28 August 2010
The Buckeye staff issued an official two-deep to start the season late in the week. There were some eye opening names on that depth chart.
First, it needs to be pointed out that some of this has everything to do with injuries. The one that got everyones excited was C.J. Barnett listed as the starter at strong safety over Ohrian Johnson. The fact is, Johnson is dinged. I don't know how much he is goning to play against Marshall, if at all. Last year when the staff decided to sit Anderson Russell we saw a shake-up in the back seven so I see this as nothing but a positive, and the way it should be at Ohio State, that the number two guy steps right in when there is an injury.
One that surprised me at first but the more I thought about it I think it made sense was Joe Bauserman as the number two quarterback. I have yet to speak to anyone that has access to practice who thinks Bauserman is looking better than Guiton, and some think Graham should be number two. It is simply about putting the most experienced guy in there. This is still a national championship caliber team as long as the quarterback takes care of the ball. The veteran will be more likely to do that. Look at the championship team. Craig Krenzel was not a guy who we counted on to make plays. He did make some but mostly he just took care of the ball and let Maurice Clarett make the plays.
I was surprised to see Aaron Gant as the number two free safety. I had forgotten he was still here. I had hoped to see, well, expected to see would be more accurate, Jamie Wood in there. I have not heard anything about him being injured but maybe that is the case.
The good surprises are so many young guys in the two-deep. Mel Fellows just can't stay healthy but we have a find in Adam Bellamy. He is playing very well and allows the rotation the staff hoped to have at strong side end and the three-technique with Heyward, Simon and Fellows. Quietly Garrett Goebel has had a good spring. I can't recall a defensive line this deep.
The battle between Etienne Sabino and Andrew Sweat is over with Sweat winning the starting strong side job. I find it interesting that Sweat is backed up by Jon Newsome, not Sabino. Sabino is listed as the back-up to Brian Rolle in the middle. I was always a Jon Newsome fan but had not heard anything about him making an impact. I think we might see more players lined up at different spots than we expect. I think they all play. Where they line up will be about game situation. I was struck by the fact that Jordan Whiting was the only linebacker not listed somewhere in the two-deep. I have not heard whether he is injured.
I am very excited to see the names John Hankins, Corey "Philly" Brown and Christian Bryant on the two-deep. Hankins is the big body who can give Dex Larimore some relief. He is not a big nose tackle. He is going to wear down. Hankins came in here at well conditioned 335 and won a spot. Philly Brown is going to battle Chris Fields for the number two spot at flanker and looks to be a starter on the kick return units. He is a spectacular talent. I saw a Youtube video of him on a 400x4 relay where his last 200 meters looks like something out of a movie. He could be a difference maker on this team. A big play guy. I tried to tell everyone that Christian Bryant was a safety. He is in the two-deep at the Star. That is a lot closer to safety than it is corner.
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