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
Last week I covered the awesomeness that is the Silver Bullet defense (line, linebackers, and secondary). I strongly believe that the defense alone is good enough to win nine games this season- regardless of what happens on the other side of the ball.
Nine wins is good at a lot of schools, but for Buckeye fans that is a borderline bad year.
To have a great season, and more importantly for Coach Fickell to secure a long term contract, the Scarlet Assassin offense will need to step up to win above and beyond nine games.
In this regard, “Scarlet Assassins” is an appropriate nickname for several reasons; most importantly because they will move against their opponents slowly and meticulously before delivering the fatal blow.
An eight minute fourth quarter drive capped off by Zach Boren leading Carlos Hyde into the end zone for the game icing TD has a nice ring to it.
Slow and meticulous or the greatest show on turf; as always, the line will be the key to success on offense.
Here is player by player look at the two-deep. Read More
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:
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.
First glance at NLOID; both in Columbus and elsewheres.
I got four good guys with me helping me stay warm. Wait. Not like that…
Elsewheres Read More
Checking in with a preview of the Offense / Defense Bowl being played Dec. 31 @ 4. Will be held in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. TV will only be Comcast in the South.
Practices have been delayed because of players not arriving on time, due to the weather on the east coast. We could see a very sloppy game because of the lack of practice, even moreso than usual in these all-star games.
“All Eyes on OSU” is one of the storylines for this game. With 7 committs playing in the game and 6 of them on East team:
On the West will be Florida safety Jeremy Cash. The game looks to have a heavy Buckeye flavor.
The game itself has a large Ohio flavor. In addition to the 6 Buckeye commits from Ohio, Cleveland Glenville standouts Shane Wynn and Cardale Jones will suit up for the West team. They were once talked about as being in the running or having offers from Ohio State, but that talk has really died in the past month or so.
Two of my favorite players from Ohio that were not offered by Ohio State are both Notre Dame commitments- Pickerington safety Eilar Hardy and Cincy Colerain LB Jarret Grace, also suiting up for the West side.
The others from Ohio are Westerville OL Ray Ball, who has committed to play at Wisconsin. Strongsville TE Ray Hamilton Brad Carrico has committed to play at Notre Dame. Carrico is the only Ohio player playing for the East team. In total that makes 13 players from the state of Ohio.
Look for a fun and exciting game with a lot of local talent and stay tuned for a post game write up. In the meantime check out this link for updates on practices and any updates on our recruits from our friends at Buckeyeplanet.com.
Alternative title for this update: Christmas in June or The Homestretch.
With the commitment of legacy WR Evan Spencer on Saturday, the class of 2011 has grown to 13 players. That means that the magic number for the rest of the class is 9 (or so I have read). What happens with the last 9 scholarships? that is what I am here to talk about.
Breaking News: Joel Hale has committed to the Buckeyes as I put the final touches on this post. I will leave the text the same, mostly so I look smart.
First I’d like to elaborate on some things from my last recruiting update.
Most importantly, I want to retract my position that Trey DePriest is an “absolute must get” for this class. I based that designation mostly on the fact that if Ohio State lost DePriest to Alabama, that would be two years in a row that the top LB in Ohio left the state for college.
Upon further examination, who cares?
First, Ohio State is absolutely loaded at LB and will be for several years to come, making the position less than a priority for this class.
Second, the way this class is shaping up, Ohio State may have its choice of premier players. This means two things. One, players that wait until signing day may not have a scholarship waiting for them, even if their name is DePriest. Two, since LB is not an area of need at the moment, why not give that extra spot to a premiere player at a position that Ohio State is a little thinner at.
Third, I get a generally bad feeling about the recruitment. When a kid wavers this much early on, it does not lead to good things for Ohio State in most cases. I would love to see DePriest in scarlet and gray, but in situations like this it is better to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. DePriest is an absolute wild card in this recruiting class, but from what I can tell things just aren’t looking good for Ohio State here.
The moral of the story is that DePriest is a wild card for this class, and not an ‘absolute must get’ like I said before.
There wasn’t quite as much recruiting action over the weekend as I would have liked but Ohio State did pick up TE Jeff Heuerman.
While Heuerman’s commitment was unexpected, it is always nice when kids visit Ohio State and the coaching staff and instantly know that it is for them.
No other players have committed yet, but I think the possibility of a few more deciding within the next week or two is high.
The weekend also created a lot of positive buzz for some highly touted players that I had previously written off. I am still going to write most of them off, but it is good when people say nice things about Ohio State.
Anyways, here’s the breakdown.