Well, you’ve got all day to plan your attack for tonight… personally, I’ve got plans to go to “all the candy is on sale” day tomorrow. We’re digging through our country albums for today’s soundtracks; one goofy, one “creepy”. Country not your thing? Well remember, we used to think this and this were OK as well.
While Ohio State’s recruiting for 2014 has been chugging along quite admirably, there have been some who continued to be concerned regarding the ability to “close” with highly touted offensive line talent. Given the targets that have chosen to go elsewhere rather than Columbus thus far in the recruiting season, and given the fact that TTUN is stockpiling linemen like their head coach surely did with Twinkies during the recent Hostess bankruptcy, there was plenty of ammo for armchair recruiting gurus to add to their paranoia.
Hopefully, though, today’s announcement has made huge steps to allay those worries. Offensive tackle Jamarco Jones from De La Salle highschool in the Chicago area ended much speculation and became the 14th member of the 2014 recruiting class.
Even better, in the minds of some, are the “bridesmaids” of this decision. While Jones is a top recruit nationally, it was perceived by many to be a Michigan/Michigan State/Ohio State decision, with all three schools receiving visits from Jones in the past few weeks.He was believed to have been an Ohio State lean for a while, but these recent visits didn’t help sooth the minds of those who enjoy worrying about things.
His other offers, if you’re interested in that sort of thing, were from Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Stanford, UCLA and Oklahoma, among others.
Jones’ measurables: 6’5″, 285 pounds, and a 4.2 GPA. You can see why Stanford was interested in him as well. He joins Marcelys Jones and Kyle Trout in a group that could grow by at least two more before February’s NLOID.
After the jump, check out the newest Buckeye road grader in action. Read More
Major Award winner Ken has submitted the following guest post for your perusal and enjoyment…
I want to thank the staff at tBBC for the opportunity to post an article. I also want to thank the Thurman’s, Dave and Drew, of The Silver Bullet, for mentoring me on the ways and mysteries of sports blogging, way back when… I was going to upload a photo of the other swag, the t-shirt, but I decided not to compete in the Chris Lee/Anthony Weiner Self-Portraiture contest. I’ll make this short, not to burn bandwidth. OK, on to what we’re here for..
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, …“
A Tale of Two Cities- Charles Dickens
I did not realize that Charles Dickens was an observer of Ohio State football, but so it seems. For this review, I want to give my brief view of this season. There was some excitement as the 2012 season rolled around, for me it started at about the time that Urban Meyer was named as Ohio State’s head football coach. An accomplished native son returns home to re-establish Ohio State’s primacy.
Part of my anticipation was the hopeful emergence of Ohio State football from the Dickensian dystopia of the 2011 season into its rightful position as a national flagship program. I felt that the season would be a success if the Buckeyes finished 9-3, even 8-4, while showing game on game improvement. To me, this was to be the transition year, compared to 2011 as the ‘placeholder’ year. To finish 12-0 while showing improvement in offensive and defensive execution was truly a bonus.
Specifically, I thought the offensive line developed as a strength, both Hyde and Smith emerged as playmakers at running back and Miller seemed to improve his option reads. A lot of the early season ’Gaah!’ with Miller’s reads may have been that he wasn’t all that comfortable with his read keys, and when you’re in an ambiguous situation, you revert to what you are comfortable with. In this case deciding whether to keep or hand-off, regardless of the option key. Miller seemed to get a better handle on this as the season progressed. I’m fine with the riches at running back, and granted there is only one football to be put in play, but with the up tempo offense, there should be carries aplenty.
Defensively as the season progressed, I uttered far fewer in-game “dammit‘s” as the defense took better attack and pursuit angles and improved in wrapping up the ball carrier. The senior leadership and effort on this defense was remarkable, they will truly be missed. There are some significant holes to fill on Ohio State’s front seven, so Spring Practice will be interesting to see who emerges into starting roles. There are no lack of candidates.
