COLUMBUS, Ohio - Spring Football starts in less than 24 hours and Buckeyes fans, players and coaches could not be any more excited about the return of organized team action to the halls of the WHAC. 93 players are on Ohio State's spring roster, a number that includes 39 returning lettermen and 12 starters (five on offense, seven on defense).
Spring action will take place over the course of two months with the Buckeyes getting a pair of practices in before the start of spring break and then continuing through mid-April. The dates of practice are as follows:
March 4, 6, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
April 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 and 12
Several players will fill new roles and positions in 2014. Cam Burrows has moved from cornerback to safety and is expected to be in the mix for the nickel back position. Joel Hale has moved from the defensive line to the offensive line. Hale played more than a dozen games on the defensive side of the ball in his Buckeyes career. Chase Farris is on the move again and back to the offensive line after moving to the defensive line in 2012.
Mike Mitchell is no longer practicing with the team and is expected to transfer at the end of the term. Walk-on offensive lineman Ben St. John will not return for a 5th year with the team after dealing with a shoulder injury.
Braxton Miller will likely not take a snap in spring ball after a confirmed report of a shoulder procedure. Others that will be limited in the spring include Evan Spencer (leg surgery), Chase Farris and Devan Bogard both went under the knife in the fall of 2013 and will be limited. James Clark will practice but will be limited in some capacities after a leg injury ended his season abruptly last year.
The staff welcomed two new assistants with Larry Johnson and Chris Ash but there are other moves with the support staff. Phil Matusz will be the new assistant strength and conditioning coach under Mickey Marotti. This move is to replace Rick Court who left to coach at Mississippi State. The graduate assistant staff saw turnover with Jon Carpenter, Cody Hawkins and Adrian Mayes all coming on board to join Vince Oghobaase.
Ohio State has welcomed seven members of the class of 2014 to campus for winter semester. 22 players on Ohio State's roster enrolled early to start their Buckeye careers. The seven players for the class of 2014 include Quarterback Stephen Collier, Wide Receiver Johnnie Dixon, Offensive Lineman Marcelys Jones, Linebacker Raekwon McMillan, Kicker Sean Nuernberger, Hybrid Athlete Curtis Samuel and Offensive Lineman Kyle Trout.