One Fan’s Opinion: Defensive Dreams

Written April 29th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Mike checks back in with part two of his post-spring look at the Ohio State football team, getting defensive this time:

When asked to write about the Silver Bullets, I cannot express to you the level of excitement and overall outlook for our beloved Buckeyes that got me pumped for the passing of summer. This will be an improved and potentially dominating defense that will make us proud as fans.

As far as I am concerned it started with the addition of Chris Ash (DC) and Larry Johnson (DL). These coaches are difference makers at practice, game time and recruiting. The impact is already present as witnessed by over 61,000 Buckeye Fans at the Spring Game.

The scheme employed by Ash will be simple, yet aggressive in the back end of the defense. He will allow the players to use their instincts and athletic ability to make plays on a consistent basis. This will mean more press coverage and much less of the “Bend Don’t Break” mentality we have witnessed in the past.

With that being said I would like to highlight a few players that stand out to me in the secondary heading into fall:

  1. Doran Grant gets forgotten about at times with all the talented youth waiting in the wings. We need to remember this is a former 5 star recruit who is suited to be more physical at the line of scrimmage using his hands and size. I really think he has a big year and finally shows he is the player we recruited. He will also be counted on to be more of a leader this year as we have a lot of youth on the depth chart.
  2. Eli Apple/Gareon Conley will both play a lot this year, though it will be a dog fight to see who gets the starting nod if they can beat out (Armani Reeves), which I think happens by mid-season at the latest. Both players are taller cornerbacks (6’1) that are rangy with speed and good hips. One play during the Spring Game I seen Apple “lay the wood” to Corey Smith as he attempted to catch a pass over the middle making me realize what a good hitter he is as well. Conley covered very well and had his hands involved frequently. In a nut shell, if they both stay healthy and out of the dog house, the sky is the limit for both these young men!
  3. Vonn Bell if healthy is penciled in as one starter at Safety. He missed most of the spring with a torn MCL, and it’s being said he “should” be ready for fall camp which we need. He is fast, athletic, a strong tackler but most impressive is his Ball Hawking ability. He will be fun to watch.
  4. Cam Burrows is a 6’0 converted Cornerback that I think will be the other starting safety. He has good coverage skills and will also be able to be an enforcer up in the box when asked. I am really excited about his potential and cannot wait to see him live in action. The only area of concern right now is depth (especially with the Thompson transfer) but once the rest of this recruiting class arrives, we improve right away in that area. Erik Smith is the one kid who I think will be in the 2 deep almost as soon as he walks on campus and contribute!

I am very confident in our young players and Coach Ash’s ability to scheme and motivate. Once healthy, this unit is going to wreak havoc on opposing offenses in the passing game as well as run support. We will be a young secondary from day one but very solid and a group that will improve vastly as the season progresses.

The Linebacker group is the most concerning to me as a whole. Read More

Silver Bullet Points: Media Day 2013 Edition

Written August 11th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Lots of news and notes to catch you up on before Walter White gets back to work.

  • Senior Photo

    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.

  • Dinged- Curtis Grant is at MLB, but has been out for concussion issues; Jalin Marshall has also missed time for a similar injury. Norwell’s still struggling with plantar fasciitis and Linsley is also feeling the impact of practice schedule- both are expected to be fine. De’Van Bogard will also return to practice on Monday.
  • Off To The Races- The running backs are a “position of strength” for the team, according to Coach Meyer. Carlos Hyde is practicing hard, in spite of being suspended, and is helping the younger players develop. Jordan Hall will be in the “H” role, and says he feels healthier than he had in a long time- that he’s regained his passion to play. Ezekiel Elliott almost lost his black stripe on Saturday, but a late scrimmage fumble disrupted those plans.
  • Texans- Kenny Guiton talked about his hand being close to completely healed, and that he hasn’t lost any velocity off of his passes. Mike Mitchell was identified as a player that is sure to see some action this fall; he also spoke about how Ohio State’s stock is on the rise among Texas preps. Dontre Wilson was a highly sought after interview today- Coach Meyer indicated that he brought something to the team that was totally new, and numerous players spoke about how difficult it was to tackle him in space.  Wilson said that he ran a 4.33 during testing, and that he’d be willing to race Bradley Roby anytime.  He also spoke about practicing at running back, and carried with him a lot of confidence regarding both his abilities and the expectations for the team.
  • Speaking Of Roby Read More

tBBC Roundtable: Ohio State Recruiting 2013

Written February 7th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

After a momentous day for Buckeye football, and after a few frosty beverages, here’s the staff’s reflections on the epic 2013 recruiting class!

