Ohio State football pre-spring projected depth chart on offense

Spring — as they say — has sprung in central Ohio, at least as far as the football program goes. Ohio State breaks the seal on its spring practice and there is a slew of storylines we’re all interested to see start to develop. You can’t win a national championship in the spring, but you sure can get behind and make it tough to be in top form come the beginning of the season.

Here at Buckeyes Wire, we like to routinely check in on what we think the depth chart might look like for the football team, and the beginning of spring sure feels like a great time to do it. We last checked in our projection after the end of the Rose Bowl, and now that the roster is a little more solidified, we have a little bit more information to go on.

This thing will likely change more times than a politician’s stance on key issues, so hang with us as it all develops, especially at positions that are going through major overhauls and personnel changes.

Here’s a look at what we project and predict the offensive depth chart could look like as we sit here on the doorstep of spring ball for Ohio State. We’ll look at the defense in a separate piece later this week.

Quarterback

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud impresses former coach June Jones
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud impresses former coach June Jones

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 Network

Starter

C.J. Stroud

Class in 2022: RS Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 3-inches, 215-pounds
Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, California

Backup

Kyle McCord

Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 3-inches, 210-pounds
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Where things stand

Well, yeah. C.J. Stroud will be one of the Heisman favorites in 2022 so go ahead and pencil in the precise lasers he’ll be slinging around the football field. After Jack Miller and Quinn Ewers tapped the transfer portal, Kyle McCord is the unquestioned backup with plenty of talent himself. Devin Brown may be the wildcard in the mix, but it’ll be hard for a true freshman to jump right into things immediately.

Running Back

Five Ohio State football spring practice storylines | Buckeyes Wire
Five Ohio State football spring practice storylines | Buckeyes Wire

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) hands off to running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) during the NCAA football game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Starter

TreVeyon Henderson

Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 5-feet, 10-inches, 210-pounds
Hometown: Hopewell, Virginia

Backup

Miyan Williams

Class in 2022: RS Sophomore
Measurables: 5-feet, 8-inches, 227-pounds
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Where things stand

There’s really not too much to debate here. Henderson was a dynamic freshman last season and should be on the shortlist of best running backs in the country next season. Behind him, Miyan Williams has flashed with power and underrated agility to compliment him. We’ll see how things shake out behind those two.

Wide Receiver (Slot)

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) celebrates a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl against the Utah Utes in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Starter

Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 197-pounds
Hometown: Rockwall, Texas

Backup

Emeka Egbuka

Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 1-inch, 203-pounds
Hometown: Steilacoom, Washington

Where things stand

We all know about Jaxon Smith-Njigba. He’s going to be a problem again for defenses in college football, especially with another year of seasoning. The coaching staff could move him to the outside as the No. 1 guy, but his skill set is more aligned to a slot receiver coming off one whale of a season in that spot already. Egbuka is a dynamic playmaker as well and could crack the starting lineup on the outside, but we’ll give the edge to more established guys and pencil him in as a bit of a wildcard. He’s going to play, and get a lot of minutes somewhere in the rotation most likely.

Wide Receiver (Z)

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Julian Fleming (4) runs toward Tulsa Golden Hurricane safety TieNeal Martin (7) after making a catch during the third quarter of the NCAA football game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Credit: The Columbus Dispatch Syndication

Starter

Julian Fleming

Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 2-inches, 205-pounds
Hometown: Catawissa, Pennsylvania

Backup

Kamryn Babb

Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 197-pounds
Hometown: Saint Louis, Missouri

Where things stand

If Julian Fleming can remain healthy, you have to feel good about him breaking out and being a threat down the field. I also feel like people are forgetting about Kamryn Babb. Yes, he’s coming off an ACL tear from last spring, but he’s a team captain and was a top 100 prospect that has made plays in practice when healthy. There are other youngsters that will be in the mix, but I like Babb to get into the rotation if his body holds up.

Wide Receiver (X)

We take a look at five Ohio State football players that could break out in the 2022 season.
We take a look at five Ohio State football players that could break out in the 2022 season.

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) runs around Utah Utes running back Micah Bernard (2) during the third quarter of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Starter

Marvin Harrison, Jr.

Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 3-inches, 205-pounds
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Backup

Jayden Ballard

Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 2-inches, 192-pounds
Hometown: Massillon, Ohio

Where things stand

If you saw Marvin Harrison, Jr. in the Rose Bowl and listened to the rave reviews about his practice habits, then there’s no surprise that he should be a starter on the outside. Add that to the fact that he’s the sone of a pro football Hall of Famer, then the skill, genetics, and work ethic are all there to be a special one. Another guy that will most likely be in the mix is Jayden Ballard who many have pegged as a speedster that just needs to polish up his route running.

