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Established October 31, 1996
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Last updated: 03/31/2011 2:12 AM

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Spring Roster Musings, Mutterings and Mullings
By Tony Gerdeman

Well, we finally got a hold of an official spring roster and there's plenty of minutiae to minutiaete about, so let's get right to it.

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There are 68 scholarship players listed on the spring roster, and when you add in the 16 players yet to enroll, that puts Ohio State's scholarship count at 84, one under the NCAA limit. What this means is that most likely a senior walk-on will be rewarded with the final scholarship.

The candidates per the roster:

48 Dan Bain LB

35 Bo DeLande RB

41 Tony Jackson LB

87 Chris Roark WR

48 Spencer Smith TE

95 Don Matheney DT

Jackson, Smith and Matheney are the only ones who have earned varsity letters in their careers. Smith and Jackson routinely showed up in depth charts last year.

Jackson has played in 16 games over the last two seasons, including 11 last year. Smith played in all 13 games last season. I would expect one of these two players to be getting school paid for in the near future.

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Cornerback Dionte Allen, a Florida State transfer who sat out last season is listed on the roster as having junior eligibility.

It was assumed that he would only have one year on the field with the Buckeyes after redshirting his freshman season at Florida State, playing two seasons, and then sitting out last year as a transfer. However, he only played in 14 games in 2008 and 2009 due to injury, so perhaps it is assumed he will be granted a medical waiver and be given a sixth year.

Though I'm not sure how they could know the outcome of their petition already considering Tyler Moeller didn't find out that he was getting his sixth year until last season was well underway. Or maybe it's just a misprint. We'll get it figured out though.

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Darryl Baldwin, a redshirt freshman defensive end is listed as 6'4" 267. I remember when he used to be 6'7" back in high school. Is it any surprise that players are never as tall as they say they are, nor as fast?

Credit Ohio State for being one of the few schools out there who accurately reports measureables. When the NFL comes to campus, they know what they're getting.

But then should we really be surprised at how well Ohio State 'self-reports'?

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I found it interesting that Adam Bellamy is still listed as a DT, while Garrett Goebel is listed as a DL. Bellamy would seem to be one of the favorites to win the strongside defensive end spot that Cam Heyward patrolled so well. Goebel's listing as "DL" implies he will be playing both inside and outside.

But then as I look at the roster a little harder, there seems to be no rhyme or reason why some are listed as "DL" and some "DT". Heck, even 6'3" 335-pound Jonathan Hankins is listed as a "DL". Yes, there were times where he played an end last year, but let's be real for a sec--if he's not a "DT", then nobody is a "DT".

My thought is that I'm looking at this roster too hard. Or at least looking for things that aren't necessarily there.

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I'm disappointed that the roster lists both the Philadelphia Corey Brown and Pittsburgh Corey Brown as "Corey Brown". With "Philly" Brown being essentially a universally-accepted alternate name, I was semi-expecting it to be so on the roster as well.

This is bad news for my hope one day that the nickname "Pitty" Brown will be as accepted. Or even noticed.

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I noticed that Zach Boren's major is Sport & Leisure. Notice it's not "Sports", just "Sport". That sport? Likely something to do with pummeling linebackers. And the leisure? You know how dogs like to roll around in their kills? Probably something leisurely like that.

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Freshman offensive lineman Tommy Brown has enrolled for spring classes and will participate in spring practice. He's listed at 6'5" 320 pounds. Expect that weight to drop before August gets here. If it doesn't, it'll certainly drop in August whether he likes it or not.

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Sophomore cornerback Dominic Clarke, who has changed his number from 28 to 5, received some raves from Jim Tressel on Wednesday as the coach compared Clarke's maturation to that of former Thorpe Award winner Malcolm Jenkins.

Clarke was thrust into action in the Sugar Bowl last season and proved his worth on more than one occasion. There are two open cornerback spots this season, and for Tressel to take time out to make special mention of Clarke makes me think that #5 will again be a number to watch in the Ohio State secondary.

