While the Ohio State spring game on Saturday will feature plenty of seasoned veterans – I'm looking at you, J.T. Barrett – a number of young Buckeyes will be playing in Ohio Stadium for the first time. That list includes the 10 early enrollees in addition to a few members of the 2016 recruiting class who redshirted last season without enrolling early.
What follows is a position by position breakdown of the Buckeye debutants, and we'll revisit this after the spring game to see how they did.
Quarterback: The most important position on the field will feature two players playing in Ohio Stadium for the first time. Early enrollee Tate Martell should get some late PT in the spring game, and if he's in a scarlet jersey you can expect some fireworks. Dwayne Haskins, who redshirted last year, will be playing big minutes, most likely, and fans can look forward to seeing his big arm in action for the first time.
Running Back: There's just one player on this list: J.K. Dobbins. He's been a standout this spring and Dobbins could be in line for the most carries of any back in the spring game.
Wide Receiver: By my count, Brendon White will be the only wideout playing in Ohio Stadium as a Buckeye for the first time, and he's looked really solid this spring after joining Zone 6 as an early enrollee. I'll throw Eric Glover-Williams into the mix here as well since he'll be playing the position for the first time as a Buckeye.
Tight End: This group will feature a few debutants in Luke Farrell, Jake Hausmann and Kierre Hawkins. Farrell has been just ahead of Hausmann this spring, but both are talented players who have looked great in practice. Hawkins, on the other hand, has missed practice time while dealing with some academic responsibilities, so we'll have to see what kind of contribution he makes on Saturday.
Offensive Line: The OL will feature a longer list of debutants, with players like Gavin Cupp, Jack Wohlabaugh, Malcolm Pridgeon and Josh Myers all playing in the stadium for the first time. Cupp has worked at guard and tackle this spring while Pridgeon is in the thick of things in regards to the right guard battle. Wohlabaugh is a potential long-term replacement for Billy Price at center while Myers is an early enrollee who came to Ohio State as Ohio's best high school prospect. I'll throw Joshua Alabi in here as well after he switched from defense this spring.
Defensive Line: By my count, the only D-lineman making his Horseshoe debut will be Malik Barrow, who actually enrolled early last spring but was out with an ACL injury suffered in high school. His reps might be a bit limited, but Barrow has earned really high praise this spring and could impress on Saturday.
Linebacker: The leader on this list would have been Baron Browning, but he's out for the spring after undergoing shoulder surgery. It actually looks like there won't be a scholarship linebacker playing in Ohio Stadium for the first time since Tuf Borland made his debut in last year's spring game as an early enrollee before redshirting.
Safety: Wayne Davis, who switched from cornerback this spring, will be playing for the first time, along with Isaiah Pryor and Jahsen Wint. While none of the three is expected to be in the thick of things for a starting spot, they've all shown flashes this spring – especially Pryor, an early enrollee out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Cornerback: This will perhaps be the most anticipated showing of any position group outside of quarterback. Players like early enrollees Kendall Sheffield, Shaun Wade, Jeff Okudah and Marcus Williamson will all be playing in Ohio Stadium for the first time, and all four of those players are battling for playing time in 2017.
Specialists: Drue Chrisman, who redshirted this season, will likely be Ohio State's starting punter this season, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him punting for both teams on Saturday.