A Position-By-Position Breakdown of Ohio State’s 2022 Roster Entering Spring Practice

By Dan Hope on February 25, 2022 at 11:35 am
Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming

Ohio State’s roster is well-stocked – perhaps a bit too well-stocked – going into spring practices.

The Buckeyes are set to enter spring football with 110 players on their roster, and that’s not including the 10 members of the recruiting class of 2022 (plus five walk-ons who have announced commitments) who are set to enroll at Ohio State this summer. Add in the 10 signees who haven’t yet arrived, and Ohio State currently sits at 91 scholarship players for the 2022 season – six above the 85-man scholarship limit.

That means there will be some attrition coming to the Buckeyes’ roster between now and September. Ryan Day isn’t overly concerned about being over the limit right now, though, as he believes the numbers will ultimately work themselves out over the next six months, as there will likely be players who opt to transfer after spring practices if they’re not where they want to be on the depth chart.

“It’s gonna take care of itself, just by the way things go right now with the portal,” Day said. “What I don’t ever want to do is be caught without 85 guys. And so it puts us in a little bit of a tough spot, but we’ll keep managing it and try to figure it out as we go.”

The good news for the Buckeyes is they have a solid mix of depth and experience at just about every position.

Day said in December that Ohio State wants to have approximately four scholarship quarterbacks, five running backs, 11 wide receivers, five tight ends, 16 offensive linemen, eight defensive ends, eight defensive tackles, eight linebackers, eight cornerbacks and 11 safeties/bullets on the roster. Right now, Ohio State has at least that many scholarship players at all of those positions except quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback, where the Buckeyes are just one shy of Day’s ideal number at each position.

The Buckeyes also have at least one player who has already played at least 500 career snaps at every position with the exception of tight end, where no returning player has played more than 256 offensive snaps (Mitch Rossi).

With the start of spring football on the horizon – Ohio State hasn’t yet announced a specific start date for spring practices, but they’ll likely begin during the second week of March – we take a closer look at how the Buckeyes’ experience and depth currently stacks up at every position.

(Notes: The career snap counts listed alongside each player below only include offensive and defensive snaps, not special teams, and are courtesy of Pro Football Focus’ premium statistics. Players with an asterisk next to their name are signees/commits who have not yet enrolled but are expected to join the team this summer.)


Returning Scholarship Players: C.J. Stroud (811 career snaps at Ohio State), Kyle McCord (95)
Newcomers: Devin Brown
Total Scholarship Players: 3
Walk-ons: Mason Maggs*

While Day would ideally like to have four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, Ohio State is as well-stocked at the position as it could have realistically hoped to be after Quinn Ewers and Jack Miller both entered the transfer portal.

Stroud returns for his second year as Ohio State’s starting quarterback after a record-setting first season throwing the ball for the Buckeyes, while McCord also returns after playing in five games with one start as a freshman. Brown gives the Buckeyes three quarterbacks who were all top-50 overall prospects in their respective recruiting classes.

Running Backs

Returning Scholarship Players: TreVeyon Henderson (508), Miyan Williams (226), Marcus Crowley (94), Evan Pryor (45)
Newcomers: Dallan Hayden*
Total Scholarship Players: 5
Walk-ons: Cayden Saunders, TC Caffey*

Like at quarterback, Ohio State returns its top two running backs from last season, as Henderson returns for his second year as Ohio State’s starting running back while Williams also saw regular playing time in the rotation last season.

Crowley’s status is uncertain after he suffered the second season-ending knee injury of his Ohio State career last fall, but the Buckeyes should have plenty of depth at the position as Pryor is a candidate for increased playing time as a redshirt freshman while Hayden will arrive this summer.

Wide Receivers

Returning Scholarship Players: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (807), Julian Fleming (305), Marvin Harrison Jr. (255), Emeka Egbuka (122), Jayden Ballard (34), Kamryn Babb (32)
Newcomers: Caleb Burton, Kyion Grayes, Kojo Antwi*, Kaleb Brown*
Total Scholarship Players: 10
Walk-ons: Sam Wiglusz (69), Xavier Johnson (60), Joop Mitchell, Reis Stocksdale, Corban Cleveland

Smith-Njigba is Ohio State’s only returning starter at wide receiver, but Fleming, Harrison and Egbuka all saw playing time in the rotation last season and likely would have played far more often if they hadn’t been behind soon-to-be first-round picks Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson on the depth chart.

Babb’s prognosis is uncertain after he suffered the third major knee injury of his Ohio State career last year, but Ballard could also be a candidate to play more this season as a redshirt freshman. Antwi, Brown, Burton and Grayes are all talented enough to play as true freshmen. All 10 wide receivers on the roster were top-150 overall prospects in their respective recruiting classes, giving the Buckeyes a wealth of potential stars who could emerge alongside Smith-Njigba at the position.

