Early Enrollees, Redshirts Gear Up for Spring Ball

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Thomas's picture

Going to be an exciting spring game, that's for sure!

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DefendYoungstown's picture

What becomes of Dontre????

What we can't do in the air we'll do on the ground.

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John Brandon's picture

He definitely remains a huge part of the offense, his role should grow IMO. Point is they are going to have to find a way to get Samuel touches too

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TheBadOwl's picture

I'd love to see some triple options in this offense. The last one I remember us even running was against Miami U in the opener in 2012, and Braxton took it for a touchdown. 

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

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John Brandon's picture

Yeah, they should really have some good options with all the talented backs we have. If you remember last offseason they kept talking about the diamond pistol backfield... never happened.

What I think happened is the playcallers (primarily Herman, Meyer too though) didn't want to mess with a good thing (Hyde) and it's probably just as well. But with him leaving they'll have to get a little more creative, especially with all the playmakers we have. The other thing is since Braxton will probably not be running as much next year the perimeter running will come more from Dontre and others

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Knarcisi's picture

QB takes a lot of hits in the triple option. 

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kalabuckzoo's picture

i love watching braxton play but not sure i want him to have to make two reads in the option game.  one seemed to be enough of an issue.

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ToetotheFace's picture

Not necessarily true. I remember hearing the Braxton's correct read percentage was much higher for triple option, it isn't exactly as direct of a translation as you think, they are two different types of plays. The read option requires quick recognition of the end and good quick decision making. The triple option is often much slower developing.  

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ToledoBuckeye's picture

I am sure Dontre is going to be a great player but nothing he did this year wowed me.  Yes he has speed but he didn't do much as a KR or slot back.  He mostly got the ball on reverses or read options.  He is nowhere near "Percy Harvin" status yet.  I wouldn't be surprised if he got passed by someone like Curtis Samuel.

"Anything easy ain't worth a damn." - Woody Hayes
 

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BenArazi4's picture

 
 
Are you blind?  Dontre wowed us all with his very first touch against Buffalo.  Plus Braxton has a hard time getting others the ball and it limits everyone else's touches.

 

 

 

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luckynutz's picture

Here's the problem with dontre...there was a kot of hype surrounding coming out of camp. And he's none to shy about his belief in himself either. The expectations were that he would come out blazing and be a difference maker. Then the reality that he is a true freshman hit. He had ball security issues, and showed his age and inexperience. He just plays so fast, and is still adjusting to the speed of the game. He had chances to bust some big plays...but inexperience and youthful exuberance cut him down. Not to mention his size...percy harvin isn't the tallest guy. But he was extremely thick and well built...and with a full offseason with coach mick, dontre should be able fill out his frame and carry more weight whike retaining his explosive athleticism. Once he learns the nuances of the offense and how to set up blocks and be patient, he will be just fine. We allowed the hype to enevelope us and be overly optimistic about what he would bring to the table. Give him time...and the coaches will have him ready to be a big time contributor. He was a true freshman...give hims some slack for that. And be happy with how he contributed.

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HotSauceCommittee's picture

Am I wrong, I may be, but didn't Dontre only fumble once and I believe it wasn't for a turnover? 

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ABrown07's picture

I like all your outlooks and I agree with them. I didn't realize all those guys got redshirtted last year, awesome knowing we have them ready to go for 2014. This is going to be a good year, I can just feel it.

I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people.

-Woody Hayes

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John Brandon's picture

The team feels to be deeper moving forward than it has been in the past, that's for sure

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njclebuckeye5's picture

Where do you see Jeff Greene in the receiver mix?

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tussey's picture

I was thinking the same thing and you beat me too it

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John Brandon's picture

He's an interesting guy, I've heard lots of good things about him but it's hard to say. He could battle Thomas for an outside receiver spot, the spring will give us an idea of whether or not he's going to compete this year for sure

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SilverState's picture

"Samuel really lit it up this spring, he's really a bigger version of Dontre Wilson and might even be faster too"

That's exactly how I described Samuel to a friend of mine this week. Can't wait to see them on the field together.

"Year for what?"

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John Brandon's picture

Besides Kwon, he's the single guy I'm most excited about in this class, kid can flat out play. One longtime New York scout called him the best prospect he'd ever seen iirc

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DelaBuck's picture

wohoo i'm excited for buckeye football!!!!
 
O-H!!!!!

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Hovenaut's picture

Great look ahead John, sure looks to be an interesting spring.

