How Many Spots for 2014 Are Left?
By Michael Chung
With Ohio State at 16 commits, people are wondering how many more roster spots remain for the Ohio State 2014 class. Most analysts are saying between 20-22 spots. How do they arrive at this number? In this article, we will try to decipher how big the class will be by dissecting the current roster and analyze potential openings for the 82 man roster.
I. How Many Spots Are There on the Team if no More Attrition?
Ohio State has 14 graduating seniors on their current roster. They are Marcus Hall, Corey Linsley, Jack Mewhort, Andrew Norwell, Christian Bryant, Chris Fields, Philly Brown, Pittsburgh Brown, CJ Barnett, Kenny Guiton, Jordan Hall, Carlos Hyde, Jamie Wood, and Drew Basil. There is one more spot due to Luke Roberts’ transfer to Harvard and another for the dismissal of Timothy Gardner (assuming he does not return). This comes to 16 spots for next year. Since the class for 2014 is already at 16, technically, the 2014 class is filled, but . . .
II. Fourth Year Juniors (redshirted freshman year)
The next wave of scholarships to account for is fourth year juniors. Technically, they are not required to be offered a fifth year. The current roster has five players that redshirted their freshman year and are in their fourth year of eligibility: Darryl Baldwin, Rod Smith, Adam Griffin, JT Moore, and Bradley Roby.
We all know that Bradley Roby is 99% going to declare for the NFL unless some unforeseen circumstance arises but let us count him for now based solely on his eligibility status. Rod Smith will definitely be offered another year (he could also opt for the NFL with a productive 2013). Daryl Baldwin is listed as a back-up OT and with the depletion of OL after this season, do not be surprised if he is offered a fifth year. Of this list, there could be two 4th year juniors who are not offered, bringing our total to 18. On the flip side, 4th year juniors can also opt not to return if they have completed their degree and do not desire to play football anymore.
III. Early NFL Entries
There could be as many as four or five. Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier are virtual locks to go pro early and if Braxton Miller wins the Heisman and is projected in the first round, there is a slight possibility he goes. If players like Michael Bennett and Rod Smith have break out years, they could be leaving early. Curtis Grant and Evan Spencer will also be finishing their third year and if Spencer dazzles in the offense he may try to exit. It is unknown, but of this list, it may be safe to hypothesize that at least two to go pro early bringing our total to 20.
IV. More Transfers and Dismissals
You never want anyone to transfer or be dismissed but it happens and is a reality of college athletics. Do not be surprised if at least two more spots become available due to transfer and dismissal; with Urban Meyer getting tougher on conduct, some could receive a quick hook from the team. This brings our total to 22.
The science is inexact. Are Roby and Shazier gone? Will anyone transfer? What if the 4th year juniors have a break out year? The class could be a lot larger or smaller depending on many factors but as of now, the class of 2014 looks to number 22.
Next year Ohio State is back to 85 football scholarships and can have a little more breathing room during recruiting.
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