Ohio State Buckeyes: Urban Meyer talks spring starters

Ohio State football fans wondering about the status of the starting lineup for the Buckeyes as spring football approaches the homestretch were in luck Tuesday.

Coach Urban Meyer ran down the whole thing, including new faces starting or in the mix for playing time at about a dozen positions.

On the offensive line, Springfield native Demetrius Knox is running with the ones while Matthew Burrell and Malcolm Pridgeon are also in the running.

At receiver, Meyer said Terry McLaurin, Binjimen Victor and K.J. Hill are having excellent springs while Austin Mack is “coming on” despite battling a hamstring injury.

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The coach called tight end the most-improved unit on the team even though returning starter Marcus Baugh is out while he recovers from an offseason surgery.

“A.J. Alexander is really coming on,” Meyer said. “Luke Farrell is a little bit ahead of Jake Hausman.”

On the other side of the ball, Meyer raved about defensive ends Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, Nick Bosa and Sam Hubbard. All of them played extensively last year and could be interchangeable parts again in 2017.

He highlighted Robert Landers, a sophomore from Wayne, and Dre’Mont Jones at defensive tackle while also mentioning Michael Hill and Tracy Sprinkle.

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Senior Chris Worley has adjusted well to a move to middle linebacker after starting on the outside last season while Jerome Baker is still entrenched at one outside spot and Dante Booker is manning the other in his return from an injury that kept him out most of last year.

The secondary has one returning starter in Damon Webb, a senior who had some ups and downs last year.

“Damon Webb much improved player,” Meyer said. “Weight is down. Doing very well. Other position tossup between Erick Smith and Jordan Fuller.”

At cornerback, veterans Denzel Ward and Damon Arnette are doing what they can to hold off four newcomers who have impressed many in the building — junior college transfer Kendall Sheffield and freshmen Jeffrey Okudah, Shaun Wade and Marcus Williamson.

Those players join a group of known quantities including quarterback J.T. Barrett, offensive linemen Jamarco Jones, Michael Jordan, Billy Price and Isaiah Prince and running back Mike Weber.

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