Ohio State—much like any other Division I college football program—has 85 scholarships to work with each season, unless they lost a few due to NCAA sanctions.
The 2015 season marked the first time in Urban Meyer's tenure the Buckeyes would utilize all 85 scholarships after sanctions stemming from Tattoo-gate rocked the program and led to Jim Tressel's unceremonious exit in May 2011. In Meyer's first three seasons, he had 82 scholarships at his disposal.
Programs must be at the 85 mark by the time fall camp opens for the season or the first day of class for that semester, whichever comes first. The Buckeyes lost nine players early to the NFL Draft after they beat Notre Dame 44-28 in the Fiesta Bowl New Year's Day. Arguably the most successful senior class in school history is gone too, tallying 50 wins over the last four years.
A 12-1 finish in 2015 followed by an exodus of talent put Meyer and his coaching staff in dire need of new blood to reload the program ahead of 2016. They did that Wednesday, securing a top-5 class with 25 commitments, seven of whom enrolled in January.
Roster attrition happens every year for every program in different forms. The same goes for Ohio State. Below is a class-by-class breakdown of players on a football scholarship in Columbus. The numbers are a result of what we know after National Signing Day, thus the reason the table shows the Buckeyes remain over the limit. This is what we know as of Thursday. Two weeks ago, Ohio State sat right at 85.
|QB||–||J.T. BARRETT (R)||STEPHEN COLLIER (R)||JOE BURROW||DWAYNE HASKINS|
|RB||BRI'ONTE DUNN (R)||CURTIS SAMUEL||–||MICHAEL WEBER||
COREY SMITH (R)
NOAH BROWN (R)
PARRIS CAMPBELL (R)
TERRY MCLAURIN (R)
JOHNNIE DIXON (R)
|OL||PAT ELFLEIN (R)||
BILLY PRICE (R)
EVAN LISLE (R)
DEMETRIUS KNOX (R)
BRADY TAYLOR (R)
KYLE TROUT (R)
TYQUAN LEWIS (R)
SAM HUBBARD (R)
DARIUS SLADE (R)
DYLAN THOMPSON (R)
MICHAEL HILL (R)
DONOVAN MUNGER (R)
TRACY SPRINKLE (R)
CHRIS WORLEY (R)
GAREON CONLEY (R)
MARSHON LATTIMORE (R)
|S||CAM BURROWS||ERICK SMITH||MALIK HOOKER (R)||DAMON ARNETTE||JAHSEN WINT|
|P||CAMERON JOHNSTON||–||–||–||DRUE CHRISMAN*|
*Chrisman told Eleven Warriors he will grayshirt in 2016.
Meyer announced on his radio show Wednesday that Corey Smith received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. Smith broke his leg in Ohio State's 31-24 victory at Indiana Oct. 3.
Punter Drue Chrisman will grayshirt, thus delaying his Ohio State enrollment until spring semester and not count against the 85 scholarship rule. Meyer said Wednesday Kyle Berger's athletic career is over due to multiple knee surgeries, so there are two members that can be taken out of the scholarship field.
Even with those departures, Ohio State sits at 87 scholarships after signing day. That means two more players need to be out before camp opens in August.
Meyer did not say anything Wednesday regarding what two players will not be on scholarship this fall, only that Berger is taking a medical hardship and former walk-ons Craig Fada and Joe Burger will not count toward the 85 after spring and summer semester. Ohio State awarded them financial aid for those two terms Jan. 15.
This table will be updated after word gets out which players will no longer be on athletic scholarship for the fall term in order to get the Buckeyes under the 85 scholarship umbrella.