Big Ten: Duron Carter

By now, you've seen where several Big Ten recruits stack up in the final ESPN 300 for 2013. Check back in three or four years to see who met expectations and who did not.

What about the most decorated Big Ten recruits from four years ago? In preparation for national signing day Feb. 6, the folks at RecruitingNation took a look back at the ESPN 150 from 2009 (there wasn't an ESPN 300 back then) and recorded what each recruit did at the college level.

A total of 21 Big Ten recruits made the 150 from 2009. Some turned out to be stars, others never got on track and a few haven't written the final chapter of their college careers.

Let's take a look (positions listed according to ESPN recruiting profiles):

Top 50

  • No. 22: Jaamal Berry, RB, Ohio State -- Played sparingly in 2010 and 2011 before off-field issues led to a suspension. Transferred to FCS Murray State and recorded 675 rush yards this past season.
  • No. 32: Dorian Bell, LB, Ohio State -- Appeared in eight games for Ohio State in 2010 before being suspended the following year and eventually transferred to FCS Duquesne, where he performed well in the 2012 season.
  • No. 47: Craig Roh, DE, Michigan -- Started 51 games for Michigan, a team record, and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in each of the past two seasons.
Nos. 51-100

  • No. 67: Je'Ron Stokes, WR, Michigan -- Played sparingly at Michigan before the coaching transition from Rich Rodriguez to Brady Hoke. Transferred to Bowling Green and caught 15 passes this past season.
  • No. 69: David Barrent, OT, Michigan State -- Played in seven games as a reserve before back problems ended his career in May 2011.
  • No. 74: Eric Shrive, OT, Penn State -- Shrive appeared in every game as a reserve guard in 2012 and could compete for a starting job in 2013.
  • No. 81: Quinton Washington, G, Michigan -- Washington has moved to defensive tackle and entered the starting lineup in 2012, recording 32 tackles and a sack.
  • No. 87: Terry Hawthorne, WR, Illinois -- Hawthorne played mostly cornerback at Illinois and made starts in all four seasons, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in each of the past two. He also returned kicks and punts and should be selected in April's NFL draft.
  • No. 88: C.J. Barnett, CB, Ohio State -- Barnett has been a mainstay in Ohio State's secondary the past two seasons, recording 56 tackles, two interceptions and six pass breakups in nine games in 2012. He is expected to start at safety for the Buckeyes in 2013.
  • No. 94: Isaiah Bell, S, Michigan -- Bell didn't play a snap for Michigan before leaving the program in March and playing for Division II Lake Erie College this past season.
  • No. 99: Jamie Wood, S, Ohio State -- Wood has appeared in 30 games for the Buckeyes, mostly on special teams, but has battled shoulder problems and underwent surgery last fall.
Nos. 101-150

  • No. 101: Denard Robinson, athlete, Michigan -- Who's this guy? Robinson started three seasons at quarterback for the Wolverines, setting an NCAA quarterback rushing record as well as many other milestones. He was the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year in 2010 and finished his career with 4,495 rush yards, 6,250 pass yards and 91 touchdowns.
  • No. 112: Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State -- Had a breakout season in 2010 as the starter, rushing for 1,201 yards and 13 touchdowns. But he lost his starting job to Le'Veon Bell in 2011 and declared for the NFL draft after the season. He was a seventh-round pick of the San Diego Chargers and spent most of 2012 on the team's practice squad.
  • No. 115: Kraig Appleton, WR, Wisconsin -- Had three receptions in the 2009 season before being suspended the following spring and eventually leaving school. He was the victim of a shooting in July 2011 but survived.
  • No. 116: Keenan Davis, WR, Iowa -- Started the past two seasons and finished second on the squad in receptions in both years (47 in 2012) but never blossomed like many thought he would.
  • No. 124: Melvin Fellows, DE, Ohio State -- Fellows played sparingly in five games in 2010 but endured chronic knee problems that eventually forced him to take a medical harship, ending his career.
  • No. 126: Jack Mewhort, C, Ohio State -- Mewhort saw the field a lot early in his career at guard and moved to left tackle last season, where he flourished. He'll help anchor Ohio State's offensive line in 2013.
  • No. 128: Moses Alipate, QB, Minnesota -- Has been a nonfactor so far in his career. Switched from quarterback to tight end and checks in at 6-foot-5, 297 pounds.
  • No. 131: Duron Carter, WR, Ohio State -- Saw the field early in his Buckeyes career before academic problems eventually forced him to leave for a junior college. He transferred to Alabama but never played because of academics and transferred again to Florida Atlantic, where he sat out the 2012 season.
  • No. 144: Tate Forcier, QB, Michigan -- Forcier started the 2009 season, led Michigan to a memorable win against Notre Dame but struggled down the stretch and lost his job to Robinson in 2010. Academic issues sidelined him for the 2011 Gator Bowl, and he left school weeks later. Although he transferred to San Jose State, he never played.
  • No. 148: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan -- Lewan has been a mainstay for Michigan's offensive line, earning Big Ten offensive lineman of the year honors in 2012. Projected as a first-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Lewan surprised many by deciding to return to Michigan for his senior season.

