Ohio State Football: Five Fall Camp Position Battles to Watch
The Buckeyes have most of their positions figured out, but there are still some leftover battles from spring carrying over to fall.
With fall camp only weeks away, these players know that they are primed for intense position battles once fall camp begins. After not distinguishing themselves during spring ball, these players will get a second chance in August.
Questions still remain at many important positions, especially left tackle and strongside linebacker. Other spots include receiver, Star (linebacker/safety hybrid), and running back.
Most of the pieces for a dominant 2010 Buckeye team are intact. Now, these guys will look to finish the puzzle.
Third Running Back - Jaamal Berry vs. Jordan Hall
Whoever wins this battle won't have a huge effect on the Buckeyes' success, but it will still provide an interesting competition.
Boom Herron and Brandon Saine will receive the bulk of the carries this season. The third running back will spell them and provide depth.
Right now, the front-runner has to be Jordan Hall, whose 248 yards last season were third among rushers on Ohio State.
Hall was a high school teammate of Terrelle Pryor and looked comfortable with his Jeannette teammate last season. He's an agile back with unexpected toughness.
Two rushers will come on strong against him, however.
Jaamal Berry was considered a better prospect coming into last season, but never recovered from a tweaked hamstring in fall camp. He never had a chance to make an impact in 2009, but is fully recovered this time around.
Carlos Hyde offers a bruising style, contrary to what the above runners provide. Hyde was supposed to come in last season but was held back due to academic reasons.
He and Jermil Martin are seen as darkhorses in this race.
It basically comes down to Hall and Berry. With his experience, you can't deny Hall the chance unless Berry has an amazing training camp.
Third Receiver - Taurian Washington vs. Chris Fields
The competition for third receiver got a lot murkier with the departure of Duron Carter.
Carter and Washington were primed for competition after the transferred receiver had severe academic troubles that kept him out of spring practice. Now, Washington is left to compete with speedster Chris Fields for the position.
Washington has been waiting for his chance at receiver after failing to secure the spot multiple times throughout his career.
If he can't get the job done now, look for Fields to get the nod. The receiver is a superb downfield threat and looked impressive in the spring.
Washington will get the initial look, but if he fades, Fields will be ready to make an impact.
Star Defensive Back - Tyler Moeller vs. Nate Oliver
No one will forget how gruesome and awful Moeller's freak head injury was last year.
But now, he has to chance to come full-circle. After almost being knocked out of football forever, Moeller has the chance to end his career as a starter.
With Ohio State using an extra defensive back on almost 70 percent of its plays last season, the Star position can be considered one of the most important positions on the team.
If Moeller can take the physical punishment of the position, he should secure it. He weighs around 215 pounds and possesses the combination of size and speed needed to succeed at Star.
Oliver will contest him, however. The athletic safety played Star throughout spring camp when Moeller sat out and looked adequate.
Moeller looks to have the position secured. If he's not ready to come back, Oliver will be waiting.
Strongside Outside Linebacker - Etienne Sabino vs. Andrew Sweat
Austin Spitler graduated, leaving a vacancy at one of the outside linebacker spots.
As it stands now, the two likely candidates are Etienne Sabino and Andrew Sweat.
Sabino seemed to pull ahead in the spring, when he made tons of plays from the spot. His inability to read and react was his biggest problem before, but it appears that he's loosened up and let the game come to him.
Sabino's athleticism has always been there. He's tall and possesses top-notch speed, which he showed by playing some Star in spring ball.
His athleticism could get Sabino more action during spread plays when the third safety usually comes in.
Sweat will challenge him, though. The hard-working linebacker missed spring camp due to ACL surgery, but will give Sabino a run for his money.
He definitely has fallen behind after missing the spring, but is known for his toughness and work ethic. He won't back down from getting the spot.
Sabino, however, brings too much to the table to deny.
Left Tackle - Mike Adams vs. Andrew Miller
This will prove to be the most interesting competition of them all this fall.
Adams was a highly-touted recruit out of Dublin Coffman, but has never lived up to the immense expectations thrust upon him.
Last season looked to be the year that would come together. Instead, suspensions and injuries stunted his progress.
Andrew Miller subbed in efficiently for him until the flu marred him of weight and strength. Graduated Jim Cordle took over for the rest of the year.
Both had their struggles throughout the spring, showing some weaknesses against the pass rushers of the Buckeye defense. They usually rotated as starters each day, but it appeared Adams had gained some separation towards the end.
The separation wasn't big enough to rule Adams the starter for the fall, however. Offensive line coach Jim Bollman won't just be handing the starting position to him.
Watch for this to be a highly contested match in the fall. Adams is likely to win, but Miller can gain the upper hand if he falters, although he is best suited as a backup that provides depth at guard and tackle.