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tBBC Pre-Spring Outlook: Running Backs

Discussion in 'News' started by Brandon Zimmerman, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Pre-Spring Outlook: Running Backs
    Brandon Zimmerman
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


    [​IMG]
    With the recruits signed, sealed, and almost delivered it is officially time to look forward to the 2016 football season. While the Buckeyes are already getting ready behind the scenes, things do not start to jump into another gear until the Buckeyes begin their spring practice on March 8th. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be taking a look at each positional group for the Buckeyes and discussing who might start and how the depth chart may shake up. Today, I will be taking a look at the running back position and who will replace one of the most beloved Buckeyes of all time, Ezekiel Elliott.

    THE PLAYERS

    Redshirt senior Bri’onte Dunn came to Ohio State with a lot of expectations. He was rated as a five-star recruit by numerous scouting services and was ranked as the number two prospect in Ohio. During his freshman season, Dunn showed promise as he played in 11 games and rushed for 133 yards. He then redshirted during the 2013 season and disappeared from the running back depth chart during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, playing primarily on special teams. At 6’0″ 215 pounds, Bri’onte certainly has the frame for an OSU running back in Urban’s offense. He has shown glimpses of why Ohio State was so enthused to receive a commitment from him but will he finally put it all together? Last season, Dunn ran for 91 yards and a touchdown.

    Junior Curtis Samuel is the favorite to take over for Zeke but he will miss most of the spring following surgery on his knee. Samuel has shown flashes of brilliance over the past two seasons backing up Elliott at running back and Braxton Miller at H-back. At 5’11” 200 pounds Curtis adds some “density” to his speed. In an effort to get him on the field, Samuel has also been played at wide receiver by the offensive coaching staff. On the season, Samuel rushed for 132 yards and had 289 yards receiving while combining for 3 touchdowns.

    [​IMG]
    Curtis Samuel (4)


    Redshirt freshman Mike Weber came to Ohio State in the 2015 recruiting class from the state up north. Weber was a consensus four-star recruit and was rated as one of the top 100 high school recruits by the three real recruiting services (Rivals, 247, and Scout). Last season, Weber battled injuries early on which ultimately cost him a chance at jumping into the rotation and resulted in a redshirt. At 5’10” and 220 pounds, Weber has the build to break tackles and gain yards after contact just as Carlos Hyde and Elliott did before him.

    True Freshman Antonio Williams comes to Columbus from North Carolina and was an early enrollee. At 5’11” and 217 pounds, he already has the body type to play at the collegiate level and a full winter conditioning will only help to improve on that. 247 Sports has Williams as the number six running back prospect in the nation and the 163rd overall player.

    PREDICTED DEPTH CHART

    1. Curtis Samuel
    2. Mike Weber
    3. Bri’onte Dunn

    I have Samuel listed as the starter but my gut keeps telling me Samuel will be at H-back/wide receiver again and Weber or Williams will start. For now though, I will stick with Samuel starting because he has shown great running ability when given the opportunity. I think Dunn’s time has passed and he is nothing more than a very solid back-up and special team’s ace at this point of his career. As good as I think Williams is I believe he is destined for a redshirt season barring two or more injuries in front of him. Even if Samuel or Weber goes down to injury, guys like Dontre Wilson and Paris Campbell will be able to take snaps at running back before the Buckeyes have to burn a redshirt by playing Williams.

    OUTLOOK SCHEDULE

    Quarterbacks – 15 Feb

    Running Backs – 17 Feb

    Wide Receivers – 19 Feb

    Tight Ends – 22 Feb

    Offensive Line – 24 Feb

    Defensive Line – 26 Feb

    Linebackers – 29 Feb

    Secondary – 2 Mar

    Special Teams – 4 Mar



    The post Pre-Spring Outlook: Running Backs appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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