Tight Ends

Returning Scholarship Players: Mitch Rossi (256), Gee Scott Jr. (69), Joe Royer (34), Sam Hart
Newcomers: Bennett Christian
Total Scholarship Players: 5
Walk-ons: Patrick Gurd (1), Zak Herbstreit

If there’s any position where Ohio State could look to make room for another player from the transfer portal, it would be tight end. Rossi (a former walk-on) is the only returning player who’s seen significant playing time for the Buckeyes, not including Cade Stover, who’s moved back to the defensive side of the ball after two seasons at tight end.

That said, the Buckeyes are already at their target number of five tight ends, making it less likely they will pursue a post-spring transfer unless one of those five tight ends transfers out. Ideally, the Buckeyes will be hoping the likes of Royer, Scott, Hart and even Christian prove this spring that they are ready to play this year.

Offensive Linemen

Returning Scholarship Players: Dawand Jones (960), Luke Wypler (875), Paris Johnson Jr. (794), Matt Jones (778), Harry Miller (670), Enokk Vimahi (157), Donovan Jackson (103), Josh Fryar (98), Jakob James (10), Trey Leroux (8), Zen Michalski (2), Grant Toutant, Ben Christman
Newcomers: George Fitzpatrick, Avery Henry*, Carson Hinzman*, Tegra Tshabola*
Total Scholarship Players: 17
Walk-ons: Toby Wilson (56), Jack Forsman, Ryan Smith, Quinton Burke

Ohio State returns plenty of experience on its offensive line as Dawand Jones, Wypler and Johnson all started last season, Matt Jones also saw regular playing time last season as a sixth man and Miller was a starter in 2020. With Johnson and Dawand Jones set to start at tackle and Wypler returning at center, the competition to start at guard could be a three-man battle between Matt Jones, Miller and Jackson.

While there’s some uncertainty about who would be the next men up on the offensive line after those six, the Buckeyes’ overall depth numbers on the offensive line are right where they want them to be, with more than enough scholarship offensive linemen to go three-deep at all five positions – enough that offensive line might be a logical position to expect a transfer or two from after spring practices.

Grant Toutant, Paris Johnson Jr. and Luke Wypler
Ohio State’s 2022 roster could include as many as 17 scholarship offensive linemen, including Grant Toutant (73), Paris Johnson Jr. (77) and Luke Wypler (53).

Defensive Ends

Returning Scholarship Players: Zach Harrison (1,057), Javontae Jean-Baptiste (678), Tyler Friday (446), J.T. Tuimoloau (286), Jack Sawyer (173), Jacolbe Cowan (44)
Newcomers: Caden Curry, Omari Abor*, Kenyatta Jackson Jr.*
Total Scholarship Players: 9
Walk-ons: Zack Cicero

Led by Harrison, the only player on the roster who’s played more than 1,000 snaps for the Buckeyes on either defense or offense, Ohio State is loaded with experience and depth at defensive end. Harrison, Jean-Baptiste and Friday have all been regulars in the rotation for multiple years – though Friday is coming off a torn ACL – while Tuimoloau and Sawyer should both be in line for increased playing time as sophomores.

Cowan gives the Buckeyes a sixth veteran defensive end while Jackson, Abor and Curry were all top-125 overall prospects in the 2022 recruiting class, though they might have to wait a year for their chance at substantial playing time with all the experience in front of them.

Defensive Tackles

Returning Scholarship Players: Taron Vincent (628), Jerron Cage (448), Ty Hamilton (280), Tyleik Williams (183), Jaden McKenzie (61), Noah Potter (53), Mike Hall (35)
Newcomers: Hero Kanu*
Total Scholarship Players: 8
Walk-ons: Bryce Prater (2), Zach Prater (1)

Ohio State is right at its target number with eight scholarship defensive tackles currently on the roster, and the Buckeyes have solid experience there as well. Fifth-year senior Vincent and sixth-year senior Cage have both been in the rotation for the past two years while Hamilton and Williams both saw snaps this past season, and that quartet will likely lead the way on the interior defensive line this year.

McKenzie and Potter haven’t been on the field much, but both of them are entering their fourth year with the Buckeyes, while Hall could be a candidate for significantly more playing time this year as a redshirt freshman. Kanu will give the Buckeyes an eighth scholarship defensive tackle when he arrives this summer, though the Germany native will likely need some time to develop before he’s ready to play a major role since he’s played only two years of American football.


