College Football 2011: 5 Players Ohio State Buckeyes Need to Continue Success
The scandal in Columbus has left the Ohio State Buckeyes in a state of flux.
Starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor is involved in an investigation about his use of dealership cars, and No. 1 wide receiver DeVier Posey was suspended with Pryor and left tackle Mike Adams. Running back Dan Herron and defensive end Soloman Thomas were also suspended, which leaves the Buckeyes looking for players to step up in their star players' absence.
Coach Jim Tressel's resignation has raised even more uncertainty for the 2011 football season, however, the Buckeyes football team still has the talent to continue the team's recent success.
These five players will be expected to raise their game to help OSU and interim coach, Luke Fickell, in their quest for their seventh consecutive Big Ten Championship.
With most of the suspensions affecting the offensive side of the ball, the defense seems pretty set for another dominant season under interim coach Luke Fickell.
However, Etienne Sabino, who sat out last season because he was redshirted, will look to replace some of the production lost when seniors Ross Homan and Brian Rolle graduated.
Sabino's experience in the Buckeyes defense and the talent he has shown throughout spring should make him a pivotal player this fall.
Corey "Philly" Brown
With No. 1 wide receiver DeVier Posey suspended, the Buckeyes passing attack is seriously diminished.
Posey remains the only wide receiver on the team with extended playing time and is the best weapon in the Buckeyes offense.
Corey "Philly" Brown showed flashes last season on special teams and when catching the ball, however, he was disappointing in this year's spring practices. Brown's speed and quickness could make him a home run threat, both in the receiving game and on punt and kick returns during Posey's absence.
Joe Bauserman's success may be significantly linked to the success of the Buckeyes offense. He obviously will play nothing like star quarterback Terrelle Pryor, but his experience should be a major boost to the offense.
Before coach Jim Tressel's resignation, the Buckeyes ran an offense focused on field position, special teams and limiting mistakes. Bauserman appears to be the Buckeyes quarterback least likely to commit a mistake.
In his fifth year with the Buckeyes, Bauserman will get a chance to run the offense under new coach Luke Fickell, who will most likely run an offense similar to his coaching predecessor.
Bauserman must limit his mistakes when throwing the ball and make sure to get the running game going in order for the offense to have any success.
Jordan Hall and Jamaal Berry
The running game has been a staple of the Buckeyes offense since 2001, when Jim Tressel took over. Now that Tressel is gone, it is highly unlikely that will change.
With a stable of backs and an experienced offensive line, OSU is capable of running at any defense in the nation.
However, starting running back, Dan Herron, will miss the first five games due to suspension, leaving the race wide open to the many running backs in rotation behind him.
Two of the top possibilities are Jordan Hall, who will also line up in the slot as a receiver, and Jamaal Berry, a junior from Florida who has shown flashes of success in his first two seasons as a Buckeye.
Another possibility in the Buckeyes backfield is freshman Rod Smith, who is being heralded as the next Beanie Wells with his size and speed.
Center Mike Brewster looks to be the most important piece to the Buckeyes offense and maybe the team in general.
The senior is the rock of the offense, and it will be up to Brewster to help his teammates get through the first five games of what will be a tough season without coach Tressel.
His leadership is key to keeping the team together through the turmoil and losses they may experience. His ability to run the offense makes the Buckeyes offense a threat, no matter who is taking snaps from Brewster.