An interesting mix, for sure. Lewan, the last player listed, might turn out to be the most successful. So few of the Big Ten's top 100 recruits panned out, and Ohio State fans have to be shaking their heads a bit at this list, as only Mewhort and Barnett look like success stories. There were unfortunate injury situations like Michigan State's Barrent and Ohio State's Fellows, some academic casualties (Carter, Forcier), and a downright sad story with Appleton. Baker was the only player on the list to make an early jump to the NFL.

Although several players didn't pan out, Michigan undoubtedly has to feel the best about the 2009 class as Robinson produced a record-setting career, Roh was a solid player, Lewan is a star and Washington could be a star in 2013.

Eight Big Ten teams are represented on the 2009 list. Those that aren't: Indiana, Nebraska, Northwestern and Purdue.

RecruitingNation also re-ranks the top 10 classes , with both Ohio State (No. 9) and Michigan (No. 10) holding their positions.

Big Ten lunch links

April, 4, 2011
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Visited the Indiana schools during the weekend, and three more programs are on the docket this week. Busy times for the Big Ten blog.

Big Ten lunch links

March, 29, 2011
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Another day in Lincoln before heading home.

Big Ten lunch links

January, 14, 2011
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Enjoy the weekend. I'll be off Monday for the holiday but back with you Tuesday.

Big Ten mailblog

October, 26, 2010
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Send me your questions and comments for Friday's mailblog. And don't forget to follow me on Twitter.

Thanks to you, I now have more than 20,000 followers.

Nate from New York writes: Adam, MSU, OSU and UW finish at 7-1, OSU goes to the Rose Bowl by finishing as the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings. Fine. But then you're telling me the Sugar/Orange picks MSU over UW? Really? UW will have the higher BCS ranking, travels quite a bit better, and has the bigger national name. The Sugar/Orange execs are going to turn that down to pick MSU because of head-to-head? Really?

Adam Rittenberg: The bowl folks do some odd things, Nate, but Michigan State hasn't been to a BCS bowl since before the BCS started (1988 Rose Bowl). Last year's Iowa-Penn State situation showed that head-to-head results mean something, and I wouldn't discount Michigan State's ability to travel, especially after a long lull with the major bowls. Could the Sugar/Orange/Fiesta pick Wisconsin ahead of Michigan State? Sure. Wisconsin would be the hotter team with the higher ranking. But my sense is the bowl would see two good choices and go with the team that won the head-to-head matchup.


Brad from Chicago writes: We can learn a lot by how a team responds to a loss. This weekend, two Big Ten squads -- Iowa and Northwestern -- lost very close, hard-fought games that could easily have gone either way. Both face (in my mind, anyway) must-win games this weekend -- Iowa hosts MSU, and NU plays at IU. Iowa needs to win out if it is to have a chance at a share of the conference title, and NU needs to put away the teams that it should beat in order to ensure a bowl spot. How do you see the Hawkeyes and Wildcats responding?

