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Thursday, May 17, 2012
Most indispensable players: Ohio State

By Brian Bennett

We're getting near the end of our series looking at the most indispensable players on each Big Ten team. Once again, this is not necessarily a listing of the best players on each team, but ones whose absence would be toughest to absorb because of their particular value or a lack of depth behind them.

We're selecting two players from each Big Ten squad, usually one on offense and one on defense, but not always. Ohio State is on the clock:

Braxton Miller, QB, Sophomore

It's not just that Miller is the team's best playmaker and a seemingly perfect fit in Urban Meyer's spread offense. It's also that there isn't much depth behind him. Kenny Guiton is the only other quarterback on the roster with any game experience, and that experience is threadbare at best. While Meyer said earlier this week that he liked what Guiton was doing, there is still a major dropoff from Miller to anyone else. The Buckeyes' season would also experience a major dropoff if Miller had to miss extended time.

John Simon, DL, Senior

Depth isn't nearly as big of a factor in selecting Simon. Ohio State should actually be pretty stacked on the defensive front once its talented newcomers all get up to speed. Depth at linebacker is much more of a concern on the defense. But Simon is indispensable for reasons other than just his talent, which is immense. Meyer can't heap enough kind words on the senior, at one point calling him "Tebowish." Simon provides an excellent example on and off the field in building the type of program Meyer wants. He's also good enough to be an All-American and can play either end or tackle if needed. That makes this choice a pretty easy one.