Countdown To THE GAME 2015

Friday, May 1, 2015

Post-2015 Ohio State Spring Game: Reranking Concerns

Throughout the weeks leading up to the 2015 Ohio State spring game, I had written ten articles where I ranked my concerns about Ohio State heading into the 2015 season. These articles were written from lowest concern to highest concern, primarily based upon players lost to eligibility or injury.
A couple weeks have passed since the glorious spring game, allowing me to contemplate and reflect upon what I saw during the spring game, as well as what I had written prior to the game. Were my concerns warranted?

Here are my top three concerns as Ohio State prepares for the influx of freshman talent in their 2015 recruiting class to arrive upon campus in June, gearing up for the all-important summer workouts that will be key to the Buckeyes’ 2015 national championship hopes…

3. Wide Receiver: Corey Smith had a terrific spring game, and Michael Thomas was sidelined due to a surgery procedure. Why am I ranking this wide receiver position higher than my earlier concern? Quite simply, losing Devin Smith as a consistent deep threat is something that will need to be demonstrated in true game competition. Corey Smith had some moments in the spring game, but I am skeptical about the consistency aspect that has plagued him in the past. We shall see if Corey Smith becomes the deep threat that is necessary for Ohio State’s passing offense to flourish.

2. Tight End: Nick Vannett is the listed starter, and could be primed for a big senior year, provided he stays healthy throughout the season. Marcus Baugh would have to be considered the second-string tight end heading into summer workouts. Why am I ranking this position higher than my earlier concern? Plain and simple, Baugh did not play in the spring game, due to a stomach virus that sidelined him. The lack of experienced depth has me concerned, but incoming freshmen Rashod Berry and A.J. Alexander may have opportunities to get playing time in the early portion of the season.

1. Defensive Tackle: Yes, my earlier concerns about defensive tackle heading into spring practice remain my top concern heading into the summer and fall. Ohio State did not truly emphasize the run in the spring game, so it would be difficult to gauge how effective the interior defensive linemen are at shutting down the run. Tommy Schutt did not play in the spring game, so there is another factor in not being able to accurately see the position group at full strength. With the Virginia Tech game on September 7th, Ohio State fans such as myself are going to have to be in a true “wait and see” mode as to how strong the defensive tackles are for the 2015 Buckeyes.

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