OFFENSE: Brandon Saine-TB, Dane Sanzenbacher-WR, Justin Boren-OG, Bryant Browning-OG, Devin Barclay-K, Terrelle Pryor-QB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Dexter Larimore-DT, Cameron Heyward-DE, Brian Rolle-MLB, Ross Homan-WLB, Chimdi Chekwa-CB, Devon Torrence-CB, Jermale Hines-FS, Aaron Gant-FS

The skill positions on offense have tons of experience. Ergo, Quarterback Terrelle Pryor coming back will signal great things. Will the Buckeyes be able to hold on while their early season suspensions are implemented?

Defensive Back Seven

The secondary has enough holes and lacks enough experience to keep Buckeye fans from sleeping well this off-season. OSU never has much of a problem replacing linebackers. That formula gets put to the test. Expect new names with very little drop off in production.

QB Terrelle Pryor (gone)
DT John Simon
* DEPTH CHARTS were only designed as a simplistic gauge for listing players that departed and players that received the most playing experience (consistent starters). NationalChamps.net recognizes the importance of missing personnel data not listed such as redshirts, transfers, injuries, incoming recruits, back ups and alternates. Their coverage will begin with our full 2011 Preseason Preview due out this coming spring.
Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Joe Bauserman-Sr (6-1, 233) Braxton Miller-Fr (6-3, 205)
FB Zach Boren-Jr (6-0, 252) Carlos Hyde-So (6-0, 238)
TB Dan Herron-Sr (5-10, 205) *** Jaamal Berry-So (5-10, 200)
Jordan Hall-Jr (5-9, 190)
WR Devier Posey-Sr (6-2, 210) *** James Louis-RFr (5-10, 180)
WR Chris Fields-So (6-0, 180) Corey Brown-So (5-11, 182)
TE Jake Stoneburner-Jr (6-4, 245) Reid Fragel-Jr (6-8, 260)
OT Mike Adams-Sr (6-8, 308) *** Tommy Brown-Fr (6-5, 320)
OG Marcus Hall-So (6-5, 315) Andrew Norwell-So (6-5, 302)
C Mike Brewster-Sr (6-5, 305) Eric Kramer-So (6-4, 270)
OG Corey Linsley-So (6-2, 310) Jack Mewhort-So (6-6, 303)
OT J.B. Shugarts-Sr (6-7, 300) Ivan Blackman-So (6-3, 322)
K Drew Basil-So (6-1, 212) Ben Buchanan-Jr (6-0, 180)
*** suspended for multiple games
Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Nathan Williams-Sr (6-3, 255) Solomon Thomas-Sr (6-5, 245) ***
DT Garrett Goebel-Jr (6-3, 290) Jonathan Hankins-So (6-3, 325)
DT John Simon-Jr (6-2, 270) Dalton Britt-Jr (6-2, 290)
DE Adam Bellamy-So (6-4, 302) Melvin Fellows-So (6-5, 270)
SLB Storm Klein-Jr (6-2, 240) Tony Jackson-So (5-10, 225)
MLB Etienne Sabino-Jr (6-3, 242) Jordan Whiting-So (6-1, 238)
WLB Andrew Sweat-Sr (6-2, 235) Jonathan Newsome-Jr (6-3, 220)
CB Dominic Clarke-So (5-10, 191) Dionte Allen-Sr (5-11, 185)
CB Travis Howard-Jr (6-0, 190) Nate Oliver-Sr (6-0, 215)
SS Orhian Johnson-Jr (6-2, 205) C.J. Barnett-Jr (6-0, 190)
FS Jamie Wood-So (6-1, 200) Christian Bryant-So (5-9, 190)
P Ben Buchanan-Jr (6-0, 180) Derek Erwin-Sr (5-10, 200)
*** suspended for multiple games

The NCAA mandated five game suspensions levied on five Buckeye players for next season leaves some colossal holes in the offensive lineup. All players suspended were set to be playing their final senior season in Columbus. Missing will be Heisman candidate Terrelle Pryor at quarterback, top rusher Dan Herron, top receiver Devier Posey and top offensive tackle Mike Adams. Some, if not all, are expected to jump out early to the NFL. The massive losses leave Ohio State with only eight starters returning, the least of anyone in the Top 25.

Buckeye football has two profiles, depending upon uber-QB Terrelle Pryor’s possibilities at the next level. But the possible NFL players strike means Pryor’s initial verbal commitment to stay here through 2011 has more validity than similar commitments made in non-strike years by other guaranteed high draft picks. What Pryor’s presence does is ground onrushing defenders until they know exactly what the play is, a dimension sure to disintegrate if he departs. Sure, Pryor seems cool and collected, but he still needs to gain that “killer instinct”, the kind of attitude at specific times that means he just won’t let his team lose, and make such visible so that his energy as a leader becomes contagious. The talent positions are stacked as usual; Posey, Herron and plenty of burgeoning recruits can surely ground the offensive proceedings if a new quarterback requires extra adjustment time to the speed of FBS-level play. Holes on the offensive line look well stocked, too. Real Buckeye fans know how, even in supposed rebuilding years on D, Coach Jim Tressel usually reloads instead and makes a strong showing annually in stopping opponents. The secondary has two eager corners waiting their turn, and the DL will not struggle with Bellamy and Hankins having such strong freshmen campaigns. Finding another quality foot will be a key, especially if a new hurler cannot achieve the same scoring efficiency now seen. Tressel himself is one of the top schemers in football at any level, so never discount his ability to play whatever hand he is dealt to its winningest end. Trips to Miami and Nebraska within the first six games will surely tell whether OSU can make yet another national title shot. We will also know by then whether 1.) Pryor has fully taken the corner we outlined and Ohio State looks unbeatable because of it, or 2.) The new QB(s) can handle life as a/the Buckeye field general and manage games as he/they grow through each experience and limit mistakes. Regardless of which, you can Betty your life that next season’s Buckeye squad will still be right there, late into their conference race.


9-3-11 AKRON
9-10-11 TOLEDO
9-17-11 at Miami FL
9-24-11 COLORADO
10-8-11 at Nebraska
10-15-11 at Illinois
10-29-11 WISCONSIN
11-5-11 INDIANA
11-12-11 at Purdue
11-19-11 PENN STATE
11-26-11 at Michigan