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Do you believe a True Freshman will start the majority of the 2014 season?

otrain2416's picture
February 8, 2014 at 4:20pm
41 Comments

Obviously this is a little early to be looking at this, but I've seen a lot of posts and even an article of two from the staff on this topic and was curious for everyones opinion on the issue. Me personally, unless a serious injury occurs I don't see it happening. I see guys getting in the two deep or rotation but not starting. I can site last year as an example. Aside from Bosa, because he's a once every 25+ years kinda guy everyone thought Wilson would be starting over Brown, Mitchell would be starting over Grant, Johnson would find his way at LB, one of our top rated corner recruits would start, and one of our top rated WR would start the majority of the year. This stuff never happened and it took the majority of guys a year to get used to the speed and physicality of the college game. Starting with the obvious positions you can rule out off the bat IMO are:

  • QB- Braxton
  • DL- returning everyone
  • TE-not bringing one in 
  • WR -we're returning a lot of upper classman here and getting in the rotation as a freshman would be an accomplishment in itself.

Now looking at the less obvious positions I see our:

  • S as Bell & Powell ( Erik Smith battling for two deep)
  • CB as Grant & Reeves, Conley, or Apple (Webb or Lattimore possibly in two deep) 
  • STAR- I see Burrows locking this down
  • SAM- returning Perry who's been starting for 2 years Mitchell will back him up
  • MLB- Grant, I love McMillan and think he'll be a 3 year starter but not starting his freshman year and jumping a senior
  • WILL- I see Trey Johnson locking this up got good PT as a true freshman behind Shazier. 
  • OL- this is the trickiest position to be confident at IMO. I see initially
    • LT- Decker LG-Elflein C- Boren RG- Price/Underwood RT- Baldwin
    • I see Meech and J. Jones as guys that could potentially start but they would have to beat out some good players. Meech would have to beat out Boren at C or Price/Underwood at G. J. Jones would have to beat out Baldwin, Dodson, and Lisle for RT. I don't think this will happen but if I had to pick a position a freshman would start OL would be it. 

Anyways this is my opinion on how stuff plays out unless and injury occurs. Lets here from you guys. 

 

Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

Kwon,Meech,J.Jones,C.Samuel,J.Dixon,D.Webb,E.Smith,D.Booker all have a shot I think. Some more of a shot then others and the only guy I would feel confident in betting on is Kwon.Add in this years talent with the redshirted guys from last year and we have a huge collection of talent with 4 years of eligibility left.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

+1 HS
MikeEagleBuckeye's picture

I think Kwon could give Grant a run for his money, but I think Grant will me the starter for the majority of the season.  Webb and Lattimore could push their way into the two deep potentially, but I don't think they start.  Booker could potentially land in the two deep behind Johnson at WILL, but that might be a longshot.  As for the O-Line, I don't think Meech or JJ have a shot at starting.  To come in at the two-deep as a true freshman, which I think they will do, is rare enough becasue of physical maturity, let alone to come in and start.

+4 HS
otrain2416's picture

I think Grant will get a run for his money too but Kwon will not start over him. I think Kwon will help Grant reach his ceiling which we need. In the long run Kwon has a much higher ceiling than Grant, but I think at this point in time having a few years to understand the defense and get used to the speed and physicality Grant has the edge. 

+1 HS
teddyballgame's picture

Just being an upperclassman isn't enough anymore.  Those WR's flat out disappeared towards the end of the season.  Not sure if it was Brax and Herman being hesistant to throw or what, but we need consistent production from that position now.

+4 HS
otrain2416's picture

Yea I didn't like how the WR disappeared towards the end of the season. Much of that was more Brax being absolutely terrible throwing the ball after October and Herman not even wanting to deal with the passing game when Hyde was averaging 7.5 yards/carry. I honestly don't see any freshman starting at WR:

  • WR-X  D. Smith -our best deep threat at this point, M. Thomas right behind him I hope he has a break out year and splits 50/50 w/ Smith
  • WR-Y- Spencer- our best blocking WR which Zach Smith requires to be on the field, Corey Smith- came on during bowl practice and looked good, Also Jeff Greene who will play X too- I have a feeling he's gonna get a lot of PT
  • H-B- Dontre Wilson- played a ton last year one of the fastest on the team, James Clark here in the slot who originally wasn't going to RS until injury. Also Jalin Marshall in the slot who could probably play Y too

Like I said up top with this amount of talent I think starting is out of the question for any of these incoming WR, just getting in the rotation is a huge accomplishment. I hope Smith does a lot more rotating this year at WR and we see 7+ guys rotating in these 3 spots. 

+4 HS
rightfield's picture

Barring injury to players ahead of them on the depth chart, I think Kwon has the only outside shot to out right win a starting position for game one. There are two UFM classes ahead of this one to beat out.  That's a lot of talent (now with experience) to beat out.
 

