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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Spring breakout player: Ohio State

By Brian Bennett

Spring practice is underway throughout much of the Big Ten, and we're taking a look at one potential breakout player for each team. We're spotlighting players who could take a major step during spring ball, so those who have started multiple seasons or earned All-Big Ten recognition in 2012 aren't eligible.

Up next in our series is the Ohio State Buckeyes, who return to the practice field this week after enjoying (hopefully not too much) spring break ...

Tyvis Powell, DB, redshirt freshman, 6-foot-3, 201 pounds

There are a whole lot of opportunities to emerge on the Buckeyes' defense this spring, with six starters gone from the front seven and cornerback Travis Howard also exhausting his eligibility. Powell emerged quickly as a potential breakout guy, working with the first string as a defensive back in nickel coverage when Ohio State opened its spring drills earlier this month.

With more and more spread offenses around the Big Ten and the country, the nickel look should be in heavy use this season. And Powell presents an intriguing option there as one of the taller defensive backs you'll see. Head coach Urban Meyer said Powell "earned that right in the offseason" to line up as a starter early on and said he had "done everything right." That doesn't guarantee any fall playing time, of course, especially since Ohio State has a lot of options at corner with guys like Doran Grant, Armani Reeves, Adam Griffin and talented early enrollees like Cam Burrows and Eli Apple.

But Powell has an early head start on being a spring breakout player. The Buckeyes hope to find plenty of them on defense these next few weeks.