I had to run away high, so I wouldn't come home low...

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kmp10's picture

I cannot imagine Cardale Jones as the quarterback at Ohio State. Sorry... I just can't get over the attitude, and the "we ain't come to play school" tweet. It may very well be shortsighted on my part, but he just isn't the guy I would want leading the team. Barrett? Seems to be the polar opposite of Jones, as does Collier. 

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

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John Brandon's picture

If you look at the QBs that Urban has recruited you'll see what he's looking for: good athleticism yes, but more so they are intelligent, accurate and have a pass-first mentality.

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TilstheHun3's picture

Everyone makes mistakes. He has great size and I'm hopeful he continues to develop as a player, student, and athlete. Unfortunately for him, his famous tweet is being used in an Ole Miss book given to freshman:
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1819804-textbook-uses-cardale-jones-i...
Barrett and Collier look great too... One thing we definitely have learned at tOSU the past two years is that it doesn't hurt to have great depth and a great backup at the QB position.

What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?
 

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John Brandon's picture

Yeah that's pretty funny but you make a good point, and Jones will have a chance to earn the job like everyone else 

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rdubs's picture

I also hear reports that he has over a 3.0, so it sounds like he is playing a bit of school.   I can't imagine a college student ever feeling like they didn't want to go to class.

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AltaBuck's picture

I have a feeling that the WR battle will be wide open. There will be less of a premium on run blocking ability versus play making since Hyde has moved on and urban wants to keep Braxton heathly. The offense needs receivers that can get open.

“A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.” - Tyrion Lannister

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John Brandon's picture

Great point. Spencer primarily played for his blocking for example, but yeah I think the lackluster passing will cause them to make it more of an open competition. Also, Braxton simply won't run as much next year without a proven backup, but perimeter blocking will still be important as guys like Dontre and Samuel take on bigger roles

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Norwalk's picture

I expect Brax will not allow himself to be used as a run 1st QB next year. He expected to be a 3 year guy when he came here and I believe he has to be disappointed at his likely draft position if he had chosen to come out early. I'm glad he had the sense to stay another year to work on his passing game but I don't think we'll see him used the same way next year, especuially with all the other high speed, play making,weapons he will have around him.

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John Brandon's picture

We see him getting down to avoid hits now but I think he takes it to another level next year to avoid getting hurt. The coaches want him to stay healthy because the backup situation isn't concrete and Braxton wants to stay healthy for the NFL so I don't expect many runs

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jaxbuckeye's picture

Not much love for Rod Smith.  I look for him to have a big year.  Being a senior he should look like a men playing amongst boys.
 
BTW, for those of you constantly bringing up the fumbles, you need to go back and look at some of his good runs too.  There were some REALLY amazing runs.  Maurice and Eddie both had fumbling problems to start their careers.

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John Brandon's picture

Personally, I think he's the most talented back on the team along with Zeke. He'll get a chance to seize the position but it will probably come down to him and EE, wide open though. I also think we may see more RB by committee next year to take advantage of is many fresh backs 

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FLAMikey's picture

JAXBUCKEYE, you beat me to it...

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saltybuck61's picture

Great point. Many great backs have fumbling issues to start their career. I am pretty sure that Archie himself even fumbled on his very first carry.

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GH_Lindsey's picture

Amen. He's got size and power with good speed and he seems like a violent runner. I mean just look at this run.

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TilstheHun3's picture

Wow, I am so pumped for next season... We are stacked.

What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?
 

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FLAMikey's picture

I'm a little surprised that more isn't being expected next year from Rod Smith. If you've seen him up close, he's a big boy and runs with authority. If he's past his fumbling problems he seems to have all the tools to be an elite RB in much the same mold as Hyde.

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John Brandon's picture

Definitely, this article was more focused on the youth but he should get first crack at the starting job in my opinion 

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dubjayfootball90's picture

Damnit!!! Footbaw!!! NOW!!!

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

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buckeyeEddie27's picture

With all the guys coming off redshirt years and the badd ass class Urban is putting together, it's like we have a 40 man class of pure studs coming in.  Me likey.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

I Believe In Ohio State.

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John Brandon's picture

Yeah the talent level of this team moving forward top to bottom is ridiculous 

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osubuck57's picture

Linebacker and Secondary battles are the ones I'm most excited for this upcoming spring.

SCOTTC.

