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Quick Thoughts on Ohio State's Depth Chart for Virginia Tech
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — Ohio State has released the depth chart for Monday's game against Virginia Tech and as expected there are more ORs here than a Let's Make a Deal marathon.

Urban Meyer has said that he wouldn't be naming a starting quarterback prior to the game, and he held true to his word in regard to the depth chart as Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett are attached to each other via a bold-lettered OR.

The only difference on the offensive line from the depth chart that I projected a few days ago is that Ohio State lists redshirt freshman Brady Taylor as the No. 2 center, which he was during camp as well. Still, if Jacoby Boren has to leave the game due to an injury, expect right guard Pat Elflein to slide down to center.

When it comes to receiver, however, all bets are off. At the receiver spot opposite Michael Thomas, there are a pair of ORs tying James Clark, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin together. All three should see time if they are healthy enough, and if somebody gets hot then perhaps Zach Smith will ride that receiver a little more than the other two.

Braxton Miller and Curtis Samuel are OR'd at H-back, and interestingly they are backed up by freshman K.J. Hill, who is one of just three true freshmen on the two deep. Last year for the season opener against Navy, Ohio State had seven true freshmen on the depth chart.

Along with Hill at H-back and Isaiah Prince at right tackle, the other true freshman on the depth chart is cornerback Denzel Ward, who is on it in part because of the uncooperative hamstring(s) of Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore is expected to play according to Kerry Coombs last week, however.

Sam Hubbard and Jalyn Holmes are listed as ORs at Joey Bosa's vacated defensive end spot. Meyer had said recently that Hubbard had pulled ahead, but perhaps Holmes has had something to say about that recently.

For me, the most interesting thing about the entire depth chart is that sophomore safety Erick Smith is now listed as a free safety behind Vonn Bell, as opposed to a strong safety behind Tyvis Powell like he was all of last season. I think that position suits his ball skills well.

Erick Smith is now shadowing Vonn Bell on the depth chart and off.
Photo by Jim Davidson

Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle makes what I think may be his first appearance on an Ohio State depth chart, sharing an OR with Donovan Munger behind Adolphus Washington. Munger has been hampered in camp, but the Buckeyes are going to need more than just Washington and Tommy Schutt to be impact defenders on the interior.

Overall, there is nothing really out of the ordinary here, but it gives us an idea of what we might see on Monday night.

Page 2 — The Depth Chart

Player profiles relevant to story:
1 - Smith, Erick | 12 - Ward, Denzel | 93 - Sprinkle, Tracy
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