I wanted to talk about some of the talent we have on defense and how the Buckeyes’ new defensive staff will bring the most out of this talented young roster. This will be a two part article as I look at the linebackers and defensive backs.
Before I get into the staff’s new package and way of thinking defensively, I want to say something about our old “bend but don’t break” defensive package. While it was effective for many years, I think it’s just a little too passive with the development of College Football and all the spread offenses the past 5-10 years. With that being said, there is still a place for it, but that would be more for situational uses.
The one issue the Buckeyes could run into is not ensuring the defense has a true understanding of the scheme while keeping it as fresh in their minds as possible, which could turn into a nightmare. This is a good defense to play when the Buckeyes have a sizable lead that does not warrant the old “Pre-Vent defense” (which I absolutely loath).
Under the former defensive staff, our defense (attempted) to limit offenses with gadget plays or a breakdown in the scheme as their only options to move the ball. It was also easy to man up on receivers when you were giving such a cushion to the WR’s. The Buckeyes would just seek a big safety to play as the fifth defensive back, while removing a LB from the field.
That brings me to Coach Ash and his “Walkout Linebacker” role, which will be asked to do an awful lot. Finding this type of player to successfully play this position is going to take some serious evaluating and recruiting. This player must be linebacker sized and will be expected to step out and cover the slot receiver at times.
Needless to say, most linebackers do not excel in coverage, so again this will need to be a special player with speed. I mean if linebackers were that good in coverage, you would see the death of the nickel and dime packages as teams would never get out of their base defense. This position needs a new, much more “Badass” name….I think that would work right there as they will need to be one to be successful.
This could turn into a very big positive for the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail as well. How great of a selling point: if you become a Buckeye, you will be able to compete for the “Badass” position and stay on the field all three downs. If you think about NFL teams and what they are looking for, a “three-down linebacker” is one (see Seattle Seahawks). That is really what it will take to be a high first round draft pick as a linebacker going forward; He must be able to cover as he will be expected to stay on the field for all three downs. Read More
With all the social media and recruiting websites out there, I must admit that I have issues with recruiting rankings.
I mean the kids love it, but to me it just does not matter as much as The Ohio State coaches evaluation of said recruits.
I believe in most cases, coaches recruit to fill specific needs in regards to the depth chart.
With that being said, you will always have a handful of players you give scholarships regardless. Once you get to a certain point in your class though — just like the NFL draft – you take the best available players and let them earn a spot on the depth chart.
Now I want to stress that in the same breath, the staff needs to get the best players in Ohio every year. This keeps the border protected around the Buckeye State and somewhat makes it a huge pipeline.
Who I would love to see be the next five commitments to The Ohio State in the class of 2015?
Here is my list, or as we called it in the Air Force, my “Dream Sheet”.
1. Josh Sweat, DE, Oscar Smith HS, Chesapeake, VA. — Sweat has drawn comparisons to Jadeveon Clowning due to his freakish athletic ability and sudden burst. Last year, the 6’4’’, 240-pound All-American put himself at the center of the national recruiting radar, when he totaled a whopping 22 sacks and 94 tackles, including 31 tackles for loss. Although it’s going to be a dogfight to land this recruit, he did enjoy his visit to Ohio State.
Only question left is, does Ohio State get an Official Visit? It also helps that Hilliard and Cornell are recruiting dynamos.
For the second time in as many games, the Buckeyes will play a new member of the B1G. After a bye week after their trip to Maryland, the Bucks return back home to play Rutgers. Rutgers will be coming off a bye week themselves and will already have two B1G games (Penn State/Michigan) under their belts when they play their first B1G road game. Rutgers will also be playing in their third conference in as many years (Big East, AAC, B1G) and are coming off of a 6-7 season that saw them lost to Notre Dame in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
Getting nine starters back on offense is a big positive and there are a lot of developing names on defense, but this team will have to improve significantly across the board if it wants to return to the postseason as a B1G representative. Head coach Kyle Flood is hoping that a reworked coaching staff will provide the spark needed to compete at a higher level in ’14.
Kyle Flood totally overhauled his coaching staff this offseason, bringing in offensive guru Ralph Friedgen to run the offense. His first order of business is to find a stabilizing force under center for the Knights after a season in which Rutgers quarterbacks threw 22 interceptions and just 22 touchdowns. This is why Flood has opened up the position battle this spring despite Gary Nova (2,159 yds, 18 TDs, 14 INTs) returning after starting most of last year (until the final three games). Read More
The Cleveland Browns have a problem on their hands and it is only getting worse. When they drafted Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft 2 years ago they were aware of his issues.
Now the NFL’s top receiver in 2013 is facing a potential one year suspension for breaking the leagues substance abuse policy and this past holiday weekend managed to get himself thrown into a Raleigh, North Carolina jail cell for a DWI charge.
Despite the issues, it makes absolutely no sense to release Gordon from the team. In all aspects of the situation, everyone comes out a loser if he is cut. Let me explain.
Gordon came to the Browns in the spring of 2012 having not played a down since late 2010. After being suspended indefinitely and eventually kicked off the team at Baylor by head coach Art Briles, Gordon attempted to transfer to Utah to continue his career. Unfortunately he didn’t file papers in a timely manner and was denied the ability to play in 2011, which forced his entrance into the NFL’s supplemental draft in the summer of 2012. Read More
Thanks for popping by on a Wednesday morning, even if the news for today probably won’t be as exciting as it was seven days ago. Thanks, too, for your patience with the website this week… the people responsible for the tech glitches have been appropriately dealt with. Given our lead bullet point today, here’s your Wednesday Musical Distraction.
Ohio State realizes just how important recruiting and developing depth. And after years of linebacker issues tormenting Ohio State because of injuries, attrition, lack of development and a couple recruiting misses; the Buckeyes seem to be working hard at repairing the problem. Maybe over-repairing? I do not believe there is such a thing.
The great thing with the linebacker position is they can usually be moved to another position if better suited. They don’t have to stay at linebacker to contribute. If they have the frame to add size, they can move to a pass-rushing defensive end spot. If they are a “tweener” and fast enough, they can slide to safety.
If they’re versatile enough, they can move over to tight end (Sam Hubbard). And no matter what, they are almost always an asset on special teams, regardless of their position. In the 2015 class, the Buckeyes have already earned verbal commitments from Hilliard and from Dublin’s Nick Conner.
Benedictine’s Jerome Baker moved up his decision to this Friday, July 11th.
Could he be next?
|Well, the ol’ gray box of foreboding is back… happy offseason.As first reported by Eleven Warriors’ Kyle Rowland, Ohio State defensive lineman was arrested on Friday following an altercation at a bar.
The Elyria High School graduate is a red-shirt freshman on the football team, and was expected to work towards playing time in a very deep position group.
The initial reports indicated that Sprinkle has been suspended indefinitely; Ohio State representatives could only confirm the incident and did not make any statements regarding Sprinkle’s current status with the team.
Given the suspensions of Roby and Hyde last year in situations where there was no follow up from law enforcement, it’s not hard to project that this may be a likely response from Coach Meyer.
While this initially was perceived as a “bar fight” situation, the Lorraine County Chronicle is reporting something much more serious:
We’ll keep this post updated as news becomes available.
UPDATE: 7.6.14 AM- The reports of heroin are being recanted, although drugs and paraphernalia are still a part of the charges according to the Chronicle. Sprinkle is expected in court on Monday.
In addition, Sprinkle was suspended from the football program as of Sunday morning, according to OSU staff. His situation will be reviewed once any legal aspects are concluded.
Additionally, the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Sprinkle was involved in a large fight outside of a Lorain nightclub, and was placed in the back of a squad car upon arrest. When he was moved to another vehicle, two bags of cocaine were found stuffed beneath the back seat of the first car.
UPDATE: 7.7.14 AM- Sprinkle pled “not guilty” this morning in court, and was released on $2000 bond; his pre-trial hearing is scheduled for July 31, 2014.
According to an Ohio State spokesperson,
In looking at the police report of the incident, it sounds as if Sprinkle had a chance to do exactly as he’d been instructed and walk away from the incident, but chose not to do so. Among the issues that this situation will create with him and his head coach, you’ve got to think that failure to do so will be way at the top of the list.