Well, it’s certainly been an… interesting… day as far as news goes. But before we dive into the dregs of college sports (and those who “oversee” it), let’s enjoy the fact that it’s finally FOOTBAW! season. Here’s your “pump up”/palate cleanser before the season kicks off.
There is no doubt the 2013 Ohio State Buckeye football team has all the tools to be something special. Sixteen starters return from last season under the best coaching staff in the nation. This year’s recruiting class adds a speed aspect to the game that was lacking during the undefeated 2012 campaign. The defense returns some of the best play makers in the conference. The offense is led by the B1G Offensive Player of the Year at quarterback. The Buckeyes are ranked as the #2 team in the nation.
Yet one major question still surrounds this team as we head into the first game of the season. Which players will step into the role of team leader?
Urban Meyer knows the answer.
The bottom line to success in 2013 begins and ends up front on the offensive line.
80 starts return to a front five that improved drastically throughout last season. Led by team captain Jack Mewhort, the Buckeye offensive line led the offense to 242 rushing yards per game and 37 points per game. Marcus Hall, Mewhort, Andrew Norwell, and Corey Linsley bought into what coach Ed Warinner was selling.
And now, Ohio State’s run game coordinator believes that this unit is one of, if not the best in the nation.
After a weekend filled with excitement and disappointment, it’s a bit of a quiet mood at tBBC headquarters. We like baseball, and know that OSU sports are amazing even if not the “got to be on television” variety, but I’d be lying if I didn’t confess that there’s a bit of a let down these days. Ah well… only two songs possible for today’s soundtrack. Onward.
Salutations from our nation’s 48th state, where I currently find myself vacating on the same road that I live by several hours to the west. Yup, this is as close to Rich Rod as I’ll ever get… probably for the best. Knowing that we were headed this way the wife let me plan our trip around two sacred OSU sites, although she did boycott one of my musical selections for the journey. Ah, well… at least she let me watch the 2002 game on the BTN this evening.
This “update” seems to be merely a reflection of Coach Meyer’s decisions regarding Klein’s actions, and there may not be any more to read into it. Again, Urban stated at the end of spring practice that the chart would be set- fall camp was about preparation and not position battles.
With spring practice well underway and the spring game quickly approaching, it is time to move from “way too early looks” at each position into some more informed analysis based on practice reports.
[Note: I apologize for not getting to the defensive backs in my “way too early looks”.]
This offseason has been a tumultuous one to say the least. The tattoo revelations leading up to the Sugar Bowl and the resulting suspensions guaranteed a shadow over the off season. The additional news concerning Jim Tressel didn’t exactly make that shadow go away.
Fortunately, time heals all wounds, and cracking pads on the field helps to speed up that process- at least for me. After some time off from writing following the Tressel news conference (which is part of the reason why I didn’t get to the DBs), my enthusiasm for football is back in full swing.
So what follows will not only be a look at the DBs for the first time, but also a review of all of the position groups with some updated thoughts based on news from practice. I apologize ahead of time if this ends up being lengthy.
My rebuttal: FOOTBALL!
My attitude this offseason has always been that no matter what happens, when the Buckeyes take care of business on the field everything else will fade into the background.
Redemption through wins.
Off field BS be damned.
Here is a look at how each position is looking heading into the spring game.
As promised here is a combined recap of the 3 High school all-star games that we previewed. Lots and lots to talk about.
Offense / Defense All-American Bowl
In the game that showcased a high number of Buckeye commits our guys really showed out. Chase Farris was named the defensive MVP for his play on the defensive line. Kenny Hayes was probably one of the top 3 most recognizable recruits in the game and was talked about all week by the experts. He showed why by performing well in the game. These two were not the only D-line commits to perform well in all-star games, as we will get to further down.
Derjuan Gambrell scored from the defensive side of the ball as he was able to pick up a fumble and take it back 28 yds to the house. Ron Tanner and Jeremy Cash also made appearances in this game, but I have not heard reports on their play.
On offense, Nick Vannett, who is a guy that many haven’t talked much about, was very impressive in the game. After seeing him this season and hearing how impressive he looked in the game, I for one am really excited about the skill set he brings to Columbus. He follows in the footsteps of other Ohio State TE’s that will pride themselves on blocking and have the ability with their huge frame to make plays down the field.