Charles Brought Us A New Table!

Charles Brought Us A New Table!

Who’s the player on offense/defense who will make the biggest impact during his career at OSU?

Ken: Mike Mitchell. I think he has potential to have a Spielman/Katzenmoyer type career at OSU

WVa: Offense: I am going to go with one that has been in the fold for a good bit. Jalin Marshall is the guy I see coming in right away and contributing and will have a great career in Scarlet and Gray.

Defense: Tracy Sprinkle is my guy here. He looks to me to be the perfect fit to take over where Nathan Williams left off and really reminds me of my favorite Buckeye to come out of WV Darrion Scott. Good size and plays low and will show early what he has in that motor that never quits.

Tim: For me, the player who will make the biggest impact will be Cam Burrows. There is a question of whether he will play safety or corner at OSU, but wherever he finds himself playing, he will be an impact player on defense. His combination of size and speed could enable him to be a great one.

Jason: Jalin Marshall. All these kids have tremendous talent and endless possibilities, so I’ll put my eggs in the basket of the one who’s the best player in Ohio

Eric: The biggest impact defensively is likely going to be on the Defensive Line, where the Buckeyes are going to be making up the most ground.  A good freshman, like Joey Bosa, could step in and really make life easier for the defense.

Offensively, that’s a little trickier.  The answer is going to be whoever manages to fill the playmaker role for Urban Meyer the best.  It could be Ezekiel Elliott, James Clark, or Jalin Marshall.  It could also be any one of a dozen others who may prove to be extremely effective as a fast, shifty, playmaker.

Mali: I think that we’re going to see some amazing things from Dontre Wilson… I watch what DeAnthony Thomas does in Eugene, and what Harvin did with Meyer at Florida, and I can’t help but envision some fireworks from the moment he steps on campus.

I’m also excited to see what Chris Worley will bring to the table- a safety that hits like a linebacker, or a linebacker that can run with receivers… as the game gets faster, it’ll be great to have a counterpunch.

What new recruit will most likely see early playing time? Who redshirts? Read More

We’ve got an overlapping double header for you today!

The liveblog will start at 12:45 PM EST this afternoon. At 1 PM, the Army All-American Bowl will kick-off. There are three recruiting targets of interest in this one – WR Shelton Gibson, WR James Quick, LB Mike Mitchell. We’ll also be watching the following Ohio State commits throughout:

At 2:15 PM EST on the Big Ten Network, the Buckeyes Shooty Hoops team will take on the Illinois Fighting Illini. This same liveblog will cover both events.

Go Bucks!

Michael Hill Is A Buckeye!!!

Written June 27th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Pride of the Palmetto State

Looks like the recruiting train is rolling again, as Ohio State picks up its second commitment in two days via the decision of Pendleton South Carolina Defensive Tackle Michael Hill.

Rated as the top player in South Carolina, Mr. Hill also held offers from Florida, LSU, Tennessee, Alabama (where he visited just last weekend), Georgia Tech, and in state powers USCe and Clemson. Rumor has it that he was actually on the road to a visit at Clemson, but turned around and made the call to the staff in Columbus.

The 6’2″ junior made an early June trip to Ohio State with his family, and by all reports came away impressed.  According to his father, he grew up a Buckeye fan, so this is another “homecoming” of sorts.

While many would assume that this is the work of Coach Everett and his Carolina connections, Coach Vrabel is actually the staffer responsible for connecting with Michael and closing the deal on his recruitment. According to Michael’s coach, he’s “down” to 300 pounds, with the agility of a much smaller player- although, you can see that for yourself in the film. Read More

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