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Current Football News Archive

Ohio State Team Report
March 30, 2012 Source: Yahoo Sports - Late last fall, Urban Meyer was looked on as the only guy on the planet who could come in, clean up the mess left over from the NCAA scandal and the firing of former head coach Jim Tressel, and put the Buckeyes’ house back in order immediately.

A little over three months later, there’s a new environment, a new way of doing business and a new framework for building championship teams in Columbus. As Meyer leads the Buckeyes into spring practice, it is abundantly clear there is a new sheriff in town. Meyer...will use the spring workouts to fully implement his plan for the Buckeyes...

“We take great pride in our offseason program, and in our very strong opinion, championships are won in the offseason,” Meyer said. “We had a very good offseason. The team looks a lot different to me, especially the offensive line. I was very disappointed in some of the body types that were here, and a lot of those bodies have changed.”...

Certainly, 2011 Big Ten freshman of the year quarterback Braxton Miller is at the controls as he preps for his sophomore year, but Meyer wants to see extensive competition across the lineup. He wants all position battles resolved by the time the Buckeyes conclude their spring workouts.

“I made it clear to the players that by the time we hit fall camp, the spots are done. It’s game over,” Meyer said. “Sure, some things will happen to the depth chart, but the two-deep will be set after spring practice. This is development time now. Once you get to August, we’re all about trying to find a way to win a game.”...

“We’re looking for leadership by doing, by work ethic, by leading,” Meyer said. “I’m not interested in a bunch of group hugs or team meetings. I really want to see guys lead by not losing. You want to be a great leader, then go win.”

NOTES, QUOTES...• Ohio State is reloading as spring ball gets underway. Nine of the blue chip recruits that Meyer brought to Columbus in his first class were already on campus and fully integrated into the Buckeyes’ system when spring practice opened. Included in that group are explosive RB Bri’onte Dunn and stud DL Se’Von Pittman.

Key Questions: Coach Urban Meyer’s spread offense demands top notch talent at the skill positions, and due to the Buckeyes’ lack of experience at wide receiver and the fact there is no clear-cut dominant running back, the new Ohio State coach will spend the spring finding the stars to make the spread go. “No question, it’s the offensive skill positions,” Meyer said about the biggest uncertainty facing his developing team. “I don’t know who is going to catch a pass. There’s no track record. I don’t know who is going to carry the ball. Who is going to touch the ball? I don’t know. I can’t tell you who is going to touch it.”

Players To Watch: DL John Simon—There were times last season when Simon simply could not be blocked. He was a third-team All-American and could have jumped to the NFL, but Simon chose to stay and finish his career under Urban Meyer. Simon led the Buckeyes with seven sacks and 15 tackles for loss last season. He should have a huge impact as a disruptive factor on the line in 2012.

QB Braxton Miller—Last season’s Big Ten freshman of the year should flourish in Meyer’s spread offense. Miller started 10 games last year, throwing for 1,159 yards with a freshman school-record 13 touchdowns. He completed 54.1 percent of his passes (85 of 157) with just four interceptions. Miller also led the Buckeyes in rushing with 715 yards and seven touchdowns. In the spread, Miller’s numbers should explode.

RB Rod Smith—As the battle for the starting job commences, Smith ranks third behind Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde, but he has been regarded as a huge under-achiever since he arrived in Columbus. If Meyer can get Smith to perform to his potential, the Ohio State offense just might have the big, speedy back it can feature.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL 2012 Outlook: The Buckeyes have the talent to contend for the Big Ten championship, despite the fact an NCAA postseason ban will prevent them from playing in the Big Ten title game. Coach Urban Meyer should use that as one more motivator to get this team to excel. He was able to land one of the top recruiting classes in the country, and could have a player or two in that group that will help right away. Outside of that, if the Meyer spread is implemented smoothly and he finds ample personnel to man the skill positions at receiver and running back, the Buckeyes could win the Leaders Division and force the league into the embarrassing position of not having its best team in the championship game.

Scouting The Offense: The Ohio State offense will start with QB Braxton Miller, and that should make everything else better. Miller is a very effective passer and an absolute nightmare for defenses when he takes off in the open field. As new head coach Urban Meyer installs his spread offense, there are questions at running back and wide receiver, but by the time spring work ends, Meyer should have those answered.

It appears RB Carlos Hyde has the inside track on the starting job, since he combines speed and punch, but it should be a horse race between Hyde, Jordan Hall and Rod Smith. Meyer has a wealth of talent at tight end, led by athletic senior Jake Stoneburner, so that asset will help make up for any shortcomings on the outside. FB Zach Boren is a punishing blocker and an adept pass catcher out of the backfield. The line is more than sound and developing depth, led by the versatile junior Jack Mewhort, who has played all three positions and looks headed for a couple seasons of all-Big Ten honors.

