Ohio State Football: 4 Biggest Holes in the Roster Buckeyes Must Fill for 2013

Tim BielikSenior Analyst IDecember 17, 2012

Ohio State Football: 4 Biggest Holes in the Roster Buckeyes Must Fill for 2013

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    Ohio State may have been an undefeated football team in 2012, but the Buckeyes had their fair share of flaws.

    The 12-0 Ohio State Buckeyes were anything but a finished product despite their unblemished record.

    OSU is going to be bowl eligible next season, when it will be trying to win its first non-vacated Big Ten championship since the 2009 season.

    Ohio State will have a very good recruiting class in 2013, but which positions are the biggest needs for the Buckeyes? Here are the four biggest holes based on lack of recent success and personnel turnover.

Wide Receiver

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    Ohio State does have two solid receivers in Devin Smith and Corey Brown, but neither are the explosive game breaker that can take Urban Meyer's offense to another level. OSU's passing game struggled at the end of last season because it didn't have a receiver able to win the one-on-one battles and get open.

    With the recent departure of Verlon Reed, a spot on the roster opens in recruiting if the Buckeyes are able to land touted wideout James Quick from Kentucky or possibly an under-the-radar prospect like Ryan Timmons.

    Jalin Marshall and Taivon Jacobs are the two wideouts who have verballed to the Buckeyes this year, and each has that explosive ability to make big plays.

Linebacker

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    Going into 2013, Ohio State has only one dependable linebacker with experience in Ryan Shazier. The rest of the group is a huge question mark, with junior Curtis Grant and sophomore Josh Perry having the most experience in the base defense among the rest of the roster.

    This recruiting class has no linebackers as of yet, but that may change if Mike Mitchell commits to the Buckeyes. The buzz of Mitchell to OSU is pretty good after Mitchell raved about his official visit.

    Other youngsters like Camren Williams, David Perkins and Conner Crowell may have a chance to crack the rotation, but they will need to shine in the spring.

Safety

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    As inconsistent as the linebackers have been, the safety position has been even more of a roller coaster because of how good both Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett have been at times and how bad they've been just as often.

    The problem is that outside of those two, no one has stepped up to push the two starters, creating no depth.

    OSU hopes to land blue-chip safety Vonn Bell out of Georgia, but is in a big-time battle with Alabama for the talented safety. The Buckeyes have verbals from Jayme Thompson at safety, and DB Cameron Burrows might also be able to convert to safety if need be.

Defensive End

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    Ohio State's defensive end position is a concern simply due to the graduation of John Simon, who has been the heart and soul of the defense the past two seasons.

    The Buckeyes had a great recruiting class last year at DE led by blue-chipper Noah Spence, who is expected to improve as he gets stronger in the offseason. OSU has verbals from Joey Bosa and Tyquan Lewis, two extremely gifted DEs from SEC country with big-time offer lists.

    This spring will have an extremely intriguing battle for the two starting defensive end jobs with Simon and Nathan Williams both graduation.

     

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