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McShay: Meyer should make pieces work

11/28/2011

Ohio State fans have grumbled about the Buckeyes' offense for years. Too conservative. Too run-heavy. Not imaginative enough.

Those days are over as Urban Meyer is coming to Columbus. Meyer's offenses at Utah and Florida ranked in the top 20 nationally all but one year between 2004-09.

Colleague Todd McShay takes an in-depth look at what Meyer looks for with his offense and how the Ohio State roster fits his plan. McShay's conclusion: while it could take a bit of time for Meyer to get all his perfect pieces in place, he's hardly inheriting a bare cupboard.

McShay weighs in on all the position groups. Here are a few:

Quarterback: I think [Braxton] Miller is loaded with talent and he has the ideal physical skill set to excel in Meyer's system. He has a big, sturdy frame and still has room to add muscle. Miller has very good arm strength (check out his 54-yard TD strike against Michigan) and he's a more sudden athlete than former Buckeyes QB Terrelle Pryor.

Tight end: Assuming Jake Stoneburner returns for his senior season (which would be a wise choice, in my opinion), he could provide a good short-term solution at this position. Stoneburner isn't the ideal athlete for this role, but at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, he has proved capable of creating mismatches in the passing game and he has reliable hands. He also has solid blocking skills both in-line and in space, which will allow the Buckeyes to get creative with his launching point.

Running back/receiver: The Buckeyes have an obvious need for more speed and athleticism at running back and wide receiver, so expect the Buckeyes' next couple of recruiting classes to have a few highly regarded "athletes" at the top of the priority list. Ohio State does, however, have some intriguing young athletes in house that Meyer and his staff must quickly develop into playmakers. The most intriguing of the group is true freshman WR Evan Spencer, an ESPNU 150 recruit from the 2011 class. He flashed his talent at times during his freshman season but much more will be expected of him moving forward -- and if Spencer is willing to put in the work, he has a chance to become a focal point in Meyer's attack.

Click here to read McShay's entire piece on Meyer and the Ohio State offense.