Scouting The Defense: The Buckeyes should be nasty under defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, who filled in last season as the team’s interim boss and was retained by new OSU head coach Urban Meyer. The front has a couple players that are scary good, with senior DL John Simon returning after an All-American season in 2011, and junior DT Johnathan Hankins ready to be a dominant force. If DE Nathan Williams returns fully healed after missing almost all of 2011 with a knee injury, this could be the Big Ten’s best unit. At linebacker, seniors Storm Klein and Etienne Sabino and sophomore Ryan Shazier form an athletic and experienced group. Sophomore Curtis Grant is a future star. The secondary is solid at the corners where senior Travis Howard and sophomore Bradley Roby return as starters, while senior Orhian Johnson, junior C.J. Barnett and junior Christian Bryant have all started at the safety positions...

Scouting The Special Teams: The Buckeyes return experienced and proven PK Drew Basil and P Ben Buchanan, and dangerous KR Jordan Hall. Look for coach Urban Meyer to take a detailed interest in this group, and not hesitate to shake things up. He has a track record of using his best athletes on the punt block team, and a history of blocking punts with his unit.

Top Newcomers: DE Noah Spence—The earth shook around Big Ten land when Urban Meyer picked up Spence, widely-regarded as the best defensive end in the nation. A terror in the pass rush, Spence was the top player in Pennsylvania, an honor bestowed several years ago on now defrocked former Buckeyes QB Terrelle Pryor.

RB Bri’onte Dunn—The Buckeyes like a big back, as the careers of Eddie George, Keith Byars and Beanie Wells demonstrated, and some think the 220-pound Dunn is ready to take his place as the next in that line. He amassed 5,479 rushing yards during his high school career. Power, speed, elusiveness and a high motor give Dunn the right stuff to get a quick early look in the OSU backfield.

DT Tommy Schutt—Ohio State coach Urban Meyer saw the defensive front as the area with the most urgent need on his team, and Schutt is a big body that should start filling that need right away. He was the first recruit to commit to Meyer. Schutt had 33 career sacks and 11 forced fumbles while helping his team make the state playoffs four times.

Roster Report: • TE Reid Fragel is expected to move to offensive tackle, and at 6-8 and 280 pounds, he has the frame to fill the role. • DL Nathan Williams, who injured his knee in the 2011 opener and then missed all of the season, earning a medical redshirt, continues to rehab and will stay out of contact this spring. Williams is expected to be cleared for contact when fall camp begins... Click to Read the rest



Urban Meyer comments post Buckeyes 1st Spring Practice March 28, 2012 Source: BuckeyeGrove.com


Sights & Sounds from Buckeyes 1st Spring Practice March 28, 2012 BuckeyeGrove.com


Photo GalleryPhoto GalleryOSU 1st Spring Practice:
The Ozone
Josh Winslow

 Withers eager to mesh with Fickell
March 28, 2012 Source: Chillicothe Gazette - OSU co-defensive coordinators have similiarities heading into spring practice...

Titles can be a tricky thing. Take the Ohio State football coaching staff, for instance. Urban Meyer has named Everett Withers assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator. Luke Fickell, whom Meyer has replaced as head coach, is defensive coordinator and linebackers coach -- and, apparently, more than that.

"He's the general manager," Meyer recently said of Fickell. "He has an obligation to me to do the best he can, and he has. I have an obligation to him, too. I think he'll be a head coach real soon, and deservedly so."

Meyer has said Fickell will call the defense. So where does that leave Withers when it comes to the defensive chain of command? His ego, or lack thereof, doesn't allow him to care.

"We have a lot of respect for each other and what we've done in the profession," Withers said of meshing with Fickell. "I think that's something you feel and you see daily.

"There are a lot of ideas in our staff room, guys who have done a lot of different things in a lot of different places. I think that's important to have; to not be stale as a staff. I think you need guys who have ideas and who can come together at the end of the day with one common goal."...

Fickell succeeded former head coach Jim Tressel at Ohio State on May 30 and had to steer the Buckeyes through a series of player suspensions amid an NCAA investigation that played a huge role in the school's first losing season (6-7) since 1988...

