Ohio State’s defense has been one of the most consistently excellent units in college football over the last decade.
Sadly, the 2011 season was a major bump in the road for the defense and the team. Needless to say, the Silver Bullets will be looking to get back on track in Urban Meyer’s first year as head coach.
There are some new faces on the defensive coaching staff to help out in that regard, but some familiar ones as well.
Luke Fickell is the primary holdover from the previous staff. He was the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under Tressel. He will basically be assuming the same roll under Meyer- with perhaps a bit more emphasis on being the primary coordinator.
The best case scenario will be if Fickell can continue to implement the defensive system that has worked so well over the past decade and combine that with some fresh ideas from the new staff to take the defense to an even higher level of excellence.
The talent is in place to do that this season, but depth is a major concern everywhere outside of the trenches. Additionally, the transition to new position coaches could create some unexpected problems in the first year.
Here is a look at some of the things to watch for at each position as the spring game approaches and the depth chart is sorted out.
The DBs were hit pretty hard this year with the graduation of Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell.
On the other hand, both starting corner’s return as well as Jermale Hines, who started at safety and the star position in a total of eleven games last season. So while the Buckeyes did lose some starters and some depth, things aren’t exactly bleak either.
Speaking of Jermale Hines, he has the versatility to play either safety position as well as the star position (I will explain what that is more later), and he will probably start and play at multiple spots throughout the year. So yeah, I would just like to thank Mr. Hines right now for having the versatility to make the depth charts for DBs relatively meaningless right from the start.
Despite the uncertainty of the depth charts heading into spring, I am still going to attempt to put them together, so stick with me and as more information comes out in the spring I will certainly adjust them.
There is going to be a ton of experimentation here (particularly at safety), so I fully expect the actual depth charts to look nothing like the ones I put out there now.
Update: there actually appears to be a lot less experimentation at safety then I expected, Jermale Hines at free and Orhian Johnson at strong appears to be pretty set, there is some experimentation going on with the star position though.
Now that I have that covered, let’s move on to our in depth look at the 2010 defensive backs!