Spring Football Primer

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Last updated: 03/03/2014 6:25 PM
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Ohio State Football — Spring Practice Primer
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Buckeyes will begin spring practices Tuesday afternoon, which will be the first of 15 practices that will then culminate in the annual Spring Game on April 12.

Ohio State will have a second practice on Thursday before Spring Break separates everybody until March 18. From that point on they will practice nearly every other day until the Spring Game.

Here is the practice schedule:
March 4, 6, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
April 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 12

The Buckeyes return 39 letter winners and will have a roster of 93 players. One player who is not part of that number, however, is linebacker Mike Mitchell, whom Ohio State says "is no longer practicing with the team."

Quarterback Braxton Miller "isn't likely to take a snap" this spring due to his shoulder surgery on February 21, per OSU. While he wasn't expected to be able to do much, this still isn't an ideal situation for the rising senior. The benefit, obviously, will be the sheer number of snaps for quarterbacks Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett and Stephen Collier.

Injury Updates
Chase Farris, who has moved back to the offensive line, will be held out of spring drills while recovering from a torn ACL late last season. Linebacker Devan Bogard is in the same boat as Farris, as he is also recovering from a torn ACL.

Redshirt freshman James Clark will practice this spring, but will be limited following his leg injury early last season. The coaches will be careful with him as they try to get him back up to full speed by the time the season starts in August.

Starting receiver Evan Spencer is also out this spring as he recovers from his leg injury suffered in the Orange Bowl. Backup walk-on offensive lineman Ben St. John has elected not to play football in his fifth and final season due to a shoulder injury.

New Places, New Faces
There are three notable position changes, each of which has already been reported here before. Joel Hale, who started at nose tackle last year, has moved to the offensive line. The aforementioned Chase Farris, who started one game at defensive tackle last year, is also back to the offensive line where he spent all of 2012 and the entire 2013 preseason.

Also, sophomore Cameron Burrows has officially moved to safety from cornerback. As cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs has already told us, Burrows will also be in the mix at nickel. He played 124 snaps at cornerback last year according to Ohio State.

There are seven true freshmen who are already enrolled and will be participating in spring practice. They are:

QB Stephen Collier (Leesburg, GA) Lee County HS
WR Johnnie Dixon (West Palm Beach, FL) Dwyer HS
OL Marcelys Jones (Cleveland, OH) Glenville HS
LB Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, GA) Liberty Co. HS
K Sean Nuernberger (Buckner, KY) Oldham County HS
HB Curtis Samuel (Brooklyn, NY), Erasmus Hall HS
OL Kyle Trout (Lancaster, OH) Lancaster HS

Roster Breakdown

Of the 93 players on the spring roster, 20 of them are seniors, 28 are juniors, 24 are sophomores and 21 of them are freshmen (seven of which are true freshmen). That means when the rest of the freshmen get to campus in the summer, there will be 37 scholarship players with freshman eligibility on the roster.

On the Horizon
We will be on hand for the very first practice on Tuesday afternoon and will speak with Urban Meyer afterward. We will have full practice reports following the festivities. Thursday's practice is closed, but we will speak with Luke Fickell and Ed Warinner afterward, as well as assorted linebackers and offensive linemen.

There may still be snow on the ground, but Spring has finally sprung.

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