Adam Rittenberg: Brad, totally agree with what you write. Huge games for both teams. I'd expect Iowa to respond well. The Hawkeyes know this is it for them: another loss and they're out of the Big Ten race and facing a disappointing season, given the preseason expectations. Michigan State has the mojo, but I still think Iowa boasts a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and a quarterback in Ricky Stanzi playing at another level right now. Northwestern also should respond well, given recent history. Pat Fitzgerald always does a better job of focusing his team for road games, and the Wildcats have fewer holes than the Hoosiers. But Indiana's passing game should concern Northwestern, and the Wildcats shouldn't expect Ben Chappell to struggle as much as he did against Illinois. Should be two interesting matchups on Saturday.


Joel from Bismarck, N.D., writes: Your current discussions on bowl projections are various themes of Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State and Michigan State winning out or Michigan State going 7-1, with the loss coming this weekend at Iowa. Besides the remaining matchups within this group (Iowa-Michigan State, Iowa-Ohio State), of the remaining schedule, which teams are most likely to give the above 4 another loss (or in the case of Michigan State, its first loss)? For Iowa I would say Northwestern, just because of recent history. For the others I think it would be easiest to pass on judgment until Michigan-Penn State this weekend, but I'd be interested in your take at this point.

Adam Rittenberg: Good question, Joel. Northwestern certainly has given Iowa fits in recent years, so the Nov. 13 trip to Evanston could be tricky for the Hawkeyes. Wisconsin's trip to Michigan on Nov. 20 is another one that could shake things up, given the Badgers' recent struggles in the state of Michigan. Wisconsin hasn't won in Ann Arbor since 1994. Michigan State's regular-season finale at Penn State could be very interesting, especially if the Spartans are going for a perfect season. What if it's Joe Paterno's final home game at Beaver Stadium? The Nittany Lions will be playing for something at that stage. Ohio State also has to play Penn State and Michigan, although the Buckeyes could be heavy favorites in both games.


David from Pasadena, Calif., writes: I dont kid myself in thinking my Nittany Lions still have a chance to get out here to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl (which is only 3 miles from my apartment) BUT I am hoping they can get to the Insight Bowl which would be an easy drive for me. Your most recent bowl projections have them in the Texas Bowl. Any chance the Insight Bowl can get them? Would they need to finish 7-5? Would 6-6 do it? The Insight Bowl is run by the Fiesta Bowl folks whom have had a good history with Penn State. Finally this may very well be JoePa's last game, wouldn't they want to get him into the highest bowl possible?

Adam Rittenberg: The Insight Bowl would love to have Penn State, and quite frankly, which bowl wouldn't? Penn State has a large fan base that shows up in force for bowls, and you have the JoePa factor, so it's an easy match. I do think, though, that the Lions will need to get to 7-5 to have a chance at the Insight Bowl. Penn State won't catch Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Iowa, and I expect Illinois to finish with at least seven wins and possibly eight or even nine. And then you have Michigan, another school the bowls really covet after a two-year hiatus. While a 6-6 Penn State team could get to Arizona for the Insight, the safe bet is to win seven games. Beating Michigan on Saturday night would be huge.


Steve from Belmont, Mich., writes: I was wondering why game times and TV haven't been announced for the games on Nov. 6th. Is there an 'official' reason?

Adam Rittenberg: Yep, there is. ABC/ESPN exercised its six-day selection right for the games of Nov. 6. This allows the networks to wait until after this week's games are complete before making its selection for the 3:30 p.m. ET telecast on Nov. 6. After this selection is made, ESPN and the Big Ten Network will select the remaining four games, all of which will kick off at noon ET. So hang tight until after Saturday's games. The selections must be made before Monday.


Jon K. from Stamford, Conn., writes: Hey Adam--Die hard badger fan here. Love the blog and can never get enough Big 10 news/updates.I have a question about your BCS breakdown for Wisconsin, and I guess the Big 10 BCS breakdown in general.In your article, you state the obvious best case scenario for Wisconsin would be for them to win out and have Michigan State lose twice.However, I believe that your "second best" scenario, having both Wisconsin and Michigan State winning out is inaccurate.Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the Badgers prefer the Hawkeyes to win out, meaning they would have victories over both Michigan State and Ohio State, pushing the Buckeyes out of the BCS picture, and leaving a 3 way tie (assuming the Badgers handle their business) atop the Big 10 with Iowa, Wisconsin, and Mich St. all having one loss. Then, in this scenario, the head to head tie breaker would be a wash, and the team with the highest BCS ranking would go to the Rose Bowl.Am I missing something here?Go Badgers!

