Ohio State’s release of its first depth chart of the 2011 football season did not answer the question most fans wondered the most during the preseason: Who will start at quarterback?
Senior Joe Bauserman and freshman Braxton Miller are listed as co-starters for the Sept. 3 contest with Akron, all but confirming both will see action when the Zips come to town for a noon start Saturday on ESPN. Distribution of repetitions as preseason camp wore on led to speculation Bauserman would start the game with Miller making his debut at some point, but there has been no official confirmation that is the plan.
Meanwhile, new starters can be found at both wide receiver spots (sophomore Corey “Philly” Brown and redshirt freshman Verlon Reed), tailback (junior Jordan Hall), left tackle (sophomore Andrew Norwell), left guard (sophomore Jack Mewhort) and right guard (sophomore Marcus Hall).
With the Buckeyes missing a trio of potential starters on offense because of NCAA suspensions, Miller actually finds more of his classmates in the initial two-deep than does Bauserman.
Among the backups (not counting Miller) are four true freshmen - wide receiver Evan Spencer and offensive linemen Brian Bobek, Chris Carter and Antonio Underwood - while starting offensive linemen Mike Brewster and J.B. Shugarts are the only seniors in the two-deep along with Bauserman.
Also of note, sophomore Carlos Hyde and redshirt freshman Rod Smith are listed as co-backups to Hall while sophomore Jaamal Berry is not included. Hall, Hyde, Smith and Berry all competed for the No. 1 tailback job. Berry missed some time with a hamstring issue, but head coach Luke Fickell said the Florida speedster had returned to practice late last week.
Seven new starters are listed on defense: junior nose guard Garrett Goebel, sophomore tackle Johnathan Hankins, junior linebackers Etienne Sabino and Storm Klein, junior cornerback Travis Howard, redshirt freshman cornerback Bradley Roby and sophomore safety C.J. Barnett.
Roby's appearance is notable as he overtook sophomore Dominic Clarke, the leader to start opposite Howard during spring drills.
As expected, senior Tyler Moeller is listed as the No. 1 nickel back or Star with sophomore Christian Bryant behind him.
Bryant is also listed as returning starter Orhian Johnson’s backup at left safety while sophomore Corey Brown is behind Barnett at right safety.
Three true freshmen who had strong camps also worked their way into the two-deep on defense: tackle Michael Bennett, “Will” linebacker Ryan Shazier and right cornerback Doran Grant.
Also of note: sophomore walk-on George Makridis is listed as the No. 1 long snapper ahead of true freshman Bryce Haynes, who is on scholarship.