With the passing of the Jan. 14 deadline, five Ohio State players have decided to end their college careers early to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
With redshirt senior wide receivers Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon and redshirt senior linebacker Dante Booker also departing Ohio State, the Buckeyes have to do what it has to do at this time every season: Put a plan in to replace those who are leaving.
The Buckeyes have had seven players selected in the draft in each of the past two seasons, as well as at least five players selected in each draft since 2014.
For many of the positions, there seems to be a clear successor.
Redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins transformed himself from a backup quarterback behind both J.T. Barrett into a Heisman finalist and one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft after just one season as a starter.
But the team already has a plan in place to replace Haskins behind center. Former five-star recruit and Georgia quarterback Justin Fields transferred to Ohio State, igniting what could be a spring quarterback battle with redshirt freshman Tate Martell.
Martell has placed his name in the NCAA transfer portal, allowing him to talk with other programs about transferring.
Junior offensive lineman Michael Jordan also announced he would leave for the NFL, joining redshirt seniors Demetrius Knox and Malcolm Pridgeon and senior Isaiah Prince on the Ohio State offensive line.
After starting for Knox in the Big Ten Championship and the Rose Bowl, redshirt freshman Wyatt Davis is likely to take over at right guard while redshirt freshman Josh Myers will likely start at center. On the outside, with sophomore Thayer Munford returning, Ohio State will likely have an open spot with Prince’s departure, leaving players such as freshman Nicholas Petit-Frere with an opportunity to start.
Even with the loss of Campbell, McLaurin and Dixon, redshirt junior K.J. Hill announced he would stay for a fifth year, playing alongside junior receivers Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor.
Ohio State will also lose redshirt junior running back Mike Weber, who will cede his carries to co-starter and former 1,000-yard running back J.K. Dobbins, a sophomore, in the backfield.
Other than redshirt junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones and junior defensive end Nick Bosa, who announced early on their intentions of leaving for the NFL, many members of the Ohio State defense have elected to stay.
Junior safety and team captain Jordan Fuller announced shortly after the Rose Bowl that he would return to the Buckeyes for his final season, along with redshirt junior cornerback Damon Arnette.
By the time of publication, Ohio State redshirt junior cornerback Kendall Sheffield had not announced his decision to either remain with the Buckeyes for his fifth season or declare for the draft.
Even if Sheffield were to leave for the NFL, Ohio State would have depth at the cornerback position, with redshirt freshman Shaun Wade and sophomore Jeffrey Okudah.
And even with the losses in personnel, Ryan Day, much like his transition from offensive coordinator to head coach, seems to have a succession plan in place.