The Big Board: Final Analysis

In the fifth and final installment of The Big Board, we tie it all together and look at OSU's scholarship totals by position and class. As you will note, OSU currently projects to have 83 players on scholarship this fall, including All-Big Ten linebacker A.J. Hawk. Click here for more.

We are back with the fifth and final installment of The Big Board, my position-by-position look at the Ohio State football team.

We opened this five-part series last Sunday with a look at the offensive backs and receivers. We continued Tuesday with the tight ends and offensive line.

Wednesday, we looked inside the huddle on the defensive line and at linebacker. On Friday, we examined the secondary and specialists.

Today, we will tie all of this data together.

Before we get into the breakdown, we have to note several special cases. These include:

* Linebacker John Kerr, a transfer from Indiana who will be a sophomore in 2004. Because he is a transfer from within the Big Ten, he is not scholarship player.

* Quarterback Joe Bauserman and kicker Aaron Pettrey, who could enroll in next winter as "grayshirts."

Now, let's go inside the numbers:

Position Analysis

* QB -- OSU has three scholarship QBs, as well as grayshirt Bauserman.

* TB -- OSU has six scholarship tailbacks, including two seniors (Maurice Hall and Lydell Ross)

* FB -- OSU has three scholarship fullbacks, including one senior (Branden Joe).

* WR -- OSU has nine scholarship wide receivers, including two seniors (Bam Childress and John Hollins).

* TE -- OSU has six scholarship tight ends, including one senior (Jason Caldwell).

* OL -- OSU has 15 scholarship linemen, including two seniors (Mike Kne and Kyle Andrews). The Buckeyes also have one verbal for 2005 in Alex Boone.

* DL -- OSU has 14 scholarship linemen, including one senior (Simon Fraser).

* LB -- OSU has 10 scholarship linebackers (not including Kerr), including one senior (Thomas Matthews).

* CB -- OSU has eight scholarship corners with two seniors (Dustin Fox and Harlen Jacobs). The Buckeyes have one verbal for 2005 in Jamario O‘Neal.

* S -- OSU has six scholarship safeties, including no seniors.

* K-P -- OSU has three specialists on scholarship, including two seniors (Josh Huston and Mike Nugent). Plus, the Buckeyes have Pettrey lined up as a grayshirt.

* Summing Up -- That gives OSU 83 players on scholarship at the present time with two verbals and two grayshirts for 2005.

Class Analysis

For a class breakdown of scholarship players, OSU has 14 seniors, 16 juniors, 19 sophomores (not including Kerr, who will be a soph this year), nine redshirt freshmen and 25 true freshmen.

With 83 scholarship players and 14 seniors, OSU can sign up to 16 players in the 2005 class at the present time. But that number could fluctuate due to the usual attrition factors (injuries, academics, transfers, etc.) as well as when or if any underclassmen decide to leave for the NFL after the coming season.

As we have noted, OSU already has two verbals and two grayshirts as a start on that 2005 class. So, as of today, there would only be 12 open spots left. Obviously, that figure could increase over the next 11 months before signing day in February 2005.

Looking at position needs, I think OSU needs one quarterback (in addition to Bauserman), two tailbacks, two wide receivers, two more offensive linemen (in addition to Boone), two defensive linemen, one linebacker and two more defensive backs (in addition to O'Neal) to fill the 12 remaining spots.

Obviously, OSU's scholarship situation is constantly changing. But we offer The Big Board periodically throughout the year to get a snapshot of where things stand at that time.

Here are the archives from the first four installments of the midseason edition of The Big Board:

Part 1: QBs, RBs and Receivers

Part 2: Tight Ends and Offensive Line

Part 3: D-Line and Linebackers

Part 4: DBs and Specialists

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