As we all know, the Ohio State football offseason has been anything but grand. Three-year starter Terrelle Pryor decides to leave and head coach Jim Tressel resigned all due to the problems that have been ensuing off the field.
A lot of the questions that were left to be answered was, "Who will be the starter in place of Pryor? Joe Bauserman or Braxton Miller? Or can Luke Fickell raise Ohio State back to the promised land?"
And in the midst of it, we forgot all about the defense of Ohio State for 2011.
Yes, the Buckeyes have lost Cameron Heyward, Brian Rolle and Ross Homan at linebacker, talented corners Chemdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence, and even all-around Jermale Hines at safety, but still, like always, the Buckeyes are always known to reload quickly with talented players the next season.
This year's Silver Bullets are led by Travis Howard and Nathan Williams. Howard, a nickel back last season who had a breakout game against Penn State, saw his role increased towards the end of the season and high expectations are expected of him this season. A number change from No. 18 to No. 7 also shows that this season will be a new and better Howard.
Williams led the Buckeyes with 4.5 sacks, although playing in the shadow of Cameron Heyward. He will be joined this year with fellow starter John Simon and defensive tackles Garret Goebel and Jonathan Hankins, who received time as a true freshman last season.
The linebacker corps has Tyler Moeller, Andrew Sweat and Etienne Sambino. Moeller is experienced despite injuries and Sweat, who was very productive along side Rolle and Homan, is the only returning starter off the bunch.
Howard of course will lead a secondary that only returns one starter in Orhian Johnson. With the new talent coming forth, Johnson and Howard are expected to provide leadership to help the newcomers.
With so much turmoil and negativity their way, I guarantee this defense, despite four returning starters, is poised to begin camp and start the season.
This shall be the most interested season for a big-time college football program in a long time. But the Silver Bullets of 2011 will be ready to answer the call.