The offense at Ohio State led the Buckeyes to the 2021 National Championship game. The offense will be the key to success this year as well.
The Buckeyes don’t rebuild, they reload. This year, Ohio State only has to replace two starters on offense for the 2021 season. Unfortunately, it is the two most talented players they had.
For starters, the Buckeyes have to replace Justin Fields at quarterback.
Other than that, most of the key players on offense will be back.
So who will be the projected starters on offense for Ohio State in 2021?
Projecting the Ohio State Starting Offense in 2021
Quarterback: C.J. Stroud
There will be a competition this year, but Stroud has the slight upper hand.
Incoming freshman Kyle McCord has a good chance at winning the competition, but sophomore Stroud has a year of the system under his belt. Since it was Stroud, not fellow sophomore Jack Miller, that relieved Fields last season, Stroud is the frontrunner.
Running Back: Master Teague
The incumbent starter is likely to take the reigns again.
Ohio State has an immense amount of talent at running back already. Miyan Williams and Marcus Crowley will also get a lot of snaps behind Teague. But the lead back will be redshirt junior Teague, who averages 5.5 yards a carry in his career.
It will be interesting to see how the Buckeyes use incoming freshman TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor. Many analysts consider Henderson the best athlete of the 2021 recruiting class, so he could get some time as well.
Olave and Wilson were the best wide receiver duo in the conference, and arguably even the country. With Olave making a surprising return to Columbus, he will be Stroud’s (or whoever wins the battle) favorite target. Olave and Wilson will start on the outside, and Wilson will move to the slot in three receiver formations.
The only debate is who will be the third receiver. Williams on has 15 career receptions, but has blazing speed on the outside. Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Julian Fleming might rotate into that third spot as well. Ohio State cleaned up in recruiting at receiver, so Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. will round out the bottom of the depth chart.
Tight End: Jeremy Ruckert
Ruckert snubbed the NFL for Ohio State in 2021. Not only will he be a starter, but he will be one of the most experienced leaders on the offense. Just like last season, Luke Farrell will be enter the game for two tight end sets. He could be considered a starter, depending on the base formation.
The only change from last year will be replacing potential first-round draft pick Wyatt Davis. Jones filled in for Miller at left guard against Michigan State when Miller moved to center to replace Myers. He seems like the logical choice to move to the right and fill in for Davis.
Ohio State is getting the number one offensive guard in the 2021 recruiting class, Donovan Jackson. But Jackson played left guard in high school, so it is unlikely that they would have a freshman switch sides and start right away. Another alternative could be that they try to move either Petit-Frere or Paris Johnson Jr. to guard. Both were the top tackles in their respective recruiting classes, but it’s a move the Buckeyes could make to maximize the amount of talent they have on the field.