Once again we’re joined by a faithful reader and great Buckeye fan to give us his thoughts on the Ohio State program. Today, Mike checks in with a post spring-practice look at the areas where Ohio State will look find leaders to step up for the 2014 season. See what you think about his look across the offense, and be sure to give him a follow on twitter.
This is what I see the biggest needs are on Offense after the team’s Spring preparations. I will hit on a couple of positions, depth (or lack thereof), and finally I will give you who I think breaks out this year on offense. For the sake of this reflection, I’m not going to address our stable of Running Backs or Tight Ends… Ohio State is an embarrassment of riches at those positions.
Of course, when the fall comes and the rest of the rookies join the program, there may be some changes.
Our true biggest need is replacing 4 starters on the Offensive Line. We know Decker can play and will start at LT, he has gotten stronger and a potential leader that this offense will surely need especially with such young guys needing to step up. Next up, Pat Elflein who will most likely line up next to Decker and start at LG as he has some experience and proved he can play at this level, maybe not elite but better than average. Then you have Jacoby Boren, who I think will be the starting Center day one. I know what everyone is thinking, what about Billy Price? Well I see Billy Price starting at RG and becoming a dominate player of the next couple years. His mean streak and strength is what every Offensive Lineman (or Defensive Lineman for that matter) should have.
I would have loved to see Kyle Dodson be that starting RT, but unless the light comes on by fall camp, I see him as depth right now (which is a shame due to his talent level) which would open the Door for Evan Lisle to step in at RT. I think this RT battle will continue through spring with one of these two guys as the starter. The one wild card here Kyle Trout (He will be a Tackle) who is enrolled early, if he can get the system down after being in the weight program with Mickey Marotti he could be the real sleeper in this Offensive Line group, in my opinion.
With all this being said, we have some nice freshman coming in who will provide some much needed depth. This is my biggest concern on the Offensive side of the ball right now. We need young men to be developed and then they need to “Step-up” and seize the opportunity.
After evaluating some tape (limited) and watching the Spring Game, for more than obvious reasons Braxton Miller needs to stay healthy. Our backup QB looked average (at best) in the Spring Game. Now I realize Jones and Barrett are young, but it’s time for one of them to step up, embrace the challenge and secure the #2 qb role we have needed over the past couple years. Braxton’s style always scares me due to injuries and now working behind a young/new Offensive Line, back up QB is a position of need.
I was more excited about this position heading into the Spring Game than after. I will say Corey Smith looks like a player but a couple of WR’s really struggled getting separation (let’s hope this was just because of good CB play), catch and hold on to the ball. I seen one really nice catch by Thomas but he was out of bounds. I just think with the lack of consistency and injuries (Marshall will be a stud…IMO) it’s going to open the flood gates for the younger guys to step up and take someone’s job. I cannot end this without mentioning Johnnie Dixon, Jalin Marshall and Curtis Samuel who I think will be special players at tOSU before it’s all said and done. I consider them more of the “Percy” role and boy are they going to be fun to watch.
My Breakout Player:
Jalin Marshall is the guy who if can come back from injury 100% is going to show what some of us already know. He will be a special player here and a true OHIO kid!!!
I would like to Thank BBC for letting me write my 2 cents down for everyone and I hope you enjoy. A special thanks to Chris Hunt for hooking me up with Mali so that I could have this opportunity!
Have a great day and GO BUCKS!!!!!!