To get Buckeye Nation ready for the first Spring Game in Urban Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeye Bloggers Network wanted to take an in-depth look at each position following spring practice. Be sure to check out all of the coverage!
The easy comment on the offensive line, be it at Ohio State or nationwide, is that the season will hinge on their performance.
Again, that’s the standard answer, but I have to believe that this year it bodes more true than ever in Columbus. There are playmakers elsewhere on Offense, and the Defense (while thin in places) has the potential to be terrifying for opposing offensive coordinators.
But the Buckeye Offensive Line is a mystery at this point; which was evidenced merely looking at Coach Meyer’s emphases on the recruiting trail beginning last season. It’s not enough that they are replacing both tackles and their four year starter at center. It’s not enough that they are now “loaded” with talent amassed by James “Meh, one guard a year is all we need” Bollman, who annually defined the word “reach” with the recruiting offers he seemed to facilitate.
Nope, in addition to those obvious concerns comes this- the team’s offensive identity is taking a major shift. Gone are the days of “Dave, Dave, Draw, Punt”; we now have an offensive scheme that requires linemen to a) be in top cardiovascular shape and b) pass block as effectively as run block. In other words, there’s some coachin’ to do.
So, if you’re like me (my condolences), you’re incredibly interested in seeing how the anchor of the team’s successes will look on Saturday. Will Braxton’s runs in the fall be designed or out of necessity? Will long runs be due to Jordan and Carlos and Rod and Brionte’s talent, or due to the gaping holes that are waiting for them? Will my summer be spent in quiet confidence or wondering instead how what the record for most “three and outs” by a Buckeye team might be?
Saturday gives us our first clue. Onward.
What will be most different this year than last?
We’ve talked about the tempo and scheme being gently called “the polar opposite of Tresselball”, let’s take a look at the new faces in the new places. First, the team lineups: Read More
If it’s Friday, it means that it’s time for more bad news.
Devier Posey has been suspended an additional five games by the NCAA for receiving $720 in payment for hours not worked, in addition to “free golf”. Essentially, this means that his senior season will consist of the games against Penn State and Michigan… I’ll bet he’s incredibly glad he chose to abide by his promise to Jim Tressel and return after the Sugar Bowl. Read More
Eric and Joe get together on this week’s radio hour to discuss the trials and tribulations facing the offense following the Michigan State game. They also talk about the latest suspensions and express the frustrations most Buckeye fans are feeling, along with their feelings towards Gene Smith. Lastly, they talk about Nebraska and what the Buckeyes need to do in order to pull off the win in Memorial Stadium.
For the opponent’s preview, Eric is joined by the excellent HuskerDan of HuskerMax.com. They discuss Nebraska, along with their recent addition to the Big Ten and the welcoming committee laid down by Wisconsin.
All this and more on this week’s Radio Hour!
Note: At the time of the recording, we believed Corey “Philly” Brown would be fully ready to play. Currently his status is listed as “Day-to-Day”, and while there is a chance that we will see him on the field, it’s not as certain as we claim in the podcast.
Here’s the long and short of it, as far as we know:
During the investigation into former Ohio State Booster Bobby DiGeronimo’s connection with the charity event that saw several Buckeyes suspended earlier this season, the University discovered that there were student athletes who were working for his company, and that this employment hadn’t been cleared through compliance. Here is a link to the University’s self report to the NCAA: NCAA Docs
In reviewing the paperwork, it became apparent that there were instances of hours paid that differed from the hours actually worked. Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Marcus Hall, Etienne Sabino, and Melvin Fellows were the student athletes in question. The University argued that they were unaware of the additional hours (they did work, and were paid extra), but the numbers, particularly for Posey, don’t support that.
Herron, Posey, and Hall have been suspended for the Nebraska game, with expectations that Posey may be suspended for longer (based on the amount of money involved and the NCAA’s guidelines). These students are currently involved in the reinstatement process with the NCAA, so the actual number of games is still in flux. Fellows has taken a medical hardship, and Sabino has been cleared of these allegations.
