One Fan’s Opinion: Defensive Dreams

Written April 29th, 2014 by MaliBuckeye

Mike checks back in with part two of his post-spring look at the Ohio State football team, getting defensive this time:

When asked to write about the Silver Bullets, I cannot express to you the level of excitement and overall outlook for our beloved Buckeyes that got me pumped for the passing of summer. This will be an improved and potentially dominating defense that will make us proud as fans.

As far as I am concerned it started with the addition of Chris Ash (DC) and Larry Johnson (DL). These coaches are difference makers at practice, game time and recruiting. The impact is already present as witnessed by over 61,000 Buckeye Fans at the Spring Game.

The scheme employed by Ash will be simple, yet aggressive in the back end of the defense. He will allow the players to use their instincts and athletic ability to make plays on a consistent basis. This will mean more press coverage and much less of the “Bend Don’t Break” mentality we have witnessed in the past.

With that being said I would like to highlight a few players that stand out to me in the secondary heading into fall:

  1. Doran Grant gets forgotten about at times with all the talented youth waiting in the wings. We need to remember this is a former 5 star recruit who is suited to be more physical at the line of scrimmage using his hands and size. I really think he has a big year and finally shows he is the player we recruited. He will also be counted on to be more of a leader this year as we have a lot of youth on the depth chart.
  2. Eli Apple/Gareon Conley will both play a lot this year, though it will be a dog fight to see who gets the starting nod if they can beat out (Armani Reeves), which I think happens by mid-season at the latest. Both players are taller cornerbacks (6’1) that are rangy with speed and good hips. One play during the Spring Game I seen Apple “lay the wood” to Corey Smith as he attempted to catch a pass over the middle making me realize what a good hitter he is as well. Conley covered very well and had his hands involved frequently. In a nut shell, if they both stay healthy and out of the dog house, the sky is the limit for both these young men!
  3. Vonn Bell if healthy is penciled in as one starter at Safety. He missed most of the spring with a torn MCL, and it’s being said he “should” be ready for fall camp which we need. He is fast, athletic, a strong tackler but most impressive is his Ball Hawking ability. He will be fun to watch.
  4. Cam Burrows is a 6’0 converted Cornerback that I think will be the other starting safety. He has good coverage skills and will also be able to be an enforcer up in the box when asked. I am really excited about his potential and cannot wait to see him live in action. The only area of concern right now is depth (especially with the Thompson transfer) but once the rest of this recruiting class arrives, we improve right away in that area. Erik Smith is the one kid who I think will be in the 2 deep almost as soon as he walks on campus and contribute!

I am very confident in our young players and Coach Ash’s ability to scheme and motivate. Once healthy, this unit is going to wreak havoc on opposing offenses in the passing game as well as run support. We will be a young secondary from day one but very solid and a group that will improve vastly as the season progresses.

The Linebacker group is the most concerning to me as a whole. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Fingers

Written September 12th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

As you’re reading this, I’m prepping for the drive from Los Angeles to the Bay Area with the Mrs. for Saturday’s game. Given that we got engaged on the Marin Headlands, this song by one of her favorite performers is the obvious choice for this week’s soundtrack. Gonna’ warn you, though… this week’s reflection is… uh… verbose.

Waiting

Buckeye 411

  • Injury Update- The question that everyone’s been asking hasn’t yet been answered, as Coach Meyer said that Braxton threw a bit on Wednesday before leaving practice to get more treatment on his knee. Coach commented that the issue isn’t pain, but seems to be “stability”, and that Braxton is adjusting to his knee brace. It would not be surprising to see Kenny G start and be relieved by Miller, nor would it be a shock to have them split time at the position. Both will travel, Coach Meyer indicated that they would know more after Thursday’s practice and that he remained optimistic.
  • Two Thoughts- 1) The last time Braxton was held out of play in a game he returned to action and performed pretty well. 2) That being said, if Ohio State feels that they can win the game with Smooth Jazz and give Braxton a week (or two) to recover, I wholeheartedly support that decision. Long term goals here, peeps.
  • Also- Adolphus Washington did not practice on Wednesday, but is expected to travel. His is a bit of a different situation, as the injury is something that can linger. Also, as amazing as Washington is on the field, the Young Bucks are doing good work under Coach Vrable’s direction.
  • Good News- Corey Linsley is scheduled to play the entire game this week at center, having gotten the clearance to do so from the medical staff after his foot injury has significantly healed
  • Red, Not Scarlet- A couple of older “back ups” that many are surprised have not gotten the playing time they were expected to were discussed on Wednesday, and Coach Meyer said that it’s a possibility that Bri’onte Dunn and Michael Thomas may end up redshirting if they aren’t going to be a part of the planning this season. He also discussed how he felt that they were “wasted” by the coaches last year, and didn’t want to make the same mistake moving forward.
  • Getting Defensive- Ryan Shazier talked about the Silver Bullets’ excitement to play Cal, and that they were working diligently to ensure that the Bears didn’t have the success necessary to string together drives and run 100 plays a game. He also spoke about the need to maintain leverage on Cal’s running back Brendan Bigelow, as his ability to get to the edge is a strength that created issues for Oho State last year. However, Shazier mentioned that Bigelow’s talents were helped by a number of small mistakes that the young defense made last season.
  • Getting Ready- Playing the role of Bigelow this week in practice? Carlos “I’ll be back next week” Hyde. Not too shabby.
  • Stripes Lost- I guess we’re still doing that now, as Cameron Johnston, Tyquan Lewis, and Trey Johnson all had their black stripes removed today. Woot!
  • Honors- This week’s Sammy Silverman graphics, for your enjoyment Read More

