Monday, July 26, 2010

Young Guns: Five Offensive Buckeyes Ready to Break Out in 2010

Tim Bielik—Featured Contributor / Storm the Field Founder

Ohio State football in 2010 with an experienced Terrelle Pryor under center could mean a more explosive offense than in years past.

While the ability for the offense to be explosive is there, obviously the question will be whether or not Jim Tressel will let the dogs loose. And the dogs that Ohio State has, whether experienced or not, can be very explosive.

We all know about DeVier Posey, Brandon Saine, and Dane Sanzenbacher among others, but what about the guys we don't know? The guys that haven't seen time yet. The roster is full of players ready to break out and make an impact on the future—and maybe even the current season.

Here are five players that are very likely to do so.

5. James Louis, Fr. WR

The recruiting saga with James Louis was very strange, with the youngster from Atlantic High School stunning most by committing to Ohio State after Florida did not accept a commit.

Nearly a year later, Louis comes to Ohio State one of two Under Armour All-American WRs along with Cardinal O'Hara's Corey Brown, both of whom bring a strong combination of speed and explosiveness.

The early comparison a lot of experts out there have given of Louis is to former Buckeye standout Santonio Holmes, who was also a Floridian coming out of high school.

Louis, who runs a 4.45 40-yard dash, gained 682 receiving yards on just 38 catches and had 10 TD receptions as a senior with Atlantic in Delray Beach, Florida. The young man possesses great speed and a playmaking ability that should make him a favorite in Columbus, especially if he can win the third WR spot, which is very wide open after Duron Carter transferred to Colleyville CC in Kansas.

If he has a great fall camp and contributes right away, Buckeyes fans should feel very relieved that he came to Ohio State instead of staying in-state.

4. Carlos Hyde, Fr. RB

Another Florida product, Hyde brings a big body into fall camp after spending a full winter and spring with the football team.

At 6'1'', 235 lbs, and around a 4.55 40-yard time, Hyde actually was a commit for the 2009 class, but could not attend the university because of academics.

He spent the fall at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, much like Eddie George did before he came to Ohio State—And strangely enough, the two players are very similar.

Hyde will be a running back at Ohio State instead of being a fullback as listed on many different recruiting websites. Reports out of winter workouts and spring practices read that Hyde performed pretty well, showcasing his speed and power, plus a strong work ethic, something that should give him strong support among the fans.

Because of the depth at the RB position right now, Hyde may see time mostly in 3rd-and-short or goal-line situations. But finishing drives could be a great start for this kid who already has overcome plenty to get to this fall camp.

3. Corey Brown, Fr. RB/WR

Ohio State may be one of the only schools if not the only one to have two players with the same name.

While there already is a Corey Brown who is a redshirt freshman DB, the coaching staff reeled in a strong prize in Springfield, PA product Corey Brown for the 2010 class. Brown committed in September 2009 but was actually given the offer to pick his position from Coach Tressel.

Brown is similar in build to Louis with a strong combination of speed and explosion, and has drawn comparisons to Percy Harvin.

Early word out of Columbus is that Brown has caught the eye of the coaching staff and that he may be a major candidate for the third WR spot along with Louis and others and may even get a shot at kick returner.

If he shines in fall camp, Brown may fit the mold of a player that is too talented to keep off of the field, but like everyone else in a school like OSU with so much depth, he will have to gain the trust of the coaches, especially when it comes to ball control.

2. Chris Fields, Fr. (RS) WR

Maybe an unheralded prospect after committing in 2009, Chris Fields apparently has caught the eye of many out there in Columbus.

Fields redshirted in 2009, but spent the year learning the game and played the role of Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli while on the scout team leading up to the 2010 Rose Bowl Game. His performances in the bowl practices and a stronger mental approach make Fields a very good candidate to see plenty of time on the field this season.

Fields came into Ohio State at 6'1'' and a 4.42 40 time, and enters 2010 as one of the leading candidates along with senior Taurian Washington for the third WR spot.

The advantage Fields has over Brown and Louis at this time is the year of practicing against college talent and adding strength to his frame.

Whether or not that equates to winning the job is a question to be decided at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center (WHAC) in a few weeks.

But don't be surprised if we see No. 80 making some big plays for the Buckeyes from the WR position in 2010.

1. Jaamal Berry, Fr. (RS) RB

For the past year, we have all heard about the young man from Miami who looked great in fall practices.

Unfortunately, injuries kept speedy back Jaamal Berry off the field for Ohio State in the fall, and during this year's spring game as well, to the disappointment of many fans. The word out of the WHAC is that the hype is justified, except that injuries have slowed him down early on in his Buckeye career.

He did redshirt in 2009 due to his injuries, but the year off did allow him to add some strength to his blazing 4.31 40 time.

Like Hyde, Berry may struggle to gain playing time because of the depth in the OSU backfield. As of right now, Berry is behind both Saine and Dan Herron as well as sophomore RB Jordan Hall, a high school teammate of Pryor.

But if Berry stays healthy, it might be a case, like Brown, of being too talented to keep off of the field. A strong fall camp and a clean bill of health could equal a chance for Berry to see the field, something that could scare opposing defenses in 2010.

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