Its good to be the king

+1 HS
buckeye4life050233's picture

Chris Worley, Jayme Thompson, Jalin Marshall, and Gareon Conley are all going to push for some PT as RS-freshman

ITWASME's picture

Kwon at linebacker and Samuel returning kicks

+6 HS
Chise47's picture

Samuels returning kicks, this I can see. Still going to be very hard for him to jump D.Wilson.

Scarlet_Buckeye's picture

+1 to this! >> Kwon at linebacker and Samuel returning kicks

Crimson's picture

Outside of special teams (freshman kicker very likely), if any freshman is going to start the majority of the year, it's most likely to be at LB.  I think at every other position, we have enough depth that a freshman could not start early.  However, I think Raekwon, Meechy, and others could easily be in the mix as rotation players or starters by the end of the year.

+2 HS
kmp10's picture

It's rare, very rare, that any true freshman starts in major college football. Last years class was ranked higher across all recruiting services than was the class of '14, and only one of those kids (Bosa) started and excelled. Dontre Wilson contributed, but certainly didn't blow anyone away with his season… nor should we have expected him to. Every year there are expectations for these recruits that are unrealistic IMO. McMillan, as good as he is purported to be, was not as highly rated as Curtis Grant coming out of high school. Grant was the number two player in the country, regardless of position, when he was being recruited (per Rivals). That's not to say McMillan can't win the job… but I'd be surprised (pleasantly so) if he does. It's tough for the freshmen. See Mitchell, Apple, Marshall, Bell, et al as examples. Vonn Bell, as good a player as I believe he'll be, was unable to beat out any of the upper class men last season… and that was on a defense that was as bad on the back end as any I've ever seen at Ohio State. If ever Vonn Bell was going to come in and start at some point during his first year, last season would have been it. That's just how hard it is to play (start) as a freshman. 

+3 HS
chirobuck's picture

I actually disagree, while it is very hard for a freshman to come in and start it happens almost every year where at least one comes in and either starts or gets starter like minutes, last year it was Bosa and Wilson, before that Spence and Washington, before them Devin Smith and Shazier, before them Zack Boren, John Simon......the list goes on and on, you can never count on an individual kid to come in, point to him and say you need to be ready as soon as you step on campus.....however you can count on an entire class to produce one or two kids that either start or play starter like minutes, it happens almost every year, so really its not rare at all

 
^ best post ever ^

Hovenaut's picture

I love the fact I can't honestly answer this question - the depth, the talent...Buckeye problems. 

If some of the freshmen don't start, I think you easily see a handful in the two-deep - o-line, linebackers, secondary especially. 

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

+3 HS
m5987usus's picture

I think curtis samuel will see a lot of playing time, that kind of talent every team needs and speed, also Sean will start at kick I think also

O-H!

+1 HS
otrain2416's picture

An interesting thing I read about Samuel is he will be working with Drayton and the RBs to begin with. Wilson will be with the WR this season. I figured Samuel would see more time at the HB with Wilson. 

+2 HS
m5987usus's picture

yea i read that also, it is gonna be interesting to see how urban meyer deals with both wilson and samuel this season, because i think they will be used in the same kinds of ways.  I think this season you could see wilson with A LOT more touches and samuel with wilson like touches of last season, but it will be interesting when they are both not freshman and both add weight how urban uses BOTH of them at the same time, but hey i guess that is why he gets paid the big $$$ right?? hahaha

O-H!

+1 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

Outside of the O-line guys, I think Webb, and McMillan have a real shot. Grant has injury problems, and still didn't look outstanding out there last year.

Nick's picture

Only guarantee is the kicker.

+3 HS
bull1214's picture

early in the season its more about getting reps rather than starts. by midseason, they separate themselves. kwon,webb and smith on defense will be getting the reps. Samuel,knox and j. jones on offense. end of season will have kwon and Samuel as starters.

TheBigCat's picture

I think Mike Mitchell will start over Perry from day 1 this season, and am a bit surprised to see so many folks who think he will start this year.  Perry looked slow to me last year, and seemed to really struggle in space.  M. Mitchell is an athletic stud, and RS'ing last year should have given him ample opportunity to learn the system and playbook.  I think that was really the only thing holding him back, and think he would have started late last year, but the staff did not want to burn the RS for a handful of games.

I was a bit disappointed last year with the amount of incoming freshman who did not see the field.  Meyer preaches that he only brings in guys who can play, and I was really surprised that we did not see guys like V. Bell and Conley get the nod sooner. 

I could also see Kwon getting the nod early, if not for anything else than to just motivate Grant to step his game up.  I also expect to see Curtis Samuel get a lot of playing time, in a similar role to Dontre last year, and expect to see him with an opportunity to return punts and kick-offs.

This is really only Meyers second FULL recruiting class, and the two-deep is going to be scary this year.  I think the speed he has recruited the last few years will be evident this year, and we will finally start to resemble some of the teams Meyer had at Gainesville, that just oozed speed at all the skill positions.  If Brax is able to complete bubble screens and 5-10 yard slants on a consistent basis, this team is going to be scary good.

