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2017 tOSU Defense Discussion

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by ScriptOhio, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Looking Forward: Buckeye Defensive Line in 2017 and Beyond


    The Buckeye defensive line was a source of concern heading into the 2016 season with the loss of Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington to the NFL. Looking back, however, the line seemed to hold their own all season long. Ohio State will return (as of this writing) every member of the defensive line that played in 2016. There might be some possible attrition out of the players who are already on the roster, but key contributors Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, Mike Hill, Dre’Mont Jones and Robert Landers will all be back next season.

    The Buckeyes have commitments from three defensive linemen for the class of 2017. Chase Young highlights the commitments as he is a 5-star defensive end out of Maryland who was highly coveted by almost every major program in America. His decision came down to the Buckeyes and the Crimson Tide of Alabama, and the Buckeyes secured his commitment during the Friday Night Lights camp back in July. Young was arguably the best player on the field in the 2017 Army All-American Bowl. He became the third commitment behind the Bishop Gorman trend setter Haskell Garrett and Cincinnati’s Jerron Cage.

    Garrett was a bit of a surprise commitment, as he never visited Columbus before making his decision known. He has since visited multiple times and has remained firm in his pledge. He has been joined by teammates Tyjon Lindsey and Tate Martell in this recruiting class. Cage remains a bit under the radar in this star-studded class, but he should not be overlooked at all. He is listed as a 4-star recruit and the No. 9 overall prospect from the state of Ohio. He has been on a few visits to Notre Dame since his commitment, but insists that there is nothing to see there even though his older brother is a part of the Fighting Irish.

    Ohio State is still on the hunt for another defensive tackle, and remains in the mix for a couple of targets who have not made their decision yet. First up is Marvin Wilson, the 5-star defensive tackle out of Texas. Wilson visited the Buckeyes during the Michigan game back in November, and tweeted out that he didn’t want to leave because he was having so much fun. He is close friends with OSU commits -- and fellow Texans -- Baron Browning and Jeffrey Okudah, and both are probably doing their best to get him to Columbus. LSU has been the team to beat here, and I think that is where he ends up. Florida State has made a late push, and their class continues to get better with the late additions of 5-stars Joshua Kaindoh and former Buckeye target Cam Akers.

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  2. LitlBuck

    LitlBuck I Don't Want Any Trouble but People Need Banners!

    Not starting a thread but from 11 Warriors

    Sources: Ohio State Hires Ryan Crow as Assistant Linebackers Coach

    Add another name to the pool of Ohio State's coaching staff changes.

    The Buckeyes have hired Ryan Crow, a former graduate assistant under Urban Meyer at Florida, to be assistant linebackers coach, according to Eleven Warriors sources. Crow spent the last three seasons at Division III Baldwin Wallace University, first as offensive line coach in 2014 and then offensive coordinator the last two years.

    Crow is likely to work alongside new defensive assistant Billy Davis, who the Buckeyes hired on Dec. 21 following the departure of Luke Fickell, now the head coach at Cincinnati. The program has yet to announce Davis' official role with the program, though it would make sense he would step in for Fickell and coach the linebackers.

    Crow officially left Baldwin Wallace on Jan. 6. Before working for the Yellow Jackets, he spent time at Purdue as well as Florida. Crow worked as an assistant football and baseball strength coach while with the Boilermakers starting in June 2011. The Boilermakers promoted him to assistant offensive line coach in June 2012. Crow also worked in strength and conditioning during his time in Gainesville.

    Crow played linebacker at Bowling Green from 2007-10, helping the Falcons win a share of the MAC East Division crown in 2007.

    more at
  3. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    How Will Ohio State Replace...Malik Hooker

    The Candidates

    Who are the candidates? Every single defensive back on the roster, save for current starting defensive backs Damon Webb and Denzel Ward. A year ago at this time Webb was still a cornerback, so a lot can happen between now and April.

    Rising senior Erick Smith was Hooker's backup this season and Tyvis Powell's backup in 2014, so he has more experience than anybody else vying for the job. There was a time when Smith was the future of the position. Can he be again?

