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It is officially the off-season as Ohio State began their winter workouts this week, as they work towards spring ball in March and took the first steps towards the 2022 football season.

Who will start when the Buckeyes line-up against Notre Dame in early September? Who will replace Jeremy Ruckert at tight end? Which five offensive linemen start? Who gets the nod at the new LEO position on defense? Tony Gerdeman joins Alex Gleitman to answer all of these questions and more on this edition of Around The Oval presented by Todd Pennington with Revolution Mortgage (Get today’s rate by clicking here!).

Check out the video below to watch this week’s episode,. If you prefer the podcast-only (no video) platform, you can listen HERE on Spreaker, HERE on Apple Podcasts, or HERE on Spotify.

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28 Comments

  1. Check out the video below to watch this week’s episode,. If you prefer the podcast-only (no video) platform, you can listen [URL=’https://www.spreaker.com/show/around-the-oval’]HERE[/URL] on Spreaker, [URL=’https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/around-the-oval/id1521106152′]HERE[/URL] on Apple Podcasts, or [URL=’https://open.spotify.com/show/41wCYqfZ1ZHnbgCYaE3Uht’]HERE[/URL] on Spotify.

    [MEDIA=youtube]8t90sVUUIZI[/MEDIA]

  2. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 513380, member: 1980″]
    Is Miller even going to be able to participate in Spring ball? If not then no way does he start to open the season IMO.
    [/QUOTE]
    I believe he is. Should be good to go.

  3. QB: Stroud (both)
    RB: Henderson (both—but both think Miyan or Pryor will have a role)
    WR: JSN in slot (both agree), Harrison & Fleming on outside (both agree–but Egbuka will play a lot and could start by year’s end)
    TE: Royer (Both agree–but Alex thinks transfer could come in to start)
    LT: Paris Johnson (both agree)
    LG: Matt Jones (both agree)
    C: Luke Wypler (both agree)
    RG: Harry Miller (both agree)
    RT: Dawand Jones (both agree)
    LEO: Zach Harrison (Alex); JJB (Tony)
    DTs: Vincent & Cage (both)
    DE: Zach Harrison (Tony), Tyler Friday (Alex)
    LB: Eichenberg/Chambers/Stover (Tony); Simon/Eichenberg/Chambers (Alex) [will likely play 2 only though]
    CB: Burke & Brown (both) with Hancock (both) as the 3rd
    S: Proctor, Hickman, McAllister (both)
    K: Ruggles (both)
    P: Mirco (both)
    LS: Robinson (both)

    Remember this is just for game 1

  4. The defense is not going to be recognizable IMO. Guys who you thought sucked will suddenly be very productive. Will be amazing what defensive staff alignment and someone who knows what they’re doing at a high level as DC (with full autonomy) does for this group

  5. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 513965, member: 1980″]
    Exactly but no way in hell does Friday start over Sawyer or JTT. Not seeing how anyone could think otherwise. JJB will have a role but he isn’t going to play more then those two IMO. Also agree with the above poster that Kourt Williams will have an established role as well. I can see two of the four LB’s that you two listed ending up not getting much run at all especially with us looking to be in 2-LB sets the vast majority of the time.
    [/QUOTE]
    We never said guys won’t play. We’re talking about who technically starts the game. In the video I said as much. Sawyer and JTT will play more than Friday and JJB, especially by seasons end, IMO

  6. [QUOTE=”Buckeyeforlife20, post: 514026, member: 191″]
    Hard for me to envision a world where JTT isn’t a starter. He walked on campus and produced. He’ll be an impact player with a full offseason.
    [/QUOTE]
    Really? Easy for me to see it. LJ rewards the veterans with the “start” but it doesn’t really matter because it’s heavy rotation

  7. [QUOTE=”tippydye, post: 514034, member: 1127″]
    Can’t fathom JTT not starting and what am I missing with Miller? I’d have Jackson over Miller for guard. Maybe Miller beats out Wypler?
    [/QUOTE]
    What you’re missing is two years ago Harry played with a shoulder injury that required surgery. Then last year he dealt with some off field stuff early on before finally returning and suffering a season ending injury. If healthy he’s proven to be one of the best 5 to the staff. I think he will finally show everyone what those coaches have seen

  8. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 514084, member: 1980″]
    But why wouldn’t they start over those two when they are clearly better? What has Friday or JJB showed to make you think they are our two best options to start at DE? If they are we are screwed and will definitely not be in the playoffs again next year. They are role players at best.

