clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Despite key departures, Ohio State has impressive depth at safety

Jordan Fuller and a slew of young talent will likely man the back-end of the OSU defense.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“There are a handful of intriguing candidates behind projected starter Isaiah Pryor who clearly have upside and have eased some of the concerns about the depth in the back end.”

-Austin Ward, Landof10

As if losing key players in Ohio State’s secondary to the NFL wasn’t bad enough, the Buckeyes also had to fill the spot left by legendary coach Kerry Coombs. With Coombs taking a job with the Tennessee Titans, the Buckeyes brought in Alex Grinch to continue the #DBU reputation that Ohio State has earned over the past few years.

So what will the secondary look like? Austin Ward took a look at where the safety position group stands early on in spring practice, and what the depth chart might look like closer to the season. Ward notes that the breadth of incoming talent, and young guys ready for their chance to make a mark, eases concerns about replacing Damon Webb in the fall.

Jordan Fuller will likely keep his starting role, and will head into 2018 as the most veteran of the position group. Competing for Webb’s starting role will be Pryor, Amir Riep, Brendon White, Jahsen Wint, and Wayne Davis. There’s a lot to be positive about with the group of sophomores, but incoming freshman Marcus Hooker and Josh Proctor could also be in the mix.

“That title belongs to Billy Price, one of the most polished and experienced prospects in the entire 2018 NFL draft class. A versatile blocker who can play both guard and center, Price’s versatility and complete skill set should make him a first-round pick.”

-Justin Melo, Draft Wire

Ohio State has a reputation for churning out NFL-ready offensive lineman, and things aren’t about to change in 2018. Guard-turned-center Billy Price is among one of the top prospects at his position, and despite willingness (and ability) to move all over the line, he’ll likely be picked up to be the anchor of an NFL team’s line. Of all of the successes to come out of Columbus, Price might be among one of the best and most experienced to head to the next level.

If he’d had a good performance at the NFL Combine just over a week ago, Price was expected to solidify himself as a first-round prospect. However, he ended up suffering a partial tear in his pec, which, after a second-opinion, resulted in him undergoing surgery that could keep him out for about four months. The Buckeye finished his third rep on the bench press early in the combine before the injury occurred, but impressed folks by sticking around to talk to the media, instead of avoiding talking about the issue.

Price didn’t miss a single game during his career at Ohio State, and hopefully with a quick recovery, can continue that streak in the NFL.

“Right now, the only details of the contract are that it’s a three-year deal. No word on how much cap space will be allotted his way, but his last deal in 2013 was a four-year, $3.5m deal.”

-Joe McAtee, Turf Show Times

NFL free agency is just days away, and there are several former Ohio State players vying for a new contract this offseason. The first official Buckeye signing was Los Angeles Rams’ long snapper Jake McQuaide, who was signed to a three-year deal, to keep him from meeting with other teams.

The long snapper is often overlooked as an important part of the roster, but consistency is key, and the Buckeye has been nothing short of that. McQuaide hasn’t missed a game since he made the move to the NFL, and was voted into the Pro Bowl in both 2016 and 2017. He was undrafted out of Ohio State in 2011, and has played all seven of his NFL seasons with the Rams.