+1 HS
gm3jones's picture

There goes Mike Mitchell starting (who I thought would to).. He wants to be in Texas

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

bedheadjc's picture

Kwon is so much better than Grant in almost every aspect. Two things stood out to me about Grant this year. He reads and reacts wayyyyy too slowly to be effective (tackles end up being three yards up-field instead of hole stops, and he's lost in coverage. I think Kwan is at least twice as good at the reading and reacting and sells out to attack the play consistently. He just goes. And his drops and coverage have to at least be as good as Grant's (and are probably much better).

The only way I see Kwan NOT starting next year is if for some reason he turns out to be all hype (no chance), or has trouble adjusting to "CFB speed".

I just can't see Grant holding him off.

Bonus: Who was the last OSU 'Backer to consistently stop people at the line of scrimmage on inside runs? Shazier half of the time, maybe little Brian Rolle, Hawk? JL was better on outside stops than inside...

buckeye4life050233's picture
+1 HS
buckeyestu's picture

McMillan and Jones

Brandon26841's picture

Good post and I've been saying the same thing for months... I'd be really surprised if that many kids from the '14 class see much playing time at all. There's just way too much depth in front of them in most cases. 

+2 HS
Statutoryglory's picture

Raekwon.  I don't think he beats out Grant outright but takes over the first quarter of the season after taking over due to injuries to Curtis.

BuckeyeRealist13's picture

I don't think a true freshman starts the majority of the season, maybe a game here or there based on injury or trying to provide a wake up call to an upper classmen. If there were a chance for a TR FR to play IMO it would be the right side of the line, either Knox at RG or Jones at RT. 

I've spent time in the South, I don't care what anybody says they don't have the passion for football that us Ohioans have. 

+1 HS
HotSauceCommittee's picture

With the news about Mitchell's family and his subsequent transfer we could be seeing some of Booker earlier than expected. 

otrain2416's picture

Mitchell was more of a SAM IMO so I would have to say Hubbard will battle Williams in the two deep for that spot behind Perry. I always thought Booker would come in at Will with Berger cuz he's fast (4.51 laser time 40) and light (215lbs), but then again that's the coaching staffs decision not mine. 

gm3jones's picture

I was going to say Mitchell was going to start (even though he is not a true freshman) but he is gone now so i guess Kwon or Trey will probably play.

There is nothing more remarkable as learning to think better.

Mortc15's picture

I think McMillan will start at some point. Maybe not the opener but eventually. The UA game he played outside backer because of depth problems instead of his usual inside and still played very well and fast, IMO. If he can cover the entire field from the inside position and play well in coverage, that's an advantage over Grant. Usually, high schools game don't matter because of the speed of the game, but in the UA game he was going against the best of the best and all those guys will be playing on Saturdays soon too. Add in the fact he's already mature beyond a freshman and I think he has everything needed and wanted to be THE guy in the middle.

Buck-I4Life

chirobuck's picture

I think you have to look at the LBers in this convo....I'm sticking with my original prediction that Perry Takes over the Mike, and you have three guys who could move into 2 spots, Hubbard, Kwon and Booker I think Berger is going to need time to recover and put on some weight, SAM is totally up for grabs and I think a freshman will take it, also Johnson played a couple of plays last year and that hardly means hes "locked up the position" if a freshman is better when they come in than they will be there, also Webb will push everyone and I expect to see him next year as well 

 
^ best post ever ^

Silver Bullet 10's picture

Hubbard over Perry. Dixon and Michael Thomas each take a spot at WR. Dame Webb takes Reeves' spot at corner. Meech steals a spot on the OL. Raekwon shares playing time with Grant. Curtis Samuel rotates with Dontre. James Clark fields punts and kickoffs. Darius Slade is the first freshman DL to see the field. Booker plays a role similar to 2013 Jamal Marcus. Lattimore and E play some on special teams and second team.

WesPatterson23's picture

Wow, I like it, very bold!

chirobuck's picture

You forgot Collier beating out miller

 
^ best post ever ^

M Man's picture

I'm goin' with Jabrill Peppers to start by week 4.

+1 HS
Buckeyevstheworld's picture

At QB? XD

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

+3 HS
chirobuck's picture

I also am not sure about Samuel other than returning kicks....people keep saying he could be used like Wilson was last year.....well.....where do you think Wilson will be.....hes not moving to an outside receiver that's for sure, I expect him to get a little stronger and take a nice step forward with a big year

 
^ best post ever ^

WesPatterson23's picture

I could definitely see Curtis Samuel being in that role this season, although slightly different. I think Curtis is coming in stronger than Dontre did, so he could come with the ability to run up the middle and be a little better at blocking (Not to mention he's enrolled early). Then, of course Dontre will have a bigger role this year. I believe the carries by Braxton and by the true running backs such as Ezekiel Elliot will decrease from last year with Carlos (Not saying they won't get many carries), therefore leaving carries for Dontre. Also, I think Dontre will be used in the slot a lot more this year than last because of his quickness which is "uncoverable." So, because of that, both will have some room to get the ball, and take it to the house!