Ohio State Football: 5 Recruits Most Likely to Start as Freshmen

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IJanuary 7, 2013

Ohio State Football: 5 Recruits Most Likely to Start as Freshmen

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    Urban Meyer is going to have a great group of freshmen coming to Ohio State for the 2013 season, already assembling a top-five class a month before national signing day.

    Scout.com's No. 4 class has plenty of talent spread all throughout the field, from the front seven to the offensive skill positions and everywhere else in between.

    The Buckeyes will be a very young team, especially on defense, and all sorts of starting jobs are up for grabs on both sides of the ball.

    But which freshmen will be starters this coming season?

    Here are five who are likely to do just that.

P Johnny Townsend

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    Ohio State needed a punter to replace Ben Buchanan who was a senior in 2012.

    Johnny Townsend will almost get the starting gig in 2013 by default because he will be the only punter on the roster, but he does have plenty of skill.

    Townsend got rave reviews at last week's Army All-American Game practices, and he may be one of the better punters in recent OSU history in the opinion of The O-Zone.net's Michael Chung.

LB Mike Mitchell

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    It took a little longer than expected, but Mike Mitchell is a Buckeye. The talented linebacker declared for the Buckeyes during Saturday's Army All-American Game, becoming the second linebacker that weekend to join the Scarlet and Gray.

    Mitchell is one of the top linebackers in the country and should add valuable depth to a linebacker corps that lacks experience.

    Only one starter from 2012's front seven returns: LB Ryan Shazier.

    Mitchell will have as good a chance as anyone to start in 2013, and his size and football IQ should help him earn a starting job as a true freshman.

DB Eli Apple

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    The defensive back formerly known as Eli Woodard is one of five Buckeyes to enroll early along with fellow DB Cameron Burrows.

    Apple has elite cover skills and anticipation, and enrolling early gives him a chance at competing for the second starting corner job alongside redshirt junior Bradley Roby.

    He has the tools to be the next great OSU corner following in the recent footsteps of Chimdi Chekwa, Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Gamble. A spring working with the coaching staff and getting in the weight room can only put him among the favorites for the second corner spot.

DE Joey Bosa

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    Ohio State has one gigantic problem on its defense in that it has to replace all four starters on its defensive line. With all four spots available, there will be a massive competition to start, meaning freshman Joey Bosa has as good a shot as anyone.

    Bosa showcased his John Simon-esque motor in Friday's Under Armour All-American Game and has a frame that may allow him to start right away.

    Sophomore's Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington are favorites for two of the starting spots, but the rest seems to be up for grabs.

    If Bosa can make a big enough impression on the coaches with his non-stop motor, he has a great chance to get one of those spots.

WR Jalin Marshall

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    The Ohio State offense lacked an explosive playmaker to take pressure off of Braxton Miller. Ironically enough, the Buckeyes' next star playmaker could be a converted quarterback in WR Jalin Marshall.

    Marshall was one of the Midwest's most dynamic athletes because of his burst and ability to cut up the field and make guys miss.

    He may struggle to learn the receiver position early, but made great strides this week at the Under Armour All-American Game. The Buckeyes already have a pair of starting receivers returning in Corey Brown and Devin Smith.

    But with the lack of a true third threat, Marshall has a chance to slide into the starting lineup in some capacity. Urban Meyer has a knack for getting his playmakers the football any way he can, and Marshall is one of those guys he may try to utilize as much as he can in a game.


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