After a longer than usual delay, Ohio State released the depth chart for the opener against Navy today.
And as expected, the word "or" is featured prominently. There is a bevy of positions listed with an "or" asterisk.
- Billy Price or Joel Hale will start at left guard. Price, a redshirt freshman, is a self-proclaimed workout warrior and Hale, a senior, moved over from the defensive line to help offensive line coach Ed Warinner's new-look crew out.
- Jacoby Boren or Chad Lindsay at center. Boren is the little brother of former Buckeye standouts Justin and Zach Boren and Lindsay is a graduate transfer from Alabama.
- Ezekiel Elliott or Rod Smith or Curtis Samuel at running back. Elliott appeared to come into camp with the inside track for the starting job but wrist surgery a couple weeks ago might've slowed his momentum. On top of that, Meyer said Rod Smith impressed him during training camp and told ESPN in late July that Samuel had "stolen his heart." Notably, Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball did not make the depth char. Dunn, like Smith, garnered Meyer's affections during camp, so I'd be curious to see what happened between now and last week. Ball battled a foot injury early in camp and, according to Meyer, has missed the last few practices with a concussion.
- Dontre Wilson or Jalin Marshall at H-B. Both will see the field and both will make plays for Ohio State. I think this is Wilson's job, but Marshall should give the Buckeyes another much-needed weapon in the absence of Braxton Miller.
- Michael Bennett or Tommy Schutt at defensive tackle.
- Gareon Conley or Eli Apple at corner back.
- Cam Burrows or Vonn Bell at safety.
As a whole, the depth chart doesn't really tell us anything we didn't already know, meaning, the all the "or"s are to be expected. Head coach Urban Meyer has been hesitant to name starters at left guard, center, cornerback and wide receiver and it looks like they've decided to throw a handful of guys into the fire against Navy. Sink or swim, I guess.
The most interesting things to be gleaned are:
- The whole Michael Bennett-or-Tommy Schutt situation. Bennett's a captain and been named to a handful of preseason award watch-lists so I'm honestly surprised he wasn't a clear-cut starter. Schutt, though, has apparently done enough to make a very real push at securing a full-time job on the defensive line. After all, Meyer did call the junior the "most improved player" at Ohio State. That, or Bennett could be dealing with injuries that hampered him at times during the 2013 season.
- The Vonn Bell-Cam Burrows battle is interesting, too. After starting in the Orange Bowl, it seemed like Bell would be a lock for a starting job on a defense in need of new faces and new personalities. Heck, a lot of people thought Bell should've seen more playing time than he did last season. So, the fact he's still fighting for a starting job this year is interesting.
- Not really surprised by Eli Apple-or-Gareon Conley at cornerback. I think Doran Grant's a strong cut above both of them, but Apple and Conley seem relatively interchangeable at this point. Meyer said neither had really separated themselves from the pack, so it makes sense that we'll see both come Saturday.
|LT||68||TAYLOR DECKER||6-7||315||JR||DE||97||JOEY BOSA||6-6||275||SO|
|73||ANTONIO UNDERWOOD||6-3||303||JR||59||TYQUAN LEWIS||6-3||260||FR|
|LG||54||BILLY PRICE||6-4||312||FR||NG||92||A. WASHINGTON||6-4||295||JR|
|OR||51||JOEL HALE||6-4||310||SR||52||DONOVAN MUNGER||6-4||300||FR|
|C||50||JACOBY BOREN||6-1||285||JR||DT||63||MICHAEL BENNETT||6-2||288||SR|
|OR||56||CHAD LINDSAY||6-2||302||SR||OR||90||TOMMY SCHUTT||6-2||295||JR|
|RG||65||PAT ELFLEIN||6-3||300||SO||VIPER||88||STEVE MILLER||6-3||255||SR|
|75||EVAN LISLE||6-6||300||FR||17||RASHAD FRAZIER||6-4||272||SR|
|RT||76||DARRYL BALDWIN||6-6||307||SR||LB||43||DARRON LEE||6-2||228||SO|
|57||CHASE FARRIS||6-4||300||JR||35||CHRIS WORLEY||6-2||222||FR|
|TE||86||JEFF HEUERMAN||6-5||255||SR||MLB||14||CURTIS GRANT||6-3||238||SR|
|81||NICK VANNETT||6-6||260||JR||5||RAEKWON McMILLAN||6-2||240||FR|
|WR||6||EVAN SPENCER||6-2||208||SR||SLB||37||JOSHUA PERRY||6-4||252||JR|
|84||COREY SMITH||6-1||180||JR||33||DANTE BOOKER||6-2||233||FR|
|QB||16||J.T. BARRETT||6-1||225||FR||CB||19||GAREON CONLEY||6-0||190||FR|
|12||CARDALE JONES||6-5||250||SO||OR||13||ELI APPLE||6-1||198||FR|
|RB||15||EZEKIEL ELLIOTT||6-0||225||SO||SAF||23||TYVIS POWELL||6-3||208||SO|
|OR||7||ROD SMITH||6-3||231||SR||20||RON TANNER||6-0||205||JR|
|OR||4||CURTIS SAMUEL||5-11||196||FR||1||ERICK SMITH||6-0||198||FR|
|H-B||2||DONTRE WILSON||5-10||188||SO||SAF||16||CAM BURROWS||6-0||210||SO|
|OR||17||JALIN MARSHALL||5-11||205||FR||OR||11||VONN BELL||5-11||200||SO|
|WR||9||DEVIN SMITH||6-1||199||SR||CB||12||DORAN GRANT||5-11||196||SR|
|3||MICHAEL THOMAS||6-3||203||SO||26||ARMANI REEVES||5-10||198||JR|
|K||96||SEAN NUERNBERGER||6-1||230||FR||H||95||CAMERON JOHNSTON||6-0||195||SO|
|39||KYLE CLINTON||6-1||218||SR||15||LUKE MORGAN||6-2||225||SO|
|P||95||CAMERON JOHNSTON||6-0||195||SO||PR||2||DONTRE WILSON||5-10||188||SO|
|96||SEAN NUERNBERGER||6-1||230||FR||17||JALIN MARSHALL||5-11||205||FR|
|LS||41||BRYCE HAYNES||6-4||220||JR||KR||2||DONTRE WILSON||5-10||188||SO|