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Speaking of cornerbacks and number switches, Travis Howard dropped his 18 jersey for one that has a bit more history behind it. He will now be wearing 7, which is a jersey number that has quite a legacy over the last 20 years or so.

Since 1990, ten scholarship players have worn that number, and only four of those players haven't played in the NFL. That number will likely be reduced to three when Jermale Hines finds his way to an unlocked-out NFL this year or the next.

Running back Jordan Hall is currently wearing the number for the Buckeyes, so he can't yet be blamed for not playing in the NFL. And the jury is still out on receiver Lamaar Thomas, who transferred to New Mexico and is still playing college football as well.

That just leaves former quarterback Antonio Henton as the only surefire odd man out right now.

Those who bore the number:

Vinnie Clark, 1988-1990 (1st round pick, 19th overall)
Joey Galloway, 1992-1994 (1st round pick, 8th overall)
Joe Germaine, 1995-1998 (4th round pick, 101st overall)
Derek Ross, 1999-2001 (3rd round pick, 75th overall)
Chris Gamble, 2002-2003 (1st round pick, 28th overall)
Ted Ginn Jr., 2004-2006 (1st round pick, 9th overall)
Antonio Henton, 2006-2007
Jermale Hines, 2007-2010
Lamaar Thomas, 2007-2008
Jordan Hall, 2010-2011

As an aside, Hines may not be drafted as high as any of those players above, but that tells you absolutely nothing of the tremendous impact he had on his Buckeye teams.

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Don't look now, but there is a second DeLande at running back for the Buckeyes. Following in his older brother Bo's footsteps, Spencer DeLande has made the spring roster as a walk-on. He's listed as a sophomore.

Though he's the little brother, he's two inches taller and five pounds heavier than the elder DeLande.

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Last year there were five long snappers listed on the roster. This spring there are only two listed. The reason? Quite possibly it's because of incoming freshman Bryce Haynes, who was one of the top high school snappers in the country last year, and who has been given a scholarship right out of the gate. Generally, long snappers have to first prove their worth before being given a free ride. But the staff couldn't say no to what Haynes can do on the field, and so perhaps the writing was on the wall for any other snappers out there.

The two brave souls who have stuck around, Garrett Dornbrook and George Makridis, will battle it out this spring to see who advances to face Haynes. Think of it as a 'play-in game', and Haynes has a bye.

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Ohio State has been looking for a bruising tailback since Beanie Wells left, and this year there should be a couple of options. Redshirt freshman Roderick Smith is listed at 6'3" 220 pounds, and looks every bit of it when you see him in person. Carlos Hyde, who had a handful of carries last year is listed at 6'0" 238 pounds.

Between the two of them, they should get plenty of looks early in the season as Boom Herron and his nose for the extra yard watch from the sidelines.

And if you're interested in finding an underdog to root for, why not check out walk-on running back Darryl Wood, who is listed at 5'9" 250 pounds.

Maybe at the Spring Game, we can get a "Ram Man! Ram Man! Ram Man!" chant going.

(That was a He-Man reference for those of you too old or too young to know what I was talking about. And I'm secure with admitting it.)

*** ***

Since we've got heights and weights on actual paper in front of us, let's take a look at 'em in lightning-round fashion.

The lightest Buckeyes are Philly Brown and walk-on defensive back Julian Vann, who both come in at 170 pounds.

The heaviest Buckeye is defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins, who tips the scales at 335 pounds. Though "tips the scales" sounds too dainty for somebody of Hankins' heft, don't you think?

The tallest Buckeyes are left tackle Mike Adams and tight end Reid Fragel, both listed at 6'8".

The shortest Buckeye--sorry, that's rude--the Buckeye with the least amount of tall is freshman cornerback Adam Griffin, who is 5'7". And before you say that a lack of height didn't hinder Griffin's father Archie, who won two Heismans at Ohio State, I'll remind you that Griffin only batted .500 on the Heisman. He also lost it twice.

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