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Ohio State Football: Meet the Buckeyes' New Starters for 2013

Tim BielikSenior Analyst IAugust 23, 2013

Ohio State Football: Meet the Buckeyes' New Starters for 2013

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    Ohio State is poised to compete for its first national championship in over a decade. But like most teams, the Buckeyes do have some holes left to fill.

    The team loses two starters on offense, seven on defense and its starting punter.

    OSU has consistently been one of the best teams in college football when it comes to restocking its lineup year after year.

    This year should be no different.

    Let's meet the Buckeyes' 10 new starters for 2013.

Jordan Hall

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    Height: 5'8''

    Weight: 185 lbs.

    Position: WR/RB Hybrid

    Player Replacing: Jake Stoneburner

    Jordan Hall came to Ohio State back in 2009 as a former high school teammate of polarizing quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

    Since his arrival, he's been plagued by injuries and suspensions which have kept him from meeting the potential that OSU coaches feel he has.

    Hall will start most games in the "hybrid" role, though will start at running back for the first three games while Carlos Hyde serves his suspension.

Taylor Decker

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    Height: 6'7''

    Weight: 315 lbs.

    Position: RT

    Player Replacing: Reid Fragel

    Taylor Decker's trip to Ohio State might not have happened if Urban Meyer had not become the head coach.

    OSU did not give much interest to the 4-star prospect from in-state Vandalia until Meyer showed up and signed the athletic offensive lineman.

    He played spot snaps a year ago, but will replace converted tight end Reid Fragel at right tackle. Decker gets the added benefit of having four returning starters on the line to ease the pressure.

Noah Spence

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    Height: 6'3''

    Weight: 247 lbs.

    Position: DE

    Player Replacing: John Simon

    Noah Spence was one of the crown jewels of Urban Meyer's first recruiting class at Ohio State.

    Spence played in all 12 games as a true freshman in 2012 and had an impact despite not putting up big numbers.

    He will need to start putting up big numbers from day one because he will be tasked to lead the defensive line after all four starters from last season left the team.

Michael Bennett

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    Height: 6'3''

    Weight: 285 lbs.

    Position: DT

    Player Replacing: Johnathan Hankins

    Michael Bennett has waited patiently for his turn after two years as a productive backup all across the defensive line.

    The latest in a line of Centerville stars to join the Buckeyes will finally get his chance as a junior lining up at defensive tackle.

    He showed his potential last season against Michigan when he replaced an injured John Simon and put forth an outstanding effort against the Wolverines.

    Bennett will need to continue to show that motor trying to replace Johnathan Hankins in the middle.

Joel Hale

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    Height: 6'4''

    Weight: 309 lbs.

    Position: DT

    Player Replacing: Garrett Goebel

    Joel Hale came to OSU in 2011 as an underrated 3-star prospect but boasting quite an impressive offer list including offers from Florida and Georgia Tech.

    Like Michael Bennett, Hale has waited patiently for his turn to start.

    He will get his chance this season, replacing Garrett Goebel in the middle of the defense alongside Bennett.

    Hale doesn't yet have a sack in his Buckeye career, but has the size to eat up blockers in the middle of the line. That's all he will really be tasked to do with the talent around him up front.

    Joel Hale came to OSU in 2011 as an underrated 3-star prospect but boasting quite an impressive offer list including offers from Florida and Georgia Tech.

Adolphus Washington

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    Height: 6'3''

    Weight: 292 lbs.

    Position: DE

    Player Replacing: Nathan Williams

    Not to be outshined by fellow 5-star sophomore Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington will man the opposite end of the defensive line, replacing the relentless Nathan Williams.

    Washington has incredible size for a 4-3 defensive end at just south of 300 pounds, but can use his strength similarly to how Cameron Heyward did not too long ago.

    While Spence is more of a pure pass-rusher, Washington's build makes him a more complete end, able to not only put pressure on the quarterback but also to maintain the edge in the running game.

    The duo should create all sorts of havoc together in 2013.

Curtis Grant

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    Height: 6'3''

    Weight: 241 lbs.

    Position: LB

    Player Replacing: Zach Boren

    Ironically, Curtis Grant has earned the job that he won a year ago before he fell out of favor due to lack of production in his sophomore season.

    The former 5-star product has done well to earn another shot at starting at linebacker this season.

    He has the ideal size and instincts for a middle linebacker. Grant just has not yet been able to put it all together.

    This season may be his best and last chance to live up to his billing.

Josh Perry

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    Height: 6'4''

    Weight: 243 lbs.

    Position: LB

    Player Replacing: Storm Klein

    Josh Perry grew up not too far from Ohio State, making him another in a very long line of local athletes to star for the Scarlet and Gray.

    He will be expected to start at linebacker after playing quite a bit in backup duty in base defenses last year as a true freshman.

    Like Grant, Perry has a good amount of size which makes him a physical linebacker.

    With the lack of depth behind him, Perry will need to play big to take some pressure off of the younger backers on the depth chart.

Doran Grant

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    Height: 5'11''

    Weight: 191 lbs.

    Position: CB

    Player Replacing: Travis Howard

    Ohio State has a lot of depth in the secondary, but Doran Grant has more than earned an opportunity to start this year.

    Grant was the nickelback most of last season and had a career day against UAB where the former blue-chip recruit had his first career interception and recovered a fumble.

    He will replace a very experienced corner in Travis Howard, but possesses the athleticism required to excel at the position.

    Grant will be tested more early on because of the one-game suspension of No. 1 corner Bradley Roby.

Cameron Johnston

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    Height: 6'0''

    Weight: 195 lbs.

    Position: P

    Player Replacing: Ben Buchanan

    To find his new punter, Urban Meyer not only looked halfway around the world to find his guy, but he plucked from the world of another brand of football.

    Australian youngster Cameron Johnston used to play Australian Rules Football before he came up north to America to sign on with the Buckeyes.

    A native of Geelong, which is home to one of the country's most dominant teams of recent times, Johnston not only boasts a powerful leg like former LSU punter Brad Wing, but his coach Nathan Chapman claims Johnston can run a 4.4 40.

    Based on that alone, there's an outside possibility that OSU may try a few fake punts to showcase his speed.

    But either way, OSU's punt team got a lot more fun by signing Johnston.

     

    Follow me on Twitter @bielik_tim for the latest college football news and updates.

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