Speaking with reporters on Monday, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day announced that redshirt sophomore linebacker Mitchell Melton would be out with a “long-term injury.”
Melton was on crutches during Monday’s Buckeye practice.
“It’s gonna be a long-term injury without getting into details with Mitch, unfortunately,” Day said.
Day did not stay exactly how long Melton would be out, but the implication is that it will impact his availability this year. Melton played in one game last year, which was a common refrain for the true freshmen during a difficult year for everyone.
Melton came to Ohio State from Olney, Maryland where he was a 4-star prospect. He was presumably in the mix at an inside linebacker spot, but now his immediate future is on hold. The process of building a depth chart at linebacker, however, continues for the Buckeye defense and linebackers coach Al Washington.
“We’re going to have to do a great job in developing the young guys,” Day said on Monday. “So we’re going to be a little bit thin as we head into preseason. But I think we have a good plan and Al’s going to do a great job with the young guys.”
The Buckeyes are also without senior middle linebacker Dallas Gant this spring. Currently, the remaining scholarship linebackers assumed to be still working on the inside are senior Teradja Mitchell, sophomore Cody Simon, redshirt sophomore Tommy Eichenberg, true freshman Reid Carrico, and possibly senior K’Vaughan Pope. That’s not a lot of bodies for the two inside linebacker spots (Mike, Will). It will, however, allow for a number of reps for young guys like Simon and Eichenberg as they compete for starting roles.