COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the 2018 recruiting class in the books, Ohio State’s depth chart projection is coming into clearer view as spring football approaches.
The Buckeyes added a lot of talent on offense during the early signing period and then fortified it on National Signing Day. But space to play right away could be limited because of how many players either weren’t eligible for the NFL draft or chose to come back for another season in Columbus. What follows is a look at how the offensive depth chart could look for the 2018 Ohio State football season.
Note: Class of 2018 members are included, and those players are noted in bold.
Projected 2018 Ohio State depth chart, offense
|QB||Dwayne Haskins||Joe Burrow||Tate Martell|
|RB||J.K Dobbins||Mike Weber||Antonio Williams|
|WR-X||Johnnie Dixon||Terry McLaurin||Jaylen Harris|
|WR-Z||Austin Mack||Binjimen Victor||Kamryn Babb|
|H||Parris Campbell||K.J. Hill||Demario McCall|
|TE||Rashod Berry||Luke Farrell||Jake Hausmann|
|LT||Isaiah Prince||Josh Alabi||N/A|
|LG||Michael Jordan||Wyatt Davis||Josh Myers|
|C||Brady Taylor||Matthew Burrell||Matthew Jones|
|RG||Branden Bowen||Demetrius Knox||Malcolm Pridgeon|
|RT||Thayer Munford||Nicholas Petit-Frere||Max Wray|
|K||Sean Nuernberger||Blake Haubeil||N/A|
- Quarterback is a situation where it’s likely there will be a transfer based on the outcome of the position battle, but it feels wrong to project that on the depth chart at this time.
- Half of Ohio State’s 26-player recruiting class came on the offensive side of the ball, but only four signees are listed on the depth chart. Why? That’s a reflection of just how much talent the Buckeyes brought back on offense. Though quarterback J.T. Barrettt is out of eligibility, the running backs and wide receivers suffered no defections other than Trevon Grimes’ transfer.
- Though he’s not listed here, I expect Jaelen Gill to find his way on to the field in 2018. But that H-back situation is going to be a crazy battle for snaps with so many quality options. Tight end Jeremy Ruckert could also be a name to watch, but he’s not enrolling early, and three other players who have already been here for at least two years will have a chance to firm up their spot.
- The offensive line has a lot of possible lineup combinations because of the versatility involved. For now, I expect Isaiah Prince to move to left tackle, Branden Bowen to stay at right guard and Brady Taylor to win the starting job at center. But if even one of those things doesn’t happen, it will set off a big chain of events.
- That’s a result of having so many players who can play anywhere on the interior. The Buckeyes have already moved two guards to center, and it could happen again. And players like Bowen and Malcolm Pridgeon could theoretically play guard or tackle. I put Bowen at guard because I think the emergence of Thayer Munford will allow Ohio State to keep Bowen at a spot he excelled at in 2017.
- You can bet that Ohio State coaches are breathing much easier with the addition of 5-star tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. Though he won’t be expected to start in 2018, he gives the Buckeyes insurance against an injury. Look for him to get some time in a reserve role as well as on field-goal and extra-point attempts.