Adam Rittenberg: Thanks, Jon. You're missing one step in the tiebreaker rules. In a three-way tie with Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State, since each team has a victory over the other, the first tiebreaker is overall winning percentage. Iowa would have an inferior overall record (10-2) to both Wisconsin and Michigan State (11-1), so the Hawkeyes would be eliminated. The two-team tiebreaker rules then go into effect and since Michigan State holds the head-to-head advantage against Wisconsin, the Spartans would go to the Rose Bowl.


Ethan from Columbus, Ohio, writes: Rittenberg!You give us a Big Red update every week. How about a quick update about someone else (hopefully) coming back to the Big Ten next year: Duron Carter. I'd like to see him opposite Corey Brown for a few years!

Adam Rittenberg: Ethan, ask nicely and you shall receive. Carter, the former Ohio State receiver, is having an outstanding season for Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. Carter leads Coffeyville with 34 receptions for 589 yards and 10 touchdowns, an average of 84.1 yards per game and 17.3 yards per catch. He'd certainly help Ohio State if he returns next year, but he's also reportedly considering other schools.
Who will be Ohio State's No. 3 wide receiver this season?

The question has been asked for months, even before Duron Carter's departure from the school in mid June. Ohio State boasts two proven receivers in DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher, but the team has no other returning wideouts who caught a pass in 2009.

Interested parties wondered if senior Taurian Washington would take charge. Others watched redshirt freshman Chris Fields, who drew strong reviews from the coaching staff after spring ball. And don't forget about guys like Grant Schwartz, James Jackson or even true freshmen like James Louis or Verlon Reed.

[+] EnlargeJake Stoneburner
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireOhio State tight end Jake Stoneburner only had two catches last sesaon, but figures to play a bigger part in the offense in 2010.
My take: forget all those names for a second. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor's third option in the passing game this fall doesn't even play wide receiver but ... wait for it ... tight end.

"Oh, yeah," Jake Stoneburner said when asked about filling the No. 3 role. "During camp, they've had some instances where they'll split me out and they’ll have a two-back set with three receivers, and I'm the third receiver out there with Dane and DeVier."

Some people out there must be thinking I can't be serious. An Ohio State tight end being an integral part of the passing game? Jim Tressel would go for fourth-and-8 in his own red zone before featuring a tight end as a pass catcher.

Stoneburner had a grand total of two receptions in 2009, while starting tight end Jake Ballard had only 13. In 2008, Ballard and Rory Nicol combined for 11 receptions all year.

Nicol used to joke about how rarely the ball came his way. Ohio State tight ends used their hands for blocking and not much else.

It's why Stoneburner initially wasn't thrilled about switching from receiver to tight end before last season.

"I knew they didn't get the ball," he said.

What might change in 2010? For starters, Stoneburner is admittedly a pass-first tight end who has made blocking his top offseason priority.

He's a big target at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, and he boasts good speed in the middle of the field. Perhaps most important, Pryor likes to throw him the ball.

"The spring is when I really saw it," Stoneburner said. "We would have plays we normally hadn't run with the tight end running routes, and he's looking at me, like, 'Hey, get open on this. I'll try and get you the ball.' With Terrelle knowing the offense more and being more comfortable out there, he's looking for more targets. With me being able to run good routes and get open, he's looking at me to be one of his primary targets."

A year ago, we heard similar talk about Stoneburner being a bigger part of the passing game, and it never happened. But Pryor spread the ball around a bit better in the Rose Bowl and has continued to do so in practice.

Plus, Stoneburner has developed his game.

"I want to be an every-down tight end, and you've got to be able to block and catch the ball," he said. "I felt like with my speed and athleticism, I'll always be able to get open and catch the ball, but I really had to work on my strength, knowing the defense, knowing who to block when and footwork and that kind of stuff."