Withers has been a college coach for 17 years and an NFL coach for seven -- six as defensive backs coach with the Tennesee Titans under Jeff Fisher. In addition to spending nine years as a defensive coordinator in college, Withers also has spent 15 seasons at that level coaching the defensive backfield... Click to Read the rest


Spring Preview, Roster, Football Facts and More
Source: OSU Official Site


Big Ten Spring Football - Leaders, Part One
March 27, 2012 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - The big storylines and the key thoughts for each Big Ten team

Ohio State

It’s Urban Meyer’s world and everyone else is paying rent. He’s pulling out all the typical new head coach clichés, like wanting the players to get into better shape, and be more physical, and show who wants to battle, because Ohio State was apparently slacking when it came to developing loads and loads of top-shelf college talents. But he has a point, and it could and should be the kick in the pants the program needs to go one step further. Under Jim Tressel’s reign Ohio State became an elite of the elite program again, but whether it was style or preparations and performances against the USCs and top SEC teams of the world, something was missing. Meyer was able get that little bit of juice needed to take Florida forward, and he just might be able to tweak things just enough to start the process now to come out roaring in 2013.

And that’s going to be the issue throughout this season. With no bowl to play in and no Big Ten title to shoot for, without ever saying that this will be a yearlong process to become national title good again, it’s going to be a yearlong process to be national title good again. That attitude starts now, and that means full-bore practices, 100% motors, and nothing less than full-time effort all the time. Any sort of playtime there was before is now over.

- Meyer can’t get through a conversation without saying the words Tim and Tebow, and now he’s doing the same sort of gushing over Braxton Miller. Miller is big – he’s 6-3 and 210 pounds – and the coaching staff plans on using him as even more of a passer after he spent last year mostly running. The playbook is open and nothing is going to be held back, mainly because Meyer seems to believe that his sophomore quarterback can handle the responsibility.

- But who will Miller throw to? As much as Meyer praises Miller, that’s how grouchy he appears to be about his receiving corps and running backs. This could be a lean year unless a few targets step up and surprise this offseason, and considering Meyer could never seem to get steady production out of his running backs at Florida, the offense could once again be Miller, Miller, and more Miller.

- It’ll be fun to see the transformation on the offensive line. To be fair, part of the reason the Buckeyes were 118th in the nation in sacks allowed was because of Miller’s inexperience and running, but still, any line with Mike Brewster at center and the beef across the board should’ve been better. Forget about the massive 320-pound bellybusters; under Meyer the O line is going to be a lean, mean, fighting machine. If you can’t move, you can’t play on Meyer’s front five.

- However, that’ll be easier said than done. Ohio State recruited to a type for the front five, and no one can make 6-6, 300-pound linemen quick and agile if that’s not how they’re built. It’s not like there are a ton of options on a line that’ll have a hard time finding the right starting five much less depth to count on in a rotation.

- The key to the defense could turn out to be linebackers Curtis Grant and Ryan Shazier. They have all the talent in the world, and they can move, but they need to make a big leap forward in their consistency. Grant is too promising and has too much upside to merely be average. Regulars Storm Klein and Etienne Sabino are good, but Grant and Shazier could be great... Click to Read the rest


Ohio State Spring Football: By The Numbers
March 27, 2012 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - Ohio State begins the first spring football practice under head coach Urban Meyer this week, so we took a look at some of the numbers surrounding the Buckeyes as they get ready to strap on the pads again.

Ohio State returns to work this spring without seven starters from the final depth chart of the 2011 season.

There are eight redshirt freshmen hoping to find a spot in the depth chart after toiling on the scout teams last year: Offensive linemen Tommy Brown and Chris Carter, tight end Nick Vannett, linebacker Conner Crowell, defensive linemen Chase Farris and Kenny Hayes, long snapper Bryce Haynes and safety Ron Tanner.

There are nine early enrollees set to take part in spring practice: running back Bri’onte Dunn, quarterback Cardale Jones, wide receiver Mike Thomas, offensive linemen Jacoby Boren and Taylor Decker, defensive lineman Se’Von Pittman, safety Tyvis Powell, and linebackers Joshua Perry and Luke Roberts.

Nine represents the total number of players who left the program either as transfers (quarterback Taylor Graham, safety Jeremy Cash and fullback David Durham), for disciplinary reasons (defensive backs DerJuan Gambrell and Dominic Clarke and running back Jaamal Berry, or as medical hardship cases (linebackers Chad Hagan and Scott McVey, defensive lineman Melvin Fellows).

Only 10 players overall are missing from the last 2011 depth chart.

Gone are 21 seniors from last year, including starters Dan Herron, DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Mike Brewster, J.B. Shugarts, Andrew Sweat and Tyler Moeller.

When the team’s roster was updated with new heights and weights from new strength and conditioning director Mickey Marotti, 28 players were shown to have gained weight from the roster released prior to the Gator Bowl. Double-digit gainers were Hayes (up 45 pounds to 285), Farris (up 21 to 286), offensive lineman Reid Fragel (up 18 to 298), Crowell (up 13 to 233), Vannett (up 13 to 248), quarterback Ken Guiton (up 11 to 206), defensive lineman Steve Miller (up 10 to 255), and linebacker Curtis Grant (up 10 to 235) and Ryan Shazier (up 16 to 226).

