Less than a week after his Ohio State running backs depth chart lost its oldest and largest member, Urban Meyer admitted depth could be a concern for the Buckeyes in the backfield this fall.
First, the coach of the Buckeyes told reporters at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago that Bri’onte Dunn will not return to the team following a police report last week in which he was accused of domestic violence.
Then Meyer confirmed redshirt freshman Mike Weber is likely to be the starter for the Buckeyes this fall.
Three other players would seem to be in the mix for carries as well – true freshmen Antonio Williams and Demario McCall, junior Curtis Samuel and senior Donte Wilson.
Samuel and Wilson are also slot receivers, a distinction that is likely to fall on the speedy but slight (182 pounds) McCall as well.
Williams, who enrolled in time for spring practice, is listed at 5-11, 210 pounds on Ohio State’s roster while Weber goes 5-10, 212. Wilson and Samuel are 195 and 197, respectively.
While there is no shortage of talent in the group, Meyer admitted he is worried about attrition.
‘How many times will we have Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel hit during practice?” the coach said. “That’s something I’ll be watching.”
The mention of Samuel in that manner might indicate Meyer views him as the likely No. 2 back. He was Ezekiel Elliott’s backup two years ago but spent the majority of his time at receiver last season in an effort to get him more involved in the offense.
Dunn, a former five-star recruit who never found a significant role in Columbus, was to be a fifth-year senior this fall. He was listed at 6-0, 215 pounds on the 2015 roster.