Josh Winslow/BSB

Numbers Game: Breaking Down Ohio State's Scholarship Outlook For 2017

With the 2016 season wrapped up, Urban Meyer can turn his attention to finishing off Ohio State's 2017 recruiting class, but that'll involve a numbers crunch down the stretch.

A looming numbers crunch has been on the horizon for Ohio State throughout the 2017 recruiting cycle, but with National Signing Day less than a month away, the Buckeyes will be looking to get things sorted out sooner than later.

With a small senior class and a handful of underclassmen already set to depart the program, the numbers have become clearer for Ohio State, but the Buckeyes are still well over the allowed allotment of 85 scholarships for 2017.

As it stands, including the 17 current commits and not counting players who have already declared for the NFL draft (Gareon Conley, Malik Hooker, Raekwon McMillan), Ohio State is at 93 scholarship players set to return to or arrive in Columbus next season. That means 10 more spots will have to open up to fit the 2017 class as is, not to mention the 5-6 additional players the Buckeyes are likely to add in the next month.

Some of the extra spots are obvious. That 93 number includes Marshon Lattimore and Tyquan Lewis, who seem like locks to leave for the NFL draft, as well as Marcus Baugh and Curtis Samuel, who could both leave as well. Quarterback J.T. Barrett is also included, and there has been speculation that he could leave either for the NFL or as a graduate transfer, but that seems more and more unlikely with each passing day.

For now, the number also includes two scholarship kickers – would-be senior Sean Nuernberger and incoming freshman Blake Haubeil. Whether Nuernberger decides to move on or Haubeil redshirts, it seems like Ohio State will find a way to have just one scholarship kicker next season.

So, for arguments sake, let's say Lewis and Lattimore do leave for the NFL, and Baugh and Samuel decide to join them. Add in one of the two kickers not counting toward the scholarships next season and you're down to 88 – just three over the limit. That still doesn't include any additional commits, though, and the Buckeyes are near locks to land at least Jeffrey Okudah (and possibly Darnay Holmes) this weekend. Beyond those two, an addition 3-4 new commits for 2017 are likely.

If you add Okudah and Holmes, plus another three commits (22 seems like a good number) that gets the scholarship count all the way back up to 93 – right back where we started.

From there, things get trickier. A number of players have injury histories that could spell the end to their Ohio State careers, though none of that is set in stone, and the offseason typically brings at least a few transfers. For now, though, it seems likely that the Buckeyes will need about eight players to leave the program in addition to the early departures – and that's only if Lewis, Lattimore, Baugh and Samuel all actually decide to turn pro. It's perfectly possible that Baugh and Samuel could opt to stay, moving the magic number to 10.

Also, just a note, that working number of 93 includes wide receiver Torrance Gibson, but it's unclear whether or not he'll be back with the program in 2017.

You can see a full breakdown of Ohio State's 2017 scholarships below:

Redshirt Seniors

Seniors

Redshirt

Juniors

Juniors

Redshirt Sophomores

Sophomores

Redshirt 

Freshmen

Freshmen

Total

Wide 

Receiver

James Clark

Curtis Samuel**

Terry McLaurin

Johnnie Dixon

Noah Brown

Parris Campbell

––

Torrance
Gibson

K.J. Hill

Alex Stump

Binjimen Victor

Austin Mack

––

Trevon Grimes

Tyjon Lindsey

13

Offensive

Line

Evan Lisle

Billy Price

Jamarco Jones

Kyle Trout

Brady Taylor

Demetrius Knox

Malcolm Pridgeon

Isaiah Prince

Branden Bowen

Matthew Burrell

Kevin Feder

Michael Jordan

Gavin Cupp

Jack Wohlabaugh

Tyler Gerald

Wyatt Davis

Josh Myers

17

Tight

End

Marcus Baugh**

––

––

––

A.J. Alexander

Luke Farrell

Jake Hausmann

Kierre Hawkins

––

5

Quarterback

J.T. Barrett

––

Stephen Collier

––

Joe Burrow

Dwayne Haskins

Tate Martell

5

Running

Back

––

––

––

Mike Weber

Antonio Williams

Demario McCall

––

JK Dobbins

4

Kicker

––

Sean Nuernberger

––

––

––

––

Blake Haubeil

2

Defensive

Line

Michael Hill

Tyquan Lewis**

Tracy Sprinkle

Jalyn Holmes

Darius Slade

Sam Hubbard

Dylan Thompson

Joshua Alabi

Jashon Cornell

Dre’Mont Jones

Robert Landers

Davon Hamilton

Rashod Berry

Nick Bosa

Jonathon Cooper

Malik Barrow

Chase Young

Haskell Garrett

Jerron Cage

19

Linebacker

Chris Worley

Dante Booker*

Jerome Baker

Nick Conner

Justin Hilliard

Keandre Jones

Malik Harrison

Tuf Borland

Pete Werner

Baron Browning

Brendon White

11

Safety

Erick Smith

Damon Webb

––

Eric Glover-Williams

Jahsen Wint

Isaiah Pryor

5

Cornerback

Marshon Lattimore**

Denzel Ward

Damon Arnette

Joshua Norwood

Rodjay Burns

Jordan Fuller

Wayne Davis

Amir Riep

Marcus Williamson

Shaun Wade

10

Punter

––

––

––

––

Drue Chrisman

––

1

Long 

Snapper

––

––

––

––

Liam McCullough

––

––

––

1

Total

10

6

13

4

20

11

12

17

93

Italics – Torrance GIbson was suspended by the university for the fall semester. His status for 2017 is unclear.

* – Dante Booker is expected to allow him an extra year of eligibility.

** – Marshon Lattimore, Tyquan Lewis, Marcus Baugh and Curtis Samuel are potential candidates to leave for the NFL draft.


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