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After awards snubs, J.K. Dobbins has extra fuel for national-title run

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Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins is still playing with a chip on his shoulder. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Question Of The Day

After awards snubs, J.K. Dobbins has extra fuel for national-title run

The speculation, debate and conversations about Ohio State never end, and Lettermen Row is always ready to dive into the discussions. All week long, senior writer Austin Ward will field topics about the Buckeyes submitted by readers and break down anything that’s on the minds of the Best Damn Fans in the Land. Have a question that needs to be tackled, like the one today about Ohio State and J.K. Dobbins? Send it in right here — and check back daily for the answers.

Sometimes there is an explanation that makes sense, sometimes the snub is just utterly confounding.

Either way, J.K. Dobbins will treat them exactly the same. And it’s a safe bet that he will show up for kickoff in the Fiesta Bowl with more motivational fuel than ever before after so far spending all of awards season coming up short.

When it comes to the Heisman Trophy finalists, it’s tough to consider that a true slight to the Ohio State running back for a couple of reasons. For starters, the top line on virtually every ballot was surely already locked up by LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, leaving only two more spots for voters to fill. And while there’s an argument that could be made about the pecking order among Buckeyes, both Chase Young and Justin Fields clearly had strong cases — and likely pushed Dobbins out of the mix.

But splitting the Ohio State vote probably wasn’t the biggest hurdle for Dobbins. The same thing that hurt the junior in the Big Ten running back of the year race surely came back to get him again as voters continue to favor Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor for reasons that remain hard to truly justify.

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Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins pays attention to any perceived slights. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Dobbins has had his revenge against Taylor in every head-to-head matchup, even rallying from behind to again top him in the Big Ten championship with 172 yards and an acrobatic touchdown, helping the Buckeyes win the league crown for the third straight time with him in the backfield. The team goals and living up to his guarantee of a national championship this season are the top priority for Dobbins, but it’s really been no secret that he’s been driven by a perceived lack of respect for his individual talents this season — and the last couple weeks are only going to stoke that fire.

“I’m not speaking for J.K., you have to ask him — but I know if it was me, I’d ask: What else do I need to do?” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “I think he deserves to be considered the best running back in the country. That hasn’t really necessarily been the case.

“I know that bothers him. I know he runs with a chip on his shoulder because of that. You have to ask him how he feels, but I know it bothers me. He still has more opportunities to prove himself here.”

J.K. Dobbins has already done that in one postseason game after finding out he didn’t win the top honors at tailback just in the Big Ten.

Now he’s getting overlooked for honors on the national stage, and it’s a lock that he’ll be looking to take it out on Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

Miss any previous editions of Question of the Day? Catch up right here.

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Buck68SpiderLawrence MartinMeatchicken SuxBrian yakata Recent comment authors
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Hopefully JK uses the disrespect breaks Eddie George’s season rushing yards record against Clemson.

Brian yakata
Brian yakata

From what i have seen of dobbins, he is used to doubters. The nfl knows who he is.

Meatchicken Sux
Meatchicken Sux

Ohio State is the most disrespected program in College Football. Just yesterday I read a sports article on Yahoo News, where a writer named Pete Thamel (Ohio State hater) chose his list for All Americans. Chase Young was not even mentioned in the list! But he will be going to NYC for the Heisman Award Show……WTF>


I do not know who the hell Pete Thamel is, but he can burn his credentials if he doesn’t know who Chase Young is. How in the hell do some of these slugs get their credentials, and who is paying them. Please tell me he is not with ESPN?

Lawrence Martin
Lawrence Martin

JK is a man possessed.
Keep telling him he’s not the best.
Fuel the fire.
Get’em JK.


We know who JK Dobbins is and it might be understandable that the rest of the college football world doesn’t know who he is. He is in the same boat Ezekiel Elliott was in in 2015 CFP. And I have a feeling this will happen this year. Go to tear them up JK.


Lawrence… perhaps JK is the only man NOT ‘possessed’?! The rest of us keep ‘falling’ for all the usual trinkets and sayings on the wide road of beastly pride. Is JK the only one STILL converting our self-centered obsessions into… visceral effort on the field, at our next opponent, for what all committed to this year…while the race is not yet finished?

And our OL and others may yet be in that same crossroads… we’ll soon see who keeps their word, their dedication to their brothers until the 2019 0:00 season FINISH! For who can ‘keep their word’ to two seasons… BEFORE the first season is finished?

White, now Hafley… have separated themselves by their choice – can either now help a ‘brother’ or lift him up by example? “Narrow is the road that leads… and few find it.” “No man can worship God… AND mammon.”

…and i can and do ‘rue the day’ i tried with ‘forked tongue’… yet i will fall again, and my ego cannot ‘do over’ a single tiny fall of…my so many.


Well JK will just have to comeback for one more year. /s Go Bucks!!


Another Day, another avalanche of fanatic “Amazing…but not surprising”!

[puts his mirror square in front of him, and ‘repeats’…] “You’ll have to ask him, but i know…” LOL

===>IF we follow Coach Day’s standards, then…
collectively, no Buckeye fans “disrespect, snub, etc”… more than we do… ‘we’re #1′!

And no Buckeye “again proves” before the facts [not feelings] of proof are accomplished….

Soon…our dross will be burned to a crisp ON the field, in the exercise of the players’ brotherhood and coaches’ directions, in the midst of all the temptations and “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”… as the tsunamis of our verbal hyperbolic drivel… become “vaporized” by reality.

…for, each time the ball is snapped… reality sets in for 4-6 seconds. ;-{)}



Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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