Ohio State Football: Which OSU Freshmen Will Make Early Impact in 2013?

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistJune 10, 2013

Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com.
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com.

The Ohio State football team received a boost last weekend when freshmen from the Buckeyes' 2013 recruiting class officially reported to campus.

Urban Meyer is hoping his first-year players can provide a similar boost on the field.

Ohio State is coming off an undefeated season and returns 13 starters to a deep and talented team, but the coaching staff won't hesitate putting freshmen on the field if they can prove themselves in practice.

Ohio State's 24-member class, which is ranked No. 2 nationally behind only Alabama, boasts a number of talented players who could make a big impact for the Buckeyes.

Which freshmen stand the best chance of cracking Ohio State's two-deep rotation and getting serious playing time? 

Here are three candidates:


Dontre Wilson, Wide Receiver/Running Back

Wilson, who's expected to play the hybrid position Percy Harvin made famous at Florida, is the kind of player who could take Meyer's offense to the next level.

The 4-star athlete can hurt a defense from a variety of positions, which gives him a good chance to get on the field even though Ohio State returns its top two receivers in Corey Brown and Devin Smith.

Wilson played a similar position at the high school level, so he comes to Columbus with a good amount of experience in the role he'll play for the Buckeyes.

Outside of Braxton Miller, Ohio State's 2012 offense lacked a playmaker who could take any snap and go the distance. With Wilson, that problem no longer exists.


Joey Bosa, Defensive End

Bosa, a 4-star defensive end out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a powerful pass-rusher who possesses the speed to be a nightmare off the edge.

Even though Ohio State is replacing Nathan Williams, Adam Bellamy, Johnathan Hankins, John Simon and a couple of key reserves, the defensive line will be one of the hardest position groups for the freshman to crack.

That's especially true for the strong-side defensive end position, which Bosa is expected to play for the Buckeyes. Ohio State has Adolphus Washington and Steve Miller slated there, both of whom are very talented, so Bosa has his work cut out.

What he has working for him, though, is that the Buckeyes worked Washington inside at defensive tackle quite a bit last year. If Washington moves inside with a similar consistency this year, Ohio State's defensive rotation could get Bosa on the field early.


Vonn Bell, Safety

The 5-star safety was the crown jewel of Ohio State's recruiting class, and as the most heralded prospect among a group of elite players, Bell has no plans of sitting on the sidelines and watching the action this fall.

The Buckeyes have plenty of talent in their secondary, and with both safeties returning, Bell will likely have to wait a year before taking over a starting role. He could, however, work his way onto the field as the fifth defensive back in Ohio State's nickel package.

Ohio State could certainly use some help there. The Buckeyes struggled against pass-happy teams last year, especially early when they gave up an average of 277 passing yards per game through seven weeks.

If Bell can pick up the scheme in the three short months before the season, he has enough talent to see the field.


All recruit rankings per 247sports.com.

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.