Three Ohio State football players who quietly had a great spring

While others grabbed headlines, these three Buckeyes quietly put together a great spring.
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Ohio State’s spring practice gave us stories about the battle at quarterback, updates on the progress of youngsters like Jeremiah Smith and Julian Sayin, and countless opinions on who “flashed” on a given day. While those things commanded most of the attention from Buckeye fans, there were under-the-radar players who improved their standing on the depth chart. Here are three who quietly had great springs.

Mitchell Melton – Defensive End

After missing two full seasons with injuries, Melton saw action in eight games in 2023. He made just three tackles, but all were tackles-for-loss, including one sack-all against Purdue. He recently said he felt like a freshman again last year and was trying to learn to play at the collegiate level again after being out for so long.

After the fifth-year senior tormented OSU offensive tackles throughout the spring, defensive line coach Larry Johnson said he’s very athletic and can do a lot of things. Don’t be surprised if Melton sees the field often as a situational player.

Bryson Rodgers – Wide Receiver

Yes, the same Bryson Rodgers who entered the transfer portal in early January, only to withdraw his name two weeks later and remain a Buckeye. According to what Bucknuts refers to as an embedded observer, the Zephyrhills, Florida native has shown great improvement over last year and has solidified himself as the number five receiver behind Emeka Egbuka, Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss, and Smith.

This source feels Rodgers even outperformed a few of those guys this spring. After playing in just two games last season, I don’t think there is any doubt Rodgers will get plenty of playing time in 2024.

Jason Moore- Defensive Tackle

A graduate of the same school that produced Chase Young, Moore came to the Buckeyes as a top-ten defensive lineman and was the number 75 overall player for the 2023 recruiting class. But when you consider he did not enroll early and take part in spring practice, and he switched from defensive end to tackle, it isn’t surprising we didn’t hear his name mentioned at all last season.

That has certainly changed. Larry Johnson brought up Moore’s name often when he met with the media during spring practice. At 6’6”, 305 pounds, Johnson thinks the redshirt freshman is perfect for the Buckeyes' three-tech position (a defensive tackle who lines up in the gap between the guard and tackle).

Tyleik Williams is entrenched here as the starter, but quality depth is needed if you have the possibility of playing as many as 16 games. My hope is Moore’s pass-rushing skills as a defensive end follow him inside to his new position. Everyone loves a pass-rushing defensive end, but having a guy who can collapse a pocket up the middle is invaluable (think Aaron Donald).


These three may not have grabbed headlines this spring, but they’re poised to contribute in 2024. The importance of the Ohio State football team having quality depth can’t be understated.