DiGeronimo has been dissociated from the University after being a booster for 30 years. You can read the University’s letter here: NCAA Docs
The press release-
Ohio State Update on NCAA Investigation
The Ohio State University Director of Athletics Gene Smith announced today that, as part of the university’s continued investigation with the NCAA to resolve any remaining football compliance issues, violations have been discovered and three football student-athletes have been declared ineligible for the football game this weekend against the University of Nebraska. Those players are Marcus Hall, DeVier Posey and Daniel Herron. The university has submitted a request for reinstatement on behalf of each student-athlete, but it is anticipated that each will sit out at least the game this weekend.
“As we have previously disclosed, the university and the NCAA were not able to finish investigating all of the areas before the university’s August hearing with the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions,” Smith said. “Upon receiving the necessary records from outside parties and conducting a few additional interviews, the university and the NCAA enforcement staff have jointly determined that violations did occur. The violations that have affected the eligibility of these three players relate to their overpayment while being employed with companies associated with Robert DiGeronimo, an individual who was recently disassociated by the university as a result of several student athletes receiving extra benefits surrounding a charity event in February. The university and the NCAA enforcement staff are in the final stages of the resolution of this case, and I anticipate having further information in that regard in the near future.
In addition, Posey was cited for a secondary violation for a round of golf with Dennis Talbott- greens fees around $100.
Smith stated that this would be considered part of the ongoing investigation, and would push back the NCAA’s final ruling and sanctions. He also said that he was confident that this was not a Failure To Monitor or Lack Of Institutional Control situation that the NCAA has reviewed Ohio State’s processes numerous times, and that these issues are indicative of individual decisions and not systemic issues.
What is most troubling, at least for me, is that some of this “work” occurred during March of 2011… while the NCAA investigation was ongoing, and about the time that Tressel’s knowledge of the memorabilia exchange was brought to light.
We’ll update this as it develops.
Last week I covered the awesomeness that is the Silver Bullet defense (line, linebackers, and secondary). I strongly believe that the defense alone is good enough to win nine games this season- regardless of what happens on the other side of the ball.
Nine wins is good at a lot of schools, but for Buckeye fans that is a borderline bad year.
To have a great season, and more importantly for Coach Fickell to secure a long term contract, the Scarlet Assassin offense will need to step up to win above and beyond nine games.
In this regard, “Scarlet Assassins” is an appropriate nickname for several reasons; most importantly because they will move against their opponents slowly and meticulously before delivering the fatal blow.
An eight minute fourth quarter drive capped off by Zach Boren leading Carlos Hyde into the end zone for the game icing TD has a nice ring to it.
Slow and meticulous or the greatest show on turf; as always, the line will be the key to success on offense.
Here is player by player look at the two-deep. Read More
UPDATE- Photos after the break, courtesy of Josh Winslow
Following check-in today there are now 104 players ready to start fall camp tomorrow morning.
Not among those 104 are LB Johnathan Newsome, LB Dorian Bell, and WR James Louis. Their official status remains unclear, but they did not check into the hotel today, so everyone can draw their own conclusions from that.
Outside of who didn’t show up, and despite my best wishes from yesterday, it turns out that players arriving individually over an extended period of time doesn’t create much more to write about than when they arrive all at once on a bus.
One interesting note is that former Buckeye and Cardinal OL Alex Stepanovich arrived at the hotel today, and he will apparently be helping the team in some capacity.
The pictures will tell the story of everything else much better than I can with words (1000 to 1 and all that) so stay tuned for more Josh Winslow photographs later this afternoon.
We will have continuing coverage from practice tomorrow morning as well.
The Buckeyes need to fill some pretty big holes on offense this year thanks to graduations and compounded by suspensions. Luckily, Ohio State always has ultra talented players waiting in the wings to show what they’ve got.
As a fan, you can only hope that one or more of these players can make a name for themselves and become the next great Buckeye at whatever position they happen to play. The spring game is a great chance to see what some of the young players can do.
Here are the players to watch on offense in the spring game on Saturday.
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.