Final prediction for Ohio State football’s game week offensive depth chart

·8 min read

We do this exercise a few times of the year, and now it’s time for the most important effort at predicting and projecting the Ohio State football depth chart as we get ready to kick off the season.

So far, there’s been a ton of observations and interviews that give us a pretty good indication of where things stand, but there always seems to be s surprise or two. As the Buckeyes look to kick things off in a top-five matchup with Notre Dame, we get things cranking on the offensive side of the ball first.

There isn’t a slew of changes from what we last projected, but we feel even better about where things stand. Here is a look at our projected two-deep depth chart on offense for Ohio State football as we embark on game week. And don’t worry, we’ll do the same for the defensive side of the ball this week as well, so stay tuned.

Quarterback

Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud just the fourth best according to PFF
Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud just the fourth best according to PFF

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) looks to throw the ball against Purdue Boilermakers during the 4th quarter of their NCAA game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on November 13, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Starter

C.J. Stroud
Class in 2022: RS Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 3-inches, 218-pounds
Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Backup

Kyle McCord
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 3-inches, 220-pounds
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Where things stand

Clearly, it’s Stroud all the way here. If there’s a reason to dip into the pool of others, all indications point to McCord being much improved. Behind that, Devin Brown may be the guy of the future under center.

Running Back

TreVeyon Henderson
TreVeyon Henderson

Oct 9, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson (32)celebrates his touchdown run during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Starter

TreVeyon Henderson
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 5-feet, 10-inches, 215-pounds
Hometown: Hopewell, VA

Backup

Miyan Williams
Class in 2022: RS Sophomore
Measurables: 5-feet, 8-inches, 225-pounds
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Where things stand

It’s a pretty easy call here too with Henderson being one of the best backs in the country, though look for Miyan Williams to get more reps than you might think. With the injury to Evan Pryor, freshman Dallan Hayden will need to be ready to provide depth.

Wide Receiver (Slot)

Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba fends off Utah cornerback Micah Bernard as he races to the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter of the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, Calif. Syndication The Columbus Dispatch

Starter

Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 198-pounds
Hometown: Rockwall, TX

Backup

Xavier Johnson
Class in 2022: Senior
Measurables: 6-feet, 2-inches, 215-pounds
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Where things stand

Johnson is a bit of a surprise after what we’ve seen throughout camp, especially with the modest injury to Kamayn Babb. He’s got experience and made plays throughout the offseason, so look for him to get plenty of time in the rotation. Freshman Kaleb Brown will push for time as well as one that lost his black-stripe early on.

Wide Receiver (Z)

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Julian Fleming (4) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Starter

Julian Fleming
Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 2-inches, 207-pounds
Hometown: Catawissa, PA

Backup

Emeka Egbuka
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 1-inch, 205-pounds
Hometown: Steilacoom, WA

Where things stand

We’ve been on the Fleming train before others and we still feel good about him nailing down the starting spot based on comments from the coaches. However, Egbuka is too talented to keep off the field and will also see a lot of time. This could easily flip the other way.

Wide Receiver (X)

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) celebrates after a safety during the second quarter of an NCAA Division I football game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Starter

Marvin Harrison Jr
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 3-inches, 205-pounds
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Backup

Jayden Ballard
Class in 2022: RS Freshman
Measurables: 6-feet, 2-inches, 195-pounds
Hometown: Massillon, OH

Where things stand

Don’t be surprised one bit if Harrison ends up being a breakout superstar. He’s a freakish athlete with good genes and has the starting spot locked up here. Beyond that, Jayden Ballard will most likely spell him when he needs a break.

 

Tight End

Ohio State TE Cade Stover implementing unconventional tranining method
Ohio State TE Cade Stover implementing unconventional tranining method

Sep 25, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Cade Stover (16)with the catch during the fourth quarter against the Akron Zips at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Starter

Cade Stover
Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 4-inches, 255-pounds
Hometown: Mansfield, OH

Backup

Mitch Rossi
Class in 2022: Senior
Measurables: 6-feet, 1-inch, 250-pounds
Hometown: Franklin, TN

Where things stand

Though Joe Royer and Gee Scott Jr are talented and could find their way into the mix later in the year, both from observations and what the coaching staff has said point to Stover and Rossi being the two guys that have separated themselves in the fall.

Center

Ohio State center Luke Wypler appears on 2022 Rimington watch list
Ohio State center Luke Wypler appears on 2022 Rimington watch list

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Luke Wypler (53) against Minnesota Golden Gophers during their game at Huntington Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN on September 2, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Starter

Luke Wypler
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 3-inches, 300-pounds
Hometown: Montvale, NJ

Backup

Jakob James
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 4-inches, 295-pounds
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Where things stand

No change here. Wypler is a Rimington Trophy candidate and has the starting spot nailed down. From what we saw in camp, James is next in line.

Left Guard

Ohio State 5-star freshman OL Donovan Jackson loses his black stripe
Ohio State 5-star freshman OL Donovan Jackson loses his black stripe

Freshman guard Donovan Jackson was the No 19 overall prospect in his recruiting class.
Ohio State Football Training Camp. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network.

Starter

Donovan Jackson
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 4-inches, 300-pounds
Hometown: Bellaire, TX

Backup

Enokk Vimahi
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 4-inches, 310-pounds
Hometown: Kahuku, HI

Where things stand

We’ve known who the starters are on the offensive line since spring, and we now have more clarity on what the depth behind that is. Donovan Jackson will be the left guard, with Vimahi looking to be next up when needed.

 

Right Guard

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Matthew Jones (55) warms up during a spring football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center in Columbus on March 22, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Starter

Matthew Jones
Class in 2022: Senior
Measurables: 6-feet, 4-inches, 310-pounds
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Backup

Ben Christman
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 6-inches, 310-pounds
Hometown: Akron, OH

Where things stand

Same deal here. Matthew Jones will trout out there first and be the main option at the other guard spot. Ben Christman seems to have separated himself from the others that were competing for the second level.

 

Left Tackle

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) warms up during a spring football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center in Columbus on March 22, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Starter

Paris Johnson Jr
Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 6-inches, 315-pounds
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Backup

Zen Michalski
Class in 2022: RS Freshman
Measurables: 6-feet, 7-inches, 305-pounds
Hometown: Floyds Knobs, IN

Where things stand

This is where we had things projected at the beginning of fall and see no reason to change it. Johnson is showing up as a first-round projection in a lot of NFL mock drafts and should have a superstar breakout year. Michalski might be the answer next year, but for now, he’ll be the option when Johnson is out of the game or moved to another position because of need.

 

Right Tackle

Aug 5, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Dawand Jones (79) during practice at Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio on August 5, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Starter

Dawand Jones
Class in 2022: Senior
Measurables: 6-feet, 8-inches, 360 pounds
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Backup

Josh Fryar
Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 6-inches, 315-pounds
Hometown: Beech Grove, IN

Where things stand

Give the OSU coaches a lot of credit for mining the talent of Dawand Jones out of high school. He wasn’t a highly recruited kid but turned into one whale of a tackle that’s going to the NFL next season. Josh Fryar will get time, but not in the most intense situations unless there’s some shuffling that goes on because of availability.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire