Defensive Depth Chart Revised

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Last updated: 08/15/2011 9:02 AM

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Football
Re-Thinking Fall Depth Chart: Defense
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the Ohio State offense missing several key members early in the season, the Buckeyes’ “Silver Bullets” defense will be expected to carry the team until the return of Boom Herron, DeVier Posey and Mike Adams in week six.

They have their own holes to fill, however, including seven starters from last year’s defense. The Buckeyes will get a boost from having some healthy bodies back on the field this fall, including former starters Tyler Moeller and C.J. Barnett, but what will the rest of the defense look like?

We take another look at the depth chart as Ohio State heads in to week No. 2 of fall camp.

STRONGSIDE DEFENSIVE END

(Editor’s note: After playing more inside last season, John Simon will slide out to play some defensive end in the absence of Cam Heyward.)

54 John Simon (6-2, 270, Jr.)
+91 Melvin Fellows (6-5, 270, rSo.)
86 Kenny Hayes (6-5, 240, Fr.)
57 Chase Farris (6-6, 265, Fr.)

NOSE TACKLE

(Editor’s note: Adam Bellamy is considered the top backup at every spot on the defensive line except Leo.)

53 Garrett Goebel (6-3, 290, rJr.)
93 Adam Bellamy (6-4, 302, rSo.)
68 Evan Blankenship (6-3, 288, rSr.)
95 Don Matheney (6-0, 310, Sr.)

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

52 Johnathan Hankins (6-3, 335, So.)
*51 Joe Hale (6-4, 305, Fr.)
+63 Michael Bennett (6-3, 280, Fr.)
90 Darryl Baldwin (6-4, 290, rFr.)

WEAKSIDE DEFENSIVE END (LEO)

(Editor’s note: Solomon Thomas has missed a large chunk of practice time this fall because of injury, but even when he returns he must sit for the first five games of the season).

43 Nathan Williams (6-3, 255, Sr.)
50 J.T. Moore (6-1, 252, rFr.)
^98 Solomon Thomas (6-5, 255, rSr.)
88 Steve Miller (6-4, 245, Fr.)

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER (WILL)

(Editor’s note: After playing Sam LB last season, Andrew Sweat slides over to replace Ross Homan at his more natural Will LB spot.)

42 Andrew Sweat (6-2, 238, Sr.)
41 Tony Jackson (5-11, 225, rSr.)
20 Nate Oliver (6-0, 215, rSr,)

MIDDLE LINEBACKER (MIKE)

32 Storm Klein (6-2, 240, Jr.)
#39 Jordan Whiting (6-1, 238, rSo.)
14 Curtis Grant (6-3, 225, Fr.)


STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER (SAM)

(Editor’s note: After playing MLB in the spring, Etienne Sabino moved to Sam LB in the base this fall, but it looks like he will slide back over to MLB when the defense goes to nickel.)

6 Etienne Sabino (6-3, 242, rJr.)
*10 Ryan Shazier (6-2, 210, Fr.)
+38 Scott McVey (6-0, 218, rFr.)

NICKEL BACK (STAR)

(Editor’s note: With Tyler Moeller’s return and the development of Christian Bryant, the Buckeyes will likely spend more time in the nickel defense this fall than their traditional 4-3 base defense.)

+26 Tyler Moeller (6-0, 210, rSr.)
+2 Christian Bryant (5-9, 190, So.)
+23 Chad Hagan (6-0, 225, rFr.)
34 Nate Ebner (6-0, 205, Sr.)

WIDESIDE CORNERBACK

7 Travis Howard (6-1, 190, rJr.)
8 Dionte Allen (5-11, 185, Sr.)
12 Doran Grant (5-11, 180, Fr.)

SHORTSIDE CORNERBACK

(The battle between Clarke and Roby for the other starting corner spot might be the most evenly contested of fall camp thus far. Both are splitting reps with the first-team defense.)

5 Dominic Clarke (5-10, 191, rSo.) OR
25 Bradley Roby (5-11, 185 rFr.)
18 DerJuan Gambrell (6-2, 180, Fr.)
+9 Adam Griffin (5-7, 180, rFr.)

FREE SAFETY

19 Orhian Johnson (6-2, 205, rJr.)
21 Jamie Wood (6-1, 200, rSo.)
16 Zach Domicone (6-3, 211, rJr.)
+3 Corey Brown (6-1, 189, rSo.)
*17 Jeremy Cash (6-2, 190, Fr.)

STRONG SAFETY

(Editor’s note: Coming back from injury, Barnett has worked exclusively with the first-team defense this fall. Coaches are looking for a way to get Bryant on the field in 2011.)

+4 C.J. Barnett (6-0, 190, Jr.)
+2 Christian Bryant (5-9, 190, So.)
*28 Ron Tanner (6-1, 190, Fr.)
34 Nate Ebner (6-0, 205, Sr.)

Legend
*Early enrollee from class of 2011
+Injured or coming off injury from last season
^Suspended first 5 games of 2011 season
#Suspender first game of 2011 season
Returning starter in bold

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