Stoneburner agrees that Ohio State needs more than two reliable receivers this fall. But Pryor should have more options, regardless of the position they play.

"We've got a lot more weapons," Stoneburner said. "The running backs can catch the ball just as good as the receivers and tight ends, so having all that come together at once, it's going to lead us to being able to do more things with our offense."

Fresh Faces: Ohio State

July, 19, 2010
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My look at three newcomers to watch for each Big Ten team in 2010 continues with Ohio State.

OFFENSE: Chris Fields, WR, Fr., 6-0, 185

I considered going with one of Ohio State's young running backs (Jordan Hall, Jaamal Berry, Carlos Hyde), but the coaches really like what they see from Fields, who plays a position of need for Ohio State. The Buckeyes boast two solid options at receiver in DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher, but they need a No. 3 target after Duron Carter left school. Taurian Washington is a veteran option, but Fields should get ample playing time this fall. Fields added some weight during the offseason and boasts excellent speed.

DEFENSE: Melvin Fellows, DE, Fr., 6-5, 249

Cameron Heyward doesn't have to worry about his job security, but Fellows is the latest in a line of dynamic young Buckeyes defensive linemen. He worked his way into the two-deep with an impressive performance this spring and forms a very exciting young nucleus with John Simon, Nathan Williams, Solomon Thomas and others. Fellows isn't an every-down player yet, but he gives Ohio State the ability to be flexible with a guy like Heyward.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Ben Buchanan, P/K, So., 6-0, 195

Special teams are a bit of a concern entering the season, but Buchanan could put a lot of folks at ease with his play. He takes over the starting punter spot after averaging 42.8 yards on four attempts in 2009. Ohio State finished 41st nationally in net punting last fall, a stat Jim Tressel would like to see improve. Buchanan also likely will handle long field goal attempts for Ohio State and might move into a featured role at kicker if Devin Barclay or Drew Basil doesn't nail down the job.

Big Ten lunch links

June, 30, 2010
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A lot of recruiting nuggets today.

Big Ten lunch links

June, 28, 2010
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In honor of the celebrity I saw this weekend in New York, I give you today's quote.

"Cameron's moment went on for a really, really long time. Turns out I could've run to the party and made it back for the end of his moment."

Big Ten lunch links

June, 22, 2010
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Rough Monday for Ohio State.

In announcing wide receiver Duron Carter's departure from the team, Ohio State also said Monday that defensive end Keith Wells will not return.

Wells, a 6-foot-5, 257-pound sophomore from Gainesville, Ga., redshirted last season after seeing limited action as a true freshman in 2009.

No reason was given for either player's departure, though we know that academics forced Carter to enroll at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.

In other Ohio State news, police in Youngstown, Ohio, found no connection in the shootings of Buckeyes recruit Jamel Turner. Turner was critically injured early Saturday in a shooting that killed his companion, a 17-year-old girl. In April, Turner suffered gunshot wounds to the ankle and hip during a shooting along Interstate 680 in Youngstown.
Ohio State still needs a No. 3 wide receiver to emerge this fall alongside DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher.

This much is known: it won't be Duron Carter.

Carter's academic troubles have forced him to withdraw from Ohio State and head to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas, where he'll play this fall. The son of Buckeyes legend and ESPN analyst Cris Carter had been ruled academically ineligible for the Rose Bowl against Oregon and sat out all of spring practice because of academic reasons.

Duron Carter appeared in all 12 regular-season games for Ohio State as a true freshman in 2009 and recorded 13 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown. The departures of Ray Small and Carter leave Ohio State with only two wide receivers who recorded more than 10 receptions last year (running backs Brandon Saine and Dan Herron combined for 30 receptions).

A source within the Ohio State program seemed optimistic last month that Carter would get his grades straightened out, but the turnaround will need to happen at Coffeyville. Carter certainly could have helped the Buckeyes this year as a receiver and as a potential return man.

Taurian Washington and promising redshirt freshman Chris Fields are the top two candidates for the No. 3 wideout spot.
Sixth in a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools.

Going ...

