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Ohio State Football: 8 Early Standouts from Spring Practice

Cory McCuneContributor IIIApril 4, 2013

Ohio State Football: 8 Early Standouts from Spring Practice

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    Ohio State's 2013 football team is back to work trying to build on the successes of the 2012 season that saw the Buckeyes go 12-0 and win the Leaders Division in the Big Ten.

    So far this spring there have been no signs of the Buckeyes and Urban Meyer letting up, as several young players have shown improvement and several veteran players are back healthy and ready to compete.

    Meyer has said his greatest concern for this team is filling the void in leadership left by the 2012 seniors like Zach Boren and John Simon.

    While the 2012 season showed how important great leadership can be, it's not as concerning as last spring when Meyer called the offense a "clown show."

    Veterans like Jack Mewhort, Carlos Hyde and Corey Linsley aren't on this list because they have been held out of parts of the action to allow the younger players to get more reps.

    But some of the players filling in have made some noise, and no, Braxton Miller's new hair isn't on the list.

Marcus Hall

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    Marcus Hall is the only returning starter on the offensive line that didn't earn a spot on the Honorable Mention All-Big Ten list in 2012.

    But that could change as offensive line coach Ed Warriner has mentioned that Hall is the most improved member on the offensive line.

    He has also been praised by onlookers for his ability to win one-on-one drills against a talented group of Buckeye defensive linemen.

Patrick Elflein

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    While Taylor Decker still seems to be the favorite to win the fifth starting spot on the offensive line and Chase Farris is still the top challenger, Patrick Elflein has surprised many and has entered the conversation.

    Decker and Farris have been competing for the right tackle spot that was left open with the graduation of Reid Fragel.

    But recently Elflein has the Buckeyes' coaching staff is considering moving him to guard, thus bumping either Andrew Norwell or Marcus Hall to right tackle. That is a possibility because both Norwell and Hall have experience starting at tackle.

Jordan Hall

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    The fifth-year senior that has spent much of his Buckeye career lining up at running back seemed to explode when giving the chance to play in the open field.

    After the first couple days of spring practice, all the buzz on the offense was about the team's new hybrid receiver/running back, Jordan Hall.

    Since then Hall has been slowed by an injury, something that ruined his 2012 season, but his early explosion still keeps him on this list. 

Warren Ball

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    Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith, Bri'onte Dunn, Braxton Miller, Jordan Hall... needless to say there aren't many carries to go around in the Ohio State backfield. 

    Add that to the fact that Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall and Ezekiel Elliott are on the way.

    This is a huge spring for Warren Ball, a former 4-star recruit from Columbus. 

    So far this spring, Ball, a redshirt freshman, has shown he has the ability to at least be a part of the rotation in a loaded Ohio State backfield. 

Noah Spence

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    Ohio State loses all four starters from the 2012 defensive line. That opens the door for a new bunch of talented young prospects.

    The brightest of which is Noah Spence, a 5-star recruit in the 2012 class.

    The freakishly athletic Spence has been reported to be nearly unblockable in one-on-one drills.

    Along with fellow sophomore Adolphus Washington, the Buckeyes' defensive ends have the potential to match the 2012 production of John Simon and Nathan Williams, despite being much younger.

Michael Bennett

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    Michael Bennett battled injuries in 2012 after having a solid season in 2011 as a freshman.

    Now, as a junior, Bennett is the elder statesman on the Buckeyes' defensive line that doesn't have a senior on scholarship.

    Bennett has been praised by those that have attended spring practice for his ability to rush the passer whether that be from inside at defensive tackle or the outside at defensive end.

Tyvis Powell

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    Along with Jordan Hall the big news early from Ohio State's spring practice was that Tyvis Powell was the team's starting 'star' or nickelback.

    Powell, a recruit that wasn't as highly-touted as many of his classmates in the 2012 recruiting class, has been praised for his physicality at the star position.

    In the last few practices Corey Brown, the expected starter, has begun to earn more respect and 5-star safety Vonn Bell hasn't made it to campus. 

    But Powell has held the starting spot for two more weeks than most people expected; don't be surprised if he holds it all season.

Bradley Roby

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    Bradley Roby achieved just about everything a cornerback could in his redshirt sophomore season.

    Roby was named to the All-Big Ten team and ESPN's All-American team, while finishing as a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award.

    But that wasn't enough for Roby, who passed up on the 2013 NFL draft to be a part of "The Chase."

    His return gives Ohio State arguably the top cornerback in the country as well as three experienced players in a secondary that will play behind an inexperienced front seven.

    Roby has been dominate in one-on-one drills constantly battling Devin Smith and baiting Braxton Miller during scrimmages.

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