Quick notes from week two of Ohio State’s pre-season practices. Obvious soundtrack is obvious
… John Simon, Zach Boren, Etienne Sabino, Garrett Goebel, and Jordan Hall
After a 2011 season of “rotating captains” and other nonsense, coupled with a spring and fall camp that focused on competition and excellence, it’s great to see that the Buckeyes have chosen five of their team who have emerged as leaders for this coming season.
The official press release:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five senior leaders have been chosen by their peers on the Ohio State University football team to be team captains in 2012. Coach Urban Meyer announced the captains at a team meeting Sunday night.
“Announcing who are team captains is one of the great honors I get to do as head coach,” Meyer said. “We had a number of guys get votes. This is a really good group of seniors who I am very proud to have leading this team.”
Representing four different states, they are:
§ Defensive lineman John Simon, from Youngstown, Ohio, and Cardinal Mooney High School;
§ Fullback Zach Boren, from Pickerington, Ohio, and Pickerington Central High School;
§ Linebacker Etienne Sabino, from North Miami Beach, Fla., and Dr. Krop High School;
§ Defensive linemen Garrett Goebel, from Villa Park, Ill., and Montini High School; and
§ Running back Jordan Hall, from Jeannette, Pa., and Jeannette High School.
The five have combined for 185 games played and 74 starts, with four having played in 39 career games apiece, respectively, and a fifth – Jordan Hall – a veteran of 29 games. Boren leads the group with 27 starts with Simon at 26 and Goebel (13), Sabino and Hall (five each) following.
Some thoughts from each:
Boren: “It is a dream come true and a huge honor to be named a captain at The Ohio State University. I am appreciative and thankful, and I look forward to being a leader on this team this season.”
Goebel: “I’m excited. It is an honor that your teammates think that highly of you to name you a captain. I’m going to put everything I have into this responsibility.”
Hall: “This is a dream come true. I was hoping to be named a captain but I was also a little surprised when it happened. I can’t thank my teammates enough for selecting me for this honor.”
Sabino: “I’m really excited. This is such an honor…to get voted by your teammates to be their captain. I am just really honored to be named a captain.”
Simon: “Being named captain means a lot. I appreciate the votes of the players. This is one of the biggest honors a player can receive and I’ll be proud to lead this team along with four other great guys. We’ll have a really good season if we all lead well.”
Simon becomes just the seventh two-time captain in school history and the first since James Laurinaitis was named captain in 2007 and again in 2008.
Ohio State is ranked 18th in the initial Associated Press Top 25 poll, marking the 24th consecutive season and the longest current streak in the country, to be ranked in the AP preseason poll. The team opens its 2012 season Sept. 1 vs. Miami (Ohio).
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.
Youth on the D-Line Continues to Impress
Subtitle: biggest problem from 2011 defense addressed with a vengeance.
If you had to pick the biggest issue with Ohio State’s defense last season, most people wouldn’t hesitate to mention the inability to pressure the opposing backfield and quarterback.
Losing Nathan Williams to injury in the first game had a negative impact up front that lasted the entire season.
Simply put, the line lacked the speed and explosion necessary to consistently and effectively disrupt opposing backfields.
Fans were hoping that a superb group of linemen in the 2012 recruiting class would help address that issue, and if reports from practice are any indication, those hopes were well placed.
Noah Spence in particular has stood out thus far and has received praise from fellow players, coaches and members of the media alike.
In fact, Spence performed so well in Saturday’s scrimmage that he had his “freshman stripe” removed during an impromptu ceremony on the field immediately afterwards.
Words like “unblockable” have been used to describe Spence, and that is an encouraging sign for this year’s pass rush to say the least. Read More
Our friend Josh Winslow has a great set of photos from yesterday’s media day at the WHAC. Unlike past years, the players were only in their jerseys; our belief is that the University is trying to minimize any issues that may have emerged in the past regarding access to players and selling memorabilia/photos.
At any rate- here are some of the “best” photos that Josh came up with… and your chance to do a bit of captioning for this year’s team. Let us know what you’d add in our comments section!
With week one of fall camp almost in the books at Ohio State, the anticipation for football season is reaching a fever pitch.
If you aren’t feeling the love for football just yet, read this article and get back to me. Seriously, I highly recommend that you read it (like you are doing anything important at work this Friday morning/afternoon anyway).
And yes, read the whole thing- I know it’s long.
The article sets the perfect tone for the rapidly approaching Urban Meyer era at Ohio State. Bowl game or no, you have to love the direction this team is moving in under Meyer’s leadership (no giggle-f**** allowed).
There is no doubt that Urban Meyer can take the team to the top, and if that doesn’t have you excited I don’t want to be your friend anymore. With that said, let’s all hope he can keep his promise to his family and maintain a balance in his life this time around.
The article paints a scary picture of Meyer’s obsession with perfection at Florida. It will clearly be a constant battle for him to control that obsession in Columbus.
We all obviously want the Buckeyes to be perfect each season, but we don’t want to achieve that at the expense of Meyer’s health and family life.
I am optimistic that he can find the right balance.
As the author writes:
But he still felt empty. He’d ask, “Is this it?” He missed the ability to make an impact; he’d gotten into coaching to be a teacher. A challenge grew from his trip to West Point: What if he could have the feeling of Bowling Green on the scale of Florida?
Ohio State gives Meyer exactly the opportunity he is looking for: returning to his Buckeye coaching roots and competing at the highest level of college football.
By using that seemingly perfect situation to maintain a healthy perspective, my hope is that Meyer can continue to pursue perfection on the gridiron while maintaining a healthy lifestyle that allows him to stick around for a long, long time.
So, with the article recently read (seriously, do it) and the proper level of Buckeye football enthusiasm in your heart, here are some of the things that I am most excited about following reports from the first week of practice. Read More