The 2019 Ohio State Buckeyes are finished playing football.
The 2020 Buckeyes will look different.
>>READ MORE: Fiesta Bowl recap | 6 takeaways | Photos
How different remains to be seen, but here is a first look at what Ryan Day will have to work with in his second season as head coach in Columbus.
Here’s the best news: The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and best quarterback in the league will be back at the controls of Day’s offense.
Justin Fields had a breakout sophomore season and can be expected to be even better in his second season as a starter.
Backup Chris Chugunov is out of eligibility, meaning the new No. 2 will be senior-to-be Gunnar Hoak or a true freshman. Four-star prospects Jack Miller and C.J. Stroud are both scheduled to be on campus in January to begin their college careers, and that should be an interesting competition to watch.
Walk-ons Danny Vanatsky, J.P. Andrade and Jagger LaRoe could be in the mix as well.
Ohio State Buckeyes: 5 questions they face in 2020 https://t.co/8vjna5guy3— Marcus Hartman (@marcushartman) January 1, 2020
After running for 789 yards as a redshirt freshman backup to J.K. Dobbins, Master Teague figures to get the first crack at the starting role with Dobbins going pro early.
Marcus Crowley and Steele Chambers won’t let him have it without a fight, though.
The two four-star sophomores who will look to push him for playing time while Cincinnati-area standout Miyan Williams joins as a member of the class of 2020, too.
>>READ MORE: On the recruiting class
Senior Demario McCall remains an intriguing talent with a year of eligibility left, though he has had a hard time carving out a role with the Buckeyes offense.
This position should remain deep with only Rashod Berry graduating. Starter Luke Farrell is due back for one more season while Jeremy Ruckert and Jake Hausmann proved to be valuable members of the rotation as well.
Freshman Cormontae Hamilton redshirted this fall, and Jake Royer is on the way from Cincinnati Elder, so position coach Kevin Wilson will have a handful of scholarship players to work with.
Center Josh Myers, right guard Wyatt Davis and left tackle Thayer Munford all could have let early for the NFL, but indications are none will.
That would be a major development for Ohio State, which had to replace four starters from last season but got better. Doing that two years in a row would be a tall task.
Senior stalwarts Branden Bowen and Jonah Jackson must be replaced, but sophomores Nicholas Petit-Frere and Jack Miller appear ready to step into the lineup while coach Greg Studrawa has another year to mold a handful of reserves and adds six freshmen, including five-star Cincinnati native Paris Johnson.
For the second straight year, Ohio State loses three productive seniors.
This time the all-time leader in receptions, K.J. Hill, is among those on the way out the door, but talented, experienced players are waiting in the wings.
Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson could be one of the best receiver duos in the country next season, but a new slot receiver will have to be found. Sophomore Jaelen Gill would seem like a top candidate while senior Jaylen Harris will also look to earn more playing time in his last go ‘round.
A talented freshman class including Julian Fleming, the No. 1 receiver in the country according to 247Sports Composite rankings, will also get a chance to jump right into the fray.
He is joined by four-star prospects Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gee Scott Jr. and Mookie Cooper.
About the Author