In the Hurry up, it was mentioned that a number of stars might sit out a Spring Season and opt for the draft instead. This would include Justin Fields among the likely Buckeyes who would not play. (Others might be Trey Sermon, Jonathan Cooper, Chris Olave, Browning/Borland/Werner, Shaun Wade).
If we have significant attrition due to this 'draft or play' decision, what would the team look like? How diminished are the chances of a Buckeye Natty?
At QB, Fields would likely sit, meaning Gunnar Hoak would likely start, with Stroud/Miller backing him up. A lot depends on the QB decision and play. Is Gunnar Hoak good enough to run the offense at a high level, or do you play one of the freshman to get them valuable experience? As the QB spot goes, so goes the success of the team.
RB - Does Master Teague recover in time to play Spring Ball if Trey Sermon sits? Otherwise, we roll with Steele Chambers and Demario McCall. The OL is good enough to make me (a near 50 y.o., slow, out-of shape Dad bod) look like an all-B1G RB, so while it might not be as explosive, it can still be dominant.
WR - Does Olave sit or not? If he does, there's plenty of young talent to fill in. JSN, Fleming, Gee Scott, Mookie Cooper, etc. all itching to get time as Frosh. Garrett Wilson and Jameson Williams are almost guaranteed to start then, but who would be next of the trio of Gardiner, Babb, or Jaylen Harris?
OL - Wyatt Davis sits. Gavin Cupp up next? No real drop off here for the other 4 slots, IMO.
TE - Roll with Ruckert and Farrell. No change.
DL - I don't think anyone but Cooper might leave. Still have Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith, plus the returning inside core. The Bucks are OK here.
LB - This could be bad. Any or all of Werner, Borland, or Browning could sit. Up next - K'Vaughn Pope, 6th year LB Justin Hilliard, and Teradja Mitchell? Dallas Gant would also likely figure in the mix.
DB's - Only Wade might sit. We're already a little inexperienced here, but his choice for the draft leaves the back end exposed. Tyreke Johnson, Sevyn Banks, and Josh Proctor would be penciled in, but do we see Marcus Williamson or Cameron Brown get the majority of playing time in place of Wade, or does one of the freshman step up (Cavazos, Watts)?
Special Teams - Kicking is OK, as is punting.
So what's the net result? Obviously, if all of the guys mentioned sit, then we are likely not top 4, and maybe not even B1G champs.
No matter how you slice it, Spring Ball will feel weird, and potentially alter the CFB playoff landscape. Will the Bucks adjust enough and have enough depth to stay in the hunt?