    Friday? Dude didn’t even play this year. To think that he starts over JS and Jt is a total head scratcher.
    [/QUOTE]
    Because the “starter” designation doesn’t really matter. This isn’t the Jim Heacock days where the same guys play 90% of the snaps. They rotate guys frequently under LJ. Again it’s not who will play the most snaps. It is who technically takes the FIRST snap. LJ just operates this way where sometimes he throws veterans in there for first snap series as a way to show them love (if they deserve it)

    fyi Friday didn’t play because he had a preseason injury that kept him out the whole year. Not because he stinks

    not sure why people aren’t getting the difference between who takes the first snap versus our thoughts on who takes the most snaps

  9. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 514091, member: 1980″]
    While LJ may technically do this I have a hard time seeing JK not wanting to start without his absolute best DL out there. There is a new sheriff in town and things will change. Why waste the opening series of the game with two DE’s that have not and never will be playmakers. A flash here or there is all you can expect from them.
    [/QUOTE]
    We shall see. Maybe things change. But Tony and I both have veterans starting over Jack and JT so we’ll see if we’re just dumbazzes

  10. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 514096, member: 1980″]
    I know by why Friday didn’t play last season.

    Agsin why waste the first few downs of a game with guys that are just time players? I get the rewarding them with a start but we have no idea if JK wants to operate like that. Especially when you are opening against ND. He’ll want his 11 out there that he feels gives him the best chance to get a stop on the first drive.
    [/QUOTE]
    Again maybe Tony and I are dumbazzes. Probably the case

  11. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 514102, member: 1980″]
    Just pointing out that it’s stupid to start a game with guys who don’t belong out there just because of seniority. Georgia and Bama don’t role that way so neither should we. It’s big boy football where you earn your keep.

    Honestly it makes zero sense to try and guess at the starting 11 on defense till after spring ball and even then things will change during fall camp. I could see JJB maybe make a jump in a new role in JK’s system but I would be stunned if Friday did especially after sitting out last season.
    [/QUOTE]
    Proctor shouldn’t start then either due to sitting out?

  12. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 514211, member: 1980″]
    Proctor was a starter till he got hurt during the season so it’s completely different. Friday wasn’t going to be a starter all season if he was healthy like Proctor would’ve been till he went down.

    Friday might’ve gotten a few “technicality” starts but in no way would he have been a clear cut starter like Proctor was.

    I know that he’s your boy since he’s from Jersey but let’s be real about expecting him to come in and start over two of ZH, JS and JT in the opener when he’s never been a true starter during his time here.
    [/QUOTE]
    I am making somewhat of a bold prediction here. What I am saying though, which has been failed to be recognized, is that I think he will be the “technicality” starter. I expect Harrison, Sawyer, and JTT to get the most snaps at defensive end/LEO fwiw.

    Let’s just agree to disagree here since it’s going nowhere. We are both saying 3 guys will play the most. I am just saying they’ll throw someone out there for snap one and two as a nod to seniority (as long as they work their tails off and deserve it). They’re not throwing Rudy out there

  13. [QUOTE=”Edchun1, post: 514236, member: 8434″]
    OK, so this is a “who literally is on the field for the first snap”, not “who are our best players and will get the most snaps. I guess that’s the definition of starter…
    [/QUOTE]
    Correct.

  14. [QUOTE=”Joe Draime, post: 514250, member: 4108″]
    Technically Haskell Garrett didn’t even take the 1st snap against Minnesota so “starter” is really almost a semantics argument.

    How do you feel about the depth behind those 3?
    [/QUOTE]
    I like the 5 DEs: Harrison, Sawyer, JTT, Friday, and JJB. Solid group.

    I actually like DT too. Vincent, Cage, Williams, and Hall should be a really strong group.

    Then there’s a bunch of “guys” behind all of those. Who steps up?

  15. [QUOTE=”DaleBuck, post: 514257, member: 7806″]
    I saw some talk of Friday moving inside? Seems like we are loaded at DE
    [/QUOTE]
    I like that idea. At least on 3rd downs. I always thought he was going to end up as a 3T or an OG out of HS. Surprised he stayed at end. And he can help set the edge there. But I like the idea of 3T

  16. [QUOTE=”Edchun1, post: 514263, member: 8434″]
    It feels like we have plenty of 3 tech DTs. It sort of feels like Tyliek is the only “I can go against a top tier offense and not get pushed back into the LBs” 1 tech. Am I missing something, because it sure felt like that against Michigan.
    [/QUOTE]
    I’d have Cage in there too

  17. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 514084, member: 1980″]
    But why wouldn’t they start over those two when they are clearly better? What has Friday or JJB showed to make you think they are our two best options to start at DE? If they are we are screwed and will definitely not be in the playoffs again next year. They are role players at best.

