Ohio State Football: 5 Buckeyes Who Must Excel in Fall Camp
Camp Urban is here at least, as Ohio State's newest coach began his first preseason camp earlier this week.
Urban Meyer's process of getting the Buckeyes ready for 2012 is underway as not only is the new offense being installed, but the coaches get their first look at the star-studded freshman class.
Positions on the depth chart are on the line in this camp, and there are players who need to have a big camp to help the team have a strong season.
Here are five players who need to step up in the preseason practices.
LB Curtis Grant
Meyer took a huge risk at the start of the spring by declaring that sophomore LB Curtis Grant would be the reason why Ohio State's defense would either be good or bad.
Grant was a very highly-touted prospect out of high school and did not have any impact last season despite the fact that OSU's LBs were a disappointment.
Grant has the prototypical size for a ILB in the Buckeyes' 4-3 defense, and possesses a great amount of intelligence and athleticism to make the necessary calls in the defense.
He has all the tools to be a great LB, but will need to have a great few weeks of practice to live up to the hype he had coming out of high school.
WR Corey Brown
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In some regard, Corey Brown's first two seasons at Ohio State have been a bit of a disappointment.
Brown has had issues holding on to the football, and didn't seem to be a good fit for what Jim Tressel's offense liked to do.
Brown seems to be a better fit for Meyer's offense where he can make people miss if he gets the football in space such as in crossing routes, slants or screens.
He needs to prove that he can do more in the offense than just catch 14 passes—tied with two other players for the team-high last year—and that comes from a good camp.
OT Jack Mewhort
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Ohio State's offensive line got a major reshuffling after new offensive line coach Ed Warriner came to Columbus.
The biggest part of the reshuffling was moving Jack Mewhort over from guard to LT, hoping to fill the void left behind by Mike Adams, who Pittsburgh drafted in the second round in April's NFL draft.
Mewhort had some offseason problems after losing his summer scholarship for an off-campus incident, but has been reinstated and is back with the team.
He needs to be the anchor of the offensive line because not only does he have to protect Braxton Miller's blind side, he needs to be the best player on the offensive line all season long if Ohio State is going to have significant success.
LB Etienne Sabino
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Etienne Sabino remains one of the more interesting players on the team because fans all thought he would be a star because of how he came out of high school.
But after redshirting in 2010, his first season as a starter was a disappointment and he was bumped over to the outside in favor of Curtis Grant.
Size and physical ability have never been the issue for Sabino. The issue is him trying to be a player who plays with his head and can diagnose plays, get into proper position and win plays with his head instead of just pure athleticism.
He has one last year to prove he was worth the 5-star hype he had coming out of high school and a strong fall camp would be a good start.
QB Braxton Miller
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This is an extremely obvious choice, but if Ohio State is going to have a camp MVP, Braxton Miller may need to be the guy to earn the title.
Miller's progression from his freshman to his sophomore year will be a barometer for how much better this team can be not only this year, but in 2013 when they're expected to compete for a national championship once again.
Miller can run—we all know that—but his passing game needs work, particularly in his footwork. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman will be working with Miller to improve his technique.
He certainly showed some significant progress in the spring game last April, and it helps that Meyer's offense is a better fit for Miller because it is similar to the offense he ran in high school.
But he has the rest of this month to shape up his feet and continue to improve his arm in order to start to become the promise of Ohio State's future in a real, tangible form instead of potential that still has not been realized.
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