"All of a sudden with three linebackers down I have to find some depth from somewhere, so those younger guys I have to throw them in a ton of reps," said Spencer.
"That gave the Johnson kid a chance to get some reps, and then (Justin) Gent because he's got to be dual trained as the other Mike linebacker now too. I'm thinking last night after I lost Tolu (to a season-ending knee injury) and I'm thinking what do we do if Tyler (Johnson) hadn't walked in the door. He's got a lot to learn, wow.
"People down't realize what that position takes. One shift or one motion and his assignment changes. He's got to know what is going on in front of him. The gap integrity of the defense is up to him. The drops, who he drops off of and what his coverage responsibility is. He hasn't played football in six years."
The 6-1, 236-pound Johnson is eager and has the physical ability and now he obviously has the opportunity. Earlier in camp Lavey had an elbow injury and Alexander an Achille's injury. For a coach that has lost three backup middle linebackers, Spencer is fairly encouraged.
Had Hunter been there he would have played, but not much. Still, offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, not citing excuses, did say the offense is different when they have Hunter.
"We are a little better when 24 is out there," said Holgorsen. "You know we have to play about 10 different skill kids and if we don't get some skill kids to step up and make some plays then we are going to be very average on offense."
Nash is the half brother of former OSU point guard Byron Eaton. The 6-6, 210-pound Nash averaged nearly 15 points a game last season. He is shooter, slasher, rebounder, defender, and basically is capable of doing it all.
The general feeling in basketball recruiting circles is that OSU is battling Big 12 basketball rival Baylor on Nash. Nash was at Gallagher-Iba Arena back in February and sat behind the OSU bench to see the Cowboys upset of top-ranked Kansas.