    Rising sophomore free safety Jordan Fuller could also get into the mix. Even though he prefers the man-coverage nature of the free safety position, he has the athleticism to play center field in this defense. Rising redshirt sophomore cornerback Damon Arnette was almost moved to safety last spring, but he remained at cornerback. Is he an option this year or is he too valuable as one of the Buckeyes' likely top three cornerbacks?

    Rising junior Eric Glover-Williams was one of the top two safeties in the spring a year ago, but he was quickly overtaken by Webb and eventually fell out of the two-deep altogether. Hooker said a year ago that Glover-Williams is a natural playmaker, and we've seen him be a valuable special teams contributor, but can he be a starting strong safety?

    There are the guys who came in last season in Wayne Davis, Rodjay Burns, and Jahsen Wint. Davis and Wint redshirted, while Burns played and saw time as OSU's No. 5 cornerback. We have yet to see what Wint can do. Burns has been thought by some to eventually be a safety. Davis is a cornerback or a free safety given his aggressive man-to-man skills, so he's not likely to be a candidate at strong safety.

    There will also be five freshman defensive backs to think about, with Jeffrey Okudah, Shaun Wade, Isaiah Pryor, and Marcus Williamson all enrolling early. Cincinnati's Amir Riep will enroll in the summer, and is one of the safety candidates, along with Pryor (6-2 195). Many also like Okudah (6-2 197) at safety, though given his potential, his first look will likely be at cornerback. I think Williamson could eventually be a free safety at Ohio State in this defense. If you are wondering about another incoming possibility -- Brendon White -- he has already been moved to linebacker.

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  4. bigdog3300

    bigdog3300 The G.O.A.T.

    If I had a vote (and I do) for the next 'Malik Hooker' out of nowhere to dominance explosion it would go to Jordan Fuller.....he seems to be the full package to me but was stuck behind obviously some immense talent this year.
    buckeyboy, bukIpower and pnuts34 like this.
  5. pnuts34

    pnuts34 Drunk off of wolverine tears

    Agreed! And if Webb doesn't step it up I'd start Smith next to him
    bukIpower likes this.
  6. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Projecting Ohio State's 2017 Post-NFL Departure Depth Chart - Defense

    There are going to be some significant changes on the 2017 Ohio State defense, but the goal will be for everything to seem extremely familiar to the 2016 Buckeye defense.

    Losing your starting middle linebacker and 75% of your starting secondary to early NFL entry is a tough pill to swallow, and one that may not go down all that smoothly for the Buckeyes this coming season.

    How the OSU defense looks in March will be different than how it looks when it closes spring practice five or six weeks later, but that should be no reason for us not to at least attempt a pre-spring depth chart on defense for the Buckeyes.

    Defensive End
    6 Sam Hubbard, rJr (6-5 266) OR
    11 Jalyn Holmes, Sr (6-5 274)
    42 Darius Slade, rJr (6-4 258)

    This is the same two-deep as last season, I've just added in Darius Slade and moved Nick Bosa to the other side because it just looks ridiculous to have Nick Bosa as a third-string defensive end. It's basically just bragging to brag. Last season there were essentially four starting defensive ends, and that will be the case in 2017 as well -- assuming the number isn't actually larger.

    Defensive Tackle
    86 Dre'Mont Jones, rSo (6-3 280) OR
    93 Tracy Sprinkle, rSr (6-3 293)
    53 Davon Hamilton, rSo (6-4 297)
    9 Jashon Cornell, rSo (6-3 280) OR
    55 Malik Barrow, rFr (6-2 288)

    Looking at this depth chart and the one below it, somebody is going to move to nose tackle, and the most likely candidate would probably be Davon Hamilton. With Tracy Sprinkle back, he is going to garner plenty of snaps, if he's able to get back to being what he was at the start of 2016.

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  7. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Looking Forward: Buckeye Secondary in 2017 and Beyond

    2017 signee Marcus Williamson takes instruction from Kerry Coombs at Friday Night Lights in 2015.

    There were quite a few question marks about the inexperienced Buckeye secondary going into this past season, and many of those questions were answered. We knew what Gareon Conley brought to the table, but were unsure of Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooker. What we got was a more-than-pleasant surprise as both Lattimore and Hooker had amazing seasons that have parlayed them into potential first-round draft picks in the NFL.

    For the second year in a row, the Ohio State coaching staff will have to replace 3/4ths of the defensive backfield due to underclassmen declaring for the NFL draft.

    If last year is any indication, the Buckeyes proved that they can replace talent that heads to the NFL pretty quickly. With Ohio State coaches recruiting at an elite level, they are bringing in guys who can make a difference as soon as possible, and with all of the early departures into the NFL, that is a big necessity.

    Defensive back recruiting for the class of 2017 has been nothing short of amazing for Ohio State. The Buckeyes currently have commitments from six players in the secondary and all of them are rated inside the Top 150 of 247Sports rankings.

    Topping the list for the Buckeyes is 5-star and No. 8 overall player in the country Jeffrey Okudah. Okudah hails from Grand Prairie, Texas and selected the Buckeyes over Florida State and Oklahoma. While he is listed as the No. 1 overall cornerback recruit, I think he will end up playing safety at Ohio State.

    Next up is Shaun Wade, who is also ranked as a 5-star cornerback and No. 24 player in the country. Wade had quite an interesting recruitment. He had been committed to the Buckeyes since January of 2015, however he took many visits over the ensuing two years and many thought he would eventually decommit and attend Alabama. He ended that speculation in December when he reaffirmed his commitment to Ohio State.

    Isaiah Pryor is the third-highest ranked defensive back recruit for Ohio State at No. 50 overall. He is a 4-star safety out of the IMG Academy down in Bradenton, Florida. Pryor committed to the Buckeyes back in July of 2015 and has been a solid commitment ever since. Pryor’s teammate Marcus Williamson is also a Buckeye commitment and has been since April of 2015. Williamson is the No. 16 ranked cornerback in the class and the No. 4 prospect out of the state of Ohio, where he transferred from.

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  8. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.


    As has already been stated previously and will many more times before the NFL Draft, Ohio State is set to have more players turn pro early than any other program in college football. That is the case for the second straight season.

    Six players from Urban Meyer's 2016 team — Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore, Raekwon McMillan, Curtis Samuel and Noah Brown left eligibility on the table and declared for the draft before Monday's deadline. Combined with the nine guys that left early after the 2015 season and it is clear Ohio State is exporting talent to the next level at an alarming rate.

    There is more attrition to the roster too in the form of graduation and transfers. Reserve offensive linemen Evan Lisle and Kyle Trout both moved on and Torrance Gibson is hoping for a fresh start at Cincinnati under new head coach Luke Fickell. Ohio State endured staff attrition too, with Ed Warinner heading to Minnesota and Tim Beck to Texas. Ryan Day is the new quarterbacks coach while Kevin Wilson is in place as Meyer's offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.

    Some key pieces to the Ohio State operation elected to stay in school as well from the last time we took a stab at projecting the depth chart. Defensive end Tyquan Lewis is back, as is quarterback J.T. Barrett, tight end Marcus Baugh and left tackle Jamarco Jones.

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    The defensive line (going 2 deep) could be the B.I.A.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  9. Tanner

    Tanner Senior

    Not sure where to put this question but I know there's been some frustration with the amount of redshirts the program has, and now with a lot of spots open on the 2017 defense that true freshman can theoretically grab, has anyone ever compared how many true freshman play for other elite programs compared to the Urban Meyer Buckeyes?
  10. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    How Will Ohio State Replace...Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore

    Not many college football teams have ever lost a pair of starting cornerbacks early to the NFL. In fact, that would be an interesting research project for somebody -- howmany times has a team lost its starting corners to an early NFL departure? Ohio State is accustomed to losing cornerbacks early to the NFL -- four have now left early under Urban Meyer's watch, but this is the first time they are having to replace both starters because they left early.

    Both Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore were No. 1 cornerbacks for the Buckeyes this past season, which is one reason why this was arguably the best pass defense in the nation. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, this was the first year they were able to implement a three-man rotation at corner, which has given them a leg up on replacing Conley and Lattimore. It still won't be easy, however.

    The Candidates

    Rising junior Denzel Ward was the third man in that three-man rotation and he played better as the year went on. He also played more snaps later in the year after they decided to put Gareon Conley in the nickel on passing downs. Ward is the fastest player on the team, so he has the kind of makeup speed that allows him to correct mistakes.

    Damon Arnette, a rising redshirt sophomore, was the fourth cornerback and initial nickel back this past season, though his results were up and down. Prior to the season, Kerry Coombs was adamant that Arnette was very close to getting into the rotation, but it just never happened. As we have seen with the likes of Conley, Doran Grant, and Marshon Lattimore, it's not unusual to have a rough season before the blossoming begins.

    The Buckeyes moved rising sophomore Jordan Fuller to safety early in fall camp a year ago because they needed more bodies at safety. If they like where that position is, could Fuller move back to corner? During the spring last year, Arnette was a possibility to be moving to safety. Could there be a position swap for the two? At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Fuller has terrific size for a cornerback.

    Wayne Davis redshirted as a true freshman last season, but he will certainly be eager to get out on the practice field with a chance to show that he belongs.Joshua Norwood played sparingly last season as a redshirt freshman. Coombs said last year that he was still a ways away from playing. Rodjay Burns played a bit as a true freshman last season, including returning a pick six 75 yards against Bowling Green in the season opener.

    Then you also have "The Reinforcements" that are coming in the 2017 recruiting class. The Buckeyes are on the verge of signing five cornerback prospects in 5-star JUCO transfer Kendall Sheffield, 5-star Texan Jeffrey Okudah, 5-star Floridian Shaun Wade, and 4-star Ohioans Marcus Williamson and Amir Riep. Some of these players will be moving to safety, but not until they get a look at cornerback first.

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  11. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.


    Ohio State will need to replace some key contributors on defense in 2017. None loom larger than Raekwon McMillan's replacement at middle linebacker.

    McMillan's ascent to middle linebacker since his arrival in 2014 was organic. He was a day-one contributor to the 2014 national championship squad as Curtis Grant's backup. Grant's departure after the season made McMillan the natural successor. He was arguably the focal point of the defense for the past two years.

    The succession plan for 2017 is less obvious. There's no clear heir apparent like there was in 2015. McMillan's backup at the end of the 2016 season was Craig Fada, a walk-on and a graduated senior. McMillan's replacement will be one of the bigger stories of the off-season.

    Dante Booker is the first pick that practically all observers put forward as McMillan's replacement even if his path to the position was less obvious than McMillan's path in 2015. Booker started 2016 as Ohio State's weakside linebacker before a knee injury suffered in the season-opener eventually sidelined him for the whole year. Ohio State hasn't broadcasted if he would get a redshirt from this injury, but he qualifies. Importantly, his return to the field will likely see him playing in the middle.

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  12. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.


    If you follow the Ohio State football program on any form of social media, you already know of the credo for the offseason that followed the first shutout of Urban Meyer's coaching career.

    We've already told you about the "One Strong" mentality strength sensei Mickey Marotti plans to instill in each player during winter workouts. Before the ship can get righted on the field, guys must buy in off of it and push themselves to the limit.

    “Our motto is ‘One Strong’ making sure everybody has personal accountability,” senior center and captain Billy Price said on Sunday. The mantra is echoed across the program's Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts.

    Price is in line to be one of 13 seniors on Ohio State's roster in 2017, more than double the total from last season. He plans to move to from right guard to center in place of the departed Pat Elflein and is one of three returning captains still on the roster. The others are quarterback J.T. Barrett and defensive end Tyquan Lewis.

    Like Price, Barrett and Lewis will figure largely into Meyer's plan to avoid a disastrous finish to the upcoming season like what happened in Arizona on New Year's Eve. Eventual national champion Clemson drilled the Buckeyes 31-0 in the Fiesta Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff.

    “I think the role between Tyquan, J.T. and myself is really kind of established. Attention to detail,” Price said. “Really own that leadership and be the older guy in the room.”

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  13. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.


