Ohio State Buckeyes: Connor Crowell

Crowell, O'Connor leaving Ohio State

January, 23, 2013
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An injury that just couldn't be shaken off effectively ended one career at Ohio State. Another kept a coveted recruit from seeing the field with the Buckeyes last season, and his playing career won't continue at Ohio State, either.

Joey O'Connor
Davide De Pas for ESPN.comJoey O'Connor, who redshirted last fall at Ohio State, is transferring. He was the No. 8 offensive guard in the country in the 2012 class coming out of Windsor, Colo.
The school confirmed on Wednesday the parting of ways with two reserves as the offseason program continues and national signing day draws closer, with sophomore linebacker Conner Crowell and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Joey O'Connor no longer members of the team.

Crowell went through two surgeries to correct a nagging lower-leg issue that dated to his high school career in Waldorf, Md., and the school's medical staff would not clear him to return to play for the Buckeyes again after appearing in just three games and recording one tackle in his only season of action last fall. He was a three-star prospect in the 2011 recruiting class.

O'Connor never had a chance to contribute for the Buckeyes after undergoing knee surgery in August 2012. There were concerns about his health before training camp even started, which made him a candidate for a redshirt season even before the medical procedure guaranteed he'd need one. O'Connor originally committed to Penn State but was the first player to back away from a pledge to the school in the wake of coach Joe Paterno's firing and the Jerry Sandusky scandal. In the ESPN rankings, he was Ohio State's fourth-best recruit in coach Urban Meyer's first recruiting class.

Signing day primer: Ohio State 

January, 23, 2013
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Team needs: Ohio State needs a defensive front seven to jell quickly in 2013. The only returning starter from last year’s front seven is Ryan Shazier, and while he’s a great one, he needs some help.

[+] EnlargeEli Woodard
Scott Fink for ESPN.comFive-star cornerback Eli Apple is already enrolled at Ohio State.
The secondary is strong with every player returning, but the defensive line will be incredibly young this season. There’s also a need for a wide receiver. That’s more a numbers game, however.

Help is on the way: Urban Meyer hasn’t messed around in trying to fix the problem. His two-deep chart on defense last season included freshmen Adolphus Washington, Tommy Schutt, Connor Crowell, Camren Williams and Joshua Perry, and Crowell is leaving the program because of medical issues. This year, he has six defensive linemen coming in and another three linebackers.

Buckeyes post updated depth chart

July, 11, 2012
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Ohio State appears to be anticipating Jake Stoneburner and Jack Mewhort returning to the team without a problem. Their spots on top of the Buckeyes depth chart are still waiting for both of them.

Storm Klein's weekend arrest for domestic violence and assault came with a stiffer penalty from coach Urban Meyer.

The spot that used to belong to Klein now has a new owner.

The program posted an updated two-deep on its website reflecting the roster as of Tuesday, and despite a handful of off-the-field issues impacting players expected to contribute to it, the changes were minimal.

Stoneburner remains the projected starter at tight end and Mewhort is listed first at left tackle -- the same positions they held before coach Urban Meyer stripped them off their scholarships for the summer after their misdemeanor arrests in early June.

Likewise, despite a cut tendon from stepping on a piece of glass with a bare foot that required surgery to repair, running back Jordan Hall has not been moved out of the starting spot in the backfield. The 10-week recovery period is expected to keep him out of the first two games of the season, which would likely give backup Carlos Hyde the workload early in the season.

But Klein's dismissal prompted a change in the reserve spot at middle linebacker, with redshirt freshman Connor Crowell sliding up to that spot behind Curtis Grant. Crowell is also listed as a possible backup at outside linebacker, bracketed with Luke Roberts behind starter Ryan Shazier.

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