It’s a one game season, and the Boilermakers are in the sights
Lots of news and notes to catch you up on before Walter White gets back to work.
Absent- Donovan Munger has missed most of camp thus far with some academic issues, and now has a medical (blood clot?) that will see him redshirting for this season. Najee Murray was also not present today, having been suspended for the team for at least the duration of training camp for a violation of team rules. Lots of speculation on this one, but at this point it’s only speculation.
So here’s the thing.
The story of the day yesterday was the first episode of All Access, a behind the scenes look at the Buckeye program under the new regime.
But… in a moment of weakness, I DVR’d it And watched it.
And loved ever second.
How can you hate quotes like “Abso-smurfly”, “Bozo the freakin’ clown”, “I’m glad you’re a Buckeye, bro…”, “I like coaching you…” and other admonitions to play “hungry” and “angry”.
And the precision of the offensive staff’s work, the pride that Coach Mariotti puts into his time with the team, and the focus and plan that Coach Meyer is instilling into the team… it’s a really good piece. If you missed it and don’t mind the spoilers, the gang at LGHL have a really good review with picture pages and everything.
I’d be really excited about this, to be honest, if all things were equal. Given the bad PR that my favorite program received over the past few years for numerous self inflicted wounds, it’s great to get excited about OSU football again- and to see a national response (including Southern Cal and Clemson recruits commenting on it) that was pretty positive.
But, I’ll be honest- It’s still hard for me to not be wary about this series. You kick a dog and reach to pet him, he’ll wince and cower even if he lets you stroke his head again. Given what we know about ESPN’s agenda (Entertainment Sports Programming Network), it safe to see that they are interested in a narrative of redemption up until the point that they bang the drums marking a fall from grace.
Just watch the history- 2002 upset their narrative, and then the 2003 Clarett story was a bottom. The 2006 season’s coverage was the apex of good vibes, and then this past year seems to be yet another trough in their coverage- again, a story that Ohio State wrote for itself, but one that got presented over and over and over again on the largest stage while others were way way off Broadway in Coral Gables and Columbia and Chapel Hill.
So- we’ll watch (yup) and see. And, if nothing else, this will give us the chance to celebrate the splendor and power of an Ohio State team on a very particular mission.
Buckle Buckeye up.
After a long hiatus, it’s time to jump back in with some recruiting talk.
Adverse circumstances surrounding the program have obviously impacted recruiting for months, but the 2012 class still has an opportunity to be pretty darn good.
The key will be finishing strong, and the Buckeyes look to be in a great position to do just that.
The biggest concern, as it has been for months, continues to be along the offensive line. Regardless of how the ’12 class finishes, the depth issues there may not be resolved until the ink is dry on the ’13 class.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, here is a look at how the 2012 class will wind down. Read More
Bogard is a Glenville kid who has not taken the typical Glenville route to Ohio State.
First, he was much more open about strongly favoring Ohio State throughout the process than Glenville kids typically are (even though he did throw out the “no favorites, open to all schools” line a few times). Obviously, committing this early also bucks a trend with a lot of Glenville kids who wait until the very end of the recruiting process to officially make a decision.
I’m not sure what motivated Devan to deviate from the typical Glenville path and jump the gun with his commitment to the Buckeyes, but obviously it is a welcome one.
Bogard is one of the top players in Ohio in 2012 who comes from a school that has produced several outstanding defensive backs for the Buckeyes in the past (Donte Whitner, Jermale Hines).
Like Whitner and Hines, Bogard will likely play safety in Columbus.
He combines the speed and explosiveness that you expect from an elite defensive back prospect with a great nose for the football. He is not afraid of contact and is outstanding in run support.
Like all commitments that have been made during this tumultuous time, you really have to appreciate Bogard’s dedication to being a Buckeye. He says Ohio State is “family” and he isn’t affected by the NCAA hearing at all.
It seemed like the 2012 class was on hold or in reverse until the NCAA hearing is complete and Ohio State secures a long term head coach, but this commitment reverses that trend somewhat, which is nice to see.
