Ohio State football preview: What to know about Buckeye linebackers

Ohio State football returns Saturday when the Buckeyes play host to Oregon State.

To get ramped up for the season, we’re taking a look at each position group.

Here the linebackers get their turn in the spotlight.

Previously we looked at the quarterbacks, skill players, offensive line and tight ends and the defensive line.

Returning starters: Tuf Borland

Rising: Malik Harrison, Pete Werner, Baron Browning

Others: Dante Booker, Justin Hilliard, Keandre Jones, Teradja Mitchell, Dallas Gant, K'Vaughan Pope, Hayden Jester, Logan Hittle, Ben Schmiesing.

We know the starting lineup for the matchup against the Beavers, and we know it is likely to change as the season goes on.

Greg Schiano revealed Monday the first team for the first game will be Harrison, Werner and Browning.

That is a junior who came from Central Ohio as a diamond-in-the-rough (Harrison) and a pair of highly regarded four-star prospects from out of state.

Werner is a product of Indianapolis Cathedral High who had a big offseason while Browning is among the talented Texas imports Meyer has signed since coming to Columbus.

Borland, a sophomore from Illinois who finished last season as the starter in the middle, is expected back at some point after an Achilles injury wrecked his offseason, but exactly when is uncertain.

It could be this week, but Schiano expressed some trepidation about Borland returning too soon.

Booker was Ohio’s Mr. Football at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in 2013 but injuries have marred the past two seasons for him. He is coming off shoulder surgery.

After starring at Cincinnati St. Xavier, Hilliard has emerged as one of the Buckeyes’ best special-teamers.

Jones is another four-star talent who is itching to play but trying to get healthy.

Mitchell, Gant and Pope are all four-star freshmen who figure to be candidates to help on special teams.

Schmiesing is a true freshman walk-on from Piqua.

Jester and Hittle are also walk-ons.

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