The season is finally getting closer. The release of preseason watch lists for the major college football awards confirms it, and with a full week of candidates already announced and more to come, BuckeyeNation will break them all down to see which Ohio State representatives have a shot at bringing home some hardware.
WHAT: Nation's top linebacker
ON THE LIST: Etienne Sabino
CREDENTIALS: The fifth-year senior brings plenty of experience into his final season with the program, and Ohio State is certainly expecting that to pay off with big-time production. Sabino was solid a year ago, finishing with 62 tackles with a pair of sacks among his seven takedowns for a loss -- but there's still room for more.
HEAD TO HEAD: Showcase opportunities against other preseason candidates -- Denicos Allen (Michigan State), Chris Borland (Wisconsin), Jonathan Brown (Illinois), Max Bullough (Michigan State), Gerald Hodges (Penn State), Michael Mauti (Penn State)
ODDS: Sabino's name doesn't have nearly as much national recognition as others on the preseason list at this point, which can make for an uphill climb with the voters. But if he is able to boost those numbers from a year ago, people are bound to take notice at some point.