Returning Scholarship Players: Teradja Mitchell (552), Steele Chambers (475 – 423 on defense), Cody Simon (449), Tommy Eichenberg (442), Cade Stover (311 – 82 on defense), Palaie Gaoteote (78 at Ohio State; 857 at USC), Reid Carrico (19), Mitchell Melton (Special teams only)
Newcomers: C.J. Hicks, Gabe Powers, Chip Trayanum (304 running back snaps at Arizona State)
Total Scholarship Players: 11
Walk-ons: Ryan Batsch (49), Cade Kacherski (43), Jackson Kuwatch, Jalen Pace, Elias Myers, Jaylon Stoker*

While linebacker remains one of Ohio State’s biggest question marks after the unit’s lackluster play last season, it’s one of the deepest position groups on the Buckeyes’ 2022 roster, as they have 11 scholarship players in a unit that might only have two players on the field – though that could depend on whether a defensive end or linebacker plays the “Leo” position – on most defensive plays.

Every linebacker who saw regular playing time last season remains on the roster, including four linebackers who have played upwards of 400 snaps at Ohio State – Mitchell, Chambers, Simon and Eichenberg – while Gaoteote has played the fourth-most collegiate snaps of anyone on the roster when factoring in his three years at USC before he transferred to Ohio State last year. 

The Buckeyes have also added four new linebackers with Stover moving in from tight end, Trayanum transferring from Arizona State and Hicks and Powers arriving as highly touted recruits, and any one of them could potentially play a significant role this year.


Returning Scholarship Players: Cameron Brown (775), Denzel Burke (734), Lejond Cavazos (112), Jordan Hancock (31), Jakailin Johnson (8)
Newcomers: Jyaire Brown, Ryan Turner
Total Scholarship Players: 7
Walk-ons: Andrew Moore, Colin Kaufmann*

Ohio State has two experienced cornerbacks at the top of the depth chart in Burke and Brown, but are a bit thin on both depth and experience behind them, as Cavazos is the only other outside cornerback on the roster who’s played anything more than end-of-game defensive snaps at the collegiate level.

The Buckeyes are high on both Hancock and Johnson and will likely expect both of them to play significantly more often as second-year Buckeyes, but they would ideally prefer to have one more scholarship cornerback for a total of eight (which they would have had if Terrance Brooks hadn’t flipped to Texas on early signing day). Even so, it’s probably unlikely Ohio State will pursue a transfer cornerback at this point unless it has more attrition at the position.

Cameron Brown and Denzel Burke
Ohio State might not have quite as much depth and experience as it would like at cornerback, but Cameron Brown (26) and Denzel Burke (29) give the Buckeyes an experienced pair of starters.


Returning Scholarship Players: Ronnie Hickman (752), Bryson Shaw (705), Josh Proctor (573), Lathan Ransom (497), Marcus Hooker (406), Cameron Martinez (197), Kourt Williams (182), Andre Turrentine (10), Jantzen Dunn (9), Jaylen Johnson
Newcomers: Tanner McCalister (1,849 snaps at Oklahoma State), Kye Stokes, Sonny Styles*
Total Scholarship Players: 13
Walk-ons: Cameron Kittle, Brenten Jones*

Safety is another position where the Buckeyes have a surplus of depth, as they have enough scholarship players to go more than four-deep even as they plan to continue running a three-safety defense under new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.

Ohio State is loaded with experience at safety, too. McCalister is the most experienced player on the roster by a wide margin in terms of total collegiate snaps played, while Hickman, Shaw, Proctor, Ransom and Hooker all have significant playing experience at Ohio State and Martinez and Williams have also started games for the Buckeyes.

Between McCalister, Ransom and Martinez at nickel/cover safety, Hickman and Williams at boundary safety/bullet and Proctor, Shaw and Hooker at bandit/free safety, Ohio State has multiple players with starting experience at all three safety spots.


Returning Scholarship Players: Noah Ruggles (K), Jesse Mirco (P), Jake Seibert (K)
Newcomers: None on scholarship
Total Scholarship Players: 3
Walk-ons: Bradley Robinson (LS), Mason Arnold (LS), Dominic DiMaccio (K), Jayden Fielding (K), Max Lomonico (LS), Michael O'Shaughnessy (P), Garrison Smith (K)

Ohio State returns all three of its starting specialists from last season – Ruggles, Mirco and Robinson – giving the Buckeyes excellent stability at kicker, punter and long snapper. 

It’s unlikely Ohio State will actually keep five kickers on its roster for the fall season – the Buckeyes typically only have two or three specialists at each position on their active roster – but they have an abundance of depth there if they need it with a second scholarship kicker in Seibert and a preferred walk-on with future starter potential in Fielding.

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