Both Denzel Burke and Emeka Egbuka say they are playing in the bowl game — undecided about pro futures. @nbc4i
— Whitney Harding (@WhitneyNBC4) December 12, 2023
While the two NFL-caliber players will be joining their team for the Cotton Bowl, it is unclear whether they will be a part of the 2024 Ohio State Buckeyes. Other Buckeyes that have committed to playing to joining Egbuka and Burke in the Cotton Bowl are defensive back Jordan Hancock, defensive tackle Tyleik Williams , defensive end Jack Sawyer and left guard Donovan Jackson.
In an article from the Columbus Dispatch, Burke outlined his reasoning for playing with his fellow Ohio State Buckeyes in the bowl game despite its potential to impact his future as a football player.
“It’s really important for us,” Burke said. “We want to finish this season and have something to show for it. Our job is to go out, have fun, compete and win the game.”
The return of Egbuka and Burke for the Cotton Bowl helps the Ohio State Buckeyes a lot, but there are still many key players that have not spoken on their potential participation. Future early first-round draft pick and Heisman finalist Marvin Harrison Jr. was cryptic about his future last week.
Fellow juniors Running back TreVeyon Henderson and defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau have yet to make a decision about their future. While nothing has been confirmed and there are conflicting reports, there have been rumblings of Henderson’s return.
Ohio State running back, TreVeyon Henderson is likely to come back to Ohio State.
— The Big Ten Huddle 🎙️ (@TheBigTenHuddle) December 6, 2023
Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson is expected to return to the Buckeyes next season, reports say.
Henderson has averaged 6.3 yards per carry and scored 37 touchdowns during his career.
HUGE boost for the Buckeyes! pic.twitter.com/5UHirP7y9c
— The Silver Bulletin (@tSilverBulletin) December 6, 2023
Emeka Egbuka Played a Crucial Role in a Stacked Ohio State Buckeye Receiver Room
While sharing an Ohio State Buckeyes’ receiver room with a Heisman finalist and multiple five-star recruits, Egbuka has still found a way to contribute. The former five-star recruit only played in nine games this season, yet he still accrued 452 yards receiving on 35 receptions.
Egbuka put up significantly better numbers in the 2022 season as he played in every single game, and had second-overall pick C.J. Stroud throwing him the ball. Coming into the 2023 season, Pro Football Focus had Egbuka and Harrison jr. as the top two receivers in the nation.
A mainstay on special teams with nearly 600 kick return yards his freshman year, Egbuka did not play a significant role on an Ohio State Buckeye offense with Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. With just two years as a main offensive contributor, one of which was shortened by injuries, the Washington native amassed 1,794 yards and 14 touchdowns on 118 receptions
Ohio State Buckeyes’ Cornerback Denzel Burke is a Leader on One of the Best Defenses in the Nation
Burke played in 10 games this season, and is widely regarded as the best lockdown corner on the Ohio State Buckeyes. There is an argument to be made that Burke is one of the best lockdown corners in college football.
Mock drafts, such as this one from Bleacher Report, have Burke going as high as 12th overall. Other mock drafts consider Burke a late first-round pick with cornerbacks like Alabama’s Kool-Aid Mckinstry and Iowa’s Cooper DeJean coming off the board before him.
Burke only had 19 tackles on the season, largely due to the fact that opposing quarterback would not often throw his way. He had one interception on the year, and a team-leading eight pass deflections in a season where the Ohio State Buckeyes finished third in the nation in total defense.
Burke led a secondary that allowed the fewest pass yard per game of any other team in the nation. The Buckeyes only allowed 147.4 passing yards per game as well as just eight touchdowns. Burke, Egbuka and the Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the ninth-ranked Missouri Tigers in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29.
Get More Ohio State Buckeyes and College Football Content
Mayfield Sports Marketing
Call Mayfield Sports Marketing at 262-366-8188 to schedule Green Bay Packers players or alumni for your corporate appearance or product promotion. Our booking agents will work on your behalf to get you the best price for your desired sports speaker. Mayfield Sports Marketing has earned a reputation of being the one to call for booking top athletes to speak at events and trade shows. To learn more about Packers players or alumni appearance costs and booking fees, please call us today. www.MayfieldSports.com.