The Ohio State football team had an issue at linebacker this past season. They really didn’t have a lot of success with anyone in that room. The best linebacker ended up being an ex-running back in Steele Chambers. Now, the room might finally be building some depth.
Chambers will likely start again this season. He’ll likely be joined by another former running back. But with the influx of recruits like C.J. Hicks and Gabe Powers, the linebacker room is finally starting to get back to where it was in 2019 and 2020.
Depth is something the Buckeyes didn’t have at linebacker this year. Now they seem to have it. How they use that depth is a mystery. We don’t know who is solidified as a starter yet. Tommy Eichenberg started playing better at the end of the year, but was it enough to keep a starting spot?
This is one of the first things we will learn about with Jim Knowles. He will be in charge of the linebackers this season now that Al Washington is at Notre Dame. Who he chooses to start and how he uses that depth might tell us how good or bad this defense can be in 2022.
As we’ve discussed, defense is what has been holding this Ohio State football program back over the last few years. That’s the reason why Day made so many changes this offseason on that side of the ball. We’re going to have to see how well those changes work with the linebackers.
I truly can’t wait until the Spring Game. That will tell us a lot about who has the leg up in that room and who will have to wait a little longer.