Redshirt Forecast Part III: Wait 'til Next Year
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — So far this week we have taken a look at those freshmen who will play this season, as well as those who may or may not. Today, we examine those who aren't likely to see the field until next season.
Injury has played a large role in this list, which is a testament to Urban Meyer's desire to not redshirt freshmen if at all possible. However, the players who do redshirt this season will provide an added boost to the 2014 recruiting class, as even more new blood enters the Ohio State football program a year from now.
After all, just because you're unlikely to see these players on the field this year doesn't mean you won't see them quite a bit next year.
52 DT Donovan Munger (6-4 290, Shaker Heights, Ohio)
Munger will miss the season with a blood clot issue, so he won't be playing until next season at the earliest. However, this will allow the Buckeyes to shoot for the moon at defensive tackle in the 2014 class, and if they miss, they still have Munger debuting next year. When he's healthy, he's quick and strong with good feet. Now he'll have an extra year in Mickey Marotti's weight room before he sees the field.
OG Tim Gardner (6-5 315, Indianapolis, Indiana)
Gardner was sent home this season as a disciplinary measure, but Ohio State has said that he will have the opportunity to return next season. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. What we do know, however, is that we won't be seeing Gardner on the field in 2013. If he comes back, the Buckeyes will be getting a mauler on the inside, and he would add to what has become a very strong 2014 recruiting class along the offensive line.
J. T. Barrett
Photo by Dan Harker
16 QB J.T. Barrett (6-1 222, Wichita Falls, Texas)
Barrett, as far as we can tell, has yet to take any snaps during the scrimmage portions of practice, which follows the path set by Cardale Jones last season. Tom Herman said this week that the hope is that Barrett will redshirt this season, as it's never ideal to be down to your fourth quarterback. So, barring disaster of the most disastrous kind, you'll have to wait until the 2014 Spring Game to get your first glimpse at Barrett in action. Who knows, he could be fighting for the starting job at that point.
29 S Jayme Thompson (6-0 190, Toledo, Ohio)
Thompson had surgery for a severe high-ankle sprain during fall camp and will miss the season as he recovers. Thompson is a tremendous athlete and will likely figure prominently in the special teams plans next season. Keep in mind that there will be two or three jobs open at safety next year as well. Thompson will be fine down the road, and the staff will expect him to compete for a spot next season.
Photo by Dan Harker
54 OL Billy Price (6-3 299, Austintown, Ohio)
On Signing Day, Urban Meyer said that Price was the most physically-ready to play of the defensive tackles that he signed. However, Price was moved to offensive line recently during camp, which would lead us to expect him to redshirt as he acclimates to his new spot. He played on the offensive line in high school, and many believed the interior of the offensive line would be his eventual destination. Right now there is no need for him to play as the Buckeyes have at least three linemen they're happy with as backups.
93 DL Tracy Sprinkle (6-2 275, Elyria, Ohio)
Sprinkle enrolled in the spring and he has had his moments, but he is still finding his way, as well as his position. Mike Vrabel has Sprinkle focusing on his technique, as well as improving his hands. The tenacity is already there, but college football has been a learning experience for Sprinkle. Add in an injury at the moment and he looks like a prime candidate to redshirt this year. He will use this season and the bowl practices to get ready for next year.
Photo by Jim Davidson
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