Today’s Topic: Which Buckeyes Could Change Positions?
This was inspired by an Instagram story posted Friday by Rashod Berry.
He played tight end for the Buckeyes in 2018, catching only nine passes for 78 yards and a two touchdowns. But a couple of those catches were huge ones late in the season, including a 4th-down conversion in overtime against Maryland and a touchdown just before halftime in the Rose Bowl.
Friday, he posted a series of pictures from when he played defensive end earlier in his Buckeye career, along with the eyes emoji. For those who don’t speak #Internet, the strong implication is that Berry may be moving back to defensive end this spring.
That makes some sense. The Buckeyes have Luke Farrell and rising star Jeremy Ruckert at tight end already, along with redshirt junior Jake Hausmann and true freshman Cormontae Hamilton.
Things are a little thinner at defensive end, where junior Chase Young and senior Jonathon Cooper will likely start, backed up by some combination of sophomores Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday, and redshirt senior Jashon Cornell. Behind them are four freshmen.
If Berry thinks his NFL future might lie on defense, that could be a good move.
He’s not the only Buckeye who could switch to a different spot this spring.
If Berry moves to defensive end, that could free Cornell up to slide back inside and play three-tech defensive tackle. He has played inside some during his career, but moved out to end in 2018.
This year, Dre’Mont Jones left a big hole inside, and while the Buckeyes have capable players like Haskell Garrett and Tommy Togiai coming back, Cornell could definitely fit into the rotation.
Junior Amir Riep started his career as a corner before moving to safety. With both Jordan Fuller and Brendon White back, and fast-rising sophomore Josh Proctor and junior Isaiah Pryor there, it’s possible that he could switch back to corner.
The Buckeyes return Damon Arnette, Jeff Okudah, and Shaun Wade at the position, but behind them there isn’t much experience. Marcus Williamson was hurt for a lot of 2018, and then it’s just three guys who were true freshmen in 2018: Tyreke Johnson, Sevyn Banks, and Cameron Brown.
Riep will almost certainly start the spring at safety, but if the young corners develop slowly, he may get moved back to his original position.
There are other young Buckeyes who could end up at a couple different positions, such as redshirt freshman Jaelen Gill. He is an “H” receiver, but could also spend time in the running backs room like Demario McCall.
True freshman Craig Young is coming in as an “athlete” this summer. While he will likely start his career as a linebacker, he could end up anywhere from tight end to defensive end.
Certain offensive linemen like Branden Bowen and Matthew Jones could end up playing a few different spots on the line, but that doesn’t really count.
Finally, one player who is now less likely to move than before is Steele Chambers. He is starting his OSU career at running back, but it was possible he might get switched to linebacker.
Now, with Brian Snead officially off the team, Chambers is likely to get a more extended look on offense.
Right now, the only scholarship backs returning are J.K. Dobbins, McCall, and Master Teague. The coaches will very likely want to keep Chambers and fellow freshman Marcus Crowley there for depth this fall.