Ohio State resumes spring practice this week, and some players need to make an impression.
For some Ohio State players, this might be their spring to impress the coaching staff. They will need to have a strong season if they want to attract attention from the NFL.
Buckeye football is slowly getting back to normal, with a full spring camp, a spring game, and a full regular-season schedule.
Which players need to take advantage of the first spring camp since 2019?
Three Ohio State Players Who Need to Have a Good Spring
Demario McCall is will be a sixth-year player in 2021, taking advantage of the extra eligibility the NCAA granted due to COVID-19.
McCall had 53 touches from scrimmage as a true freshman in 2016. Since then, he has only touched the ball 57 times. In 2020, he only had one carry and one reception.
His main contribution has been on special teams, where he returned a team-high 10 kickoffs in 2019.
Ryan Day tried moving McCall from running back to the slot, and it looked like he would play the H-back position that Curtis Samuel, Parris Campbell, and K.J. Hill excelled in.
However, a combination of injuries and overwhelming talent around him has made life difficult for McCall.
Not many people get six seasons worth of chances like McCall. This is the absolute final chance for McCall to cash in on his electric athletic ability.
Combine their production with returning tight end Jeremy Ruckert, and the Buckeyes top three receivers accounted for 106 receptions 18 touchdowns. That comes out to 67 percent of the team’s receptions and 82 percent of the teams’ receiving touchdowns.
Jameson Williams will be a junior in 2021 and was technically a starter last season. However, he had only nine receptions, which was good for sixth on the team. The only player higher on the list is Trey Sermon and he will not return.
So why does a returning starter who will only be a junior make this list? Because of the talent behind him.
Sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who was behind Williams on the depth chart, had more receptions last season. If he continues to develop, the Buckeye coaching staff won’t want to leave him on the bench. In addition to Smith-Njigba other talented wideouts, like Julian Fleming and Emeka Egbuka will be champing at the bit.
This is Williams’ last chance to keep himself from getting buried in the depth chart.
With the departure of junior cornerback Shaun Wade and the disastrous 2020 campaign for the secondary, the defense is looking at a major overhaul in 2021.
Cameron Brown has a chance to be the next man up at cornerback. He will be a senior but has played sparingly throughout his career in Columbus.
Kerry Coombs has to answer a lot of questions concerning Ohio State’s defense beyond the line of scrimmage. Will they continue to keep three linebackers on the field on most plays? Will there be one or two safeties on the field?
Brown can help answer some of those questions if he has a good spring performance. While his spot at cornerback is possible, it’s far from guaranteed. The best thing he can do to have a solid senior season is to stand out in the spring.