Depth Chart: Fullback

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Last updated: 06/15/2012 4:33 AM

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Breaking Down Urban’s Depth Chart: Fullback
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — So far, we have covered a number of key offensive positions for the Buckeyes in our post-spring breakdown of Urban Meyer’s first-ever depth chart at Ohio State.

Meyer has a some key players returning at important spots offensively, but he also has some critical questions to answer this fall. There were not many surprises in the OSU two-deep, especially at the fullback position, where senior Zach Boren enters his fourth season as the starter in Columbus.

Their first game is on Sept. 1 in Ohio Stadium. How much different will the depth chart look three months from now? We’re going to break down Urban’s first depth chart for a closer look at how things might develop over the summer and during the 29 practices in the fall.

Let’s continue with the FULLBACKS…

Zach Boren and Urban Meyer
Photo by Jim Davidson
Zach Boren and Urban Meyer

Pre-spring pecking order: Zach Boren in front with Adam Homan right behind him.

The Buckeyes lost backup fullback David Durham to a transfer between the Gator Bowl and the start of spring camp, which left them with just two scholarship fullbacks on the roster for the 2012 season.

They also have a walk-on in Columbus Eastmoor product Darryl Wood, but two scholarship fullbacks is more than enough in an Urban Meyer offense. The position is almost interchangeable with the tight end spot, although not the way Jake Stoneburner will play tight end for Meyer.

Post-spring depth chart: Boren getting almost all the reps and few for Homan.

The new coaching staff split Stoneburner out wide much more often in the spring in order to get both he and Boren on the field at the same time. That’s not a big change from what the Buckeyes did last year, but when they take Boren out of the game, instead of bringing in Homan, they are more likely to go with either Jeff Heuerman or Nick Vannett.

That probably explains with Durham ended up at Pitt, but that doesn’t mean Homan’s playing days are over. This is still going to be a physical running game, and there is going to be plenty of opportunity for Homan to get in the game, especially when they get in the red zone.

Boren, meanwhile, should see as much or more time on the field than he did last year. The Buckeyes won’t be using nearly as much traditional power I-formation football in 2012, but a lot of their inside blocking schemes remain the same.

Who is missing?: Nobody, other than Durham, who was gone before the start of spring practice. The Buckeyes are adding another tight end in Blake Thomas this summer, and it doesn’t seem like Meyer will want to use too many scholarships on more traditional fullbacks.

He certainly had some at Florida. It was just the skill guys like Aaron Hernandez, but it probably stands to reason that Meyer will want to look more at preferred walk-ons in order to save his scholarships for some other positions.

Susceptible to Change or Set in Stone: Pretty set in stone.

We know Boren is going to be the guy at fullback and we know Homan is going to be his backup.

Overall prognosis: Meyer has made it a point to say that he loves what Boren brings to the game of football, and he wants to find ways to get him into the game, regardless of who else is out there.

His primary role will continue to be as a blocker, but let’s nor forget Boren caught six passes for 60 yards last year as a junior. He showed he could handle the rock, and Meyer even plans to give it to him as a ball-carrier this fall.

Urban's take: “He (Boren) is down to around 245 pounds now, that’s down 12 pounds. He’s a much better runner than I thought. He can catch, he can carry the ball. He doesn’t exactly have the home run ability you’d like, but he’s a tough guy. He will carry the ball.”

Related Articles:

Breaking Down Urban’s Depth Chart: Wide Receiver

Breaking Down the Depth Chart: Offensive Tackles

Breaking Down the Depth Chart: Tailbacks

Breaking Down the Depth Chart: Tight Ends

Breaking Down the Depth Chart: Quarterbacks

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