A lot has changed in the past two years in Columbus. The Urban Meyer Era for the Ohio State Football program as been a success up to this point, on multiple levels. In his short time as the leader of the Scarlet and Gray Brigade, Meyer has changed the outlook of the program. He’s changed the literal, visual look as well.
Every true freshman starts off camp with a black stripe on their helmet, signifying their status on the team. In order to lose that stripe, one must show they deserve to be a true member of the Buckeyes by proving themselves to the coaching staff in the opening days of camp. Technically the freshman are already on the team, but the removal of their black stripe is a right of passage for the players. In the eyes of the coaching staff, they are then worthy to don the Scarlet and Gray in Ohio Stadium.
The first 2013 freshman to lose his stripe was a wide receiver. The obvious thought would be WR/RB Dontre Wilson, seeing as he’s made quite the impression on QB Braxton Miller. However, Wilson was not the first. The honor went to the 6-foot-3, 205 pound walk on Joe Ramstetter. Even though Ramstetter is only projected to contribute on special teams, he was able to set the tone early for what it would take to become a true-freshman Buckeye.
Ohio State’s Texas Twosome was next to make the headlines. Wilson was the second to lose his stripe, shortly followed by LB Mike Mitchell. Early reports show Wilson with the biggest upside, thanks to his speed and ability to play a Percy Harvin-esque roll in Meyer’s spread offense. Mitchell, a 4-star recruit out of high school, is expected to add depth to the light and vulnerable linebacker position on defense.
The list got longer today, as Coach Meyer removed stripes from RB Ezekiel Elliott and DL Joey Bosa. Elliott and Bosa lost their stripes in the morning practice of today’s two-a-day, so be prepared to see more stripes removed in the afternoon portion!
Who will be the next 2013 Buckeye to lose their stripe? We’ll find out this week as Ohio State takes to the field with nine practices in a six day span. Who do you think will lose their stripe next? Share and comment with your predictions!