Tommy Brown; not much news during the week or the game. He will most likely be a red-shirt and fall into the two deep on the inside in a couple years.
The one guy from Ohio that really showed out was Cardale Jones. He threw for 125 yds, 2 scores, and ran for another. While he has been hot and cold all year, it really comes down to a test score; If he can qualify, we will find room for him I think. I don’t see Braxton red-shirting so there could be at least a year of seperation, and if Braxton turns out to be the star that many believe he will be, there is an opportunity that he leaves early and gives Jones 2 year. If nothing else, Jones looks like he has the ability to move out to WR for certain plays, especially in the red-zone.
His teammate Shane Wynn also performed well. He scored a TD and had a block that left many talking as he led the QB to the endzone. He is tiny, but we might regret this one in a couple years in terms of a weapon we really could have used. I’m not sure why we are taking a pass on this one, although there have been rumors of grades, but I hate to speculate. Eilar Hardy and Jarrett Grace are two other guys that played in this game that we might regret passing on in a couple years as well.
Checking in with a preview of the Offense / Defense Bowl being played Dec. 31 @ 4. Will be held in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. TV will only be Comcast in the South.
Practices have been delayed because of players not arriving on time, due to the weather on the east coast. We could see a very sloppy game because of the lack of practice, even moreso than usual in these all-star games.
“All Eyes on OSU” is one of the storylines for this game. With 7 committs playing in the game and 6 of them on East team:
On the West will be Florida safety Jeremy Cash. The game looks to have a heavy Buckeye flavor.
The game itself has a large Ohio flavor. In addition to the 6 Buckeye commits from Ohio, Cleveland Glenville standouts Shane Wynn and Cardale Jones will suit up for the West team. They were once talked about as being in the running or having offers from Ohio State, but that talk has really died in the past month or so.
Two of my favorite players from Ohio that were not offered by Ohio State are both Notre Dame commitments- Pickerington safety Eilar Hardy and Cincy Colerain LB Jarret Grace, also suiting up for the West side.
The others from Ohio are Westerville OL Ray Ball, who has committed to play at Wisconsin. Strongsville TE Ray Hamilton Brad Carrico has committed to play at Notre Dame. Carrico is the only Ohio player playing for the East team. In total that makes 13 players from the state of Ohio.
Look for a fun and exciting game with a lot of local talent and stay tuned for a post game write up. In the meantime check out this link for updates on practices and any updates on our recruits from our friends at Buckeyeplanet.com.
Alternative title for this update: Christmas in June or The Homestretch.
With the commitment of legacy WR Evan Spencer on Saturday, the class of 2011 has grown to 13 players. That means that the magic number for the rest of the class is 9 (or so I have read). What happens with the last 9 scholarships? that is what I am here to talk about.
Breaking News: Joel Hale has committed to the Buckeyes as I put the final touches on this post. I will leave the text the same, mostly so I look smart.
First I’d like to elaborate on some things from my last recruiting update.
Most importantly, I want to retract my position that Trey DePriest is an “absolute must get” for this class. I based that designation mostly on the fact that if Ohio State lost DePriest to Alabama, that would be two years in a row that the top LB in Ohio left the state for college.
Upon further examination, who cares?
First, Ohio State is absolutely loaded at LB and will be for several years to come, making the position less than a priority for this class.
Second, the way this class is shaping up, Ohio State may have its choice of premier players. This means two things. One, players that wait until signing day may not have a scholarship waiting for them, even if their name is DePriest. Two, since LB is not an area of need at the moment, why not give that extra spot to a premiere player at a position that Ohio State is a little thinner at.
Third, I get a generally bad feeling about the recruitment. When a kid wavers this much early on, it does not lead to good things for Ohio State in most cases. I would love to see DePriest in scarlet and gray, but in situations like this it is better to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. DePriest is an absolute wild card in this recruiting class, but from what I can tell things just aren’t looking good for Ohio State here.
The moral of the story is that DePriest is a wild card for this class, and not an ‘absolute must get’ like I said before.