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Scarlet Sunrise: Which Ohio State football backups are ready to provide impact?

Branden Bowen-Ohio State football-Ohio State Buckeyes-Ohio State-Buckeyes
Branden Bowen could play a key role for Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Which Ohio State football backups are ready to provide impact?

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise! Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Ohio State’s impact backups

Spring practice has been wrapped up for weeks now, and there’s at least the crude workings of a 2019 Ohio State depth chart that can be ascertained from spring observations and interviews. What’s interesting, though, is which guys not currently projected to be starters will find a way to make an impact come fall?

So, working off the projected lineup for Ohio State based on guys who were getting first-team reps and those who are pushing for work from a reserve role, Lettermen Row is looking ahead at the current backups who could wind up playing critical roles for the two-time defending Big Ten champs. Maybe they’ll eventually become starters, maybe it’s just situational work that will allow them to have an impact. But here is senior writer Austin Ward’s list of the five Buckeye backups who could shape the season ahead.

Impact of Paris Johnson’s HS switch

Ohio State commit Paris Johnson is transferring from Cincinnati St. Xavier, 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong reported Friday. Johnson will play his senior season at Cincinnati Princeton instead. So what does that mean for Ohio State? Let’s turn to what Lettermen Row recruiting czar Birm had to say:

“While this is no doubt disappointing for the people at St. Xavier, it definitely does not come as a surprise as that school doesn’t allow early graduation — and Princeton will. Johnson’s plans have always included arriving early to Ohio State (or somewhere else, I guess, as an asterisk seems necessary these days). To do that this was a necessary move.

“Aside from the fact that Johnson’s enrollment plans dictated this change, the buzz around him, Darrion Henry and Jaheim Thomas as a package deal for the last few months makes a lot more sense now that all three players are at the same school. That means the Vikings, 3-7 a year ago, now have three top-four players in Ohio on the roster. And it definitely amplifies the aforementioned buzz about the eventual landing spot for these three players. Johnson, Thomas and Henry have made a number of visits around the country together in the last few months, and that will continue to happen as Ohio State continues to work on keeping them inside their home state.”

For more on Ohio State recruiting, check out the Sunday edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes.

Ryan Shazier dances at his wedding

Now here’s a video that should bring you some joy on a Monday morning. Former Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, once feared to be paralyzed, danced at his wedding on Friday night.

Greg Oden graduates from Ohio State

More than a decade after he led Ohio State basketball to the national championship game, Greg Oden earned his degree from Ohio State. The former No. 1 overall pick spent the last three years as a student coach for the basketball team and received his diploma on Sunday.

Here’s the list of football and basketball players who graduated in Spring 2019:


  • Branden Bowen
  • Nick Conner
  • Justin Hilliard
  • Santonio Holmes
  • Antwuan Jackson Jr.
  • Bryan Kristan
  • Nick Mangold
  • Liam McCullough
  • C.J. Saunders

Men’s basketball

  • Andrew Dakich
  • Daniel Hummer
  • C.J. Jackson
  • Joey Lane
  • Greg Oden

Women’s basketball

  • Karlie Cronin
  • Asia Doss

Counting down

  • Big Ten Media Days: 73 days
  • Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic (season opener): 117 days
  • Ohio State at Michigan: 208 days

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Ryan Ginn

Ryan Ginn has covered Ohio State football and recruiting since 2013, having done so previously for Buckeye Sports Bulletin and He is currently a student at Tulane Law School and resides in New Orleans, La.

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