2013 is here, I hope everyone rang in the New Year safe and sound but still had a lot of fun! With a new year brings the opportunity to look forward to what we are expecting and would like to see at this time next year. Let’s rumble!
No drop off on the d-line
For the first time in who knows how long, Ohio State will go into the upcoming football season replacing all four starters on its defensive front line. Gone are Jonathan Hankins, John Simon, Nathan Williams and Garret Goebel. The guys taking their place have big shoes to fill as Hankins may potentially be a top ten pick in the NFL draft, Williams and Simon were deadly on the ends (most notably when on the field together) while Goebel came into his own in 2011 and really blossomed in 2012 as a solid run stuffer. Goebel and Simon were named captains at the end of fall practice.
Fortunately, the Buckeyes appear to be loaded. We watched true freshman Tommy Schutt, Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence see significant snaps, some in critical junctures of big games. Junior Joel Hale was solid when called on. Another junior, Michael Bennett, has the potential to be the next “big time” defensive lineman at Ohio State. More troops are on the way as incoming freshman Tracy Sprinkle, Joey Bosa and Michael Hill are being looked at to perform as well as the Schutt-Spence-Washington trio did in 2012 or better.
There’s also the enigma that is J.T. Moore. He has the size and speed to be a steady hand in the rotation but has yet to show an ability to stay on the field when opportunities arise. Along with Moore, what will become of Chris Carter? Carter has the size to shut down run lanes in the manner that Hankins did in his career, but does he have the desire?
The REAL Linebacker U
Andy Katzenmoyer. A.J. Hawk. Ike Kelly. Bobby Carpenter. Randy Gradishar. Chris Spielman. Steve Tovar. Pepper Johnson. Tom Cousineau. James Laurinitis. Matt Wilhelm. Marcus Marek. Na’ill Diggs. Tell me, Penn State, is your list remotely close to this one? Didn’t think so. Read More
So here’s the thing.
The story of the day yesterday was the first episode of All Access, a behind the scenes look at the Buckeye program under the new regime.
But… in a moment of weakness, I DVR’d it And watched it.
And loved ever second.
How can you hate quotes like “Abso-smurfly”, “Bozo the freakin’ clown”, “I’m glad you’re a Buckeye, bro…”, “I like coaching you…” and other admonitions to play “hungry” and “angry”.
And the precision of the offensive staff’s work, the pride that Coach Mariotti puts into his time with the team, and the focus and plan that Coach Meyer is instilling into the team… it’s a really good piece. If you missed it and don’t mind the spoilers, the gang at LGHL have a really good review with picture pages and everything.
I’d be really excited about this, to be honest, if all things were equal. Given the bad PR that my favorite program received over the past few years for numerous self inflicted wounds, it’s great to get excited about OSU football again- and to see a national response (including Southern Cal and Clemson recruits commenting on it) that was pretty positive.
But, I’ll be honest- It’s still hard for me to not be wary about this series. You kick a dog and reach to pet him, he’ll wince and cower even if he lets you stroke his head again. Given what we know about ESPN’s agenda (Entertainment Sports Programming Network), it safe to see that they are interested in a narrative of redemption up until the point that they bang the drums marking a fall from grace.
Just watch the history- 2002 upset their narrative, and then the 2003 Clarett story was a bottom. The 2006 season’s coverage was the apex of good vibes, and then this past year seems to be yet another trough in their coverage- again, a story that Ohio State wrote for itself, but one that got presented over and over and over again on the largest stage while others were way way off Broadway in Coral Gables and Columbia and Chapel Hill.
So- we’ll watch (yup) and see. And, if nothing else, this will give us the chance to celebrate the splendor and power of an Ohio State team on a very particular mission.
Buckle Buckeye up.
Usually, we reserve “Shots” for game experience recaps. However, given Meyer Mayhem, here’s some whispers and stuff that Joe’s been hearing:
After three straight days of being at the Schott I overheard and saw quite a few things.
Tommy Schutt is one of the top defensive linemen in the country (scout 5-star, rivals 4-star, who cares what the clowns at ESPN rate him) who will be a tremendous addition to Ohio State’s interior defensive line.
