Post Spring Big Board: Final Analysis

Indiana transfer John Kerr may make a big impression on the field for Ohio State this fall, but he won't take up a scholarship spot. We discuss that and other important matters in the fifth and final installment of the post spring edition of The Big Board. We get to the bottom of OSU's scholarship status today.

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 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.

* Quarterback Joe Bauserman and kicker Aaron Pettrey, who could enroll 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), although one of those six is Guilford.

* FB -- OSU has four 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 five scholarship tight ends, including one senior (Jason Caldwell), although one of them is Irizarry.

* OL -- Not counting Olds, OSU has 14 scholarship linemen, including two seniors (Mike Kne and Kyle Andrews). The Buckeyes also have two verbals for 2005 in Alex Boone and Jim Cordle.

* 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).

* 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 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.

Class Analysis

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:

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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