2016 Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Youth Will Be Served, Early And Often – DT Preview

“Almost everything that is great has been done by youth…” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

Ohio State began spring football practice on March 8th. Heading into the 2016 college football season, Ohio State will have 44 players on its roster designated as either a redshirt freshman (21 of the 25 players signed in February 2015), or a true freshman. For a roster that can have only 85 scholarship players, Ohio State will have around 52% of its roster with no playing time experience. As former Ohio State Head Coach John Cooper used to say, “If a dog is going to bite you, it will bite you as a pup.”.

For the next several weeks, I will be writing position group previews, leading up to the Ohio State Spring Football Game in Ohio Stadium on April 16th, 2016. These position groups will be ranked, from least to most concern, as I perceive them. It is entirely possible that my concerns, as well as the coaching staff’s concerns, will be reevaluated after the spring game.

3rd – Defensive Tackle

Players Lost – Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt, Joel Hale. Say what you want about how it ended, but Ohio State lost a great deal of experience and dependability when Washington, Schutt, and Hale all exhausted their eligibility as Buckeyes.

Returning Players/Incoming Players – Malik Barrow (Freshman), Jashon Cornell (Redshirt Freshman), Michael Hill (Redshirt Junior), Dre’Mont Jones (Redshirt Freshman), Donovan Munger (Redshirt Junior), Tracy Sprinkle (Redshirt Junior), Dylan Thompson (Redshirt Sophomore), Joshua Alabi (Redshirt Freshman), Davon Hamilton (Redshirt Freshman), Robert Landers (Redshirt Freshman).

A few things to keep in mind as it relates to this position group…

· The 2016 Fiesta Bowl actually gave Ohio State coaches and the fans a glimpse at what the 2016 season would be like, without the aforementioned Washington, Schutt, and Hale. Michael Hill, Donovan Munger, and Tracy Sprinkle all seem poised to rotate at these interior defensive line spots. With teams such as Oklahoma and Wisconsin on the schedule in 2016, teams that can and have run the ball effectively between the tackles, having a strong interior defensive line is a must for the Buckeyes. Nothing can be more discouraging for a defense than to have the opposing team be able to run the ball at will, killing the clock, while maintaining possession. Hill, Munger, and Sprinkle will all need to rise to the occasion for the Buckeyes this season. The lack of experienced depth at this position is why I have ranked defensive tackle third in my concerns of most pressing questions for the Buckeyes this spring.

· If there is a player along the interior defensive line I am most anxious to see in the upcoming spring game on April 16th, it is Robert Landers. Landers was a later addition to the 2015 recruiting class, and did not play at all in 2015. Landers nearly played in 2015, but was able to be withheld from game action.

· Ohio State has moved Dre’Mont Jones and Jashon Cornell from defensive end to the interior defensive line positions this spring. Just like Robert Landers, neither Jones or Cornell played in 2015. Jones redshirted due to a knee injury sustained in high school basketball, so it will bear watching to see how much, if any, that he plays in the upcoming spring game on April 16th.

· Malik Barrow is an early enrollee at defensive line, participating in spring practices. Barrow sustained a knee injury in high school that may impact how much, if any, that he will play in the spring game on April 16th.

· Davon Hamilton seems to have caught the eye of Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer in a positve light ~

· If there is a player who seems to be in the doghouse of the coaches, Dylan Thompson may qualify. Thompson redshirted his freshman season in 2014, due to a knee injury. Thompson did not play in 2015, and seems to be in the now or never mode of making a move on the depth chart. When asked about Thompson, Urban Meyer stated his desire of Thompson as spring practices began was “do something. Underline that, do something.”. That does not sound like an endorsement bathed in warmth and love from the head coach.

These questions, among others, have been on my mind, as Ohio State resumed spring practice on March 22nd.

2016 Four-Star Defensive End Malik Barrow Commits to Ohio State

Photo Courtesy: 247 Sports

Photo Courtesy: 247 Sports

The talent just keeps pouring into Columbus, as the Buckeyes land another highly rated recruit today. Defensive end Malik Barrow, a four-star defensive end in the 2016 class, announced via Twitter he’s coming to Buckeye Nation. The Tampa, Florida has verbally committed after visiting Ohio State the past two days. Barrow is the 17th highest rated strong-side defensive end in the country in the 2016 class according to 247 Sports’ composite rankings. He is now the 12th addition to the 2016 recruiting class and the third recruit to join the class this weekend. Barrow now makes up three defensive ends in the 2016 class, joining fellow four-star defensive ends Terrell Hall and Jonathan Cooper.

Here was his announcement on Twitter just a while ago:

Barrow stands at 6’3″ and weighs 260 pounds. It was his first visit to Columbus this past weekend, which speaks volumes to how great of recruiters the Ohio State coaching staff is to get a commitment so quickly. He was recruited by Tony Alford and Larry Johnson. Barrow had offers from several different schools, 21 in total. Among the schools that offered him were Michigan State, Nebraska, Kentucky, UCLA, Mississippi State and a host of others. I have a feeling that Mr. Barrow won’t be the last recruit to commit today to the Buckeyes and we’ll be hearing multiple booms from Mark Pantoni.

Check out one of the newest Buckeyes, Malik Barrow below in these highlight videos courtesy of Hudl:

MotSaG Chat with 2016 DE Malik Barrow

Malik Barrow is not another ordinary football player.  Standing almost 6’4, and weight about 245 pounds, Barrow stands out amongst the crowd almost immediately.  With offers from the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State, UNC, and many others, he is already beginning to make a name for himself as a Sophomore.  Something that is not abnormal anymore.  Barrow recently took a trip to Ohio State for both and Unofficial visit and a camp.  A camp he says he did very well in.

“I did well in the camp!” Barrow sad of his camp performance.  “I went against one of the top 2016 OT recruits, (He did not know his name), and won the battle.  Overall, I think I did very well going against some tough competition.”

Not only was he there for the camp, but was able to spend time with the coaches as well.  He got to meet Urban Meyer and tour the campus for a little bit.  He had nothing but positive things to say about the campus Ohio State in general.

“The visit was great!” He said of his visit.  “Meeting Urban and Coach Johnson was amazing!  I like Coach Johnson a lot as a position coach. Urban told me that they really like the way I play and that they want me to come there.  I also loved the campus and facilities. Everything was great about Ohio State!”

Although Malik loved the visit to Ohio State, he is wide open in his recruitment.  There is not much pressure to stay instate because he is not originally from Florida.  He moved there from Massachusetts when he was younger.  So to think that any of the Florida teams are for sure getting his commitment is wrong.  He is wide open and is hoping to make it to Georgia Tech, UNC, Duke, and UCF over the summer.  I asked him what he would like to say to Ohio State fans and he said, “Go Bucks!”  He enjoys playing basketball and chilling with friends when he is not training for football.  He keeps himself busy with this and stays in shape for workouts by playing some basketball.  I think there is a good chance that Malik could end up here.  He does love Ohio State and everything about it so they have that going for them.  But has many schools around him that he loves also.  This is going to be an interesting recruiting battle between Ohio State and I think UNC and Miami.  He is a recruit we should all be watching over the next couple of seasons.

247Sports Page

Highlights