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OSU football: Depth chart analysis

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: August 26, 2012
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QUARTERBACK

11, Wes Lunt, 6-4, 211, Fr.

4, J.W. Walsh, 6-2, 199, RFr.

Quarterback analysis: Gundy named Lunt the starter after spring football, and all reports indicate the true freshman has been impressive in his ability to grasp and execute the Cowboys' spread offense in a calm and collected way. Still, it has been an adjustment going from a 28-year-old starter in Weeden to an 18-year-old in Lunt. An intriguing storyline heading into the season is how and when backup J.W. Walsh — a dual-threat QB — will be used in this offense.

DEFENSIVE END

80, Cooper Bassett, 6-5, 259, Sr. or

89, Nigel Nicholas, 6-3, 269, Sr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

94, Anthony Rogers, 6-3, 293, Jr.

72, Christian Littlehead, 6-2, 312, So.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

99, Calvin Barnett, 6-2, 299, Jr.

98, Davidell Collins, 6-5, 267, Jr.

DEFENSIVE END

96, Ryan Robinson, 6-4, 246, Sr.

40, Tyler Johnson, 6-1, 232, Jr.

Defensive line analysis: Nicholas has moved back to his natural position and will essentially be a co-starter with Bassett. Coaches have raved about Robinson's improvement in his second season since transferring from junior college. Barnett, a junior college transfer, rapidly rose to the top of the depth chart during spring football and should be an immediate force in the middle.

MIDDLE LINEBACKER

45, Caleb Lavey, 6-3, 240, Jr.

52, Ryan Simmons, 6-0, 238, RFr.

STRONGSIDE LINEBACKER

11 Shaun Lewis, 5-11, 222, Jr.

27, Lyndell Johnson, 6-3, 190, So.

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER

37, Alex Elkins, 6-3, 222, Sr.

41, Nico Ornelas, 6-1, 210, So.

Linebackers analysis: This is OSU's deepest position, with all three starters returning and all three backups expected to get a large chunk of playing time. Elkins could be an All-Big 12 player by season's end, based on his sheer athleticism and ability to learn the game quickly. Simmons could push Lavey for the starting job in the middle. Johnson, though undersized, was a highlight of spring practice with his speed and nose for the football in pass coverage.

CORNERBACK

19, Brodrick Brown, 5-8, 183, Sr.

22, Jonovan Griffin, 5-11, 180, RFr. or

6, Ashton Lampkin, 5-11, 175, Fr.

STRONG SAFETY

2, Lovocheya Cooper, 6-0, 186, Jr. or

7, Shamiel Gary, 6-0, 205, Jr.

FREE SAFETY

8, Daytawion Lowe, 5-11, 198, Jr.

23, Zack Craig, 6-1, 193, Jr.

CORNERBACK

4, Justin Gilbert, 6-0, 194, Jr.

24, Miketavius Jones, 5-10, 170, RFr. or

1, Kevin Peterson, 5-11, 170, Fr.

Secondary analysis: Brown and Gilbert make up perhaps the best cornerback tandem in the Big 12, and Lowe led the team in tackles last season. Injuries to Devin Hedgepeth and Andrae May have given opportunities in fall camp to Peterson and Lampkin, who are both expected to play this season. Cooper and Gary could split time in the task of replacing Markelle Martin.

KICKER

13, Quinn Sharp, 6-1, 205, Sr.

PUNTER

13, Quinn Sharp, 6-1, 205, Sr.

PUNT RETURNER

6, David Glidden, 5-7, 171, RFr.

4, Justin Gilbert, 6-0, 194, Jr.

KICKOFF RETURNS

4, Justin Gilbert, 6-0, 194, Jr.

5, Josh Stewart, 5-10, 170, So.

LONG SNAPPER

53, Andrew Suter, 6-2, 268, Jr. or

56, Connor Sinko, 6-3, 266, Jr.

HOLDER

39, Wes Harlan, 5-7, 178, Sr.

Special teams analysis: Sharp is simply the best all-around kicker in the nation, while Gilbert is one of college footballs most electric kick returners. Punt returns was an issue during the spring game, and an ankle injury has limited Glidden in fall camp.


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