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
In San Antonio, Ohio State once again found gold in the shadow of the Alamo, as Cleveland Glenville’s Marshon Lattimore verballed to become a part of the 2014 recruiting class.
Lattimore’s decision came as a part of the US Army All-American Bowl, and following a week where he’d continued to turn heads in both practice and scrimmages. Rated as the #1 athlete in the state of Ohio by most recruiting services, Marshon’s “offer list” included Southern Cal, Oregon, Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, and Georgia Tech.
While classified as an “athlete”, many target him as a corner at the collegiate level. Scouts highlight his speed and his ability to catch anything near him- I’m certain that the Buckeyes will find a way to get him on the field.
Today’s decision was seen by most to be a “lock” for some time now, although the other members of Glenville’s contingent in San Antonio were involved in several moments of speculation that the trio might end up at Kentucky or at one of the schools in that state up north.
Lattimore, for what it’s worth, was never seriously tied to any of these allegations, having seen Ohio State as his dream school. What’s made it interesting, though, is that he and Erick Smith have always pledged to go to school together… and if Smith was wavering, then perhaps Lattimore was as well.
After the jump, you can check out highlights from his Junior and Senior seasons: Read More
The weekend was just another building block for Urban Meyer. There were 50+ recruits in town that got to see a great environment, the coaches and players at an all time high in terms of excitement, and how close knit the team is. In addition all the coaches and players showing respect for the seniors that will be leaving and the field littered with underclassmen making impacts all over the field. So lets just say that all recruits were excited, they had a great time, enjoyed the game atmosphere, got to see Urban Meyer’s championship rings, and loved how everyone felt like it was a family atmosphere.
Now that we got that out of the way way we can talk about the information that really matters:
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:
In the second half of our bye week recruiting special we will be taking a look into next year’s recruiting, which the coaching staff has already said is their primary focus for this week’s recruiting trips.
Unfortunately, we will still be dealing with the 82 scholarship restrictions next year; combined with this year still in the balance and it’s anyone’s best guess with attrition, so for this review we’ll talk more about this class without numbers involved.
At this point the Ohio class of to be seniors doesn’t look to be littered with highly ranked 4 and 5 star talent. But with Meyer and staff having almost a year under their belt we are starting to see national recruits mentioning us on their early short lists.
In the 2014 class, QB will be a position of need as Kenny Guiton will graduate and Braxton will be a senior leaving us with just 2 others on the roster- Cardale Jones and ’13 commit J.T. Barrett. The ’14 class will bring us 1 or 2 depending on talent and probably what they see in Jones and Barrett. At this point the QB position is very tough to get a feel on. As such, I am going to hold off on naming names because there are lot of QBs on the board and not many with offers; the coaching staff has said several times that they want recruits to come to camp next summer to earn their offers.
Looking at the RB position the depth chart appears stocked with talent, and adding Elliott this year only adds to the mix. Lots of early highly talented names on the board. I think 1 would be just alright and we might pass on talent much like this year with when we grabbed Elliott and passed on highly ranked Derrick Green.
At this point there are 4 guys that are at the top of the list and posses early offers.