Ohio State’s spring practice is around the corner. The Buckeyes have already started training for the 2016 season and the team will take the field for the first time March 8. With nine underclassmen and a number of seniors departing from the 2015 team that went 12-1, there are plenty of questions surrounding the 2016 Buckeyes. BuckeyeSports.com is taking a look at some of the young players suiting up for Ohio State this spring and what they have to gain between now and the Spring Game on April 16.
What Landers Has Done: Landers has yet to see the field for the Buckeyes after redshirting in 2015 but drew positive reviews in practices leading up to the Fiesta Bowl. As a recruit, he was a four-star prospect who exploded during his senior year and looked dominant during Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne’s run to the OHSAA Division I championship game.
What The Coaches Are Saying: “He's explosive, watching his film. He's not overly tall, but he's very explosive, very powerful in the trenches and has some really good get off. I don't know if you want to say he was easy to get, none of them are easy to get. I think once we identified him as a special prospect after we continued to watch more film on his senior year, he just kept playing better and better and better and really stood out. Then once we had a chance to get him on campus for an official visit and got around the kid and found out what he was really about, we knew he was the kind of guy we wanted in the program. Lucky for us he had grown up an Ohio State fan and really wanted to be here, so once we made that offer it was a quick decision for him.” – Chris Ash (Feb. 4, 2015)
Why Landers Is Important: He happens to play a position that’s one of the biggest question marks for the Buckeyes this season. With Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt and Joel Hale out of availability, Ohio State’s defensive tackles will be one of the youngest position groups on the team. Couple that with the fact that Ohio State failed to land a four- or five-star defensive tackle in 2016 and you can see why OSU coaches will be looking for as much depth as possible from its young guys.
What Landers Has To Gain: A starting job might be against the odds – at least at this point – because of the experience edge boasted by others, but there’s no reason why Landers can’t play his way into the rotation. The Ohio State coaching staff thought enough of him to issue a late offer and then praised him toward the end of his first season, so this is his chance to take the next step and become a contributor for the Buckeyes.