The Freshmen Class: Who Plays?

Most of the members of the Ohio State 2010 recruiting have been through summer 7on7's and fall camp, so let's take a look at how each is progressing, and who might break into the rotation this season. Several youngsters impressed during last Saturday's jersey scrimmage and could be in the two-deep. Bill Greene takes a look at the first-year players.

As Ohio State breaks fall camp and begins preparation for the season opener against Marshall, it's time to check in on the freshman recruiting class. Several were impressive last Saturday during the jersey scrimmage, and could be in the mix for playing time in 2010.


Drew Basil kicker. Basil will certainly be on the field in 2010, first on kickoffs, but after seeing his strong leg, he might be called upon to try the longer field goal attempts. Should Devin Barclay slip up, Basil could handle both jobs.

Corey Brown wide receiver. "Philly" will certainly be in action, both as a kick returner, and possibly as a specialty player on offense, running sweeps and catching short passes. He could fill the role Ohio State envisioned for the departed Flash Thomas, and "Philly" is more advanced than Thomas, even at this early stage.

Taylor Graham quarterback. Hard to see Graham being on the field in 2010, but it's certainly not hard to picture him eventually jumping ahead of Joe Bauserman and/or Kenny Guiton. Graham was much the best in the jersey scrimmage, and has been impressive since summer 7on7 action. Extremely poised for a first-year quarterback.

Carlos Hyde tailback. There doesn't seem to be a need to play Hyde, and he missed the jersey scrimmage with an injury, but if Jim Tressel feels he needs a big, bruising back in short-yardage situations, they will surely burn Hyde's red-shirt. Tough call, with four backs clearly ahead of him, but he could see action.

James Louis wide receiver. The emergence of "Philly" Brown probably guarantees a red-shirt season for Louis, although the uncertainty of the third receiver spot might give some hope. Louis is probably stuck behind a few veterans and his fellow freshmen at the wide receiver spot.

Andrew Norwell tackle. Marcus Hall sitting out 2010 might send Norwell into action, but the thought is that he is still the number-nine offensive lineman, at best. He looked good in the jersey scrimmage, but unless a rash of injuries hit the team, it's probably best that he sit and learn for a year.

Verlon Reed wide receiver. Unless he's needed on special team play, Reed will be a certain red-shirt, because he has a long way to go before playing wide receiver at Ohio State. He is physical and athletic, so he could sneak out there to help shore up the coverage units.

Rod Smith tailback. The mystery man of the 2010 recruiting class. Red-shirting, or playing, isn't the question at this point. Enrollment is the question. But if he does show up, and he can help Ohio State win one game, they will play him.

Tyrone Williams wide receiver. Williams is extremely raw, needs coached up, but there is no denying he has major upside. Could he be used in a goal line package, taking advantage of his height? As stated earlier, if he can help win just one game, he will be used.


Darryl Baldwin lineman. Baldwin played sparingly in the jersey scrimmage, and there doesn't appear to be a need to play him in 2010. There were also unconfirmed reports that he had been asked to move to the offensive line, so he seems a certain red-shirt candidate.

Christian Bryant STAR. Bryant is backing up Tyler Moeller and Nate Oliver currently, but based on the jersey scrimmage, he could be jumping up to number two. Bryant can be a factor on special team play, and could also see playing time behind Moeller. I do not see a red-shirt season for Bryant.

David Durham LEO. Durham was brought in as a linebacker, and Ohio State still lists him there, but his future could be as a stand-up defensive end, in the Nathan Williams-Bobby Carpenter role. Hard to see him playing in 2010, unless he is on a special team, but he has a bright future at Ohio State.

Adam Griffin defensive back. Hard to picture Griffin on the field in 2010, and his only shot would be as a special team player. There is a definite need for improved coverage units, and that could be a freshman's quickest path to the field.

Chad Hagan defensive back. Another mystery player, because there isn't much news about him. Not sure if he saw action in the jersey scrimmage, and if he did, it wasn't noticeable. Should see a red-shirt year in 2010.

Johnathan Hankins tackle. My early pick for the surprise of the class, mostly based on reports of poor conditioning and suspect work ethic. Hankins looked great in the jersey scrimmage, and he appears to be physically ready to compete right now. Stuck behind Johnny Simon, Garrett Goebel and Dexter Larimore, but the Big Man can play.

Scott McVey linebacker. Didn't see McVey in the jersey scrimmage, but the reports are glowing about his skill set. McVey doesn't seem to be needed in the linebacker rotation, but based on his talent, could be exactly what Ohio State needs on the suspect coverage units. I can see him following the Brian Rolle path to the field, doing special team duty.

J.T. Moore lineman. Moore had a few good moments in the jersey scrimmage, but appears to have too many talented, experienced players ahead of him. A year in the system is probably best for his future development.

Bradley Roby cornerback. Roby has a great skill set, and will probably be the next Chimdi Chekwa at Ohio State, but he has talent ahead of him. He could also benefit from a year learning the position, and adding strength in the weight room, but Roby is going to be a good player at Ohio State.

This wasn't the typical Top-10 rated recruiting class for Ohio State, and although it lacks superstar power, there appears to be several players that could make their presence felt early at Ohio State.

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