Spring football is generally a time for optimism, but Urban Meyer had some bad news to share after things began Tuesday.
A bunch of Buckeyes he would like to see step up to grab open starting positions — there are only 16, after all — are going to be limited or out completely this spring.
That group includes defensive backs Cam Burrows and Erick Smith, receivers Noah Brown, Corey Smith and K.J. Hill, defensive linemen Tyquan Lewis and Malik Barrow, linebackers Justin Hilliard and Nick Connor and offensive lineman Tyler Gerald.
Meyer said another defensive back, Damon Webb, will be fine after Ohio State returns from next week’s spring break.
Lewis is a returning starter while Brown and Corey Smith are likely to become new starters. Webb spent part of last season as the Buckeyes’ nickel back, a role he could reprise if he doesn’t earn a larger one.
Burrows and Erick Smith could be first in line to join the starting lineup at safety, but Eric Glover-Williams and Malik Hooker were in the spots vacated by Tyvis Powell and Vonn Bell on the first day of spring ball.
On the bright side, quarterback J.T. Barrett is healthy and entering his first spring as the unquestioned starter for the Buckeyes.
Meyer likes what he has seen from the junior from Texas during the offseason, and he described a change being made in the quarterbacks’ room this spring.
With Brown and Corey Smith still recovering from injury, some interesting battles for playing time figure to take place this spring at receiver.
Before he was done, Meyer bragged about his ongoing seniors one more time and showed off a new decoration in the team’s facility.