Ohio State Buckeyes: Projecting the 2021 depth chart on offense after spring practice

Ohio State football: 2021 spring game

This was not the most illuminating spring practice Ohio State has ever had — at least not to the public.

While there were some viewing windows, most of it was hidden from the media and therefore the public.

Explore4 takeaways from spring practice

The coaching staff expressed satisfaction with what was accomplished, but the rest of us will have to wait and see how things shake out.

Through interviews and the spring game, we can piece together a potential depth chart as the Buckeyes head into summer, but changes are likely to occur.

Whether a a result of transfers (in or out), disciplinary issues or just good old fashioned development, some new faces are likely to be in new places by the time the Buckeyes are lining up against Minnesota in the season-opener.

ExploreLessons from 'glimpses' at spring practice

Here is a look at the projected depth chart on offense at the end of spring:


Starter: C.J. Stroud

In the mix: Jack Miller III, Kyle McCord

Head coach Ryan Day has not named a starter, but Stroud was the backup last season and appears to be at the front of the line for most of the spring. He and Miller have a slight experience advantage over McCord, who just arrived in February, but the true freshman can’t be counted out completely.

Day hopes to see someone grab the job but says he won’t rush a decision.

ExploreDay says race is on for starting QB spot

Running back

Starter: Master Teague III or Miyan Williams

In the mix: Marcus Crowley, Steele Chambers, TreVeyon Henderson, Evan Pryor, Xavier Johnson

Teague has the most experience, but Williams has displayed more natural rushing instincts in limited opportunities. Two will play and a third is likely to have a role. That could be Henderson, a five-star freshman who could be the most dynamic in the open field. Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson praised his ability to catch the ball and to pick up blitzers, which would seem to open the door for Henderson to be an option as an old-fashioned third-down back.

This is an area depth can evaporate quickly, so no one should be counted out.

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Offensive line

Starters: Thayer Munford, Nicholas Petit-Frere (tackles), Paris Johnson Jr., Matt Jones (guards), Harry Miller (center).

In the mix: Dawand Jones, Josh Fryar, Luke Wypler, Enokk Vimahi, Ryan Jacoby, Zen Michalski, Trey Leroux, Grant Toutant, Ben Christman, Donovan Jackson

Wilson said he would like to have at least eight guys ready to go, citing Alabama having to go to their backup center in the National Championship Game as an example of why that is necessary.

There is hope Ohio State will be even deeper than that with older prospects Dawand Jones, Vimahi and Jacoby present and youngsters such as Fryar and Wypler on the rise. Jackson is the highest-rated OL recruit in the class and is due to arrive this summer from Bellaire, Texas.

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Ohio State offensive line depth is impressive to coach Greg Studrawa

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Tight end

Starter: Jeremy Ruckert

In the mix: Cade Stover, Mitch Rossi, Joe Royer, Corey Rau, Gee Scott Jr., Sam Hart

Ruckert opted to come back for his senior season in hopes of maximizing his NFL Draft perception. He is considered an all-around talent while the others could be used in more specialized roles.

Stover and Scott are likely the best all-around athletes in the room, but they are both raw after starting their college careers at other positions. Rossi and Rau are seniors who can provide different things while Royer and Hart are youngsters still developing.

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Starters: Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba (slot), Chris Olave

In the mix: Julian Fleming, Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka, Jayden Ballard, Kamryn Babb, Jaylen Harris, Ellijah Gardiner

Wilson and Olave are returning starters who made the All-Big Ten first team last year. Smith-Njigba is a five-star prospect who has risen in regard since arriving last year, and coach Brian Hartline has called Fleming perhaps the most talented receiver he has been around.

Harrison and Egbuka are highly-regarded true freshmen who impressed in the spring game, but the battle for snaps figures to be intense with some veterans still looking to finally make a mark.

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Ohio State coach Brian Hartline on earning playing time this season for Buckeyes

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