The key change to this years squad, part of the ‘Urbanization’, was the more aggressive approach of the offense. The was not a team that was content to sit on a lead. I credit the coaching staff for instilling the mind-set of continually improving. There were instances where, with the game somewhat in hand, the offense kept running the offense, likely because the coaches wanted the players to work on execution and get used again to success.
Finally, comparing the teams of 2012 and 2010, both showed comparable offensive numbers in terms of points per game and yards per play on offense. The advantage the 2010 squad had was defensively, allowing close to 100 fewer plays than the 2012 squad, roughly 8-9 plays per game, or a couple offensive series. If the 2013 defense can come close to the 2010 performance, coupled with the anticipated offensive improvement.. wow. It will continue to be a good time to be a Buckeye.
I always anticipate great things from the offensive line before the start of each season. Unfortunately, I have been disappointed once the games are underway more often than not over the past decade .
This season brings renewed hope that my preseason expectations for greatness will be met. Most of that hope centers around what new line coach Ed Warinner can bring to the table.
While it may take a few years to successfully make the transition to a new system and truly see domination, I am once again expecting big (or at least better) things up front in 2012 thanks to the injection of attitude and a new philosophy from the staff.
Here is a look at the OL depth chart heading into the first game. Read More
Great news for a Saturday; it’s great to come back from a vacation to read that Indianapolis Lawrence Central’s Tim Gardner has become the 16th member of the Ohio State 2013 recruiting class.
Gardner initially “verballed” back in June, but was informed that his commitment wasn’t quite necessary at this time- there’s speculation that the Buckeyes wanted to see his discipline in the form of some conditioning.
He did the work, and was seen as a part of Friday Night Lights working with Buckeye great and offensive guru LeCharles Bentley… you can check his form in the photo to the right, from our friend Josh Winslow.
The off field dedication, the passion and potential that LeCharles saw in him all led to the staff welcoming him as a part of this incoming class. At 6′ 5″ and 300+ pounds, he’s projected as a guard at Ohio State, although he currently plays tackle at Lawrence North, an Indianapolis powerhouse. You can get a glimpse of his work in this Hudl.com highlight video- pay attention to his feet and agility, as well as his propensity for finishing blocks.
Gardner is currently rated a “three star” by some recruiting services, although there’s a lot of speculation that this will change as Tim continues to work through his senior season. He held offers from Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue, and Louisville as well as Ohio State.
With Gardner in the fold, there’s speculation that Ohio State may only take one more offensive lineman in the upcoming class. If that person is willing to work as hard as Tim did to earn his place in the scarlet and gray, it’ll be an elite group coming in.
Welcome to the Buckeye Family, Mr, Gardner!
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
Being from the Buckeye friendly town of Centerville and having recently received an offer from Ohio State, this commitment doesn’t come as a surprise, although it is still nice to officially welcome another player into the 2013 class.
I recently previewed offensive line recruiting, and this is what I said about Lisle yesterday:
Listed at 6’6″ 265, Lisle has a great frame to go along with above average athleticism- he can run well at the second level and get to his blocks in open space (highlights).
I see right tackle in his future.
Rated as a four-star by Rivals, Lisle currently holds offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Miami (FL) among others.
Even with such an impressive list, being an Ohio kid from an extremely Buckeye-friendly school, it would be quite the shock if Lisle doesn’t commit to Ohio State.
This is clearly a great start to Ohio State’s offensive line class, but there is still more work to be done.
If you didn’t click on the link to the highlights above, here they are again. Read More
When looking at offensive line recruiting, it is simplest to break things down into two categories: interior players and tackles.
Boren and Elflein could play defense, and O’Connor could play right tackle- but for right now two tackles and three interior players is what the 2012 class looks like.
Looking ahead to 2013, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are hoping to add depth across the board, but they will be focusing largely on tackles yet again.
Right now the staff is primarily targeting national players, but there are plenty of Ohio linemen that can earn an offer at camp as well.
Here is the breakdown. Read More