Projecting what the 2009 depth chart will look like based on where the upperclassmen finished at the end of 2008. Take a look at the solid positions and the positions where depth could be better but a number of young players have an opportunity to step into the two deep rotation.
By Steve Patterson
Quarterback: Decent depth with three returning players including walk-on Ross Oltorik who was forgotten during the frantic offers at the end of the recruiting period to quarterbacks to backup Terrelle Pryor. Pryor is the starter and well get a majority of the reps when the season opens. Joe Bauserman returns as the #2 quarterback after being #3 last year. There is some worry that he might transfer, but if Bauserman remains with the team into the fall camp the Buckeyes have a solid #1 and #2.
Tailback: Young players at the tailback position with Daniel 'Boom' Herron getting a good number of runs last year. The three incoming freshman (Berry, Hyde, and Hall) will be looking to take over the position but will only go into the season as #2s unless one truly outperforms Herron in camp.
Fullback: Usually a position held by an upperclassman that switches position or has moved around between fullback and tight end during their time at Ohio State. There are two young guys on the roster (Martin and Smith) from last year and two more freshman coming in (Homan and Boren). Look for Tressel to find someone to move from the linebacker spot or someone with similar capabilities to move into the position.
Tight End: This is a worrisome position for the Buckeyes as they only have three (Ballard, DiLillo, Fragel) and one with experience (Ballard), something you don't often see at Ohio State.
Wide Receiver: The Buckeyes are packed at the wide receiver position and a couple moving to the defensive backfield where there is more need is a possibility. Ray Small, Dane Sanzenbacher, and DeVier Posey should start with Lamaar Thomas and maybe Taurian Washington seeing time. The freshman (Carter, Fields, and Jackson) will want to get on the field and might take over Thomas' return role to do so.
Offensive Guard: Jim Cordle returns with the most experience and should be set as a starter. Justin Boren gets to see the field for the first time after transferring from the school up north. Boren should be the other guard. Evan Blankenship and Bryant Browning will be good backups at the positions.
Offensive Tackle: Here's their chance. The two lauded 2008 recruits Mike Adams and JB Shugarts are the preseason favorites to protect Pryor on the outside. Bryant Browning will be Mr Versatile, backing up both guard and tackle spots.
Center: Michael Brewster returns after starting as a freshman. Connor Smith could push for playing time at center or guard but with a lot of players in the fold, it could be tough for him to see the field.