Let’s jump right in.
The 2012 recruiting class marches on.
The biggest news since our last update has been the bad vibes surrounding the strange saga of OH OL Kyle Kalis balanced out somewhat by the commitments of OH LB Luke Roberts and OH OL/DL Patrick Elflein.
Despite the commitments, the current feeling on the class is still slanting negative for various reasons.
First and most importantly, Ohio State still needs to add some offensive tackles to the roster… and soon, making the pain from the loss of Kalis even more acute.
On top of that, some Ohio State fans were less than enthusiastic about the most recent commitments because they came from non highly rated recruits.
Disappointment at the loss of an extremely talented player in a position of need is one thing, but disappointment over receiving commitments from lower ranked recruits is an unnecessary emotion, and here’s why.
We’d been hearing rumors for a while now, and even gave you a head’s up a week or so ago. In fact, our friends at 11W made the announcement on Friday, and Kansas City Radio put it out Friday night/Saturday morning.
But today it became official that former Buckeye standout and Super Bowl champion Mike Vrabel will be returning to Ohio State to coach the linebackers this fall.
Vrabel, who played for the scarlet and gray from 1993 through 1996, shared Silver Bullet status with current Buckeye head coach Luke Fickell. Several weeks ago, Vrabel was present to support his friend at Coach Fickell’s introductory press conference.
During his pro career, Mike was drafted by the Steelers and played for Pittsburgh for four seasons as a backup. After signing with the New England Patriots in 2000, he went on to be a part of three Super Bowl championship teams, and was selected for one NFL Pro Bowl, where versatility was a part of his legacy.
In New England, Mike joined elite company by being only one of 17 people to catch two or more touchdown passes in Super Bowls- again, an interesting stat for a defensive standout. Over his NFL career, he has a total of ten receptions for a total of 10 touchdowns. Not too shabby…
For the past two seasons, Vrabel has been a part of the Kansas City Chiefs program, coming to the squad to join former Patriots defensive coordinator (and former Browns head coach) Romeo Crennel. As a veteran, his role there has included work as a “on field coach” as the Chiefs continue to rebuild their defense.
Mangini told Cleveland reporters, “I imagine he’ll eventually go into coaching and he’ll be outstanding.” And then, later in the same media session, said, “He knew the defense, not just his assignment, knew the defense, could draw up the defense, could coach the defense. I’m telling you, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not coaching major college football or pro football at some point and be really successful.”
Vrabel, an Ohio State graduate and at least part-time Ohio resident, suggested that any future involving coaching, would likely begin with his alma mater.
”I would love to go back to Ohio State in any capacity,” Vrabel said.
”I’ve got a lot of friends who coach there, gotten to know some of the players by working out there in the offseason. I would say that would be the only place I would probably coach. If I could get into coaching, I would probably look there first.”
Mike’s work with the NFL Players Association took new emphasis during the recent labor agreements, and it was because of these dialogues that this hire has been delayed somewhat. Mike is also a co-founder of the “Second and Seven Foundation“, along with Coach Fickell and former teammate Ryan Miller. The foundation seeks to create literacy opportunities for Ohio’s youth, which will juxtapose nicely with his helping Ohio State youth hit people so hard they have problems reading.
Welcome home, Coach Vrabel!!
Happy Independence Day, Buck-aroos! As you’re enjoying the cold beverage and grilled meat product that the founded fathers gave their lives to provide, we thought we’d give you a quick update on the news you may have missed when you were stuck in traffic this holiday weekend.
We’ve got some catching up to do after a holiday weekend that left little time for posting. We are behind on our countdown, so this will be a two-for-one special featuring Mike Vrabel and Will Smith, two of the most dominant defensive ends ever to play in the scarlet and gray.
May the spirit of Vrabel and Smith be channeled by our d line this year.