Sunday, July 5, 2015

Ohio State Buckeye Roster Thin Entering 2014 Spring Practice

English: University of Florida football Head C...
English: University of Florida football Head Coach Urban Meyer watches his team practice during the Gators' first Spring Practice of 2008 on March 19, 2008 at the UF Football Practice Fields in Gainesville, FL. (Photo by Harrison Diamond / The Independent Florida Alligator) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When the 2013 season was coming to an end, Ohio State played with just 55 scholarship players against FBS schools. This is 30 less than what is allotted to major college football programs, and 8 less than FCS schools. 70 players are included in a travel roster. The Buckeye's roster could not be filled with scholarship players. Additionally, last season when Ohio State met Florida A & M, the Rattlers unbelievably had more resources in terms of scholarships. 

Some may wonder why Urban Meyer, the head coach, was so aggressive on having bodies and depth. Attrition appeared in all forms as there was no discrimination in terms of transfers, NCAA sanctions, red-shirts and injuries. 

For another extra season, there is a limitation of 3 scholarships to 82 for Ohio State due to the violations done when Jim Tressel was in charge. Meyer is refusing to over sign in order to prevent the roster from stockpiling. Thus, when a transfer of 24 players was done over a period of four years, there was little left for the Buckeyes in terms of depth. the entire roster is made up of 93 players, including walk-ons. 67 of them have scholarships while 45 are underclassmen. 

Coaches should not be afforded a free pass on such a thin roster. A certain group that was vocally campaigning against red-shirting decided in 2013 to sit 19 players. Meyer swore never to let that happen again. Seven of Ohio State walk-ons will participate in spring drills, while an additional 16 will join the team in August. The Buckeyes will thus consist of 67 scholarship players taking part in spring practice. In August, the squad grows to 82 though at the moment it looks like they are over the limit by one. For Meyer however, thinning down the roster is better than filling gaps with inexperienced players. 

Braxton Miller has just undergone surgery on his shoulder. The good news is that the quarterback position is rather intriguing. The departure of Kenny Guiton means there will be competition to fill the position. Cardale Jones will start in the position for the first day but is not expected to last long. J.T. Barret was the first quarterback to be signed by Coach Tom Herman. Conventional wisdom points to the fact that the Buckeyes will want him to spend a year as Miller's understudy. The Wichita Falls native has all the skills needed to front a Meyer-Herman offensive. 

The running back is among the deepest positions for the team. This is a welcome thing given that Ohio State must find a replacement for a 1500-yard runner. The Buckeyes have for the last two seasons been fortunate to have substitute tailback when some running needs to be done.

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