Tight End

Mitch Rossi will be back for one more year at Ohio State
Mitch Rossi will be back for one more year at Ohio State

Sat., Jan. 1, 2022; Pasadena, California, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Mitch Rossi (34) runs the ball during the fourth quarter of the 108th Rose Bowl Game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Utah Utes at the Rose Bowl. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Starter

Mitch Rossi

Class in 2022: Senior
Measurables: 6-feet, 245-pounds
Hometown: Franklin, TN

Backup

Gee Scott, Jr.

Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 3-inches, 225-pounds
Hometown: Seattle, WA

Where things stand

I originally had Cade Stover penciled in here, but believe that his performance on the defensive side of the ball will most likely warrant him being needed there. That means that Mitch Rossi might be the top option here. And … in a bold call, I’m looking for Gee Scott, Jr. to figure things out as a more explosive option here in the passing game after switching over from wide receiver last season. Joy Royer could very well steal the spotlight from both, but we’ll just have to wait and see how the guys shape up in spring and beyond.

Center

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, 200-pounds
Hometown: Montvale, New Jersey

Backup

Jakob James

Class in 2022: RS Freshman
Measurables: 6-feet, 4-inches, 295-pounds
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Where things stand

Wypler returns with plenty of experience at the center position and will most likely hold that down again. As a whole, the entire offensive line unit is a question mark because guys played in positions that weren’t their natural fit last season. Because of that, everything is likely to be very fluid starting in the spring and all the way through fall camp. I like Jakob James to fit in here as the backup because I think the coaching staff has to get Harry Miller in on the line somewhere as a starter.

Left Guard

Ohio State OL Harry Miller named to Wuerffel Trophy watch list
Ohio State OL Harry Miller named to Wuerffel Trophy watch list

Jan. 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Harry Miller (76) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Starter

Harry Miller

Class in 2022: RS Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 4-inches, 315-pounds
Hometown: Buford, Georgia

Backup

Matt Jones

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

Where things stand

Speaking of Miller, his true position coming out of high school was center. However, he’s had plenty of time at guard with that position nailed down at Ohio State. Miller dealt with injuries last season but should be ready to go in 2022. He’s too talented to sit on the bench as a backup so look for the coaches to work him in again at guard. But again, who knows how this will all line up. Matt Jones has plenty of starting experience and might end up being the option here. To me, this is the most intriguing position on the line to watch, specifically because of what the coaching staff wants to do with a healthy Miller.

Right 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, 308-pounds
Hometown: Bellaire, TX

Backup

Trey Leroux

Class in 2022: Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 7-inches, 315-pounds
Hometown: Norwalk, OH

Where things stand

Donovan Jackson was an extremely talented lineman coming out of high school is simply waiting for a chance to shine. He should be the answer here. Depending on the shuffling that’s done here and who stands out, Trey Leroux also looks like one that should be in the mix for some playing time.

Left Tackle

Ohio State lineman Paris Johnson has article published - Buckeyes Wire
Ohio State lineman Paris Johnson has article published - Buckeyes Wire

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. (77) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Starter

Paris Johnson, Jr.

Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 6-inches, 315-pounds
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Backup

Enokk Vimahi

Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 4-inches, 298-pounds
Hometown: Kahuku, Hawaii

Where things stand

Paris Johnson is expected to move to his more natural position at Left tackle now that Thayer Munford and Nicholas Petit Frere are off to dreams of NFL stardom. His upside is huge and he should be a star in the making. Enokk Vimahi has the experience and talent to spell him at times or step in if there’s an issue.

RIght Tackle

The Ohio State offensive line is reshuffling, even with proven guys
The Ohio State offensive line is reshuffling, even with proven guys

Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Dawand Jones (79) runs across the field during Ohio State’s first football practice of fall camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Starter

Dawand Jones

Class in 2022: Junior
Measurables: 6-feet, 8-inches, 360-pounds
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana

Backup

Josh Fryar

Class in 2022: RS Sophomore
Measurables: 6-feet, 6-inches, 3015-pounds
Hometown: Beech Grove, Indiana

Where things stand

Clearly, Dwand Jones should be the guy to nail this spot down again as a large man with large expectations. Josh Fryar might push for another spot on the line, but at the least is a guy that can provide stability here if needed.

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