Jim has got this week’s practices covered, so here’s the other news that you may have missed.
Former Buckeye News
Don’t forget to enter tBBC’s contest for a chance to win your own gear from Time & Change Clothiers, and to get a discount on your tailgate threads for the Akron game. Note: ability to unload on receivers coming across the middle not included.
After much speculation and rumors, the article that possibly expedited the end of the Ohio State careers of Jim Tressel (and Terrelle Pryor?) went online at Sports Illustrated this evening.
In it, author George Dohrmann raps up a six week investigation into Ohio State football and other aspects of life in the WHAC. As you can imagine, it’s not flattering.
Sports Illustrated is alleging that the number of student athletes who have exchanged memorabilia for tattoos is actually 28, and not the 6 that were originally named. After interviewing former employees at two Columbus area tattoo parlors, this number also includes nine Buckeyes currently with the program- Jamaal Berry, C.J. Barnett, Bo DeLande, Dorian Bell, Zach Domicone, John Simon, Storm Klein, Etienne Sabino, and Nathan Williams
Also in the piece, SI alleges that some of the exchanges of memorabilia was for marijuana, and that players often partook while they were at the various tattoo establishments.
The biggest recruiting news since our last update has been Ohio players lacking offers committing to other schools (see the “dropped” list below) . Michigan in particular has been cleaning up with players that Ohio State has not been pursuing heavily in Ohio.
As an Ohio State fan, you always hope that the in-state players will be patient and at least camp over the summer to try and earn an offer from the Buckeyes, but that has not been the case for many in the 2012 class.
Hoke and his staff are clearly playing up the “disrespect” angle when it comes to not holding an early offer from Ohio State. For example, Ohio LB Joe Bolden had some pretty immature things to say about the Buckeyes following his commitment to the Wolverines. To his credit, he (and many other players from Ohio) are clearly being fed their attitude by Hoke and I would hope they aren’t coming up with it on their own. Unfortunately some players are buying in to the negativity (Kaleb Ringer is another example) and are heading north.
It is certainly frustrating to see so many Ohio players going north, but at the same time, a majority of them weren’t being pursued and didn’t have offers from the good guys (which is why the “disrespect” angle is working so well). At the end of the day, there is a reason the players in question didn’t have offers. If Ohio State can land the players they are targeting, the 2012 class will still be outstanding.
Speaking of players that the Buckeyes are targeting, things are not looking great for MI DB Terry Richardson. Read More
Lots of things to catch up on… Some of this has been around for a bit, but we’re not all edgy and trendy and stuff.
The Story Of The Week
Although it’s not really sports related, the capture/death of Osama Bin Laden did have some ripples throughout Buckeye nation and the sports world, particularly on the twitterverse:
The Buckeyes have to reload on defense more in 2011 than any year since 2006. If you remember back, the 2006 defense had to replace all time great A.J. Hawk amongst many others. The task was daunting, but players like James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins quickly emerged as the next great Buckeye defenders. A defense full of newcomers helped lead the team to a perfect regular season and a trip to the national title game.
Will Etienne Sabino be the next Laurinatis? Will Travis Howard be the next Jenkins? If anything, the players this season have more experience under their collective belts than the 2006 group did, which bodes well for the silver bullets.
Jim Tressel has received plenty of criticism on offense over the years, but on defense there is not much to complain about. The Buckeyes have been a top ten ranked D annually under Tressel regardless of attrition each year, and this season should be no different.
Here are the players to watch in the spring game who will look to continue the defensive tradition of excellence. Read More
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.
The Buckeyes lose two starters at linebacker in 2011, Brian Rolle in the middle and Ross Homan on the weak side.
The situation is remarkably similar to 2009, when Ohio State lost James Laurinaitis in the middle and Marcus Freeman on the weak side. Fortunately, the duo of Rolle and Homan proved more than capable replacements.
Over the years, that has been the pattern at Ohio State. Whenever linebackers leave, others step in with little to no drop off. 2011 should be no different as the linebacker wheel of awesome keeps on turning in Columbus.
There is a plethora of talent for the Buckeyes to work with, and as usual, it will be an exciting spring to see which linebackers separate themselves from the pack and how the coaches tweak the system to take advantage of the new talent.
Read on for a closer look at Ohio State’s linebackers in 2011. Read More
Strong linebacker play has been a trademark of Ohio State football for decades. While another school may have been given the title ‘Linebacker U’, few teams have matched the consistent excellence Buckeyes have brought to the position.
At the start of the season, Ohio State had two sure things at linebacker in Ross Homan and Brian Rolle, and one pretty big question mark on the strong side. Given recent history at the position and the talent waiting in the wings, however, there was little question that the Buckeyes would successfully fill the void.
Determining exactly who would fill that void was one of the more interesting stories of the off season. Etienne Sabino appeared to have the spot locked up following the spring, but Andrew Sweat returned from injury in the fall and quickly passed Sabino on the depth chart.
In a surprise move by the coaches, Sabino went from the presumed starter to taking a redshirt year. Saving Sabino’s eligibility will benefit depth in the future, but made him a non-factor for the 2010 season.
Even with Sabino out of the picture, Ohio State still had plenty of talent and depth in 2010. Here’s a look at how the Buckeye linebackers performed this season. Read More