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The 2023 spring football season has come to a close, so we are now in the four-and-a-half month pigskin-barren portion of the calendar that tries our souls every year. With the NFL Draft this week, there is a brief respite from our suffering as the three-day oasis appears and reminds us of the bountiful gifts that spring from the sport every season, but after this short respite, we will again be left parched for the sweet relief of play-action passes, stiff-arms, and interminable reviews that still seem to get the call wrong.
Nonetheless, we are coming to you today in an effort to see how you are feeling about the Ohio State football team following the 15 spring practices that culminated in last week’s Spring Game. There were certainly some good things that happened during the five weeks of practices, but also some not-so-good things.
So, we will start with the positive, before allowing you to wallow in the despair that all Buckeye fans must find themselves in before eventually returning to our natural position of ego and overconfidence. You can answer each of the questions in the survey at the bottom of the article, and feel free to expound on your positions in the comments below.
Question 1: Following the spring game, what position group are you most excited about?
I think the easy answer here is the wide receivers, because, when is the right answer to this question not Ohio State’s wide receivers? But, I do think that because of so many of the Buckeyes’ top players at the position being out for the spring, it does afford us the opportunity to look elsewhere.
While TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams were also out for the spring, I do think that what we saw from and heard about Dalan Hayden and Chip Trayanum is cause for optimism. When you throw in a hopefully soon-healthy Evan Pryor, that room could be quite formidable. Of course, there are only so many balls available to running backs, and under Ryan Day, those carries have dwindled in favor of other-worldly quarterback and receiver combinations. But, this year, with an unproven starting QB, it could be the perfect year to rely on an unusual deep crop of RBs.
But let’s look over on the other side of the ball. With players healthy, back in their natural spots, and young talent now front-and-center, it looks like this Buckeye defensive line could be as good as any in the country. There is always a bit of concern over how and when Larry Johnson rotates his players, but the top seven or eight players on the line currently appear to be absolutely dominant.
Question 2: Following the spring game, what position group are you most concerned about?
Last year, I beat the drum about my concern at the cornerback position long before the fall-camp injuries made that room into a M*A*S*H unit. However, they at least appear to have turned the corner in terms of health and competence, so I am not as down on them as I was a year ago. Instead, my colleague Gene Ross has similarly sounded the alarm on the most glaringly concerning group on the roster.
To me, the offensive line is clearly the weakest link in the Buckeye chain this season, and I think Gene does a great job of laying the blame at the feet of the person where it belongs. But, perhaps you have concerns elsewhere? Didn’t see enough out of Kyle McCord to feel confident about QB? The secondary still look unsettled to you? Let us know.
Question 3: Did the spring game change how you feel about the 2023 team?
So, having looked at the good and the bad, did last week’s final spring scrimmage change how you are feeling about the team? Are your expectations higher or lower than they were a month ago? Do you have more optimism in the Buckeyes being able to conquer what is one of the most challenging schedules in recent history?
I think it will be interesting to see how our feelings here, in late April, compare to those in late August. I know, for me, the long summer football hiatus gives me lots of time to hype myself up into believing that the Buckeyes are the best team in the country, and — despite my current concerns — I have no doubt that I will do the same thing this season.