With another round of spring football in the books, it is time to take a look at the Ohio State football depth chart.
Nothing is official, but views of practices, comments from coaches and players as well as the spring game give us an idea of how coaches see the roster at this time.
Of course, things can change during the summer and likely will change during preseason, but here is an idea of where things stand at this point in the year:
Starter: Justin Fields
Backups: Chris Chugunov, Danny Vanatsky
Although Fields took the first snaps with the first team in the spring game, head coach Ryan Day did not want to name a winner of the quarterback derby between him and Matthew Baldwin.
Baldwin opting to transfer made that decision for him and leaves Ohio State uncomfortably thin at the most important position in the game.
Starter: J.K. Dobbins
Contenders (to back him up): Master Teague, Marcus Crowley, Demario McCall
While Dobbins is looking forward to being the unquestioned No. 1 back and hoping to return to his 1,400-yard freshman form as a junior, his backup figures to see plenty of time.
And who will that be? It is too early to tell as Teague has little experience, Crowley has none and McCall missed most of spring with a calf injury.
This is a battle that figures to go on in August with McCall likely to end up in a hybrid role as a receiving specialist.
Starters: Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor
Next in: Chris Olave, Jaylen Harris, Garrett Wilson, Ellijah Gardiner, Garyn Praeter
Starter: K.J. Hill
Next in: C.J. Saunders, Jaelen Gill
Mack, Victor and Hill give coach Brian Hartline three seniors with lots of playing experience to rely on. That trio brings back as much or more production as any receiving group in Ohio State history — including years the Buckeyes returned multiple starters.
But how will the rotation shake out behind them?
Six players generally get regular playing time here, but there is room for more.
Olave also has some game experience to fall back on, but Harris has seemed to be on the verge of breaking out for two years now.
Wilson and Gill are big-time wild cards here as they are the youngest members of the group but also perhaps the most explosive.
Starter: Luke Farrell
Next in: Rashod Berry, Jeremy Ruckert, Jake Hausmann
With a fifth-year senior (Berry), two fourth-year juniors (Farrell and Hausmann) and a sophomore (Ruckert), this is one of the most-experienced groups on the roster.
They could unlock some new ways for the coaching staff to scheme this fall.
Starters (L-R): Thayer Munford, Branden Bowen, Josh Myers, Wyatt Davis, TBD
Contenders for fifth spot: Josh Alabi, Nicholas Petit-Frere, Gavin Cupp, Jonah Jackson
Munford is the only returning starter, but he missed spring practice while recovering from an offseason surgery.
In his absence, Alabi, Bowen and Petit-Frere battled it out at tackle, and all three appeared to do good things in general.
Bowen’s versatility figures to pay off when Jackson arrives this summer as a senior grad transfer from Rutgers. While Jackson is strictly an inside player, Bowen can play guard or tackle, so he figures to slide back to tackle if he and Jackson both prove to be among the five best in the view of coach Greg Studrawa.
Starters (L-R): Chase Young, Robert Landers, Jashon Cornell, Jonathon Cooper
Second wave (L-R): Tyreke Smith, Davon Hamilton, Taron Vincent, Tyler Friday
Third wave (L-R): Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Tommy Togiai, Haskell Garrett, Alex Williams
Also in the mix: Zach Harrison, Antwuan Jackson, Jerron Cage, Noah Potter, Zaid Hamdan
Landers missed almost all of the spring to rest multiple nagging injuries, but coach Larry Johnson was happy with the performance of Hamilton, Vincent, Toga and Jackson at nose tackle.
Cornell slid inside to the other tackle spot, where the senior appears to be ahead of a slew of talented underclassmen.
Young and Cooper are returning starters while Smith, Jean-Baptiste, Friday and Williams are all talented members of the class of 2018 looking to carve out a niche this fall.
Harrison is an early enrollee who showed enough in the spring to think he could jump over all of the second-year players, but that will be easier said than done.
Starters: Tuf Borland and Malik Harrison (inside), Pete Werner (Outside/“SAM”)
Contenders: Barron Browning, Teradja Mitchell, Dallas Gant, Ben Schmiesing (inside), K’Vaughn Pope (Outside/“SAM”)
Borland, Harrison and Werner were the starters last season while Browning logged a significant number of snaps.
With Borland and Browning missing time with injuries, youngsters Mitchell, Gant, Pope and Schmiesing (a walk-on from Piqua) got to show what they can do, and new coach Al Washington had praise for all of them.
This could be a fluid situation in August.
Starter: Brendon White
Backup: Jahsen Wint
This is a hybrid position that is new to the Ohio State defense in 2019.
White and Wint are both safeties who made starts last season and bring a combination of coverage skills and physicality to make the staff think they can handle a spot that is part safety, part linebacker and part pass rusher.
Starters: Damon Arnette, Jeffrey Okuda
Next up: Shaun Wade, Sevyn Banks, Marcus Williamson, Tyreke Johnson
Arnette and Okuda were part of a three-man rotation last season, and they could benefit from new techniques brought by secondary coach Jeff Hafley. Wade was the fourth cornerback and played extensively in the team’s nickel package a year ago, but he will also see time at safety.
Ohio State likely could use at least one of the youngsters stepping up in the fall to feel good about depth here.
Starters: Brendon White, Jordan Fuller
Next up: Shaun Wade, Amir Riep, Isaiah Pryor, Josh Proctor
Fuller missed the spring after an unidentified surgery, but he is a two-year starter and returning captain. White finished last season as a starter and appears ticketed to playing multiple positions this fall. Wade, too, is expected to have different roles based on which package is in the game.
Pryor struggled as a first-year starter last season but looked much more confident in the spring and still brings a lot of natural ability.
Riep, a highly regarded prospect coming out of Cincinnati Colerain three years ago, has primarily been a special-teamer so far in Columbus, but he had a strong spring game and might thrive in a new role for the team’s strong safeties.
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