The Brionte Dunn Impact

The early commitments of 2012 tailbacks Warren Ball and Brionte Dunn were a welcome sight to the Ohio State coaching staff and Buckeye fans, but is there room for highly-regarded Rushel Shell in the 2012 class? In a small class, do the Buckeyes have the luxury of taking a third back? Bill Greene takes a look at the future depth chart.

There is no doubt the early commitments of 2012 prospects Warren Ball and Brionte Dunn will help continue the tradition of Ohio State being one of the premier running teams in America.

Is there room for super talented junior Rushel Shell in a small class? The 2012 recruiting class stands at 13 currently, and there are pressing needs on both lines and at linebacker.

Let's take a look at the runningback depth for the 2012 season, when both Ball and Dunn will be true freshmen.

Jordan Hall Once looked at as an after-thought in the 2009 recruiting class, Hall now must be considered the feature back, or one of them, in two years. 2012 Status: SENIOR.

Jaamal Berry Hard to consider Berry one of the team's older players, but that's what he will be in 2012. It's not hard to see Berry and Hall receiving the bulk of the work in two years, with capable backups behind the pair. 2012 Status: JUNIOR.

Carlos Hyde Will Hyde be the short-yardage specialist, or will he be taking carries away from Hall and/or Berry? Hard to envision Hyde not being a prominent player in two years. 2012 Status: JUNIOR.

Rod Smith The top-rated tailback of the 2010 recruiting class, and a certain red-shirt for this season, or is he? What will Smith's role be in two years? Is a player this talented destined for fourth-string status in his third year in the program? 2012 Status: SOPHOMORE.

Warren Ball Have to think Ball is a certain red-shirt candidate as a freshmen, because of the talent ahead of him and the ability to spread out the roster. 2012 Status: FRESHMAN.

Brionte Dunn For the same reasons listed above, Dunn appears to be a sure-fire red-shirt in 2012. 2012 Status: FRESHMAN.

Rushel Shell The wildcard for the 2012 class.

Ohio State currently has five tailbacks on scholarship, and there doesn't seem to be any way for all of them to get on the field, and only one is leaving this year.

Would Ohio State want to go into the 2012 season with SEVEN tailbacks on scholarship, and only Jordan Hall departing? Doesn't bringing back six in 2013 all but guarantee one or two will transfer?

Interesting point of debate, for sure, but the flip-side of the coin is this: Do you turn down a talent like Rushel Shell if he indicates he wants to be a part of the 2012 class?

Certainly some tough choices ahead for Ohio State, and the relatively small class size makes it even more difficult. Taking three tailbacks leaves another area short, and can they afford to short-change either line or the linebacker position?

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