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Position preview: Linebackers

Breaking down the Ohio State roster as training camp winds down and the program turns its attention to the opener on Aug. 31 against Buffalo. LINEBACKERS Top of the depth chart: Ryan Shazier on the weak side, Joshua Perry on the strong and Curtis Grant in between them. [+] Enlarge Jamie Sabau/Getty Images Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier led the Buckeyes in tackles, tackles for loss and forced fumbles in 2012. Next in line: There is hardly any depth to speak of on the Ohio State roster at a position that has long been a source of pride for the program, and the numbers are low enough that walk-on Joe Burger could be a valuable part of the rotation. The Buckeyes have high hopes for a pair of freshmen signed in February, and Mike Mitchell has already emerged as a viable second-team option behind Grant. Trey Johnson has been somewhat …

Spring forward: MLBs breakdown

With national signing day in the books, the next big date on the Ohio State calendar as it continues working toward an encore for an undefeated season in 2013 is spring practice. Before those workouts begin, BuckeyeNation will take a look at each position to see where the roster is at — and where it’s going. MIDDLE LINEBACKERS Who’s back: Almost as suddenly as he arrived, Zach Boren’s run at middle linebacker for the Buckeyes was over. Now they’re left once again to find somebody capable of quarterbacking the defense, and as remarkable as Boren’s story was at the position, it also underscored just how little depth the program had there at the halfway point of last season.

Spring forward: OLBs breakdown

With national signing day in the books, the next big date on the Ohio State calendar as it continues working toward an encore for an undefeated season in 2013 is spring practice. Before those workouts begin, BuckeyeNation will take a look at each position to see where the roster is at — and where it’s going. OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS Who’s back: Only one first-teamer is returning at the second level for the Buckeyes, but Ryan Shazier is certainly a fine place to start.

Next up: Replacing Sabino, Boren

Heading into the new year and offseason workouts, BuckeyeNation will look at some holes left by the departing Ohio State veterans and potential candidates to fill them. LINEBACKERS Who: Neither senior was able to give a full season at linebacker, though it was an injury for one that helped open the door for the other to prove he was equally skilled on the defensive side of the ball after establishing himself as perhaps the best fullback in the Big Ten before that.

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