We opened this five-part series with a look at the offensive backs and receivers. We continued with the tight ends and offensive line.
Next, we looked inside the huddle on the defensive line and at linebacker. Then, we examined the secondary and specialists.
Today, we will tie all of this data together.
Let's go inside the numbers:
* QB -- OSU has four returning scholarship QBs, as well as one incoming freshman for 2006 (Antonio Henton).
* TB -- OSU has four returning scholarship tailbacks, as well as one incoming freshman for 2006 (Chris Wells).
* FB -- OSU has two scholarship fullbacks, and one incoming freshman (Aram Olson).
* WR -- OSU has seven returning scholarship wide receivers. That Buckeyes also have one incoming freshman for 2006 (Ray Small).
* TE -- OSU has three returning scholarship tight ends as well as two incoming freshmen for 2006 (Jake Ballard and Andy Miller)
* OL -- OSU has 11 returning scholarship linemen. The Buckeyes also have two incoming freshmen for 2006 in Bryant Browning and Connor Smith.
* DL -- OSU has 12 returning scholarship linemen. OSU has three incoming freshmen for 2005 (Robert Rose, Walter Dublin and Dexter Larimore).
* LB -- OSU has six returning scholarship linebackers (not including Indiana transfer John Kerr, who must walk on). OSU has five new linebackers coming in with JUCO transfer Larry Grant and incoming freshmen Ross Homan, Tyler Moeller, Mark Johnson and Thaddeus Gibson.
* CB -- OSU has five returning scholarship corners. The Buckeyes have two incoming freshmen for 2006 (Kurt Coleman and Chimdi Chekwa).
* S -- OSU has seven returning scholarship safeties. OSU has two incoming freshman safeties in Grant Schwartz and Aaron Gant as well as one verbal (Nate Oliver) for 2007.
* K-P -- OSU has three returning specialists on scholarship.
* Summing Up -- That gives OSU 84 players on scholarship once the newly signed players are added in.
For a class breakdown of scholarship players, OSU has 15 seniors, 13 juniors, 26 sophomores, 11 redshirt freshmen and 19 true freshmen.
With 84 scholarship players and 15 seniors, OSU can presently sign up to 16 players in the 2007 class. 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 the Oliver verbal as a start on that 2007 class. So, as of today, there would only be 15 open spots left. Obviously, that figure could fluctuate – both up and down -- over the next year before signing day in February 2007.
More than likely, the 2007 class will end up somewhere around 18 signees.
Looking at position needs, I think OSU could end up signing one quarterback (they lose two, so they need one here), two tailbacks (would be a luxury to get two here), no fullbacks (provided they are fine with Olson), two wide receivers (might be three if Small is needed on defense), maybe one tight end (not a priority if Ballard and Miller are truly tight ends), three offensive linemen (an important area as they lose two and need to build depth here), one defensive end (always room for a difference-making defensive end), two defensive tackles (they lose two and must rebuild depth), two linebackers (looking for two good ones), two safeties (they already have Oliver) and two cornerbacks (can use some coverage players) to fill out this class. That adds up to 18.
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. We will update it after OSU concludes spring practice.
Here are the archives from the previous installments of the post signing day edition of The Big Board: