Ohio State Depth Chart 2023: Breaking Down the Ohio State Football Roster

Fact Checked by Wes Roesch
Marvin Harrison Jr. points

Expectations were high for Ryan Day and the Ohio State Buckeyes, who had championship-or-bust expectations this season. Unfortunately Ohio State's College Football Playoff dreams were thwarted after a loss to Michigan, but the Buckeyes still have a chance to finish the season strong in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29.

Ohio State Football Depth Chart 2023: Offense

Here's a look at the Buckeyes' 2023 offense:

Ohio State QB Depth Chart

StarterBackupThird StringFourth String
Kyle McCordDevin BrownTristan GebbiaLincoln Kienholz

There was a raging quarterback battle between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. McCord made one start against Akron during the 2021 season, throwing for 319 yards and two touchdowns in a 59-7 win. He won the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week for that performance. He was a four-star recruit. Devin Brown was also a four-star recruit and the fifth-ranked quarterback from the Class of 2022. Brown didn't make much of an impact in 2022. He is in the backup role.

Ohio State RB Depth Chart

StarterBackupThird StringFourth String
TreVeyon Henderson Jr.Deamontre TrayanumDallan HaydenEvan Pryor

The Buckeyes' top two backfield options remained the same from last season. Miyan Williams ran for 825 yards on 128 attempts (6.4 average) last year while TreVeyon Henderson went for 571 yards on 107 attempts (5.3 average).

So far this season, Henderson and Trayanum have been the top runners. Williams unfortunately sustained a season-ending knee injury and won't play the rest of this season.

Ohio State WR Depth Chart

PositionStarterBackup
XMarvin Harrison Jr.Carnell Tate
ZJulian FlemingJayden Ballard
SlotEmeka EgbukaXavier Johnson

Marvin Harrison Jr. is a generational talent and is expected to be a top-five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Harrison Jr. finished with 1,263 yards last season and chipped in 14 touchdowns as well. He did that on 77 receptions (16.4 average). FanDuel has the latest Marvin Harrison Jr. Heisman odds.

Julian Fleming and Emeka Egbuka have garnered high praise as well. Fleming was the No. 1 wide receiver in the class of 2020 and the No. 4 overall player of that class. Fleming had just 533 yards last season but should take a jump as the second-best receiver. Egbuka finished second on the team with 1,151 yards. Day has an experienced and talented receiving corps, arguably the best in the country.

Ohio State TE Depth Chart

StarterBackupThird String
Cade StoverGee Scott Jr.Joe Royer

Cade Stover will be the main tight end option and was a force last season, ending with 406 yards on 36 receptions. He had six receiving touchdowns as well. Stover stands 6-foot-4 and became the team's full-time starter last season. So far in 2023, he has been the second main threat for McCord.

Ohio State Offensive Line Depth Chart

PositionStarterBackup
Left tackleJosh SimmonsZen Michalski
Left guardDonovan JacksonTegra Tshabola
CenterCarson HinzmanVictor Cutler Jr.
Right guardMatthew JonesEnokk Vimahi
Right tackleJosh FryarLuke Montgomery

The Buckeyes generally have an experienced line. Josh Simmons is the only player that wasn't on this team last season. He transferred in. Seven of the team's 10 starters or backups were on the roster last season.

This unit's dominance can best be seen by C.J. Stroud's sack percentage which was just 3% last year. That was lower than Bryce Young (4.5%) and Anthony Richardson (4.1%), both of which were other notable top-tier college quarterbacks.

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Ohio State Football Depth Chart 2023: Defense

Now, a look at the Buckeyes' 2023 defense:

Ohio State Defensive Line Depth Chart

PositionStarterBackup
Defense endJ.T. TuimoloauCaden Curry
Nose tackleTy HamiltonJaden McKenzie
Defensive tackleTyleik WilliamsMichael Hall Jr.
Jack DE/LBJack SawyerKenyatta Jackson Jr.

Year over year, the Buckeyes defensive line does have some improvement to make. It finished with the seventh-fewest rushing yards against in the Big Ten, allowing 119.9 per game. This unit lost defensive end Zach Harrison to the NFL.

The team should get a boost from Jack Sawyer having another year under his belt. Sawyer was the No. 1 player from Ohio and the fourth-best defensive lineman in the class of 2021. Ohio State will return a key defensive end in J.T. Tuimoloau. He ended with 10.5 tackles for a loss (second most on the team) and 3.5 sacks (fourth most). Ty Hamilton did played in 13 games but recorded just 15 tackles.

This unit has dominated. Tuimoloau is a force with several sacks. Williams leads the team in tackles for a loss. Against Penn State, the defensive line executed flawlessly.

Ohio State LB Depth Chart

PositionStarterBackup
Mike linebackerTommy EichenbergCody Simon
Will linebackerSteele ChambersC.J. Hicks

The Ohio State Buckeyes returned both linebackers from a season ago. Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers held down the defense last season, posting the team's most and second-most tackles, respectively.

Eichenberg ended with 120 tackles (77 solo and 43 assisted) while Chambers had (45 solo and 32 assisted). They respectively had 12 tackles for a loss and 6.5 tackles for a loss as well. As one can tell, these two were the heart of the defense, one that allowed just 21 points per game, the 17th-fewest in the nation. Eichenberg and Chambers currently lead the team in tackles, and it isn't particularly close.

Ohio State CB Depth Chart

PositionStarterBackup
Nickel cornerbackSonny StylesCameron Martinez
CornerbackDenzel BurkeJordan Hancock
CornerbackDavison IgbinosunJermaine Mathews Jr.

The Buckeyes' cornerbacks haven't been quite as good as expected, but the unit has certainly produced. Igbinosun, Burke and Styles have led the way with this unit.

Ohio State Safety Depth Chart

PositionStarterBackup
Strong safetyLathan RansomMalik Hartford
Free safetyJosh ProctorJa'Had Carter

While the cornerbacks may be a relatively inexperienced group in terms of starting experience, the safeties will not be. Lathan Ransom ended the 2022 season with the third-most tackles in the team (74). He also notched 3.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks to go along with an interception and three passes defended. Ransom is listed as the starting strong safety.

Josh Proctor played in 13 games and ended with 21 tackles. He will be the free safety and has the big-time playmaking abilities to be able haunt opposing offenses. Both have been excellent for Day in 2023. Proctor and Ransom sit fourth and fifth on the roster in tackles. Both have an interception as well.

Ohio State Special Teams

PositionStarter
KickerJayden Fielding
PunterJesse Mirco
Long SnapperJosh Ferlmann
Kick returnerXavier Johnson
Punt returnerEmeka Egbuka

Jesse Mirco is a junior and was the team's starting punter last season. There's really no question that will be the guy to start the season. Ohio State's dynamic offenses typically results in little action for punters.

John Ferlmann is the lone newcomer, a redshirt transfer. He will be the starting long snapper with Max Lomonico there for emergency opportunities. At kicker is Jayden Fielding who has been reliable this season.

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Ohio State Coaches 2023

The Ohio State Buckeyes' coaching staff comes in with decades of experience. Ryan Day, outside of the shortened season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has won double-digit games in each year he's led the Buckeyes. Day has lost three games in each of the last three seasons, and is now on a three-game losing streak in the rivalry between Michigan vs. Ohio State.

Brian Hartline, a former NFL and Ohio State wide receiver, has been paramount in creating one of the most electric receiver rooms in the country. He serves as the offensive coordinator for the first time this season, having been promoted from wide receivers coach. He recruited the likes of Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Jim Knowles is on the other side of the ball and joined the Buckeyes during the 2022 offseason. Knowles was with Oklahoma State as its defensive coordinator from 2018-2021.

Ohio State Coaching Staff

  • Head coach: Ryan Day
  • Offensive coordinator: Brian Hartline
  • Defensive coordinator: Jim Knowles
  • Associate head coach/defensive line coach: Larry Johnson
  • Assistant head coach for offensive/running backs coach: Tony Alford
  • Run game coordinator/offensive line coach: Justin Frye
  • Secondary coach/cornerbacks coach: Tim Walton
  • Safeties coach: Perry Eliano
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Ohio State Athletic Director

The Ohio State AD is Gene Smith. He is a senior vice president for Ohio State as well and is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. Smith was an administrative director at Arizona State before joining Ohio State in 2005.

Smith is the eighth person to hold the position for the Buckeyes. The presence of Smith and leadership of the long-time AD has been widely helpful for the Buckeyes' continually-growing football program, which is now valued at $1.5 billion.

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Ohio State Roster and Depth Chart FAQ

Author

Nathan, a lifelong Cincinnatian, has covered the Bengals and Buckeyes at various outlets for the last half decade. He is most proud to have attended both wins of the Bengals' 2-14 season in 2019. Nathan is our go-to expert for all things Bengals and Buckeyes.

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