Offense: K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
All year K.J. Hill has had his eyes on a massive milestone. While making the Senior Showcase may not measure up to the esteem he reached tonight, he deserves it just as much as he deserves recognition for returning to school and setting the career mark for receptions as a Buckeye.
After pulling in seven receptions for 83 yards last night, Hill also has a catch in 48 straight games — an impressive number that serves as a testament to his competitiveness, consistency as a slot separator and durability as an athlete. He caught the final two touchdowns that Ohio State scored, which flipped the score from a four-point deficit to a 10-point lead the No. 1 Buckeyes would never relinquish.
Hill isn't the top receiving prospect on the Ohio State roster — he doesn't have the same leaping ability, massive catch radius, acrobatic catches. But he doesn't need to. Hill, a quarterback's best friend between the numbers, is Ol' Reliable, and that will be attractive to NFL teams come Draft Day. Kudos to a senior who went back to school and profited accordingly.
Defense: Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
Troy Dye has been playing with a club on his hand since mid-October and has had three passes defended, picked off a ball, forced a fumble, four tackles for a loss and a sack in that time. Dye went on to record eight tackles, one tackle for a loss, 1/2 sack and an interception in a huge upset over Utah in the Pac-12 Championship on Friday.
This senior class is a special one for Oregon. Justin Herbert is a potential Round-1 quarter, and really the whole offensive line is draftable. But Dye has led the team in tackles for four consecutive years — almost an impossible feat at the Power-5 level — and remained in the NFL draft conversation across those seasons of production.
Dye has accepted a 2020 Senior Bowl invitation and has a critical week ahead to prove he has the necessary coverage ability to survive as a sub-240 pound linebacker in the NFL. He has the length and quickness, and with a healthy hand, can likely make a play or two more on the football when dropping into zones. It is impossible to peg Dye as a riser — he has been so prominent for so long — but he ended a historic CFB career with a bang and hopefully, that performance will catapult him into early-round consideration.
Finally, for your edification: