Senior sendoff: Looking for happy ending

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There is no shortage of fairy tales in the senior class.

A tight end made a transition to right tackle, struggled early and became one of the most important blockers on the team. A fullback moved over to defense in the middle of the season and became a starting linebacker after three days of practice.

A cornerback overcame an up-and-down career to lead the team in interceptions, much like a linebacker who took his time developing finally emerged as a marquee playmaker. A defensive end battled back from microfracture surgery and played almost the entire season. A two-time captain is playing at perhaps the highest level of his career and reaching rarified air in school history.

The Buckeyes have special stories all over the place, and of course, they've all added up to something pretty magical in the win column as well. Their collective tale won't exactly be cheapened if it doesn't end with a victory in the blood feud with Michigan on Saturday at Ohio Stadium, but the coach who has only been with them for one season would clearly prefer to help write a happy ending.

"What they’ve done, I know this is a very proud tradition here at Ohio State, but what they’ve done -- I want to do the best I can that they can find a way to win this game," Urban Meyer said. "And they could go down in the history books as one of the greatest senior classes of all time."

First things first, the Buckeyes have one more major hurdle ahead of them in the bid for a perfect season. But heading into the last game in the careers of those seniors, three of them have stood out this year as perhaps under-appreciated for what they've offered compared to some higher-profile veterans.

Nathan Williams

  • Position: Defensive end

  • Stats sheet: 39 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries, a pass broken up and a forced fumble