Defensive Depth Chart

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Last updated: 08/14/2013 2:50 AM
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Football
Defensive Depth Chart
By Rob Ogden

Media day provided some clarity about what Ohio State’s depth chart will look like come Aug. 31. Here’s what we learned on the defensive side of the ball.

Defensive Line

Adolphus Washington
Photo by Dan Harker
Adolphus Washington

After losing all four starters from a year ago, defensive line depth was one of the biggest question marks coming into fall camp, but after only a week, that question seems to have been answered.

The end positions, to no one’s surprise, will be occupied by sophomores Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington – two players for which coach Urban Meyer has high expectations.

“(Spence) and Adolphus Washington are potential candidates for all-conference someday,” Meyer said on Sunday. “Maybe not this year, but someday.”

Steve Miller, Rashad Frazier, Jamal Marcus and Tyquan Lewis will serve as the backups.

Michael Bennett
Photo by Dan Harker
Michael Bennett

Joel Hale and Mike Bennett are still the leading candidates at the interior line positions, but Tommy Schutt “is really pushing those guys for a starting spot,” Meyer said.

Chris Carter, Mike Hill and Billy Price are the reserves.

Freshman Joey Bosa has seen time at both tackle and end, and is a guy Meyer said he imagines will play this year.

Freshman Donovan Munger has been sidelined by a blood clot and will not play this fall, Meyer said.

Linebacker

Ryan Shazier
Photo by Dan Harker
Ryan Shazier

Junior Ryan Shazier is the one returner from last year’s defensive front seven, and will lock down the Will linebacker position.

Junior Curtis Grant, who was sidelined last week with a concussion, will occupy the Mike position, with freshman Mike Mitchell and sophomore walk-on Joe Burger as his primary backups, Meyer said.

Josh Perry will be the starting Sam linebacker and Tyvis Powell will start at Nickel, Meyer said.

The Buckeyes don’t have a single senior on the roster at linebacker, and lack experience from the reserves. Shazier believes it’s his job to bring the younger guys up to speed.

“I really don’t feel like (linebacker depth) is thin,” Shazier said. “I feel like a lot of guys aren't yet where we want them to be. Me, as a leader, I have to get them going and get everybody else at the right level. I just got to get it out of them and be a better leader.”

Secondary
An influx of talented freshmen has created a crowded depth chart in the secondary, and the coaches offered little clarity to the situation.

C. J. Barnett
Photo by Dan Harker
C. J. Barnett

What we do know, is that seniors Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett will occupy the safety positions.

We also know that cornerback Bradley Roby is likely the most talented of the group, but he’s still awaiting word on a possible suspension.

Depending on what happens with Roby, there is at least one starting corner position still unassigned.

Junior Doran Grant appears to be the favorite, but freshmen Gareon Conley, Eli Apple and Cameron Burrows and sophomore Armani Reeves are all in the mix for playing time, said cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.

“All of them are competing, and that’s the reality,” Coombs said. “Doran Grant has had a phenomenal camp. This is the best that he’s performed and I expect him to be a great player.”

Coombs added that Reeves has had a productive offseason, as well.

As far as the freshmen, Coombs said all three could make an impact in 2013.

“Those three freshmen are going to be very talented players at Ohio State,” he said. “We expect to play all of those kids during the course of the year.”

Projected Defensive Two-Deep

STRONGSIDE DEFENSIVE END
Adolphus Washington
Steve Miller

NOSE TACKLE
Joel Hale
Chris Carter

DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Mike Bennett
Tommy Schutt

WEAKSIDE DEFENSIVE END
Noah Spence
Jamal Marcus

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER (SAM)
Josh Perry
Craig Fada

MIDDLE LINEBACKER (MIKE)
Curtis Grant
Mike Mitchell

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER (WILL)
Ryan Shazier
Trey Johnson

NICKEL BACK (STAR)
Tyvis Powell
Adam Griffin

DIME BACK
Corey Brown
Cameron Burrows

BOUNDARY CORNER
Bradley Roby
Armani Reeves

FIELD CORNER
Doran Grant
Eli Apple

STRONG SAFETY
C.J. Barnett
Corey Brown

FREE SAFETY
Christian Bryant
Vonn Bell

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