We opened this five-part series Tuesday with a look at the offensive backs and receivers. We continued Wednesday with the tight ends and offensive line.
Thursday, 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 developments since we last published The Big Board in February. These include:
* According to OSU coach Jim Tressel, offensive lineman Adam Olds will request a medical waiver because of a hip injury. Olds will retain his scholarship, but OSU would be able to re-issue it to another player beginning with the next recruiting class.
* And, sophomore tight end Louis Irizarry and sophomore tailback Ira Guilford are currently in limbo with the university and the program as they await trial on felony robbery charges. OSU athletic director Andy Geiger has been quoted as saying the players will be "gone" if they are found guilty of these charges.
There are several other notables to keep in mind as well:
* 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.
Now, let's go inside the numbers:
* QB -- OSU has three scholarship QBs, as well as grayshirt Bauserman.
* FB -- OSU has four scholarship fullbacks, including one senior (Branden Joe).
* TE -- OSU has five scholarship tight ends, including one senior (Jason Caldwell), although one of them is Irizarry.
* DL -- OSU has 15 scholarship linemen, including one senior (Simon Fraser).
* LB -- OSU has nine scholarship linebackers (not including Kerr), including one senior (Thomas Matthews).
* S -- OSU has six scholarship safeties, including no seniors.
* Summing Up -- That gives OSU 82 players on scholarship at the present time (not including Olds) with three verbals and two grayshirts for 2005. Obviously, that number would dip to 80 if Irizarry and Guilford would lose their scholarships.
For a class breakdown of scholarship players, OSU has 14 seniors, 15 juniors (not including Olds), 19 sophomores (including Irizarry and Guilford, but not including Kerr, who will be a soph this year), nine redshirt freshmen and 25 true freshmen.
With 82 scholarship players and 14 seniors, OSU can sign up to 17 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. Obviously, if Irizarry and Guilford lose their scholarships this number would become 19.
As we have noted, OSU already has three verbals and two grayshirts as a start on that 2005 class. So, as of today, there would only be 12 open spots left (14 if Irizarry and Guilford are gone). Obviously, that figure could increase over the next eight-plus 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, probably two more offensive linemen (in addition to Boone and Cordle), two defensive linemen, one linebacker and two more defensive backs (in addition to O'Neal) to fill the 12 remaining spots. If, indeed, Irizarry and Guilford are gone, I would also add another tight end and maybe a fullback.
Obviously, OSU's scholarship situation is constantly changing. But we offer The Big Board at least three times 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 post-spring edition of The Big Board: