Silver Bullets Reloaded: Defensive Line

Written August 23rd, 2011 by Jim

J.T. Moore, Johnathan Hankins, Darryl Baldwin

 

After learning that I have viewed open practices and the jersey scrimmage, many people ask me what I think about the Buckeyes . Well, being that I write for this website, I thought I would take all of the thoughts that I share with various people and put them down for all of our readers to enjoy as well.

First up is the defensive line (with linebackers and defensive backs to follow later in the week and the offense next week). Read More

Freshmen Check-In Recap and Rumblings

Written August 6th, 2011 by Jim

Braxton Miller

Update 2: video of the event after the jump.

Update: some of Josh Winslow’s photos uploaded after the jump, with a link to his entire gallery.

Ohio State’s 2011 freshmen reported for fall camp this afternoon. I was fortunate enough to be on location to “cover” the event.

If you missed it earlier in the week, make sure to check out theOzone.net’s great coverage of Wednesday’s media introduction to the incoming freshman, who all gave a brief statement and answered a few questions.

Unfortunately, the biggest news from the check-in this afternoon was how brief it was. The players arrived all at once on a bus, meaning that the ‘event’ lasted about five minutes.

Tomorrow the upper classmen will arrive individually by car over a more extended period of time, so hopefully there will be some more to cover.

As it is, there are a few noteworthy things from today, so let’s get right to it:

  • There were 22 scholarship freshmen and 2 invited walk-ons reporting today. The 22 scholarship players did not include Conner Crowell (surgery) and Cardale Jones (prep school). Read More

 

It's coming soon.

It has been a long and arduous off season for Buckeye Nation.

The anticipation and anxiety surrounding the August 12th NCAA hearings alone are enough to put someone on edge. How severely will the NCAA ultimately punish Ohio State for its transgressions?

We can only speculate and hope for the best.

Next up was the resignation of all-time great Jim Tressel and the resulting uncertainty surrounding Ohio State’s next head coach. Luke Fickell is a great defensive coach and an even better Buckeye, but will he be the long term answer to Ohio State’s head coaching vacancy?

We can only speculate and hope for the best.

Finally, what initially looked like a 2012 recruiting class for the ages is quickly turning into another source of concern for fans. As I have mentioned previously, it is still much, much too early to give up on the class, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a source of stress for the next several months. Will Luke Fickell (or the next head coach) be able to salvage the 2012 recruiting class before signing day?

We can only speculate and hope for the best.

Clearly there will be plenty of uncertainty and things to worry about in the coming months. If you are like me, however, you are already so sick and tired of worry and speculation that you have entered a state of comatose. Obviously, being in a state of comatose isn’t very much fun, so I have decided to switch my coping mechanism.

While this off-season has dragged on to the point that it seems like it will never end, the light at the end of the tunnel is coming into view and the season is fast approaching.

Rather than worry about things outside of our collective control, it’s time to refocus our energies on getting excited about the football season that kicks off in 65 days.

Here is a list of some things that I am most excited about for this season and beyond. Read More

Spring Game Primer

Written April 11th, 2011 by Jim

Excited for football yet?

With spring practice well underway and the spring game quickly approaching, it is time to move from “way too early looks” at each position into some more informed analysis based on practice reports.

[Note: I apologize for not getting to the defensive backs in my “way too early looks”.]

This offseason has been a tumultuous one to say the least. The tattoo revelations leading up to the Sugar Bowl and the resulting suspensions guaranteed a shadow over the off season. The additional news concerning Jim Tressel didn’t exactly make that shadow go away.

Fortunately, time heals all wounds, and cracking pads on the field helps to speed up that process- at least for me. After some time off from writing following the Tressel news conference (which is part of the reason why I didn’t get to the DBs), my enthusiasm for football is back in full swing.

So what follows will not only be a look at the DBs for the first time, but also a review of all of the position groups with some updated thoughts based on news from practice. I apologize ahead of time if this ends up being lengthy.

My rebuttal: FOOTBALL!

My attitude this offseason has always been that no matter what happens, when the Buckeyes take care of business on the field everything else will fade into the background.

Redemption through wins.

Off field BS be damned.

Here is a look at how each position is looking heading into the spring game.

Read More

2011 High School All-Star Games Recap

Written January 13th, 2011 by Joe Laing

As promised here is a combined recap of the 3 High school all-star games that we previewed.  Lots and lots to talk about.

Offense / Defense All-American Bowl

In the game that showcased a high number of Buckeye commits our guys really showed out.  Chase Farris was named the defensive MVP for his play on the defensive line.  Kenny Hayes was probably one of the top 3 most recognizable recruits in the game and was talked about all week by the experts. He showed why by performing well in the game. These two were not the only D-line commits to perform well in all-star games, as we will get to further down.

Chase Farris

Derjuan Gambrell scored from the defensive side of the ball as he was able to pick up a fumble and take it back 28 yds to the house.  Ron Tanner and Jeremy Cash also made appearances in this game, but I have not heard reports on their play.

On offense, Nick Vannett, who is a guy that many haven’t talked much about, was very impressive in the game. After seeing him this season and hearing how impressive he looked in the game, I for one am really excited about the skill set he brings to Columbus.  He follows in the footsteps of other Ohio State TE’s that will pride themselves on blocking and have the ability with their huge frame to make plays down the field.

Tommy Brown; not much news during the week or the game.  He will most likely be a red-shirt and fall into the two deep on the inside in a couple years.

