Redshirt Forecast Part III: Look for Me Next Year
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — New OSU head coach Urban Meyer doesn’t recruit players with the intent of redshirting them, but that doesn’t mean those days are over in Columbus.
The Buckeyes had eight true freshmen in their recently released 2-deep for the Miami (Ohio) opener, with two more guys being listed as third-teamers on the depth chart, but there are plenty of kids from the 2012 class who won’t see the field at all this season.
We take a look at some of those kids in our the third installment of our three-part “Redshirt Forecast” series.
Photo bu Jim Davidson
12 QB Cardale Jones (6-5, 235, FUMA) — Two years ago, Jones was a highly-recruited prospect out of Glenville High School. He came to Ohio State after a year at Fork Union and it has taken him a while to find his groove. He has tremendous size and arm strength, but Jones was a non-factor for his first 4-5 months in Columbus. He is the No. 3 QB behind Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton, but he isn’t going to see the field in 2012 unless one of those other two guys is hurt.
28 RB Warren Ball (6-1, 215, Columbus DeSales) — This is a kid who would have been on the fence, and maybe even a lock to see the field in 2012 before he suffered a foot sprain in fall camp. Ball recently had surgery and is out indefinitely, which probably means he’s headed for a redshirt. The Buckeyes have three healthy backs plus Zach Boren who can carry the football, and they expect to have Jordan Hall back by week two or three.
Photo by Jim Davidson
66 OT Kyle Dodson (6-5, 315, Cleveland Heights) — Dodson is a kid who has all the physical tools to be a great offensive lineman at Ohio State, but he is extremely raw. He did not play a lot of football in high school because of injuries and family issues, which means all of this is new for him. He has tremendous strength and athleticism for a young kid, but offensive line coach Ed Warinner said he’s probably a year away from being ready to contribute.
60 OL Joey O’Connor (6-3, 305, Windsor, Colo.) — O’Connor is another highly-recruiting player in the 2012 class who could have provided depth at guard or center. He recently underwent successful knee surgery, however, and Urban Meyer said he will miss his entire freshman season at Ohio State.
65 OL Pat Elflein (6-3, 290, Pickerington North) — A Columbus native, Elflein is another kid who has battled injuries during fall camp. He could be called upon to add depth at guard or center, but right now he is not a part of the two-deep and probably would not be a guy Warinner would lean on if he had some injuries up front.
8 WR Ricquan Southward (6-0, 185, Lakeland, Fla.) — Another freshman hit by the injury bug this fall. Southward has not really been in the mix at receiver since getting to Ohio State. He’s trying to learn the system and get himself healthy, but probably won’t be a factor until next year.
Photo by Jim Davidson
33 WR Frank Epitropoulos (6-1, 197, Upper Arlington) — The only way Epitropoulos is getting on the field as a freshman is as an emergency punter. He hasn’t practiced much because of injury and Meyer said he doesn’t even really know what kind of player Epitropoulos is yet. He needs to bulk up and get healthy for next year.
89 TE Blake Thomas (6-3, 238, St. Ignatius) — Thomas is a kid we’ve heard almost nothing about this fall, even with Jake Stoneburner playing a lot of receiver during camp. In the old offense, Thomas would be getting reps as the No. 3 TE behind Jeff Heuerman and Nick Vannett, but this system is different. Zach Boren and Adam Homan can also play that spot, which means Thomas likely has to wait a year.
23 DB Tyvis Powell (6-3, 199, Bedford) — Another kid who enrolled early at Ohio State, Powell has sort of been lost in the shuffle at cornerback. He was battling Adam Griffin for the fourth spot in the two-deep during spring, but he didn’t seem to get much consideration for that spot this fall.
Redshirt Forecast Part 1: Look for Me on Saturdays
Redshirt Forecast Part II: On the Fence
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