Late Sunday, Georgia Tech grad transfer Parker Braun announced that he would be playing his final year of college football at Texas. This wasn’t particularly surprising —he’d taken a great visit there and Texas is in desperate need of starting linemen— but it does still have some impact on the schools that missed on Braun. The main school, and the school that I think finished second is, of course, Ohio State.
The Buckeyes were in on Braun early, hoping to slot him in to one of the four vacant offensive line spots rather than going with one of the many younger options on the roster. However, the Buckeyes were unable to get Braun on campus, and obviously, unable to get him to join the team. Now, is some of that related to uncertainty regarding need now that the Buckeyes have added Jonah Jackson? Sure, but the Buckeyes were very much still in on Braun following the commitment of Jackson, and would’ve loved to add yet another veteran starter on the line.
With Braun out of the equation, Ohio State’s staff now has an interesting question: do they stick with what they have, and enter spring ball with two known commodities in Thayer Munford and Jonah Jackson, while trying to fill out those final three spots with new faces? Or, do they look elsewhere, and try to find one more transfer up front?
Now, looking at the transfer portal, there aren’t a ton of options left for the Buckeyes. Illinois tackle Larry Boyd, Tennessee tackle Drew Richmond, and Virginia center RJ Proctor are likely the only “Ohio State caliber” players left on the market up front, and Ohio State hasn’t made inroads with any of them to this point, so it may be too late (Ohio State is familiar with Richmond from recruiting, but many of those connections are gone).
That makes the former option, just sticking with what they have, much more likely. Barring a late push by Ryan Day or Greg Studrawa, I think the offensive line group we see in Columbus right now is likely the group we see in August, save for maybe one or two transfers out of the program.
Young Bucks get their numbers
It’s the most important day of the year, folks. Well, not really, but Tuesday was the day that Ohio State’s early enrollees picked out their new numbers, and let me say, there are some #elite picks in here. Let’s power rank them.
Jersey numbers for Ohio State's seven midyear enrollees:— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) March 5, 2019
1 – Justin Fields
5 – Garrett Wilson
23 – Marcus Crowley
28 – Ronnie Hickman
33 – Zach Harrison
68 – Ryan Jacoby
97 – Noah Potterhttps://t.co/aB7lYIdKvM
1. Zach Harrison: #33
Yes. Hell yes. 33 is a fantastic number for a defensive player, and I’m absolutely down any time a defensive linemen wants to deviate from the norm.
2. Justin Fields: #1
You want your quarterback to be confident, and there’s nothing more confident than declaring yourself number one every time you step on the field.
3. Marcus Crowley: #23
I don’t think 23 gets nearly the credit it deserves. You rarely see it worn, especially by a running back, but there’s something that just looks good about 23 on a speedy halfback, word to Arian Foster.
4. Garrett Wilson: #5
A very good start for the five-star freshmen, as he keeps his high school number, and continues the tradition of elite Buckeye receivers wearing single digits. Let’s hope Garrett Wilson can do Ted Ginn Jr., DeVier Posey, Devin Smith, and of course, Dontre Wilson proud as he joins the single digit family.
5. Noah Potter: #97
An insanely cocky choice to follow six years of Bosa brothers by wearing their number at the same position, but I like it. You have to make a good first impression, and if Noah Potter is telling us he’s the next Bosa, that’s about as good as it gets.
6. Ronnie Hickman: #28
If Ronnie Hickman is going to be playing safety in Columbus, I have no issues with this pick, because it’s a very solid safety number. HOWEVER, if Ronnie Hickman is playing cornerback, this simply will not do. 28 is a bad cornerback number, and frankly, I won’t stand for it.
7. Ryan Jacoby: #68
Ryan is taunting us. He knows what makes the crowd goes wild, and what would immediately endear himself to the most important part of the fanbase (posters), but instead chose to snub us by picking this travesty of a number. Give the people what they want, Ryan.