08 December 2011
PT. Playing time. Ohio State sophomore running back Carlos Hyde had problems coming to grips with it this fall once Boom Herron's suspension ended, and Hyde's touches decreased dramatically. But he came to understand – there will be ample opportunity in the years to come.
He may be right. But for many current Buckeyes, that time – Playing Time – may have just gone out the window with the hire of head coach-in-waiting Urban Meyer.
The following is just my humble opinion; but after reading, visiting, and "digesting" info from three online recruiting sites/boards and as many hometown papers/articles on recruits that I could find ... I'd expect to see several of the following "leave the program" either by National Signing Day, or following the Spring Game:
* One quarterback. * Miller starts. Osu will need a quality, healthy backup; either Guiton or Graham provide that; the OTHER leaves. Unproven and untested Justin Siems is your third-stringer/walk-on, in order to keep Cordale Jones' redshirt on.
* One running back. * The Class of 2013 brings in at LEAST one running back, Warren Ball, and possibly two, if Meyer smooths things over with Bri'onte Dunn. Next year's RB seniority looks like this: senior Jordan Hall, junior Carlos Hyde, and sophomore Rod Smith, Expect one of Dunn and Ball to play, the other to redshirt.
That leaves Jaamal Berry, the much-troubled wildcard here. Maybe he's hanging around to see if Meyer (who tried to recruit him in Fla.) gives him a "second chance" or a shot as a Chris Rainey-Jeff Demps-type back. Berry will be a junior, so he either sticks it out, or starts shopping himself around before teams launch spring practices.
* Two wideouts. * At least two. Meyer is recruiting this position LIKE CRAZY already, hot on the trails of ATHs Cyrus Jones and Joel Caleb, and WRs Davonte Neal and Stefon Diggs. Face it, this is Meyers "money position." He wants, and needs, his Percy Harvin-like playmaker out there; one or two of these new Meyer offers will fit the bill.
(Also, consider that Meyer's very first offer as an OSU coach was Class of 2013 WR Shelton Gibson...)
The Buckeyes will have 10 wide receivers on the roster in the fall. TEN. They are: Philly Brown, Chris Fields, Verlon Reed, Devin Smith, Evan Spencer and Ty Williams, along with Class of 2012 commits Frank Epitropoulos, Roger Lewis, Ricquan Southward, and Michael Thomas.
I'll guarantee you right now, there's NO WAY Meyer is going to "hold court" in the spring with 12 WRs if he lands Caleb and Jones, or Caleb and Neal, or any combo of those. There will be some major shifting in the WR unit, most certainly. Two or three, maybe even four, frosh and soph. WRs will “get on down the road” if Meyer brings in a couple major 4- and 5-star talents who are field-ready for the Buckeyes' Sept. 1 opener.
* THREE defensive linemen. * Meyer has roughly 5-6, maybe 7 scholarships still open -- and he is going HOT AND HEAVY after DEs. He loves, craves, and desires speed and size off the corner.
What is the most prevailing image from the 41-14 Fiesta Bowl loss to Meyer's Florida Gators, besides Ted Ginn's opening-play TD and injury? The defensive end who chased down Troy Smith from behind, helmet flying off, and taking Smith down for a key loss.
THAT is what is meant by “SEC speed.” It's not a receiver-running-the-100 thing; SEC and Southern Speed is d-lineman who can run down quarterbacks; linebackers who can catch running backs and slotbacks on pass routes; safeties who can cover over the top once a quarterback has launched a pass.
Meyer mentioned DE Nathan Williams in his presser; but look at the guys he's going after on the recruiting trail, it's INSANE -- Noah Spence, no. 1 WDE in the nation; Dante Fowler, an FSU commit, no. 2 WDE in the nation; Se'Von Pittman (MSU commit), no. 8 SDE; 5-star Darius Hamilton, the no. 2 SDE in the nation; and DT Tommy Shutt (PSU commit), the no. 5 DT in the nation.
One Buckeye DL probably ready to exit is Mel Fellows, who is on the verge (according to people/mods on three sites) of taking a medical hardship. That's one down -- and several to go ....
Who's left? Well … Darryl Baldwin, Adam Bellamy, Mike Bennett, Chase Farris, Garrett Goebel, Joel Hale, Big Hank, Kenny Hayes, Steve Miller, J.T. Moore, John Simon, and Williams. Add commit Adolphus Washington to the Class of 2012 and that's 13 DLs. If Meyer is able to land just two of the 5 or 6 DLs he's chasing -- does ANY team in America need 15 defensive linemen??
Answer – NO. Someone is going to leave this spring, when playing time -- the first- and second-team reps – gets eaten up by younger guys like Washington, Bennett and Meyer's newcomers. Your "older" guys (Williams, Simon, Hankins, Goebel) stay ... but if Meyer brings in guys like Spence, Pittman and/or Hamilton, it's "bye-bye time" for at least two, maybe three, of the OSU DLs.
* One/two Dbs. * Meyer has CB Amos Leggett out of Miami, a Thug U. decommit, and safety Demetrious Cox, out of Jeanette, Pa., (!!) on his offer sheet..
OSU has three DBs in the current recruiting class: De'van Bogard, Najee Murray, and Tyvis Powell. The Buckeyes currently have 16 DBs, CB and safety, who aren't squad guys. Add the three 2012 commits, that's 19 -- and if Meyer gets Cox or Leggett, that's 20.
Look for guys like Jeremy Cash/DerJuan Gambrell/Rod Tanner/Chad Hagan to reassess their place in the PT scheme of things. Much was expected of Jamie Wood; has that paid off?
Short story long, there are several positions where OSU will be deep – very deep -- when spring and fall practices start.
I'd hedge bets that Meyer can land the following additions to the Class of 2012:
* OLs Jordan Diamond (Chicago) and Kyle Dodson (an Ohio kid, a flip from Wisconsin).
* DEs Noah Spence (the nation's top DE, from Pa.) and Se'von Pittman (an Ohio kid, a flip from Sparty).
* DT Tommy Shutt (flip from PSU).
* CB Amos Leggett, Miami.
* ATH Joel Caleb from Midlothian, Va.
* WR DaVonte Neal, from Arizona (a former Ohio kid).
And that's just the ones who seem "enamored" or "at ease, very comfortable" with the current “Meyer is the Buckeyes coach” situation. You may see more DEs, you may see Percy Harvin wanna-be's filing in ... and Meyer loves his OLs, and Alex Kozan and Nick Davidson are still "on the clock."
Needless to say, if you think these past 7 days since Meyer's hiring have been intriguing -- wait until the seven days leading up to National Signing Day, and then Spring Ball.
And who knows: By the time you read this, a new name may have emerged that changes EVERYTHING.
Regardless -- What a TIME to be a Buckeye fan!
That is all.