CHICAGO — Ohio State has suspended All-America defensive end Joey Bosa, receiver Corey Smith and H-backs Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson for its opening game at Virginia Tech.
In a statement released about an hour before Big Ten media days began Thursday, the Buckeyes said the players violated department of athletics policy.
The defending national champions open the season Labor Day night in Blacksburg, Virginia, against the only team to beat them last season.
Bosa had 13.5 sacks as a sophomore and enters his junior year as one of the top NFL prospects in college football.
Marshall was second on the team in receptions as a freshman with 38 and was also the team’s best punt returner.
Wilson and Smith combined for 41 catches for 555 yards.
The Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 in the preseason coaches’ poll released Thursday and are likely to be top-ranked in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 when it is released on Aug. 23.
Ohio State brings back most of its key players from last year’s team, which bounced back from a September loss to the Hokies in Columbus to win the first College Football Playoff. Bosa might be the best of the Buckeyes. He had 21 tackles for loss last season, including a game-ending sack in overtime against Penn State.
Marshall was a versatile playmaker the Buckeyes lined up all over the field, including at quarterback at times. Wilson, a junior, plays a similar role for Ohio State. A foot injury against Michigan State in November cut his season short and kept him out of spring practice.
Smith, a senior, is in his second season with Ohio State after transferring from junior college.