With the opportunity to go to his choice of Mid-West schools, Schutt was heavily pursued by Ohio State early in the recruiting cycle. Unfortunately, his interest seemingly fell off after Jim Tressel was no longer head coach. Ultimately, he chose Penn State over Notre Dame and Michigan, but obviously the situation in Happy Valley has caused many of their prospects to look around.
It didn’t take long for the mutual interest sparks to fly between Schutt and Ohio State after Urban Meyer became head coach, and following a tremendous visit this weekend, Tommy decided to officially switch his commitment to the Buckeyes.
Hopefully this is just the start of a series of reversals from players who visited over the weekend (Pittman, Dodson).
Either way, Tommy Schutt is a tremendous addition to the 2012 class and Urban Meyer’s first commitment as Ohio State’s head coach.
Highlights after the jump. Read More
As summer camps approach, the Ohio State coaching staff will be looking to continue narrowing down their top targets in the 2012 class.
While they have already seen many players at camp in previous years, they will get one last one-on-one evaluation period before making the final push for their top targets over the summer and fall.
A lot can happen between a players junior and senior years of high school, and as always, some surprise camp offers will likely emerge.
Most of the time, the camp offers replace national prospects that received token early offers. More often than not, the chances of landing some of the national prospects are slim to none from the beginning. You offer just to be sure and to establish contact with coaches and programs around the country.
At this point, the staff has a good idea of the national prospects with legitimate interest, making it possible to evaluate players with an eye on replacing current offers with no interest in the Buckeyes.
Before summer camp evaluations and a new round of offers, here is a look at Ohio State’s early offers that they still have an above average shot at landing. Read More
Welcome back to another recruiting update. Ohio State hasn’t slowed down in terms of new verbal offers for players, which leaves us with plenty to talk about after the jump. Before we get to that, however, I’d like to address one of the emerging story lines of this recruiting class: Michigan carpet bombing the state of Ohio with offers.
Jim Tressel and his staff pride themselves on being selective with their offers and landing a high percentage of players that they target. In contrast, Hoke and his staff have been pretty blatant about throwing offers out to seemingly every Ohio prospect possible.
In a way, this is the perfect strategy for them. It is a fact that the clowns from Ann Arbor would be nothing without Ohio players and coaches saving them from their own mediocrity. Brady Hoke, being the true Michigan man that he is, understands that he is worthless without Ohio. So what better way to turn the program around than raiding an unbelievably talented 2012 crop of Buckeyes?
We have talked before about how there is no way Ohio State will keep all of the in-state talent in this recruiting class. The fence around the state will be knocked over big time and other schools will reap the benefits… at least for one year.
Ohio State has offered approximately 34 players in the 2012 class thus far. In contrast, Michigan has thrown out at least twice as many offers, including hitting Ohio hard. It may be a good strategy for them, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. The worst part will be when they pull an Ohio player or ten, which is inevitable. They will claim a “victory” over Ohio State and brag about it in their typical arrogant manner.
It will be dreadfully annoying.
That being said, Ohio State and the coaches can only take care of their recruiting business, whatever happens at other schools is largely up to us fans to deal with… so prepare yourselves accordingly.
The most important thing to remember is that when you throw out 100 offers, which Michigan is well on their way to hitting, you are only expecting to land about 25% of those offers. That’s a pretty embarrassing admission of your lack of appeal, and something that Ron Zook is infamous for at Illinois. So congratulations Michigan, you have turned into the recruiting equivalent of the Illini.
Now that the ink has dried on the 2011 recruiting class, it is officially time to start looking ahead to 2012… recruiting has no off season. The 2012 class is projected to have a relatively low number of scholarships, which is a shame given the huge amount of talent present in Ohio and across the country.
With 5 players already in the fold, the Buckeyes will be looking to add approximately 10-15 additional prospects over the next 12 months. Like 2011, the class will fill up quickly (primarily with in-state players), leaving the coaches plenty of time to focus on a small number of elite out-of-state targets that will take a bit longer to reel in.
Regardless of who the Buckeyes sign, disappointment is inevitable in 2012. Ohio State will miss on some extremely talented players simply because there won’t be room for them. The in-state players heading abroad will be particularly difficult to witness, but you play the hand you are dealt.
For the record, number crunches like Ohio State is facing in 2012 are exactly why oversigning provides such a huge advantage for certain teams, but I digress.