    Chew on this for a moment: Ohio State could have eight starters this fall who are redshirt seniors on scholarship. That many players — that many contributors — in that specific demographic are relatively rare during the Urban Meyer era in Columbus.

    The eight members of the 2013 recruiting class expected to return to school for a fifth season to lead the Buckeyes in their pursuit of a Big Ten and national championship:

    All eight played considerable snaps in Ohio State's 2016 season when the Buckeyes went 11-2 and made the College Football Playoff, save for Sprinkle, who suffered a patella injury against Bowling Green in the opener that knocked him out for the year. A medical redshirt has him back for 2016 for his fifth year, though he has two years of eligibility left. We list him here because he must apply for a sixth year to be part of the 2018 Buckeyes at the end of next season.

    Barrett, Baugh, Hill, Lewis, Price and Worley started all 13 games last season. The chances for that to happen again this fall are extremely high, barring an unforeseen injury. Sprinkle would have probably done the same had he stayed healthy, though he will have his hands full to take the starting job back from Dre'Mont Jones. However, Larry Johnson loves to rotate a bevy of performers on his defensive line, something Sprinkle assuredly will be a part of this fall.

    Clark only managed six catches for 47 yards in 2016 but played in all 13 games. He has one year of eligibility remaining, the lone scholarship senior wide receiver on the roster.

    The high number of fifth-year seniors on scholarship in line to be integral parts to what Ohio State does in 2017 is the same number of the last two years combined, provided you do not count wide receiver Corey Smith twice. Smith returned for a fifth season two years ago, then was awarded a medical redshirt and played this past season after he broke his leg against Indiana on Oct. 3, 2015.

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  14. cincibuck

    cincibuck You kids stay off my lawn!

    So there will be some buckeyes with 5 pair of gold pants... I like the sound of that.
    kinch and Systems_id like this.
  15. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.


    When a team faces roster attrition whether it be due to early NFL Draft entrants, graduation or something else entirely, the attention usually shifts to the players directly listed next on the depth chart. This is not a story about them.

    Yes, Ohio State lost 75 percent of its secondary to the NFL after an 11-2 season. It also lost the best center in the country, Pat Elflein, as his eligibility expired. Those are some of the obvious holes the Buckeyes must fill either on the recruiting trail or with guys already in the program. Fifth-year senior Billy Price plans to do what Elflein did a year ago and move from guard to center. Ohio State is set to sign six defensive backs in its 2017 class — four are already enrolled.

    This post is to give a brief rundown of five players that are set to return to Urban Meyer's program for 2017 that must take steps forward in an effort to provide needed depth at areas the Buckeyes need more from. Like any elite football team, Ohio State needs multiple capable guys to perform at a high level in the event injuries happen or the expected starters are not up to standard. That is something that specifically hurt the Buckeyes on the offensive line in their 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

    Let's get to it.


    By all accounts, Harrison had a fine season as a true freshman a year ago. Playing primarily on special teams, Harrison appeared in 11 games and totaled 13 tackles and his first career sack in Ohio State's 62-3 thrashing of Maryland on Nov. 12.

    A signing day addition to Ohio State's 2016 recruiting class, Harrison is an exceptional athlete and was a multi-sport star at nearby Walnut Ridge High School. Listed by recruiting services as an athlete as he entered college, Harrison transitioned nicely to linebacker under Luke Fickell's tutelage.

    There is a bevy of options at linebacker for the Buckeyes, among them 2017 early enrollee and five-star Baron Browning. Jerome Baker stepped in brilliantly for an injured Dante Booker last season and locked down one starting job at outside linebacker with Chris Worley and Raekwon McMillan occupying the other two slots.

    With McMillan onto the NFL, Booker looks like an early candidate to take over as the man in the middle. But as we saw last year, injuries happen and it is on the younger players to be ready to step in when necessary. Baker did that and was terrific. Harrison looks to be next in line to become a backup mostly due to what we saw in 2016 and the fact he has a clean bill of health. For example, Nick Conner and Justin Hilliard battled injuries in the early portions of their careers and the latter is still recovering from bicep surgery.

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017

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