Starter: Kyle McCord OR Devin Brown
Backups: Tristan Gebbia, Lincoln Kienholz
Yes, yes, you’ve probably heard this before. OSU will be sporting a new quarterback, and it’s anyone’s guess who it will be or what this means for the team. The presumed leader is McCord, a former five star recruit and high school teammate of Marvin Harrison, though some say don’t sleep on second year man Devin Brown. You can actually bet on who think the starter will be, and McCord is the big leader among the betting crowd. Could Ryan Day make himself a big chunk of money by starting Brown? (Hey Ryan Day when you read this, and I know you read OTE religiously, I can make that bet for you. You know, for a small percentage. Anonymity guaranteed. No one will question why I am betting 400 grand - I make an OTE salary, after all).
Starter: TreVeyon Henderson OR Miyan Williams
Backups: Dallan Hayden, Chip Trayanum, Evan Pryor
I’m mildly surprised all five of these guys chose to return for the Buckeyes. Last season, everyone was hurt and Dallan Hayden was a true freshman. With all five of these guys having the potential to be a Dude somewhere else, I was for sure someone would hit the ever present portal, especially after spring ball. But here we are, with the Pair and a Spare and another Pair.
Henderson is being talked about as the guy, though I’m skeptical. He was working through injury last season, but injuries shouldn’t cause backs to miss wide open holes. OSU was rough last season in short yardage situations, finishing 117th in Power Success Rate (for you non-nerds, that is the percentage of 3rd and 4th down plays that need 2 or fewer yards to get a first down or touchdown that result in an actual first down or touchdown). The line was often blamed, but the backs had their part too.
Other than that, good. Miyan Williams was a beast when healthy, going for almost 6.5 a carry. Dallan Hayden finished 17th in the conference in rushing despite no one remembering him playing outside of one game. Henderson was playing on broken feet and was still at least effective. Trayanum moved over from linebacker midseason to play in one game against Michigan and ran for 83 yards.
The money here is that Miyan Williams is the guy. Henderson is a special athlete, but I think he’ll have a short leash this year if he skips holes and doesn’t make the yards that are there. OSU has other options this season and will be quicker to put in someone else. No more setting downs on fire.
Starters: Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming
Backups: Xavier Johnson, Jayden Ballard, Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss, Noah Rogers, , Kyion Grayes, Kojo Antwi
No mystery here. The receiver room has been great for years and this edition may be the best yet. Big Marv may be the best receiver in the history of the program and is almost certainly a top five draft pick next year. Egbuka went for over 1100 receiving yards last season, which was good for third in the Big Ten. Julian Fleming was a higher ranked recruit than either of them and is still trying to make a splash. Carnell Tate and Jayden Ballard are getting the most spring hype to be another Dude. The receivers are good.
Starters: Josh Fryar, Donovan Jackson, Carson Hinzman, Matthew Jones, Tegra Tshabola
Depth: Many and more
This is the other area of concern for the Buckeyes on offense, and it’s a big one. They expectedly lost both tackles in Paris Johnson and Dawand Jones, then unexpectedly lost center Luke Wypler as well. That leaves only two returning starters in guards Jackson and Jones, both of whom got some blame last season for the Buckeyes’ rough short yardage run game.
Besides them, everyone should be listed in pencil. Fryar seems like the best bet at left tackle, though Hinzman could be replaced by Jakob James. Right tackle is a big mystery with three or four guys listed as possible starters. They have bodies, but whether they are capable bodies is anyone’s guess. It says here that the biggest issue will be pass blocking, and OSU will be more devoted to rushing the ball with a new quarterback and questions on the line. Hopefully Ryan Day has gotten this far in the article.
Starter: Parker Lewis
Depth: Jayden Fielding, Casey Magyar
You don’t have Noah Ruggles to kick around anymore. Parker Lewis is a transfer from USC - your guess is as good as mine if he is the guy or someone else will get some run. Ryan Day has met with Jim Tressel this offseason, so it is possible we see a rebirth of special teams and starts kicking field goals at every opportunity. Long live the Nuge.