Ohio State Football: 3 Players with Most to Gain in Spring Practices

Spring practice is right around the corner for Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes, and with that, the process for finding 10 new starters for the 2014 season begins.

Three position battles in particular stick out.

The Buckeyes need to replace a trio of pivotal players—a backup and two starters who were a big part of Ohio State’s success last season.

Here are the three players who could be in line to fill those roles.

Ezekiel Elliott

The Buckeyes will be tasked with replacing one of the most productive running backs in Ohio State history with the loss of Carlos Hyde, but second-year standout Ezekiel Elliott could make that process easy.

Elliott impressed as a freshman last year, running for 262 yards on just 30 carries (8.7 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. He was first off the bench when Hyde and Jordan Hall needed breathers late last season, edging out upperclassman Rod Smith. That would suggest Elliott has the inside track to the starting role in 2014.

With an impressive spring, Meyer and the Buckeyes could peg their next great running back.

Trey Johnson

Much has been written about 5-star freshman Raekwon McMillan, but the linebacker with the most to play for this spring is Trey Johnson.

With Ryan Shazier’s departure, Meyer and the Buckeyes will need to find an outside linebacker with enough speed and strength to fill that void. Johnson, who was Shazier’s primary backup last year, is next in line.

The former 4-star…

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