As difficult as it may seem for some people, Ohio State has already welcomed in 11 of the 20 recruits that were signed in December 2022. These players will get the benefit of participating in the winter workouts, spring practices and the Ohio State Spring Game.
I realize that I wrote about three specific early enrollees back in December, and I was mistaken about Kayden McDonald. McDonald was not listed by Ohio State in its press release as an early enrollee.
Below are Three Thoughts on the 2023 early enrollee position groups, as there are specific units that may have opportunities to contribute sooner than others for the 2023 season.
- The Secondary
Cornerback Jermaine Matthews is one of the players I did identify as a possible early contributor in my December article. Another player who enrolled early who may also be able to contribute in 2023 is classmate Malik Hartford, who is listed as a safety.
Both players, as well as incoming Syracuse transfer safety Ja’Had Carter, will have ample opportunities to rise up on the depth chart. The Ohio State secondary is in a state of flux, and with starting roles available, could see themselves in the two-deep, provided they seize the chances given them during the winter and spring sessions.
2. The Wide Receivers
Talk about the rich getting richer. Ohio State passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Brian Hartline pulled in another group of talented wide receivers. Noah Rogers, Bryson Rodgers, and Carnell Tate are early enrollees.
Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming are all set to return in 2023. While there are other talented wide receivers on the roster, the opportunities for these three wide receivers is there to position themselves into the playing rotation, as Hartline has shown a willingness to play young pass-catchers, provided they have demonstrated that they are ready.
3. Offensive Line
Three offensive linemen, all from the state of Ohio, have enrolled early. Luke Montgomery, Josh Padilla, and Austin Siereveld are all ready to begin competing for spots on the two-deep depth chart, under the watchful eye of Ohio State associate head coach for offense/offensive line coach Justin Frye.
Realistically, this position group has the furthest to go for possibly playing extensive minutes in 2023. Traditionally, Ohio State prefers to redshirt their offensive linemen, giving them opportunities to get stronger and better acclimated to the college game. On the other hand, with the departures of offensive linemen Paris Johnson Jr., Dawand Jones, and Luke Wypler to the NFL, there may be an opening for these offensive linemen to make a move on the depth chart.