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tosubuckeye's picture

Great read as always. I feel great about JT, who I believe will be our best passing qb, since Mike Tomczak, and that's saying alot.  Young man is poised and accurate. Hope he can maintain these attributes under a BIG rush.  I'm looking for Jeff Greene, Mike Thomas, and Johnny Dixon to (perhaps) supplant Devin and Evan as starters.  The latter 2 have proven their mettle as blockers, but are "challenged" as "complete" receivers. Greene was a solid starter at GA Tech. Dixon might be the best of them all.  We all know he played in Fla's highest classification as a prep. He understands route running and getting open, something that Devin and Evan still need assistance doing.  Devin will undoubtedly go down as one of our best ever deep threats.  But, we all know that a receiver has to be able to run all the routes to be successful and give the team its best chance to win. Excited about the wide-outs for 2014!!!! GO BUCKS!!!!

tosubuckeye

 

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John Brandon's picture

Dixon is absolutely a beast and I really think he has the talent to contribute soon, but with a couple starters coming back and reports that Mike Thomas, Jalin Marshall and Corey Smith are really standing out and have more experience under their belt I really don't see Dixon doing much this year, but not because he isn't capable.

Greene is the wildcard, could be the missing "big receiver" we're missing. One thing's for sure, with all the talent we have, assuming the best guys play, the guys on the field should be pretty darn good

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dubjayfootball90's picture

Really makes me happy to hear (read) that. The future is bright, indeed.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

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Buckabroad's picture

This was an especially good article, JOHN. Thank you! I agree with your assessment that Kwon and Mitchell on the field at the same time sounds incredible, just as having Wilson and Samuel return kicks at the same time.
Look forward to seeing our Buckeyes develop further this year. Should be fun.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

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John Brandon's picture

Yeah it's pretty scary thinking about Dontre and Samuel together. Remember Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey together at Florida?

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WhySoSerious's picture

What about Noah Brown?

Rare&Uncommon

Like the ball in the stands, we balls out

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John Brandon's picture

Focusing on the early enrollees and guys coming back from redshirts for the sake of previewing spring ball, but here's my take on Brown:

The staff could use him in a variety of ways, he's big so he could be an outside receiver. He played running back in HS too so he could be another h-back guys and they could line him up in the backfield. I think he probably redshirts due to arriving in the summer and the depth ahead of him but he might contribute on special teams if they decide not to redshirt him.

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Wesleyburgess1's picture

I don't think anyone has mentioned Terry Mclaurin or Parris Campbell either. Fast as hell, athletic...did I say fast? Cant wait for these next couple years. hopefully we get the position coaches on defense we need and they are real creative. Im rr ally excited to see Jamaal Marcus out there more too. Hes a freaking animal.

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sharks's picture

Jesus Jumped Up Christ this is the first time it has actually hit me - there is just a ton of talent at every spot- only LB still looks like we could use some depth.  Grant's going to have to run the show next year.
Its too bad that St V's doesn't let their kids graduate early- I'd feel even better with Booker in the LB mix.

A man got to have a code...

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John Brandon's picture

Yeah Booker is going to be sweet. Grant and Perry are good but I can't wait until we have 'Kwon, Mitchell, Booker, Trey Johnson (or some combination) on the field together, so much talent.

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sfgoody's picture

Agreed, but I would add that I think people are really underselling Berger, probably because he got hurt and we didn't hear much from him. He has SPECIAL instincts imo. Depending on how we redshirt guys this year LB depth could be fixed for years to come

sfgoods

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John Brandon's picture

Yeah he was a high school Butkus finalist. Phenomenal player but a bit forgotten by many. But we shouldn't have any LB depth issues for a few years unless disaster strikes

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Statutoryglory's picture

I really think a Glenville Star depth chart could be possible with Worley and Lattimore.  Worley is a TFL machine despite his up and down recruiting ratings.  He blows stuff up in the backfield.

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John Brandon's picture

Worley is going to be an excellent player imo, Star is the perfect position for him too

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Dr. Kenneth Noisewater's picture

Great write up John.   But depresses me that we have 8 months of no OSU football games
One question - who is taking over at center next year??

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John Brandon's picture

Almost certainly Jacoby Boren

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Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Boren is the leader in the clubhouse, but don't be surprised if Billy Price wins out. Price is learning the position, but Boren's size could be an issue.

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Ethos's picture

I'm excited about the offensive athletes, but the offense isn't what worries me. 