    Friday? Dude didn’t even play this year. To think that he starts over JS and Jt is a total head scratcher.
    [/QUOTE]
    Jack Sawyer has to get better than other players first. He’s not there yet. Just look at the playing time differences. I definitely went conservative with some of my picks. As I said in the show, I was surprised to go with JJB over Jack Sawyer at Leo, but remember, we’re trying to predict what the coaches are going to do, and they generally pick safer than “inexperience with big upside.” I can absolutely see JJB over Jack Sawyer to start the season. Also keep in mind, we don’t even know who is a strongside end and who is a Leo. And as Alex said, fans can get hung up on the starter designation on the DL more than they should. There are a bunch of moving parts and I’m guessing our version of this show after spring will have different picks.

    And Oklahoma State’s “backup” Leo had more sacks and TFLs than the starter. He was a Freshman All-American and played plenty.

    Nick Bosa started 7 games as a sophomore in 2017. He was a First-Team All-American and the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year that year as well. I wouldn’t consider him a backup for half of that season.

  18. [QUOTE=”Edchun1, post: 514263, member: 8434″]
    It feels like we have plenty of 3 tech DTs. It sort of feels like Tyliek is the only “I can go against a top tier offense and not get pushed back into the LBs” 1 tech. Am I missing something, because it sure felt like that against Michigan.
    [/QUOTE]
    Tyleik was really good at 3 tech this year at times so I’m not sure I’d move him. But if Michael Hall is ready to go, having three 3Ts is probably too many.

  19. [QUOTE=”350zjk, post: 514390, member: 517″]
    What about Hamilton? Should be close to 300 lbs.
    [/QUOTE]
    Probably the No. 2 NT behind Jerron Cage unless somebody moves over. I know Tyleik played some NT when he and Michael Hall were in the game together a couple of times. Will be interesting to see if Tyleik goes NT full time.

  20. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 514502, member: 1980″]
    I’m right there with you as far as we have no idea who will end up where coming out of spring ball. Especially at the various DE/ Leo spots. One thing we don’t know is that since JK will have much more talent here then he did at Okie St will he rotate guys, at say the LEO, as much or just ride one guy 70% of the time.

    I was going with Sawyer over JJB as to me he is much better right now. To me JJB doesn’t really have an upside at this point in his career. He is what he is and thus why he really hasn’t become a consistent contributor in his time as a Buckeye. Now who knows maybe he flourishes in the new system. There are definitely going to be some guys, like him maybe, who have been here a while and for whatever reason don’t fit the new scheme and/ or JK doesn’t take a liking too that will fall off the rotation. On the flip side there will be a guy who pulls a Malik Hooker and comes from never playing to being an impact guy in one season and everyone wonders well why didn’t he play more before.
    [/QUOTE]
    But you’re saying Sawyer is much better right now and that wasn’t the case or else he would have played more. I very much think he’ll surpass JJB at some point. Honestly, he needs to. Knowles will be fine with having the DL rotate considering he had two Leos last year who split time and produced 19.5 sacks and 29.5 TFLs.

  21. [QUOTE=”BrutusBuckeye11, post: 514545, member: 1980″]
    Agree that Sawyer has to get better. He had flashes last year but not consistently enough and wasn’t good against the run. I do think he is better right now then JJB. But that’s just my opinion.

    Will be interesting to see if a Styles or someone else gets a try at LEO in the spring. Wouldn’t surprise me to see if we had someone that we are not focusing in on now as one of the LEO’s come ND.
    [/QUOTE]
    Knowles is looking at a lot of very different body types and skill sets and he’s likely imagining each of them in different roles. They had a 225-pound Leo at Okie State. I’m not ready to disregard the possibilities of somebody like CJ Hicks or Kourt Williams just being a point and shoot kind of player at times in this defense.

  22. [QUOTE=”SoCalBuck, post: 515122, member: 2798″]
    You both have lost your minds on DE.

    JJB and Friday aren’t starting over JT.
    [/QUOTE]
    Again, we are trying to predict what the coaches will do. Also, nobody said JJB is starting over JTT. I surprised myself by going with JBB as the starting Leo over Jack Sawyer because I’m not sure Zach Harrison is the Leo. He may be. We’re all guessing at this point. But I also don’t see JTT as a Leo. And if Zach Harrison and JTT are playing the same position, I don’t see JTT starting over Zach. Similarly, Larry Johnson has always loved Tyler Friday and played him whenever he could despite any production issues.

    But also, don’t get hung up on the starter label.

  23. [QUOTE=”SoCalBuck, post: 515245, member: 2798″]
    It’s JT, not JTT. From JT.
    [/QUOTE]
    That is correct. Just referring to him as most do and didn’t want anybody to think I was referring to Jack Tawyer by simply saying “JT.”

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