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Don’t expect Ryan Day to put out an Ohio State depth chart for a while

Ryan Day-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State coach Ryan Day updated the status of spring camp with the Buckeyes on Wednesday. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Ohio State Football

Don’t expect Ryan Day to put out an Ohio State depth chart for a while

COLUMBUS — The end of spring camp might bring a bit more clarity to the Ohio State roster, but Ryan Day isn’t going to etch anything about it in stone.

There is still an exhibition game left for the Buckeyes on Saturday that is one more piece of evidence to consider, for starters. But then there’s an entire summer of conditioning, the arrival of some potentially key pieces who haven’t enrolled yet — and then a far-more-urgent training camp to sort through all the options.

So, yes, Day has a good feel for what his two-deep lineup might look like right now. But there is still plenty of time to make edits before unveiling a final draft for the opener in late August.

“Guys are continuing to compete for those spots,” Day said after practice on Wednesday. “We try not to look at it too much like it’s spring and then preseason as opposed to just continuous practice. We have 15 here, spring game and then we go into the preseason where we just want to pick up from where we left off that way. It’s the same thing with the competitions.

“Preseason is a long time, three weeks. Injuries happen, different things happen and we like to mix it up with different guys working with each other. I think some positions it’s more important than others, but we always want to have competition. We’re not in a rush to name starters or anything like, because I don’t think that’s appropriate really until you get into the preseason. That drives guys to get better.”

Justin Fields-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields remains in a battle with Matthew Baldwin. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

There’s obviously a premium placed on the quarterbacks that differentiates that position, but it’s another spot where Day has pretty consistently declined to give an edge to either Justin Fields or Matthew Baldwin. The patience has allowed the Buckeyes to continue to stockpile information to make the most informed decision possible, even if there have been recent signs that Fields is probably the most likely winner in the race to replace Dwayne Haskins.

But Day has urged caution from the start of camp all the way now to the last couple days ahead of the spring game on Saturday in the Horseshoe. And there’s plenty of work ahead that could shake up an April depth chart — and for a number of positions, the top spot doesn’t even really matter that much when it comes to playing time.

“You know, some guys have been starters before or have a lot more experience,” Day said. “They would be kind of the incumbent, and then the other guys have to beat them out. At a lot of positions we get to play depth.

“Who was the starter last year: Parris Campbell or K.J. Hill? I don’t know, they both played and we didn’t really get into it. … Sometimes it depends on the position, too.”

All of them will be on the field at Ohio State once more this weekend before heading into the summer. But no matter who might get those coveted first-team reps, that’s all still subject to change.

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Austin Ward is Lettermen Row's senior writer covering Ohio State football and basketball. The award-winning journalist has covered the Buckeyes since 2012, spending five of those seasons working for ESPN after previous stints at the Casper Star-Tribune and Knoxville News Sentinel.

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