Ohio State Football: Experienced Secondary Could Be Buckeyes' X-Factor on D

Luke Pashke@@luke_pashkeCorrespondent IApril 22, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 1:  Bradley Roby #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates scoring a touchdown after Zac Murphy #45 of the Miami Redhawks fumbled a punt during the third quarter on September 1, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Miami 56-10. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Buckeyes' spring session brought with it a lot of hype for their young defensive line.

Young studs like Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington shined throughout and have left their coaching staff feeling quite confident in their new defensive front. Who could blame them?

Spence is a former 5-star defensive end ranking as the top one in his class in 2011. As a freshman, the extremely athletic end showed promise on the field and has proved this spring that he can wreak havoc in the backfield.

Washington was another highly touted defensive end in high school. The sophomore arrived at Ohio State as a defensive end but has now bulked up to nearly 300 pounds. While bulking up, Washington managed to maintain his athleticism and has proved to be an effective pass-rusher as well.

However, every excellent pass-rushing team needs a solid secondary. The Buckeyes will miss Travis Howard's experience at CB next year, but there will still be plenty of talent in the secondary.

Bradley Roby returns after an outstanding season in 2012. The redshirt sophomore had two interceptions, 17 pass deflections, 40 solo tackles and a defensive touchdown. Longtime starter CJ Barnett also returns at safety with plenty of on-field experience.

At the other safety position, Christian Bryant roams the gridiron with a two years of playing time in his career in Columbus. Over the years, the senior has become more and more mature with his decision-making, which when matched with his playmaking ability can make him a game-changing player.

As for the other cornerback position, the Buckeyes are extremely deep, with Doran Grant likely to get the nod at starter. The product out of Akron, Ohio has performed well when given the chance and should step in nicely.

All in all, the Buckeyes should have a pretty solid secondary. This will lead to some serious time spent in the pocket for opposing quarterbacks. This serious time will include pass-rushing studs like Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Michael Bennett rushing the passer relentlessly. 

Perhaps this defensive line is slightly unproven against the run, but they have linemen who should be effective most of the time. One thing's for sure, though: With the help of an experienced and talented secondary, this defensive line will be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.