The one guy from Ohio that really showed out was Cardale Jones.  He threw for 125 yds, 2 scores, and ran for another.  While he has been hot and cold all year, it really comes down to a test score;  If he can qualify, we will find room for him I think.  I don’t see Braxton red-shirting so there could be at least a year of seperation, and if Braxton turns out to be the star that many believe he will be, there is an opportunity that he leaves early and gives Jones 2 year.  If nothing else, Jones looks like he has the ability to move out to WR for certain plays, especially in the red-zone.

His teammate Shane Wynn also performed well.  He scored a TD and had a block that left many talking as he led the QB to the endzone.  He is tiny, but we might regret this one in a couple years in terms of a weapon we really could have used.  I’m not sure why we are taking a pass on this one, although there have been rumors of grades, but I hate to speculate.  Eilar Hardy and Jarrett Grace are two other guys that played in this game that we might regret passing on in a couple years as well.

Read More

Under Armour and Army All American Game Previews

Written January 5th, 2011 by Joe Laing

This week you will all have the ability to see a number of our incoming frosh in different all-star games.  When everyone gets excited about hats, you know it’s a good time…

Under Armour Game

The first game of the week will be the Under Armour Game.  This game is really starting to take over as being the premier all-star game, obviously the ESPN television spot helps. The game takes place Wednesday @ 7 PM Eastern.

The Buckeyes have 3 current commits in this game and 4 guys on the watch list. On the commit list are Florida OLB/DE Ryan Shazier, Dayton Huber Heights Wayne star QB Braxton Miller, and Canton McKinley DE Steve Miller.

Others to watch are AVSM CB Doran Grant, Florida WR Jujuan Story, Florida CB Jabari Gorman, and Maryland ATH Darius Jennings

Top Storylines:
  • Braxton Miller – He is going to get to show off what he can do against other top competition, and what he might have to bring early in the season next year, if he can land the starting spot.  We will get to hear soon enough where he stands in the pecking order as he will be enrolling in the spring.  Early word from practice is that Braxton has really showed well as a game manager, and understands when to tuck it and run, and when to stay in the pocket and deliver a strike.
  • Doran Grant – This highly rated CB Is expected to make a declaration choosing between his two favorites Ohio State and Michigan State.  (Many are calling for Ohio State, including me)
  • Darius Jennings – Expected to be held out of the game due to a concussion, We are in his top 3, not expected to make a commitment.
  • Steve Miller and Ryan Shazier - Hopefully we get the opportunity to see these two guys rush the passer and disrupting the opponents backfield.
  • Jabari Gorman – Along with Grant he is also making a declaration.  Most expect him to stay home somewhere in Florida, either Miami or Florida.  Coaching changes could have that up in the air, and Shazier has really been in his ear, but a commitment for Ohio State would be a minor upset on this one.
  • Jujuan Story – He is said to be making a late visit to OSU, currently a Florida commit.

Two Alabama commits might peek your interest as well being the two Ohio boys playing in the game LB Trey Depriest and OL Ryan Kelly (will not play due to injury in his last high school game).

2011 Recruit Preview…Steve Miller

Written October 26th, 2010 by Joe Laing

tBBC continues our look at Ohio State’s 2011 commits, what they have done on the season, a preview of their upcoming game, and a brief synopsis of what to expect when they get to Columbus.

After a bit of a break last week, we’re back to take a look at our other amazing defense end, Steve Miller, the counter point to Kenny Hayes. Miller, a 6’5” 240 lb DE from Canton McKinley, is yet another in a long line of Ohio kids that have been Buckeyes their whole life, and couldn’t wait to commit to Ohio State.

Coming soon to a QB near you

Steve was probably the first recruit outside of Braxton Miller that was talked about in 2011 class, as Florida came calling early on with heavy interest.   I currently have Steve Miller as the #5 player in the state, with offers from basically everyone in the Big T1e1n, Florida, Notre Dame, WVU, UCLA, Stanford, and Syracuse.

Steve is not the only talented DE on his high school team, as his counterpart is a highly recruited junior, Se’Von Pittman. Pittman currently doesn’t have an offer from Ohio State, but he could very well earn one.  Currently McKinley is 7-2 on the year, and has a huge game this weekend against their rival Massillon Washington (7-2) and Buckeye commit Devin Smith. Win or lose both team should make the playoffs.

Miller has not been as productive in the stat department this year as last.  Last year he was up in the double digit range for sacks, this year he is only at 2 due to a ton of double teams, and chip blocks from the rb’s. Read More

2011 Recruit Preview…Kenny Hayes

Written October 12th, 2010 by Joe Laing

tBBC continues our look at Ohio State’s 2011 commits, what they have done on the season, a preview of their upcoming game, and a brief synopsis of what to expect when they get to Columbus.

This week we switch to the defensive side of the ball, where we take a look at our first verbal commitment of the 2011 class, Kenny Hayes. A 6’5” 255 lb DE from Toledo, he has been a buckeye his whole life, and couldn’t wait to commit to Ohio State.  He has been a fixture at home games for a while now

"Nice Haircut!"

Kenny seems to have become a household name in Ohio, and I have him as the #3 ranked player in the state behind Braxton Miller and Michael Bennett.  He committed early even before official offers could be sent out, so he didn’t have the time to rack up all the letters that many recruits have in their portfolio, but make no mistake Kenny could play anywhere in the country. Hayes’ athleticism is obvious, as he also is an outstanding basketball player earning second team all-league last year.
Kenny is not the only talented DE on his high school team as his counterpart is a highly recruited junior, Chris Wormley, already has an offer form Ohio State.  Currently Whitmer is 6-1 on the year, and has a huge game this weekend against undefeated (7-0) Toledo Central Catholic, home of the one and only Dane Sanzenbacher.  With a win they should win out and win the league, but either way Kenny should have the Panthers in the playoffs again this year. Read More