Ohio State Buckeyes 2-deep offensive depth chart

Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State begins the season Thursday when the Buckeyes take on Minnesota on the road at 8 p.m.

Below is a look at a two-deep projected depth chart for the Buckeyes offense.

Quarterback

Starter: C.J. Stroud

Backup: Kyle McCord

Stroud was named the starting quarterback Aug. 21 after setting himself apart during fall camp. Several receivers have described Stroud as more of a pocket passer than Justin Fields but added the redshirt freshman can use his feet when needed. Coach Ryan Day has not named Stroud’s backup, but McCord appears to have the best arm of all three quarterbacks, which gives the true freshman an edge over redshirt freshman Jack Miller III.

Running Back

Starter: Master Teague

Backups: Miyan Williams/TreVeyon Henderson

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 11: Master Teague III #33 of the Ohio State Buckeyes rushes for an eight yard touchdown during the first quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Master Teague split carries with Trey Sermon last season until Teague suffered a concussion in the Buckeyes’ 22-10 Big Ten championship game win over Northwestern. His injury was overshadowed by a record-breaking 331-yard, three touchdown performance by Sermon, but Teague returns with the most experience and what he calls improved vision at the line of scrimmage. Teague will not be the featured back as he’ll split carries with redshirt freshman Miyan Williams. TreVeyon Henderson will have chances like Sermon did to show what he can do in his first season as a Buckeye.

Wide Receivers

Wide Receiver (Z): Chris Olave

Backup: Julian Fleming

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 01: Chris Olave #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes catches a touchdown pass against Derion Kendrick #1 of the Clemson Tigers in the third quarter during the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Wide Receiver (X): Garrett Wilson

Backup: Marvin Harrison Jr.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 11: Garrett Wilson #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes makes a 20 yard reception for a touchdown ahead of Brian Branch #14 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the third quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Slot receiver: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Backup: Emeka Egbuka

Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba plays against Indiana during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Ohio State has the deepest, most talented receivers in the country, which will be a massive help to Stroud as he gets adjusted to the starting role. Olave and Wilson return as starters, while younger players such as Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. will get playing time alongside standout sophomores Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Tight End

Starter: Jeremy Ruckert

Backup: Cade Stover

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DECEMBER 07: Jeremy Ruckert #88 of the Ohio State Buckeyes makes a one-handed 16-yard touchdown reception against the Wisconsin Badgers in the third quarter of the Big Ten Football Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Jeremy Ruckert could have left for the NFL and been a third-round draft pick. But instead he decided to return for his senior year and show what he’s capable of doing in a full season. Behind him will likely be Cade Stover, who came to OSU as a linebacker, moved to the defensive line and ended up as a tight end, which is where offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson believed he belonged in the first place. It remains to be seen how Gee Scott Jr. will handle his move from wide receiver to tight end, but Wilson has been pleased with his progression in the offseason.

Offensive Line:

Left Tackle Starter: Nicholas Petit-Frere

Left Tackle Backup: Josh Fryar, Thayer Munford

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 07: Nicholas Petit-Frere #78 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after winning the Big Ten Championship game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Ohio State’s offensive line will look much different than it did a year ago and not just because the Buckeyes lost Josh Myers and Wyatt Davis to the NFL. Petit-Frere and Thayer Munford ended the 2020 season ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in lowest quarterback pressure percentage allowed by a Power 5 tackle, but Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa is moving Munford inside to play left guard, which will help the senior captain show his versatility when the NFL comes calling.

Left Guard Starter: Thayer Munford

Left Guard Backup: Matt Jones, Donovan Jackson

File-This Dec. 28, 2019, file photo shows Ohio State offensive lineman Thayer Munford (75) during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson in Glendale, Ariz. First-team All-Big Ten offensive tackle Munford, is returning for an extra year of eligibility. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

Matt Jones played a considerable amount of snaps last year and is capable of playing either guard position when called upon. Don’t expect the junior from Brooklyn to be used only in case of injury as he’ll likely rotate in throughout the season. Meanwhile, true freshman Donovan Jackson is an absolute unit standing 6’4″ and weighing 300 pounds, and has the added benefit of learning from some of the best linemen in the nation.

Center Starter: Harry Miller

Center Backup: Luke Wypler

Harry Miller’s natural position is center despite playing left guard in 2020. Miller filled in at center last year and struggled at times but only after being thrust into the role unexpectedly. A full offseason and constant repetition with Stroud should mean a strong level of comfort and performance by Miller.

Right Guard Starter: Paris Johnson Jr.

Right Guard Backup: Matt Jones, Donovan Jackson

Yet another linemen playing an unfamiliar position, Paris Johnson Jr. moves to guard after coming to Ohio State as one of the top tackles in the class of 2019. Johnson has taken the transition in stride and been lauded by Munford, Petit-Frere and Studrawa for how quickly he’s learned the position.

Right Tackle Starter: Dawand Jones

Right Tackle Backup: Enokk Vimahi, Paris Johnson Jr.

Perhaps the most surprising change on the offensive line was Dawand Jones claiming the right tackle spot. It would have been widely believed that Munford moving to guard would mean Johnson playing tackle, but instead it was Jones, a basketball lover turned football stud, who will protect Stroud’s strong side when the season begins.

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