, he throws the ball very accurately, very well. He’s a great player."

How is he different than Oklahoma's Mayfield, who was also a Heisman finalist?

"The thing about Mayfield is he was really good extending plays when he got out of the pocket, and this guy gets the ball out quicker," he explained. "We want to affect the throw by getting our hands up, getting in his face, so we’re more focusing on that than worrying about him scrambling and containing him because he is such an accurate thrower."

Before the 2016 season ever began, Urban Meyer told people that Curtis Samuel would be the team's No. 1 playmaker, and that has certainly been the case. He has rushed for 704 yards and caught 65 passes for 822 yards this season, scoring 15 touchdowns total. He has made key plays throughout the season, which he was also expected to do last year, but that never happened because of Braxton Miller's move to H-back.

Considering how much more involved he is compared to last season, is Samuel having more fun this year?

"Just because I am getting the ball more this year does not mean that it was not really fun for me last year," he said. "It was definitely fun for me last year. I really had not been the main target but I knew I was going to get my fair share of touches. I just had to take advantage of every opportunity that I got. This year is definitely fun just because the guys I am playing with, I love those guys, everyone on the team and especially my unit room, Zone 6. I love those guys and everything I do, I do for them. That is why I have so much fun out there."

Page 2 — The benefits of having two All-Americans on the offensive line; The dream of playing against Michigan; Breaking down Clemson RB Wayne Gallman.

Player profiles relevant to story:
6 - Hubbard, Sam | 11 - Holmes, Jalyn | 67 - Landers, Robert | 74 - Jones, Jamarco
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