More Buckeyes reunion as Bucs' Spence faces Cowboys' Elliott
This year's NFL rookie class has former Ohio State players making huge impacts all over the league, and Bucs defensive end Noah Spence has been reunited with many old Buckeyes teammates firsthand, next being Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, leading the NFL in rushing and helping Dallas to an 11-2 record.
"He runs hard -- he's an all-around back, a really good back," Spence said of Elliott, who has rushed for 1,392 yards and 12 touchdowns. "He's one of my boys, but our whole team was really tight. He's a good dude."
Counting Spence -- who finished his college career at Eastern Kentucky -- there were 13 draft picks from Ohio State, many of them making big splashes as rookies. Just within their current five-game win streak, the Bucs faced Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, Saints safety Vonn Bell and Seahawks tight end Nick Vannett. New Orleans receiver Michael Thomas, leading the Saints in catches, yards and touchdown receptions, missed the Bucs game with injury but could play when they meet again next week.
That group doesn't include Giants cornerback Eli Apple, Lions lineman Taylor Decker, Jets linebacker Darron Lee or Texans receiver Braxton Miller.
"It's crazy to realize we were all in the same locker room together," Spence said of the collective talent from Ohio State.
Spence has a familiarity with another Cowboys rookie in quarterback Dak Prescott -- the two played on the same squad at the Senior Bowl in January, with Prescott getting MVP honors and Spence getting a sack as well. He said Prescott's speed as a scrambler was what impressed him in practice, and in watching him this season.
"I feel like he's a lot quicker than people would think -- you have to play him like you would any other mobile quarterback like Russell (Wilson) or someone like that," he said.