|Urban Meyer (AP)|
COLUMBUS — While the competition at quarterback seems to be the pressing issue when evaluating the 2015 Ohio State football team, it is certainly not the only item on the agenda.
Finding play-makers to replace departing stars like Devin Smith, Evan Spencer and Jeff Heuerman is perhaps the most important task this offseason in Columbus.
Sure, the Buckeyes definitely aren't void of play-making talent. They still have the best running back in the country residing on their roster in Ezekiel Elliott. They still have two top NFL prospects junior wide receiver Michael Thomas and junior tight end Nick Vannett, and up-and-coming wideout Corey Smith. And they still have the all-around explosiveness on the edges with receivers Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson.
But Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer doesn't want a handful of play-makers on the roster. He wants 10.
Currently, he has nine — quarterbacks Braxton MIller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, as well as the six aforementioned players.
Who will be the other be? As of now, it looks like sophomore running back Curtis Samuel.
Meyer said while nobody is unseating Elliott in the Buckeyes' backfield, it is essential to get Samuel more than 10 plays a game. So, it is no surprise to see Samuel getting reps as an athlete.
We're taking a look at Curtis Samuel as a receiver/H-back/running back since Ezekiel has missed some time," Meyer said Tuesday. "He (Samuel) is a guy we are looking at as a Top 5 play-maker for us.
"The days of Curtis Samuel playing 10 plays are over. It's our job to get him on the field for 40 or 50 plays."
Meyer also stated a few other names to look at vying for that list, including junior running back Bri'onte Dunn.
"Bri'onte Dunn has got a little momentum going ... " Meyer said. "It is showing on the field. It started with his contributions last year on special teams."
Meyer also mentioned H-back Noah Brown and tight end Marcus Baugh as players to watch as the spring moves forward.
MULTIPLE QUARTERBACKS PLAYING? ... When asked Tuesday if he had thought about playing more than one quarterback this season, Meyer didn't rule it out, but did admit that healthy and reps is the only thing on his mind at this point in time.
"I don't know about (playing multiple quarterbacks); you may have a specialty quarterback," Meyer said. "I've thought about that a little bit, but I think it's one day at a time.
"Let's get Braxton healthy, get J.T. some reps and Cardale has still only played three games."