We’re two weeks into 2014 and we’re still wrapping up 2013. We’ll look at who is staying and who is going, also who is on campus already to get ready for the spring. Plus we’ll have a fun look back for my “best of” 2013 edition that involves music and movies. It’s Wednesday, let’s rumble! (Don’t forget to click anything red for a surprise!)
Who’s in and who’s out?
Since the end of the Orangle Bowl we’ve tried to determine between Ryan Shazier and Braxton Miller who would stay and who was NFL bound. We’ve all weighed in with our own varying opinions and we found out the answers to the question for both last week. In the immediate weekend following the Orange Bowl loss we heard from Ryan Shazier that he would be entering the draft. Later in the week we heard from Braxton Miller that he was staying.
What we didn’t know was that another person who spends his time at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center was also listening to The Clash on his iPod. In a move that seemed like a pretty big surprise, defensive line coach Mike Vrabel announced he will be joining former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien in Houston with the NFL’s Texan’s where O’Brien is now running the show.
I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Vrabel will be missed on the staff. He’ll certainly be missed for his recruiting abilities. Being able to slap three Super Bowl rings onto the kitchen table have a way of impressing high school kids and their families that are making a decision on where to go to school.
It’s just a hunch, but I think ultimately Mike Vrabel wants to be either a head coach in college or a defensive coordinator, maybe even a head coach in the NFL. The path starts with two seasons as a defensive line coach at Ohio State followed by two seasons as a linebackers or defensive line coach with the Houston Texans. You can almost see it playing out. The next natural progression is a defensive coordinator spot somewhere and naturally that is followed by a head coach spot.
Back to Braxton and ahead to 2014
I was really happy to hear that Braxton Miller made the decision to come back to Ohio State for his senior year. I’m sure his taking out an insurance policy which leaves him with just about everything to gain and nothing to lose by coming back.
A lot has been made about his comments regarding being hit and fingers pointed to what will be a rebuilt offensive line in 2014. It’s still early in the offseason, so we’ll get deeper into this later, but it isn’t nearly as bad as people are making it out to be. Taylor Decker returns, Pat Elfflein played big minutes in important games down the stretch and Urban Meyer has recruited this area hard in his first two classes.
Braxton will also have his full complement of weapons to throw to as Devin Smith, Evan Spencer and Jeff Heurmann return. He loses Corey Brown, but will have a seasoned Dontre Wilson to fill the “Percy Harvin” void along with an influx of talent led by Jalin Marshall and James Clark. That all goes without mentioning the committee of running backs that will be fighting to fill the spot left open by the graduation of Carlos Hyde. He’ll have more weapons in numbers and in ability than he has ever had in his career, by a lot.
After the loss in Miami to Clemson, many were ready to jump off a bridge when they looked at the possibilities for 2014. With Braxton Miller still in the program this team has the ability to compete with Michigan State (and beat them) for the Big Ten East title and a return trip trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game. Ultimately, an Ohio State team that finishes 11-1 or even 10-2 and wins the Big Ten Championship game will make a hard argument to be left out of the 4 team playoff that replaces the BCS. And before you scoff at the proposed record, look at the schedule. Yes, they play Virginia Tech and Cincinnati, but like TTUN they get them at home. They have to travel to Penn State, and while Beaver Stadium will likely be insane and filled with emotion, it doesn’t change the talent level on the opposing sideline. The 2014 season will no doubt hinge on the November 8th trip to East Lansing to face the Spartans.
Seven players from the “Dream 14″ recruiting class are already on campus and taking classes. They will participate in spring practice and look to make an impact right away. They are QB Stephen Collier, LB Raekwon McMillan, G Marcelys Jones, OT Kyle Trout, WR Johnnie Dixon, K Sean Nuernberger and WR Curtis Samuel.
Who can make an impact immediately? Without a question you have to look at 5 star linebacker Raekwon McMilland and 5 star wide receiver Johnnie Dixon. I’d be shocked if we didn’t hear their names a lot during the Scarlet and Grey game.
With Drew Basil gone to graduation, Sean Neurnberger will have every opportunity to earn the kicking duties.
One to keep a close eye on is Curtis Samuel. Prior to McMillan and Dixon’s late announcements he was easily the most talked about recruit in the class for his athletic ability and speed. Watching highlight films he fits the mild of Dontre Wilson. Of course, he’ll start out behind Wilson on the depth chart and taking reps away from him will be no easy task.
2013 “Best of”
We all love going to the movies. It’s never easy to pick a best movie for a whole year, but I’ll give it a shot.
The obvious pick: Metallica Through The Never. It’s a never done before 3D/Imax concert film with a narrative to partner with it. The camera angles are the first of their kind giving you a real feel of what it is like being on the stage not just watching someone on it. The story that goes along with the songs and cuts into the concert footage is a little out there, but it’s fun to follow along nonetheless. And of course, it’s Metallica, the certified kings of taking chances and pushing the limits.
Prisoners was a suspense thriller with easily the best ending of anything I saw this past year.
Captain Phillips was intense, even though you know how it ends.
It didn’t get much funnier than This Is The End.
Fruitvale Station was easily the “realist” movie of the year. The acting was incredible, the sets made it all feel very real and the story is heartbreaking. It’s another true story, like Captain Phillips, bu this one really makes you think and pulls at your insides. Just an incredible film.
As for music, two of my favorites released new albums in 2013 and they did not disappoint. Volbeat released Outlaw Gentleman and Shady Ladies and Ghost BC released Infestassumum. Coincidentally both came out in April.
As much as I love the thrash and chug of Volbeat, “Infestussumum” gets the award for album of the year. I cannot stop listening to it and have seen them play the majority of it live. It is a masterpiece. The Ghost sound is like a beefed up Blue Oyster Cult with bad intentions and I can’t get enough of it. Seeing Ghost live is an experience all rock fans should have. The guitar sound is raw, heavy and full of incredible chunk. Check out “Monstance Clock” for a sample of Infestussumum. Just be warned: If you have never seen them, they look… different.
Favorite live music moments of 2013: There were so many! It seemed like 2013 was the summer that everyone toured America.
Of the entire weekend, Sunday’s lineup at 2013′s Rock on the Range here in Columbus was one to be remembered. In succession my group and I took in Ghost BC, spoke to and then saw Volbeat, saw Alice in Chains for the first time and closed the night with Soundgarden.
I got to see The Killers for the first time live! And let me tell you, they did NOT disappoint!
Of course, Metallica drilled us at Orion Music and More on Belle Isle in Detroit. Playing the Sunday night headlining slot of their own festival, the ‘tallica boys blasted through an almost two and half hour set that had a little bit of everything spanning all their albums.
Through it all, the hands down highlight of 2013 was the “Dehaan” set on Saturday at Orion Music and More. To recap: 2013 marked the 30th anniversary of Metallica’s thrash classic and debut album Kill’em All. While they were not scheduled to perform on the first day of the festival, curiously a band nobody had ever heard of called “Dehaan” was scheduled for an afternoon slot on one of the secondary stages. Rumors began flying on Friday night that “Dehaan” (named after the only real actor in Metallica: Through The Never, Dane Dehaan) was actually Metallica and that they would be performing Kill’em All in it’s entirety as a surprise to the fans to celebrate the anniversary.
To make a long story short, it all turned out to be true and it was epic in every way possible. And that will wrap up this weeks WNR and lead us into our Metallica Live Track of the Year for 2013, The Four Horsemen live from Orion Music and More 2013!!