Kurt Coleman, S: Coleman was the heart and soul of the nation's fifth-ranked defense in 2009, providing not only tremendous leadership in the secondary but tons of playmaking ability. He tied for the team lead with five interceptions and led Ohio State with three fumble recoveries to go along with 68 tackles. A co-captain, Coleman was Ohio State's only consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection last season.

Thaddeus Gibson, DE: Gibson opted to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft, a decision that looked a bit questionable after he slipped to the fourth round. A rush end who will play outside linebacker at the next level, Gibson led Ohio State with 13 tackles for loss, including four sacks. He was a consensus second-team All-Big Ten selection.

Staying ...

Justin Boren, G: Boren brought the nasty back to Ohio State's offensive line in 2009, and expectations are even higher for the group this season after a strong finish. A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media, Boren is a strong contender for Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. He's not the most athletic lineman on the roster, but he sets an example with his play and his approach to the game.

Cameron Heyward, DT/DE: Ohio State had good reason to be thrilled when Heyward passed up NFL millions for another year in Columbus. He dominated games against USC and Penn State last year and is taking steps to be more consistent in 2010. Heyward led Ohio State with 6.5 sacks and creates headaches for every opposing offensive line coach in the Big Ten.

Coming ...

James Louis, WR: Ohio State boasts a nice 1-2 punch at wide receiver with DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher, but after that things get a little hazy. Wide receiver depth is one area that can certainly be upgraded, and Louis might be a solution. The Florida native brings top-end speed, makes defenders look silly and can go up and get the ball. If Taurian Washington, Chris Fields or Duron Carter don't fill the No. 3 receiver spot, look out for Louis.

Christian Bryant, DB: The secondary is one of the biggest question marks for Ohio State this fall, and Bryant could be a name to watch. He's a bit of a tweener, but might be able to fill a need at safety after the departures of Coleman and Anderson Russell.

More revolving door ...

Ohio State spring wrap

May, 5, 2010
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2009 overall record: 11-2

2009 conference record: 7-1 (1st)

Returning starters

Offense: 10, defense: 5, kicker/punter: 0

Top returners

QB Terrelle Pryor, RB Brandon Saine, RB Dan Herron, WR DeVier Posey, LG Justin Boren, C Michael Brewster, DL Cameron Heyward, LB Ross Homan, LB Brian Rolle, DE John Simon

Key losses

OL Jim Cordle, DE Thaddeus Gibson, DT Doug Worthington, LB Austin Spitler, S Kurt Coleman, S Anderson Russell, PK Aaron Pettrey, P Jon Thoma

2009 statistical leaders (*-returners)

Rushing: Pryor* (779 yards)

Passing: Pryor* (2,094 yards)

Receiving: Posey* (828 yards)

Tackles: Ross Homan* (108)

Sacks: Cameron Heyward* (6.5)

Interceptions: Ross Homan* and Kurt Coleman (5)

Spring answers

1. Pryor ready for expanded offense: Ohio State fans have wanted the offense to open up, and they finally should get their wish this fall. Pryor built on his Rose Bowl performance with a solid spring, displaying improved footwork and rebounding nicely from some struggles in the jersey scrimmage to complete 8 of 12 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown in the spring game.

2. Sabino steps up: Ohio State returns two All-Big Ten linebackers in Ross Homan and Brian Rolle, but it needed a third player to step up and Etienne Sabino answered the call this spring. He spent the entire session with the first-team defense and finished things off with a game-high seven tackles and a forced fumble in the spring game.

3. Guiton provides insurance at QB: Pryor played through pain toward the end of last season and has proven to be durable at quarterback, but every team needs a backup plan and Ohio State might have found one with Kenny Guiton. He wasn't the Buckeyes' first choice for the 2009 recruiting class, but Guiton showed some promise in the spring game by tossing two touchdowns. Guiton certainly will push Joe Bauserman for the backup quarterback spot.

Fall questions

1. The kicking game: It seems sacrilegious to question the specialists on a Jim Tressel-coached team, but Ohio State has some legitimate concerns here. Devin Barclay couldn't separate from freshman Drew Basil, and the place-kicker competition will continue in fall camp. Ben Buchanan should lock up the starting punter spot, but he struggled a bit in the spring game.

