Ohio State returns to work this spring without seven starters from the final depth chart of the 2011 season.
There are eight redshirt freshmen hoping to find a spot in the depth chart after toiling on the scout teams last year: Offensive linemen Tommy Brown and Chris Carter, tight end Nick Vannett, linebacker Conner Crowell, defensive linemen Chase Farris and Kenny Hayes, long snapper Bryce Haynes and safety Ron Tanner.
There are nine early enrollees set to take part in spring practice: running back Bri'onte Dunn, quarterback Cardale Jones, wide receiver Mike Thomas, offensive linemen Jacoby Boren and Taylor Decker, defensive lineman Se'Von Pittman, safety Tyvis Powell, and linebackers Joshua Perry and Luke Roberts.
Nine represents the total number of players who left the program either as transfers (quarterback Taylor Graham, safety Jeremy Cash and fullback David Durham), for disciplinary reasons (defensive backs DerJuan Gambrell and Dominic Clarke and running back Jaamal Berry, or as medical hardship cases (linebackers Chad Hagan and Scott McVey, defensive lineman Melvin Fellows).
Only 10 players overall are missing from the last 2011 depth chart.
When the team's roster was updated with new heights and weights from new strength and conditioning director Mickey Marotti, 28 players were shown to have gained weight from the roster released prior to the Gator Bowl. Double-digit gainers were Hayes (up 45 pounds to 285), Farris (up 21 to 286), offensive lineman Reid Fragel (up 18 to 298), Crowell (up 13 to 233), Vannett (up 13 to 248), quarterback Ken Guiton (up 11 to 206), defensive lineman Steve Miller (up 10 to 255), and linebacker Curtis Grant (up 10 to 235) and Ryan Shazier (up 16 to 226).
On the flip side, there were 20 players listed at a lower weight than the previous roster. The leaders in that category include defensive linemen Johnathan Hankins (down 18 pounds to 317), Joel Hale (down 15 to 285), John Simon (down 10 to 260) and Nathan Williams (down 11 to 249), offensive linemen Corey Linsley (down 18 to 292) and Tommy Brown (down 10 to 310)
Fragel wore 88 last year as a tight end but will don No. 77 this year after moving to offensive tackle for his senior season. He will not be the only veteran making his debut on the offensive line, either. Darryl Baldwin has switched to No. 76 after wearing 90 as a defensive lineman last season as a redshirt freshman.
The deepest position appears to be safety, where the two starting spots both go four deep with presumed starters Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett followed by Orhian Johnson, Corey "Pittsburgh" Brown, Zach Domicone, Jamie Wood, Tanner and Powell.
The annual Scarlet and Gray Game will take place April 21 at Ohio Stadium.