COLUMBUS - During Monday's Big Ten Conference Media Day, Ohio State Buckeyes Head Football Coach Urban Meyer said he loved his linebackers, but the number one priority was his offensive line.
But what about the Buckeye's defensive line, specifically the defensive end position?
Last season, the Buckeyes had one of the most feared defensive fronts in all of college football, however, fans will likely be seeing some extremely young faces this season.
Star defensive end Noah Spence's suspension for violating a conference rule continues this season and he is forced to sit out the first two games. In addition the Buckeyes parted ways with Spence's back-up Jamal Marcus as he decided to transfer to the Akron Zips.
That still leaves nine players listed at the defensive end position, which sounds pretty good. However, only three of them recorded a stat last season: Steve Miller, 12 tackles; Adolphus Washington, 36 tackles; and sophomore phenom Joey Bosa, 44 tackles. The rest are freshmen or have not recorded playing a down in nearly two years.
Spence will miss the first two games of the season, in which his team will take on the Navy Midshipmen and the Virginia Tech Hokies. Although neither the Midshipmen nor the Hokies are considered a legitimate threat to Ohio State at this time, inexperience at defensive end could spell trouble for the Buckeyes against the Midshipmen triple-option attack. A game plan that has made them one of the most feared rushing programs in the country for more than a decade.
Spence is expected to be returned to the depth chart for the Buckeyes September 13 matchup against the Kent State Golden Flashes.