Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ranking The Top 5 Buckeyes That Must Step Up For Ohio State In 2012

By Tim Featured Contributor

With the 2012 season just a few months away, Ohio State has a roster full of plenty of talent, though most of it is unproven at this point.

They do seem to have new life under Urban Meyer and a chance to be a really good football team with a modernized offense.

The question for this team is whether or not their young players are ready to step into the spotlight and make the types of plays that they need to win at this level.

Here are the five Buckeyes who need to step up the most this season.

5. Corey "Philly" Brown, WR

For Ohio State's new offense to work this season, they are going to need some help from the wide receiver position.

The passing game was absolutely unwatchable for most of last season, as there was poor blocking from the offensive line as well as the receivers not being able to get open.

Junior Corey Brown needs to be a guy who steps up and makes the big plays this season.

He came in as a freshman in 2010 and hasn't quite lived up to the lofty praise gifted to him after high school.

Now he looks like he is in an offense that is more suited to his skills. Because of that, this is without a doubt his make-or-break season.

4. Jack Mewhort, LT

New offensive line coach Ed Warriner led a massive reshuffling of the Ohio State front line by moving junior Jack Mewhort over from guard to left tackle after the spring.

Mewhort has the size and athleticism to make the transition over to left tackle pretty well.

He will have a huge job ahead of him to help keep Braxton Miller upright.

His status for the early part of the season is somewhat in doubt after he was suspended because of his arrest on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing official business.

He should be good to go the rest of the season, but Mewhort has a huge job ahead of him when he comes back.

3. Curtis Grant, LB

At the beginning of spring football, Urban Meyer singled out former blue-chip linebacker Curtis Grant as not only the starting MLB on the defense, but gave him the keys to the defense without ever starting a game.

Grant's performance, in Meyer's words, will either make or break the Ohio State defense.

He has the potential to do that and more because of the size and instincts he came into college with.

Grant has a great front four in front of him led by John Simon and Johnathan Hankins, along with a stud OLB in Ryan Shazier to make life easier for him.

But Grant will need to be strong right from the start.

2. Jake Stoneburner, TE

Jake Stoneburner for the longest time has been a tremendous mismatch that Jim Tressel and his former offensive coaching staff failed to utilize properly.

That won't be the case under Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman, who have a history of getting big seasons out of their tight ends.

Stoneburner poses an amazing mismatch from the TE position and Meyer will find a way to get him the ball as much as possible.

The question is if Stoneburner is finally ready to accept the challenge and be the big playmaker this offense needs in order to succeed.

1. Braxton Miller, QB

The player who has the most expectations upon him this season is an extremely obvious one.

Braxton Miller needs to grow quite a bit this season after showing plenty of flashes last year since most of the offense's successes are dependent on his dual-threat ability.

He will have to prove he can make the big throws while at the same time continue to run as well as he did last season.

He looked much better throwing the football in the spring game back in April, completing 24-of-31 passes for 258 yards.

If he can build off of that and become a much better passer, Ohio State's offense will make a dramatic leap in 2012.



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