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

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Bingocat's picture

Just in case you didn't know Billy Price plays Center and plays Guard on scout team this year. Looking forward to this young man play in the spring game ! Our Buckeyes will be fine next year,we as fans gotta remember they are replacing alot of good ball players ! Go Buckeyes !

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John Brandon's picture

I think he'll be the second stringer at guard and maybe center too. Kind of a jack of all trades that should add flexibility 

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CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great article John!  Really appreciate the in-depth analysis at each of the position groups.  It does make me feel a little better about what we have going into next season.  I think we'll be right in the thick of it again!
Go Bucks!!

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seafus26's picture

Any thoughts of putting some of this supreme athleticism like Samuel on D? We maybe better served to have best athletes on D and rely more on scheme and rules favoring offensive players. But it wouldn't be like the O would be lacking athletes

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

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703Buckeye's picture

I think Mr. Lattimore has your back on D.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

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BuckeyesMJ's picture

If Braxton doesn't plan on running much next year then he for sure needs to work on his reads and making quicker decisions. That is one area where I thought KG was superior. You gotta be able to read that defense and know where you wanna go with the football....quickly! Maybe work on that "touch" a lil as well. Everything doesn't have to be a rocket all the time. Tons of young talent in the cupboards! Can't wait for the spring game. Many spots open!

Go Bucks!

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KevinJ's picture

Late to the party and wanted to ask what's going on with Darron Lee? Didn't see him mentioned unless I missed it. Lots of info thank you for the write up.

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Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I'm thinking our defense next year could be loaded with juniors and sophomores.  
DB:  Burrows, Bell, Grant, Powell
3 LB Set:  Mitchell, Johnson, McMillan  (I don't think C. Grant holds off Kwon, and I think they find a way to play both Johnson/Mitchell in a 3 LB set.  Also, Josh Perry is SOOO SLOW!)
DL:  Bosa, Schutt, Bennett, Marcus (Spence when his suspension is over even tho I think Marcus is quicker and more athletic than he is)
 
I'd be fine with struggling early to get our younger, more athletic defensive players some playing time.  

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ScarletNGrey01's picture

Wow, talk about some in-depth knowledge of the personnel, very informative.  As far as the starting RB goes, from what I've seen of EZE it's no contest, but again, I don't have a handle on all the guys and what's going on like the 11W staff.  Looks like the bucks should be very competitive.  I think we now have two T'sUN we have to circle on our calendar, as always we MUST beat you-know-who but also some big time payback against MSU is required, who should be very formidable next season.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

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Tjames43's picture

Great write up John, but I think another canidate early for the Star position could be Erick Smith, and Im sure some of the Freshmen CBs will get a crack at the starting spot (Webb, lattimore) but I think that Gareon Conley gets the spot opposite of Grant.

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buckeyeboy31's picture

John, I noticed no mention of Darron Lee in your article....did he redshirt this past year?  Does he project at LB or DB?

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ToTheHouse's picture

The ''two'' KEY pieces in all this is ''who'' Erb hires for Whit, & Vrabes !_! Bama n *ichigan did their homework...so did PSU. Its just this simple: T.E.A.M. = together each accomplish's MORE!

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osubuckeye4life's picture

I just ran through a brick wall. SO PUMPED FOR NEXT SEASON!!!!!

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Buckeye_Chief's picture

I know its been said but I'm really excited to see how Greene does but the main man I want to see at full game speed is Mitchell...The mans highlights are insane. 

"I was tired of trying to work my way around the back so I just ran him over.” - Joey Bosa

 

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216ToThe614's picture

I agree with most of the things you mentioned John, but why no mention of Devon Bogard or Najee Murray? Both are players I would like to think would push for time at least at STAR, if not making a big impact on special teams.
Also, I don't know about the rest of you but I am blown away by Demetrious Knox at this stage and I believe he is college ready, and honestly is my pick to win the right guard spot opposite of Elflein. 
I know you were focusing on redshirted players and early enrollees on top of what we have returning, but what is your take on Meechy as a starter next year 11w staff? And the other two DB's I mentioned?

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!
WB

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vtbuckeye's picture

Bogard was switched to LB and had a knee injury this season. 
 
Najee left the program .  He is at Kent State.  I don't think that he will be pushing for playing time at tOSU anytime soon.

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John Brandon's picture

Murray is at Kent State and Bogard is injured. Don't think Meech will get playing time coming in with the rest of the freshmen, might make the two-deep

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216ToThe614's picture

Ok thanks John! I didn't know Murray had transferred, guess I just missed that one

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!
WB

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