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
The Buckeyes had a pretty big day this past Wednesday on National Signing Day and we wanted to get everyone’s thoughts about the class. Jeremiah joins us from MOTSAG this week with his two-cents, as well as the gang from 95.5 The GAME, Matt Finkes, Arch Madness, and Adam Sabie.
Which recruit the Buckeyes got signed was the biggest surprise to you and why?
Which recruit do you have a feeling will come in and have an immediate impact? Read More
Let’s talk a little bit about pipelines. No, not those kind- “pipelines” as in high school programs that have a long history of sending kids to a specific University due to good connections between their coaching staffs and administration.
While there are a lot of these for Ohio State, the most easily identifiable is Cleveland Glenville- since early in the 2000s, Coach Ginn has only seen two players from his school who held Ohio State offers choose to go elsewhere. It’s why Friday’s news regarding Chris Worley was awesome, but not surprising.
The understanding of a “pipeline” is what makes today’s announcement regarding the second member of Ohio State’s 2014 class so spectacular. As if it weren’t incredible enough to beat TTUN, knock them out of the ranks of the undefeated, and cost them a possible slot as the #1 team in the nation in basketball, Urban Meyer’s staff has now breached the “pipeline” that Detroit Cass Tech has historically had between that school and Ann Arbor. He joins Glenville’s Marcelys Jones in the 2014 class.
Webb was a participant in this year’s “Friday Night Lights” in Columbus, and was “dominant” in the 1 v 1 drills there. He was offered by both Ohio State and Michigan on the same day.
And they did so in the person of defensive back Damon Webb, a 4 star corner back who has been described as “lock down” in ability. At 6′ and 175 pounds, Webb’s recruitment came to an end at the game today, and he attributes his fit with the OSU Sports Industry degree program, his family’s comfort level with the University and coaching staff, and the persistence of Coach Kerry Coombs as being reasons for the decision.
Coach Coombs, who is notoriously passionate about life in general and Ohio State in particular, visited Cass every month and made an impression on Webb; particularly insightful, given that Coombs will be his position coach in two years.
Damon held offers from just about every school in the B1G as well as Mississippi State, West Virginia, and LSU- he’s expected to be one of the top players in that state up north for the coming season. After the break, check out his junior year highlights- please ignore the logo in the lower right corner: Read More
As if The Game weren’t already primed to be an incredible event, it will be the highlight of Ohio State recruiting for the fall as well.
The names and stars speak for themselves and not to mention the sheer number of high level recruits planning to be in town is unlike any recruiting weekend we have seen in the past. Keep in mind it is only Tuesday so plan for some minor changes throughout the week. Also this is the first step in what will be like a NASCAR speed couple of months following recruiting as things will change and we will get in on some of the top kids in the country.
The “official visits” scheduled at this point are: