Football

Morning Conversational: What Is Ryan Day’s Role In Determining Depth Chart?

Ryan Day Ohio State Football Buckeyes

Today’s Topic: What Is Ryan Day’s Role In Determining Depth Chart?


When Ohio State is rolling in a rotation at a particular position, it is the position coach who sends those players in.

It was Tony Alford last year who determined when the offense was going to go with JK Dobbins and when they were going to go with Mike Weber. It was defensive line coach Larry Johnson sending wave after wave of Rushmen onto the field.

During the actual game, it is the position coaches who determine which players play when, but what about throughout the week leading into a game? How much say does an assistant coach have compared to the head coach when putting together the depth chart?

It is the position coach who sees everything his player does. A head coach sees as much as he wants to, or as much as he has time for. Because of this, Buckeye head coach Ryan Day will leave most of the decision-making process to his assistant coaches.

“I think you start off with the position coaches,” he said this spring. “Most of the time, it’s already going to be decided. You know who the starter is. Guys over a period of time have a body of work, you kind of know who the starter is. And then the position coach gives his information.”

For instance, you don’t have to be Larry Johnson to know that defensive end Chase Young is going to be in the starting lineup, just as you don’t need to be secondary coach Jeff Hafley to know that Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette are your starting cornerbacks.

Not everything is so cut and dried, however.

“If it’s close, they both play, and that’s okay,” Day said. “We’ve done that around here a lot.”

Last year, the Buckeyes employed two middle linebackers in Tuf Borland and Baron Browning, and they essentially had two starting nose tackles in Robert Landers and Davon Hamilton.

Depth is a good thing, and Day wants to use it whenever possible.

But when it comes to setting the depth chart, Day leaves it up to his assistants, provided he agrees with their decision.

“So at the end of the day, I have the final say, but empowering the position coaches and the coordinator to give their opinion, and then ultimately it comes down to me,” he said.

“The majority of the time, everybody knows who the starter is.”