Countdown To Spring: Juggling The LBs

We continue our Countdown To Spring Football with a look at Ohio State's linebacking corps, including Mike D'Andrea. That group could be among the nation's best in 2005. Click here for comments on how the Buckeyes may line up this season.

On Tuesday, we began our Countdown to Spring Football with the first of 10 pressing questions for Ohio State to answer this spring.

Spring drills open up March 31 with the Scarlet and Gray Game set for April 23 at Ohio Stadium.

Working backward from No. 10, we are up to the seventh pressing question leading into spring football.

* 7. How will OSU juggle the linebackers and will Mike D'Andrea be full-go?

Ohio State toyed with some 3-4 looks early last year. The staff did that in an effort to get its four outstanding linebackers – outside men A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter and middle men Mike D'Andrea and Anthony Schlegel – on the field together.

But when D'Andrea went down with an injury in the Northwestern game, that defense was scrapped. Hawk, Carpenter and Schlegel went on to finish as the team's top three tacklers with Hawk grabbing first-team All-American honors.

This spring will be one of fine tuning for this outstanding unit. D'Andrea is coming back slowly from his latest injury and Schlegel was also rehabbing after a postseason surgery.

If anything, the staff will probably take a good long look at the plethora of young linebackers they will have in camp, including Marcus Freeman, Chad Hoobler and even John Kerr, although there are reports that Kerr may also be restricted due to medical reasons. Kerr, who transferred from Indiana in 2003, missed last season for unspecified reasons.

"We are going to lean on those veteran players like Hawk and Carpenter and Schlegel and the rest of those guys," defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said.

Previous Installments

On Tuesday, we began this 10-part feature with the No. 10 pressing question for the spring:

10. Will several players "on the spot" deliver?

Click this link for a look at that installment including spring practice dates, the 2005 schedule and returning starters for OSU in 2005.

Countdown To Spring: Players on the Spot

On Wednesday, we had question No. 9: Will Ted Ginn Jr. spend a great deal of his time at cornerback?

Countdown To Spring: Two-Way Ted?

On Thursday, we had question No. 8: How will new assistant coach Paul Haynes fare in his debut with the Buckeyes?

Countdown To Spring: Welcome, Coach Haynes

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