As we get closer to Kickoff Week, here’s some quick notes from Ohio State and beyond. Don’t forget to sign up for this year’s “Pick-em” contest!
After much speculation and rumors, the article that possibly expedited the end of the Ohio State careers of Jim Tressel (and Terrelle Pryor?) went online at Sports Illustrated this evening.
In it, author George Dohrmann raps up a six week investigation into Ohio State football and other aspects of life in the WHAC. As you can imagine, it’s not flattering.
Sports Illustrated is alleging that the number of student athletes who have exchanged memorabilia for tattoos is actually 28, and not the 6 that were originally named. After interviewing former employees at two Columbus area tattoo parlors, this number also includes nine Buckeyes currently with the program- Jamaal Berry, C.J. Barnett, Bo DeLande, Dorian Bell, Zach Domicone, John Simon, Storm Klein, Etienne Sabino, and Nathan Williams
Also in the piece, SI alleges that some of the exchanges of memorabilia was for marijuana, and that players often partook while they were at the various tattoo establishments.
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.
The Golden Gophers, coming off their 7th straight loss of the season, ran into the #11 Buckeyes in the Twin Cities. Ohio State started slow, but eventually put the clamps down and killed the Gophers 52-10. The Buckeyes found success with a balanced attack, with Pryor throwing 18-22 for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns and Dan Herron carrying the ball 17 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. Herron’s 100 yard game was the first since Saine’s against Marshall during the season opener.
The Buckeyes came out of the gate passing the football. The strategy was exactly the opposite to the previous game when they started out with 5 straight Herron runs. Pryor found some open receivers downfield against the Minnesota secondary early on but wasn’t able to connect on a couple of his passes. Intermixed with the passing game were a few runs to Herron that gained a few yards. The Buckeyes eventually got the ball down to the 3 yard line and took two Boom runs and a Pryor quarterback keeper for the touchdown.
The balanced offensive attack almost seemed like a first first the Buckeyes this season. Ohio State traditionally would attack in the first drive with either a vast majority of passes or a vast majority (or all runs). The change was clearly another step in the development of this offense after the Wisconsin loss.