Last year was almost the year of the horse chestnut.
The Ohio State football program went through the Big Ten and beyond in 11 games in 2022. They dominantly won against the Penn State Nittany Lions, Michigan State Spartans, Iowa Hawkeyes and Wisconsin Badgers as they rolled through their conference schedule. The Buckeyes had almost enough momentum to force their way into the Big Ten championship game before an undefeated rival in the Michigan Wolverines defeated them in a 45-23 win at Ohio Stadium.
This year won’t be the Big Ten of yesteryear.
Things are beginning to change in the Big Ten Conference overall with the addition of new head coaches at the Big Ten West and the Indiana Hoosiers, who rank 11th in 247Sports’ team rankings.
Will the Ohio State Buckeyes be ready to handle these changes by the end of spring training?
Will this year finally be that for Kyle McCord?
The second quarterback played sparingly for the Buckeyes in his first three seasons, assisting junior CJ Stroud in 2021 and 2022.
Newcomer to football from Ohio Devin Brown will take the place behind him. Brown, a former four-star recruit at Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah, has passed Ole Miss, Texas, Michigan State, Notre Dame, UCLA and Wisconsin bids to play for the Buckeyes. He was among the 13 early enrollments in Ohio State’s 2022 signing class.
Brown started to wear the No. 33 at age seven as a tribute to former TCU quarterback Sammy Baugh, but by his sophomore year as a high school senior running back he had changed the number, wrote Ohio State’s Cleveland.com beat reporter Nathan Baird , in a Tuesday article.
Tristan Gebbia, a Super senior transfer from Oregon State, spent four seasons with the Beavers before joining the Ohio State football program. Gebbia played in four games for Oregon State last season after not playing in 2021 and earned a total of 79 passing yards after completing 10 of his 11 pass attempts.
Ohio State Football can have up to three sophomore starters in this year’s defensive back class, with cornerbacks Denzel Burke and Jyaire Brown and free safety Kye Stokes occupying spots on the Ourlads’ depth chart.
Stokes, a former four-star recruit in the Class of 2022, earned eight tackles and one forced fumble after enlisting with the Buckeyes in January 2022.
Lathan Ransom, a fast lock to the strong safety spot, earned 49 total tackles, one interception, three pass deflections and one forced fumble last season.
Nickel safety Ja’Had Carter, arguably one of the sneakiest transfers Portal movements for the horse chestnutscan earn snaps for himself after recording 136 tackles, 91 solo tackles, five interceptions, seven pass deflections and two fumble recoveries during his three years at Syracuse.
Will Ohio State be able to uphold its tradition of having highly touted defensive ends on the list?
Jack Sawyer is a suspension on the Ohio State defensive line after playing in a total of 13 football games in 2022. The 6 foot 4 inch lineman will play at the endnot the linebacker position “Jack,” the linebacker spot primarily responsible for pass rushing and run stopping, defensive coordinator Jim Knowles told 247Sports Tuesday.
“Jack is going to be an ending with JT and he’s going to be working on all those bases of the ending,” Knowles said. “I think that’s important for Jack. I feel like he didn’t have the improvement or big jump he could have had last year because he was getting into the Jack stuff and maybe wasn’t as focused as he could have been to make those improvements on the D end to make.
“So I want to make sure I keep him on the D end over JT.”
Sawyer totaled 24 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks for the Buckeyes last year.
JT Tuimoloau snapped for the Buckeyes in both 2021 and 2022, earning a total of 45 tackles and six sacks over the two years he spent with the Buckeyes. He can take the starting spot alongside tackles Ty Hamilton and Tyleik Williams on the defensive line.
Freshmen finishes Kenyatta Jackson and Omari Abor may see their chance on the line in 2023.
Ohio State’s spring game will be played at Ohio Stadium on April 15 at noon.