Now that it’s the offseason for the Ohio State football team, a lot of changes will be happening this offseason. Last offseason saw an overhaul of the defensive staff. The jury is still out if that ended up working considering the defense blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter against Georgia.
This year, it looks like the overhaul could come on the offensive side of the ball. We mentioned after The Game that Ryan Day might need to consider giving up play-calling duties. Ultimately, he kept them through the Peach Bowl and actually called a pretty good game.
According to ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, Day is considering giving up those duties next season. If he does, it would mark a big change in what kind of control Day has on the program. It would also signal a willingness to do whatever is best for the program.
There are three candidates who could take over those play-calling duties in my mind. The first candidate has never called plays before but has a track record of developing players better than anyone else on staff.
1. Brian Hartline
Brian Hartline is the best wide receivers coach in the country. He got a promotion to passing game coordinator not that long ago. With Kevin Wilson headed to Tulsa, could he get an even bigger promotion to offensive coordinator? If he does, would that include calling plays?
Hartline is the most valuable assistant coach with the Ohio State football program. He recruits better than any assistant in the country and has developed multiple first-round picks. Yet, the one thing he hasn’t done yet as an offensive coach is calling plays.
If Ohio State wants to keep him on staff, they’re going to have to give him more responsibility. This would be the most natural way for the Buckeyes to go. That way, they don’t have to go outside the program to get someone to call the plays. Hartline could grow into this role.
I do think Hartline would do a decent job of this. Obviously, he’s never coordinated an entire offense before so there would be growing pains. Those pains would be well worth it to keep someone as valuable as Hartline on staff a little longer.
The next person on this list is from outside the program but is a rising star on the offensive side of the ball.