The anticipation for Ohio State spring football is always tremendous. Tickets for the April 16th spring game are already on sale, with the game two months away. Ohio State just signed an impressive recruiting class for 2016, with seven of the players already enrolled, planning to participate in spring drills.
How does this involve the late, great Glenn Frey, former member of The Eagles? In February 2015, Ohio State signed a talented group of players,
with the vast majority redshirting throughout the 2015 season. When I
write “vast majority”, I am citing the fact that 21 out of 25 players
did not see game action. That amounts to 84% of the 2015 recruiting
Glenn Frey wrote the song “New Kid In Town”, a familiar song to
Eagles fans. Below are some of the lyrics as I describe some of the
players Ohio State fans will have an opportunity to learn about as the
April 16th spring game approaches…
“There’s talk on the street; it sounds so familiar
Great expectations, everybody’s watching you
People you meet, they all seem to know you
Even your old friends treat you like you’re something new
Johnny come lately, the new kid in town
Everybody loves you, so don’t let them down”
At quarterback, Joe Burrow has already been named the backup
quarterback heading into spring drills. If you think backup quarterback
is unimportant, I suggest you go look up the following football season –
Ohio State, 2014.
At running back, Mike Weber will throw his hat into the ring to
replace early NFL Draft entry Ezekiel Elliott. Weber is one of the
members of the 2015 recruiting class who possibly could have played in
2015, if not for an injury that required surgery during fall camp.
At wide receiver, converted quarterback Torrance Gibson, Alex Stump,
and K.J. Hill will all battle to impress the coaching staff.
Considering Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall have also declared for the
NFL Draft, here is a position group that is open for players to
Tight end? Nick Vannett has moved on, with Marcus Baugh the only
returning tight end with any game experience. A.J. Alexander and Rashod
Berry will want to seize the moment, as Ohio State signed three tight
ends in Kierre Hawkins, Jake Hausmann, and Luke Farrell who will arrive
on campus this summer.
Offensive Line? This was an impressive haul last February, with
Grant Schmidt, Kevin Feder, Matthew Burrell, and Branden Bowen…who all
redshirted. There are three spots open on the line.
Two open spots along the defensive line should loom large this
spring. Jashon Cornell, Dre’Mont Jones, Joshua Alabi, Robert Landers,
and Davon Hamilton may all be in the mix here.
Two open linebacker spots, with plenty of opportunities for playing
time. Nick Conner impressed in the 2015 spring game, but redshirted due
to injury. Justin Hilliard was arguably one of the most recruited
players in the class, and redshirted from injury also.
The secondary? Talk about an opportunity, with three open spots,
including both safety positions. Joshua Norwood and Damon Arnette can
throw their hats into contention.
Don’t forget Ohio State signed a long-snapper last winter. Liam
McCullough may be the easiest of the 2015 redshirt freshmen to target
for a starting position, as Bryce Haynes has exhausted his eligibility.
Twenty-one out of twenty-five. All eager, able, and hungry to show
the Ohio State coaching staff, and fans, what they can do. These
players would be wise to remember the words of Glenn Frey…
“There’s talk on the street, it’s there to
Remind you, that it doesn’t really matter
which side you’re on.
You’re walking away and they’re talking behind you
They will never forget you ’til somebody new comes along…”