In the grand scheme of the 2012 class, we will still likely have to wait until much closer to February to really know how things will turn out, but in the meantime, here’s to a bit of good news to start off the week.
Highlights after the jump. Read More
As summer camps approach, the Ohio State coaching staff will be looking to continue narrowing down their top targets in the 2012 class.
While they have already seen many players at camp in previous years, they will get one last one-on-one evaluation period before making the final push for their top targets over the summer and fall.
A lot can happen between a players junior and senior years of high school, and as always, some surprise camp offers will likely emerge.
Most of the time, the camp offers replace national prospects that received token early offers. More often than not, the chances of landing some of the national prospects are slim to none from the beginning. You offer just to be sure and to establish contact with coaches and programs around the country.
At this point, the staff has a good idea of the national prospects with legitimate interest, making it possible to evaluate players with an eye on replacing current offers with no interest in the Buckeyes.
Before summer camp evaluations and a new round of offers, here is a look at Ohio State’s early offers that they still have an above average shot at landing. Read More
Welcome back to another recruiting update. Ohio State hasn’t slowed down in terms of new verbal offers for players, which leaves us with plenty to talk about after the jump. Before we get to that, however, I’d like to address one of the emerging story lines of this recruiting class: Michigan carpet bombing the state of Ohio with offers.
Jim Tressel and his staff pride themselves on being selective with their offers and landing a high percentage of players that they target. In contrast, Hoke and his staff have been pretty blatant about throwing offers out to seemingly every Ohio prospect possible.
In a way, this is the perfect strategy for them. It is a fact that the clowns from Ann Arbor would be nothing without Ohio players and coaches saving them from their own mediocrity. Brady Hoke, being the true Michigan man that he is, understands that he is worthless without Ohio. So what better way to turn the program around than raiding an unbelievably talented 2012 crop of Buckeyes?
We have talked before about how there is no way Ohio State will keep all of the in-state talent in this recruiting class. The fence around the state will be knocked over big time and other schools will reap the benefits… at least for one year.
Ohio State has offered approximately 34 players in the 2012 class thus far. In contrast, Michigan has thrown out at least twice as many offers, including hitting Ohio hard. It may be a good strategy for them, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. The worst part will be when they pull an Ohio player or ten, which is inevitable. They will claim a “victory” over Ohio State and brag about it in their typical arrogant manner.
It will be dreadfully annoying.
That being said, Ohio State and the coaches can only take care of their recruiting business, whatever happens at other schools is largely up to us fans to deal with… so prepare yourselves accordingly.
The most important thing to remember is that when you throw out 100 offers, which Michigan is well on their way to hitting, you are only expecting to land about 25% of those offers. That’s a pretty embarrassing admission of your lack of appeal, and something that Ron Zook is infamous for at Illinois. So congratulations Michigan, you have turned into the recruiting equivalent of the Illini.
It is still early in the recruiting season so there is not much going on outside of verbal offers, but Ohio State has been throwing them out at a relatively fast clip. The early offers in general and the newest ones in particular confirm two things we already knew about the 2012 class.
First, the Buckeyes are going after offensive tackles hard. Second, the Buckeyes are looking across the country (particularly for defensive backs) before they turn their attention to Ohio players. It looks like Tressel and company will take their time (possibly waiting until camp) to sort out who they will target in-state… beyond the ones already offered of course.
This strategy may seem odd considering the amount of talent in Ohio, but with the built-in advantage the Buckeyes have (not the least of which is Tressel’s relationship with high school coaches across the state), I am sure the staff knows exactly what they are doing.
The other thing worth noting is that even though there are only 15 seniors scheduled to graduate following the 2011 season, it seems highly likely that the 2012 class will approach 20 players (give or take). The off-season is a long one, and transfers or other forms of attrition will likely open up some addition spots in the class.
Whether you are tracking early verbal offers, Ohio prospects waiting for offers, or the number of spots available in the class, 2012 recruiting will keep us entertained for months and months.
Read on for updates to the 2012 big board.