“The Fifth…is an old friend and a good friend.” ~ William O. Douglas
William O. Douglas was a former United State Supreme Court Justice, and was referring to the fifth amendment in the United States Constitution. While Justice Douglas was discussing the importance of self-incrimination, Ohio State fans might take these words and think of them in a different context, as they apply to several Ohio State players who are going to use their fifth year of eligibility and compete for the 2017 Buckeyes.
From the vaunted 2013 Ohio State recruiting class, the following players have declared their intentions to use their final year of college eligibility and project as starters in 2017…
Billy Price – Recruited as a defensive lineman, Price was moved to the offensive line as a redshirt freshman in 2014. With the departure of Pat Elflein at center, Price has elected to move from guard to center in 2017.
Marcus Baugh – Baugh had his share of off the field disciplinary issues earlier in his career. With x receptions in 2016, Baugh’s return at tight end solidifies another offensive position.
J.T. Barrett – Many Ohio State fans are conflicted with Barrett’s return at quarterback, as Barrett had accuracy issues in 2016. How much of that was on Barrett, and how much of that was on the previous offensive coaching staff? I am willing to bet on the latter, and see a return to the form of 2014 that had Barrett finish fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
Michael Hill – Ohio State has an abundance of defensive ends, but not a tremendous amount of depth along the interior defensive line. Hill should be part of a rotation at defensive tackle in 2017.
Tyquan Lewis – The return of Lewis in 2017 was a minor surprise; most had Lewis heading to the NFL after a solid 2016. Lewis will headline an impressive group of defensive ends in 2017.
Chris Worley – Worley played well in his first year as a starter at Will linebacker. With the return of Jerome Baker at the Sam linebacker spot, Worley’s return will help to solidify the linebacker position group.
Those six players have declared their intentions of returning. What about the following players who also have another year of eligibility?
Tracy Sprinkle – Sprinkle was lost for the season in the opener against Bowling Green. Will Sprinkle be suiting up for the Buckeyes in 2017?
James Clark – Clark sustained an injury as a true freshman in 2013, and has struggled to make an impact ever since. Will Clark stick it out for another year with the Buckeyes in 2017?
Justice Douglas stated how “The Fifth…is an old friend and a good friend.”. Ohio State fans may be making a similar statement in 2017 about many, if not all, of these Buckeyes.