2. Left tackle: Ohio State opened up the competition this spring and seemed to narrow it down to Mike Adams and Andrew Miller, with Adams as the frontrunner entering the summer. The competition will continue for some time, but the hope is the gifted Adams can finally step up and lock down a starting spot. Ohio State returns its other four starters up front and likely would rather have J.B. Shugarts stay at right tackle.

3. No. 3 pass-catching option: Some folks don't think this is a big deal in Tressel's offense, but if Ohio State really wants to open things up, Pryor needs a third target after Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher. Wideout Taurian Washington made a good case in the spring game with 83 receiving yards and a touchdown, and he'll compete with Chris Fields and most likely Duron Carter this summer. Tight end Jake Stoneburner also should be a much bigger part of the passing attack this season.

4. Running back rotation: I couldn't resist and had to toss in a fourth question for the fall. Brandon Saine and Boom Herron are two proven options, but Ohio State has plenty of depth and only one football to go around. Can Jaamal Berry, Jordan Hall or Carlos Hyde challenge the top two?
The spring game recaps series marches on with Ohio State, which held its spring game Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium.

The Buckeyes didn't have many glaring issues this spring, but Terrelle Pryor and the offense responded nicely Saturday after a poor performance the week before in the jersey scrimmage. Pryor played only one quarter but completed 8 of 12 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown, finding wideout Dane Sanzenbacher four times for 61 yards.

The game's most significant development came with the reserve quarterbacks, as Kenny Guiton made a strong case to back up Pryor, rather than Joe Bauserman. Guiton, an eleventh-hour signing in 2009, completed 11 of 21 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, both to Taurian Washington, including the game-winner with 55 seconds left to give the Gray team a 17-14 victory. Guiton also had a potential touchdown pass dropped by DeVier Posey minutes into the game.

Bauserman, meanwhile, had his struggles Saturday, completing just 6 of 15 passes for 75 yards and two interceptions, including one in the end zone. He had a 43-yard completion to James Jackson and led the Scarlet team with 35 rush yards, but he'll be in a battle with Guiton in preseason camp.

The game didn't provide too many answers in the running back race, as top backs Dan Herron and Brandon Saine both had only four carries apiece. Herron racked up 32 yards, giving him a solid yards-per-carry average (8 ypc), while Saine broke off a 14-yard gain. Redshirt freshman Jaamal Berry missed the game with an ankle injury, so Carlos Hyde (6 carries, 26 yards), Jordan Hall (4 carries, 17 yards) and Bo DeLande (5 carries, 28 yards, TD) got most of the work.

Other Buckeyes nuggets:
  • Ohio State needs to identify a No. 3 wideout, and Washington strengthened his case Saturday with three receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Duron Carter should be back with the team at some point, but Washington enters the summer as the man to beat. Chris Fields and Jackson also are in the mix there.
  • Linebacker Etienne Sabino ended spring ball on a good note with a game-high seven tackles and a forced fumble. Sabino likely locked up a starting job this spring alongside All-Big Ten candidates Ross Homan and Brian Rolle. Dorian Bell also should be in the mix at linebacker after recording five tackles, including one for loss, in the spring game.
  • Like the rest of the offense, the line bounced back nicely from the jersey scrimmage and protected the quarterbacks. The left tackle spot isn't settled, but junior Mike Adams finally appears to be taking charge of a spot that, given his talent, should already be his.
  • I really think Ohio State needs to get its tight ends and fullbacks more involved in the passing attack this fall, and Saturday seemed to be a good step in that direction. Tight end Jake Stoneburner, who could be a huge factor for the Buckeyes, had three catches for 43 yards, while fullback Zach Boren led the Gray team with four receptions for 44 yards.
  • The kicking game remains a question mark entering the summer. Punter Ben Buchanan struggled Saturday (35.7-yard average), and there was only one made field goal, a 47-yarder by freshman Drew Basil. It'll be interesting to monitor the kicker competition between Basil and Devin Barclay in preseason camp.

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