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
With all the social media and recruiting websites out there, I must admit that I have issues with recruiting rankings.
I mean the kids love it, but to me it just does not matter as much as The Ohio State coaches evaluation of said recruits.
I believe in most cases, coaches recruit to fill specific needs in regards to the depth chart.
With that being said, you will always have a handful of players you give scholarships regardless. Once you get to a certain point in your class though — just like the NFL draft – you take the best available players and let them earn a spot on the depth chart.
Now I want to stress that in the same breath, the staff needs to get the best players in Ohio every year. This keeps the border protected around the Buckeye State and somewhat makes it a huge pipeline.
Who I would love to see be the next five commitments to The Ohio State in the class of 2015?
Here is my list, or as we called it in the Air Force, my “Dream Sheet”.
1. Josh Sweat, DE, Oscar Smith HS, Chesapeake, VA. — Sweat has drawn comparisons to Jadeveon Clowning due to his freakish athletic ability and sudden burst. Last year, the 6’4’’, 240-pound All-American put himself at the center of the national recruiting radar, when he totaled a whopping 22 sacks and 94 tackles, including 31 tackles for loss. Although it’s going to be a dogfight to land this recruit, he did enjoy his visit to Ohio State.
Only question left is, does Ohio State get an Official Visit? It also helps that Hilliard and Cornell are recruiting dynamos.
Ohio State realizes just how important recruiting and developing depth. And after years of linebacker issues tormenting Ohio State because of injuries, attrition, lack of development and a couple recruiting misses; the Buckeyes seem to be working hard at repairing the problem. Maybe over-repairing? I do not believe there is such a thing.
The great thing with the linebacker position is they can usually be moved to another position if better suited. They don’t have to stay at linebacker to contribute. If they have the frame to add size, they can move to a pass-rushing defensive end spot. If they are a “tweener” and fast enough, they can slide to safety.
If they’re versatile enough, they can move over to tight end (Sam Hubbard). And no matter what, they are almost always an asset on special teams, regardless of their position. In the 2015 class, the Buckeyes have already earned verbal commitments from Hilliard and from Dublin’s Nick Conner.
Benedictine’s Jerome Baker moved up his decision to this Friday, July 11th.
Could he be next?
We hope you enjoyed a very inspirational Jesse Owens Best Buckeye Ever” href=”http://www.thebuckeyebattlecry.com/2014/06/tbbc-legends-the-best-buckeye/” target=”_blank”>Best Buckeye Ever last weekend in Jesse Owens. And as unanimous as a choice as he was from our staff, and I was honestly surprised by the many choices for Worst Buckeye Ever.
In my lifetime, it has hands down been one person simply for the fact he became the biggest disappointment because he was someone I idolized and wanted to be. You will see at the end how many different choices the staff members chose and their reasons. For me, there can be only one that’s the absolute worst.
Art Schlichter made a name for himself on and off the field while in high school at Miami Trace in the mid seventies and rose to fame as Woody Hayes recruited him to come to Ohio State and start at quarterback right away, which he did all four years he was there.
Even though there were lots of suspicions among the athletic staff and local police that he was connected heavily with gambling in and around the Columbus area, they didn’t believe they had enough evidence to go to the NCAA, thus protecting Schlichter.
I believe to this day that Woody believed he was helping him with his problem and simply became an unknowing enabler of Shlichter’s gambling problems. In the end, Art may have contributed to the frustration that Woody felt the day he punched Charlie Bauman, ending Woody’s career and setting Schlichter on a path of destruction.
It has been reported and confirmed that Joe Burrow committed to The Ohio State Buckeyes! That said, Burrow will most likely be the only quarterback taken this year unless Torrance Gibson comes this way. Some may see that as a bad thing, but with 2016 being a strong group of quarterbacks and Danny Clark coming in 2017, I think we could be in a much worse situation. To top it off, Burrow’s commitment has landed us a visit from Chris Clark, and he is working to help recruit a lot of these national kids! As a side bar, both Burrow and Clark showed up to the Elite 11 yesterday decked out in The Ohio State gear!!! (all smiles)
Then there is Damien Harris being interviewed here (all smiles):
“It’s still kind of cool the way things go with Coach Meyer,” Harris told cleveland.com Sunday, while attending a Nike Football Training Camp at Ohio State. “As a kid growing up, I’d see him on TV and I was like, ‘Man, he’s the man.’ And now I get to be real cool with him. We walk into a basketball game together, we just get to enjoy life together right now – maybe for the next four years. It’ definitely been a blessing. I get to be looked at as important enough to spend time with one of the greats of all time. It’s definitely an honor. I don’t take it for granted. I’m real thankful for it.”
If you have read all the reports you know that Justin Hilliard is now an OSU lean, in my opinion. Why else would you be recruiting other players to come to OSU, and befriend Raekwon McMillian. Remember, Sam Hubbard is an ex-teammate and very good friend (all smiles).
Now we get to Matthew Burrell, the big OL out of Virginia. This young man is 6’6, 290lbs and I would now say a Buckeye lean after his visit this past weekend. I heard he absolutely loved it and will be back (all smiles). Read More
I understand that some people are concerned with the lack of commitments in 2015 class. So instead, why not look to the upcoming 2014 season and the potential for The Ohio State Offense. If Braxton Miller can stay healthy and improve just that little bit, opposing defenses on our schedule better look out! I mean we are loaded with talent, talent and then a little more talent! Not to mention Mr. Miller is a Heisman candidate with a very good chance of taking home the trophy.
It’s great to watch the highlights of these kids on this roster and then seeing them doing their thing in Scarlet and Gray. It is going to be a great year for Buckeye fans and me for one, am very proud to be a member of this brotherhood/sisterhood.
QB: Braxton Miller. We all know what he can do, NOW can you throw to the TE? I think this is a key component to our chance at a National Championship.
RB: Ezekiel Elliot, Brionte Dunn and Curtis Samuel. I know there is a name or two left off, but this is going to be a strength for the Buckeyes. Eze is the most complete back who obviously will be the starter but the other two young men are going to be very active in this offense. I believe Dunn will be that short yardage/goal line back for us and Samuel will be a rotational player with the ability to let Eze catch a breather. Our RB situation is a great reason to be excited for this upcoming season!
I rarely get into talks about who’s going where in the NFL draft because its really pointless to speculate. I mean let’s be honest, there’s always that one team that will mess it up for everybody else right? I have some Buckeyes to discuss and then my Bumblin prediction on which team is going to mess everything up tonight. Let’s get rollin’ with the good.
It’s amazing to me how a players stock can literally go up after the combine and pro-days simply by being interviewed by certain teams and their brass one-on-one. Jack Mewhort has been nothing but spectacular in his play for the Buckeyes and did great at the combine and pro-day at Ohio State. He is currently ranked as the 7th over-all OT in the draft but has been taking care of business behind closed doors. He is projected as a middle to late second rounder and possibly fall to the third round.
What I am most impressed with is how he has handled the entire process. He hasn’t tried to sell something that he’s not and will provide a team the versatility needed in today’s NFL. Can the others above him do the same? Probably. What I see a team doing is taking a chance on him in place of a couple players above him in Taylor Lewan(TTUN) for obvious reasons and personality flaws and Jawuan James(Virginia) because I just feel Jack is better fundamentally. He’s done all he has needed to do to take care of business and get paid in the draft.
He has been the best lineman on a team that was loaded with pretty good ones. Jack is leading the pack as a leader and a player and some team will get a steal when they take him. He’s making noise at the right time and it will be fun seeing where he’s headed to! Good Luck Jack!!
Andrew Norwell has done everything he needed to, to be a drafted guard in the NFL. There’s been very little he’s done that should change the mindset of people drafting good players. As it is he has fallen from a surefire late rounds draft choice to a possible undrafted free-agent and at no fault of his own. Admitted by many that are involved in the late rounds there is very little effort put into who they take as much as what they take. Read More
For the beginning of this discussion, please see Tuesday’s recruiting rundown.
Calling Chicken Little, Calling Chicken Little……
There is no cure for the avid Ohio State Football Fan who thinks they could help coach our beloved Buckeyes. It’s hard to be a passionate fan of The Ohio State Buckeyes without thinking your coach would do a better job if he’d just listen to you for once in his pathetic, misinformed life.
There is a product out there that reduces the urge to be a know-it-all. For us Ohio State fans, that product is URBAN MEYER!!! For us, it’s a passion that we enjoy! For Urban it’s his way of life and he is very good at it!
One of the biggest compliments you can give Meyer is that he makes it very hard for you NOT to pause and think in this world of second-guessing. He makes it easier for you to trust him. In dealing with most head football coaches, you want to see into their heads to help them find a clue. With Urban, you open the curtains to his brain and get a glimpse of how nick it looks.
Armchair Head Coaches? Here, have a little Urban Meyer.