Tyquan Lewis is a Buckeye!

Written September 20th, 2012 by Jim

North Carolina DE/LB Tyquan Lewis is the newest member of Ohio State's 2013 recruiting class.

North Carolina DE/LB Tyquan Lewis has officially announced his plans to attend college at Ohio State, becoming the 17th commitment in the Buckeye’s 2013 recruiting class.

Based on recent interviews with Tyquan, this decision doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Lewis’ journey towards this commitment started on June 10 when he attended camp in Columbus and earned an offer from Ohio State.

He then returned to Columbus with his mother (who talked with Urban a lot herself and liked him) at the end of July for Friday Night Lights in the Horseshoe.

Soon after this visit, and after discussing things over with his mother, he knew where he wanted to go but wasn’t ready to officially announce his decision.

All of these events and positive vibes built momentum towards his  commitment today.

Tyquan will likely fill the ‘Viper’ role along Ohio State’s defensive front as a hybrid pass rushing defensive end -slash- linebacker.

Lewis is rated as a 4-star and the 14th best weakside defensive end by rivals, a 3-star and the 34th best defensive end by scout, a 4-star and the 10th best weakside defensive end by 247 sports, and who cares what ESPN has to say because they provide terrible recruiting coverage. Read More

Tyquan Lewis Interview with 247 Sports

Written August 16th, 2012 by Jim

Four-star NC DE Tyquan Lewis will decide between Ohio State, North Carolina and LSU- possibly in the near future.

Here is a brand new interview with Tyquan from 247 Sports.

Tyquan has plenty to say about Ohio State, including:

  • Through the recruiting process, he has developed the closest bond with Urban Meyer and Mike Vrabel.
  • He knew what school he wanted to choose after he visited Ohio State for Friday Night Lights and after he sat down with his mom to discuss everything (his mom was with him on his visit to FNL).
  • Ohio State has probably recruited him the hardest.
  • He will enroll early at his school of choice.

You can watch the video and decide for yourself, but it certainly seems like the Buckeyes are in great shape.

If Lewis were to choose Ohio State, he would likely fill the hybrid DE/LB LEO (now possibly called Viper) role along the defensive front.

Silver Bullet Points Hits And Misses

Written June 6th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

As all is quiet on the (mid)western front, here’s Wednesday’s bucket o’ links and commentary.

One Of Those Weeks...

Buckeye 411

  • Let’s Go Camping!!  Well, it’s summer and the final quarter at Ohio State is wrapping up as we speak. So, how better to celebrate than cramming all the kiddos in the family truckster and heading out to the great outdoors. Ah, the wilderness… where legends are made and- what? That’s not the kind of camping that we’ll be seeing at the WHAC? Shoot- I had my Deet all squared away and everything.

Nope, this weekend starts the summer football camp season in Columbus, which is a B1G deal for the 2013/14 classes as well as for Coach Meyer’s continued scorched earth policy building relationships with coaches and programs across the state. This weekend’s a one day camp, and the process builds to July’s Friday Night Lights event.  For many HS students, this might be the make or break opportunity that they’ve been looking- a number of OSU targets have been encouraged to camp in order to either earn an offer or to be evaluated and have their offer “bumped up” to “Commit-able”. Many thought that QBs Malik Zaire and Mitch Trubisky were in this category, as Urban wanted to see them camp prior to having them join the 2013 class… obviously they wanted to be somewhere else or wanted someone who didn’t require them to “audition”.

Names to keep an ear out for this weekend include national #3 safety Vonn Bell, who will be making his second unofficial in less than a month- that’s got to be a good sign, methinks. Also, Lakota’s Kyle Meadows will be participating, as will Wayne’s Lovell Peterson, both will be looking to earn offers. Finally, North Carolina DE/LB Tyquan Lewis will also be present- another interesting recruit from the Tar Heel State.

  • ZEKE! Speaking of recruiting, Ezekiel Elliott earned RB MVP honors at the Illinois Nike event and an invite to the big doin’s in Oregon later this summer.  Here’s a great interview with Scout.com about how he felt his performance went and what he’s most looking forward to. Read More
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