DE JACK SAWYER
Five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer showed out in the spring game after impressing throughout the prior three months, and there’s no way Larry Johnson can keep him off the field as much as he does most true freshmen.
RB TREVEYON HENDERSON
With Master Teague and Miyan Williams returning, TreVeyon Henderson might not start on Sept. 2, but he certainly figures to play a lot as a true freshman. While there’s plenty of depth in the tailback room, nobody has the skill set that he possesses as the No. 1 running back recruit in the country.
QB QUINN EWERS
After electing to skip his senior season of high school and reclassify to the 2022 recruiting class, it’s unlikely Quinn Ewers sees much meaningful playing time in 2021, especially early in the season. But Ewers is the highest-rated quarterback prospect ever to sign with the Buckeyes for a reason and could force himself onto the field.
DE J.T. TUIMOLOAU
There’s a reason J.T. Tuimoloau is Ohio State’s highest-rated recruit in the modern era. He’s got unnatural size, athleticism and talent at the defensive end position. Even though he didn’t even sign with the team until early July, he will be nearly impossible to keep off the field in 2021.
WR EMEKA EGBUKA
The top-ranked wide receiver recruit in the country appears dead-set on ending up as Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s backup in the slot and it would be a genuine shock if he’s outside of the two-deep depth chart by the time the first game rolls around. Emeka Egbuka is as physically ready to play right away as any wide receiver who has come through Columbus in recent years.
WR MARVIN HARRISON JR.
Even before spring camp began, Ryan Day touted Marvin Harrison’s physical progress, saying he “looked like a whole different person” when he showed up in January. Then the work began, and it became evident that he’s going to play right away. He’s currently projected as Garrett Wilson’s backup at X-receiver.
QB KYLE MCCORD
Unless C.J. Stroud suffers an injury, it’s unlikely Kyle McCord will start or see meaningful playing time. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see him on the field in some capacity this season, even if it’s late in a blowout game.
P JESSE MIRCO
Provided Jesse Mirco beats Michael O’Shaughnessy for the opening left by Drue Chrisman, he’ll be Ohio State’s punter, likely for four years.