The work on the recruiting trail for 2016 is complete, so barring a few late tweaks or transfers, rosters across the Big Ten are pretty much set with national signing day in the books. The ESPN.com reporting crew is taking a look at what each team in the conference looks like now with a new class on the way, continuing with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Team’s position of strength: Quarterback
Urban Meyer is not just set at the most important position on the field in the short term with one of the top dual-threat weapons in the nation, the Ohio State coach is already well positioned for the foreseeable future after signing Joe Burrow last year and adding Dwayne Haskins as part of his banner 2016 recruiting class. The Buckeyes may not have managed the battle between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett perfectly last season, but the team is undoubtedly Barrett’s moving forward and Meyer’s offensive system is in steady hands.
Team’s biggest need heading into signing day: Defensive backs
There wasn’t much doubt that Ohio State was going to be hit hard by early departures to the draft, but no unit felt that sting more than the secondary with cornerback Eli Apple and safeties Tyvis Powell and Vonn Bell all skipping off to the NFL. Those defections leave the Buckeyes with only one returning starter in the defensive backfield, and Gareon Conley is obviously going to need some help from a couple of fresh faces. Ohio State recruits cornerbacks and safeties maybe better than any program in the country, and it probably will be putting some inexperienced players to the test this fall.
How Ohio State addressed the need: Signing five guys for the secondary
Just like usual, the Buckeyes aggressively pursued cornerbacks and safeties on the recruiting trail and landed another impressive haul. There’s not much doubt about the talent the Buckeyes signed in a group headlined by cornerback Jordan Fuller and safety Jahsen Wint, but the question looming now for Meyer is how quickly he can get those guys ready to contribute. Playing time is available right away, and the Buckeyes aren’t planning to use any redshirts in the secondary.
Biggest need remaining: Defensive tackles
There really are no holes on the Ohio State roster given how well the program has recruited, and every position has been pretty well stocked up for the future. But if there’s one area that Meyer is likely to emphasize, particularly after losing three seniors at the position after last season, it’s defensive tackle. The Buckeyes have some youngsters already on hand ready to make an impact in place of Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt and Joel Hale, but they could always use a couple more given how much the defensive line likes to rotate players to keep them fresh.