We didn't hear Chimdi Chekwa's or Devon Torrence's name much in 2009, and that's a good thing when you're talking about cornerbacks. Both return.
Jermale Hines played about 65% of the downs as the nickle last season, and is an incredibly gifted athlete that will play at the next level. Hines takes over at one safety spot. The other safety spot could be manned by Florida product Orhian Johnson. That will give OSU 4 Florida recruits in the starting line-up. Johnson made waves last season on the practice field, but was mainly limited to special teams play in 2009. As for speed and size, Johnson(6'2" 203/4.5), and Hines(6'2" 215/4.5), on paper, look like as fine an athletic duo as we've seen in Columbus at safety.CJ Barnett and Nate Oliver will compete with Orhian for the open safety spot.
Tyler Moeller was on fire with 17 tackles in the spring game of 2009 - before an off-the-field incident sidelined him for the season. Moeller is expected to be the front-runner for the 'Star' (nickle) position. Ohio State may have new starters at safety, but they have amazing depth at the position with 4 or 5 highly touted recruits and veterans on the depth chart. C.J. Barnett, Zach Domicone, Aaron Gant, Nate Oliver,and local product Jamie Wood could be stars in another situation, but here they add quality depth.
New starters at 3 of the 5 DB positions will require time to gel. The defensive backs were lit-up by their counterparts in the spring game. Can the physical safeties and nickle players be disciplined enough to stay deep in pass coverage? Will Tyler Moeller be able to pick up where he left off? This is the unit with the most question marks in 2010.