On the flip side, there were 20 players listed at a lower weight than the previous roster. The leaders in that category include defensive linemen Johnathan Hankins (down 18 pounds to 317), Joel Hale (down 15 to 285), John Simon (down 10 to 260) and Nathan Williams (down 11 to 249), offensive linemen Corey Linsley (down 18 to 292) and Tommy Brown (down 10 to 310)

Fragel wore 88 last year as a tight end but will don No. 77 this year after moving to offensive tackle for his senior season. He will not be the only veteran making his debut on the offensive line, either. Darryl Baldwin has switched to No. 76 after wearing 90 as a defensive lineman last season as a redshirt freshman.

The thinnest position this spring is cornerback, where only three scholarship players are on the roster: senior Travis Howard and sophomores Bradley Roby and Doran Grant.

The deepest position appears to be safety, where the two starting spots both go four deep with presumed starters Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett followed by Orhian Johnson, Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown, Zach Domicone, Jamie Wood, Tanner and Powell.

The annual Scarlet and Gray Game will take place April 21 at Ohio Stadium... Click to Read the rest


Talking Ohio State Football
March 26, 2012 Source: Big Ten Network - The Urban Meyer era has dawned at Ohio State. And with it comes big dreams—national championship dreams. Why not? Meyer led Florida to BCS titles in 2006 and 2008. Yes, Ohio State is ineligible for the Big Ten title and a bowl this season as it serves probation incurred under Jim Tressel. But Meyer still wants to lay the foundation for future greatness for a team that went 6-7 last season, the program’s first losing season since going 4-6-1 under John Cooper in 1988 and the school’s first seven-loss season since 1897.

It all begins this spring for a team that may be the most talented in the Big Ten. I talked to three writers who cover the Buckeyes to get their thoughts on what Ohio State needs to accomplish this spring.

Tim May, Columbus Dispatch:
“The skill positions on offense, other than Braxton Miller, are the big question—especially the receivers. The top receiver last year caught 14 passes. During winter drills, the coaches have been after those guys to step up. They need to be leaders and also understand they will play critical roles in what their plan is.

Look at (receivers) Corey “Philly” Brown, Devin Smith, Evan Spencer and Chris Fields, those are the guys who are back who caught balls last year. They are looking for one of those guys to excel. I think they think Philly Brown is a guy they think can make a major step this spring. He was more of a running back than receiver in high school. He was kinda like Percy Harvin in how he was used. The new staff may be eyeballing Brown for some role in that regard. It’s a different offense with elements of the spread in it. They are looking for those guys to step up in the spring.

“On defense, they ran out of linebackers last year, or at least quality linebackers because of injuries. I think they will be pretty good on the defensive line. Linebacker is where they need some guys to come around. (Etienne) Sabino is back. He had a pretty good bowl against Florida. They think he can be pretty good. The kid who has everyone’s eye is Ryan Shazier. He was a freshman who was playing great until he hurt his knee. He played against Michigan on one leg and was the best they had. His knee has come around and they think he can be a real star. Storm Klein can be pretty good. But they are looking for a couple more people to step up from a depth standpoint. Luke Fickell will coach linebackers with Mike Vrabel moving to defensive line. It will be interesting to see how Fickell brings guys along.

“The defensive line could be really good. Meyer raves about Johnathan Hankins. He has lost even more weight and is slim and trim and more muscular. He has a huge upside. I thought Michael Bennett was underrated as a freshman last year. He has that mean streak in him. Nathan Williams was the guy they missed more than anyone on defense last year. He hurt his knee in the first game and never came back. The really missed him at the “Leo” (linebacker/end) position and weren’t as dynamic without him. Urban Meyer loves John Simon at tackle and end. He’s a big-time effort guy like a Howie Long. They feel really good about the line.”

Doug Lesmerisis, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Getting their hands on Braxton Miller for a full spring is big for the new coaches. They love the kid and his competitiveness and skill set, but they need to get rolling with him on their offense. Getting him developed into their way of being quarterback is a big thing for them.

“But Meyer does not like the skill-position guys. He hasn’t been shy about saying that. He has wondered who is gonna catch the ball because the receivers last year were pretty terrible. DeVier Posey was the best guy and he didn’t play practically the whole year and now he’s gone. Corey “Philly” Brown is the top guy back, but he always has had issues with his hands. Devin Smith and Evan Spencer played a bit as true freshmen last year and are probably the second and third guys right now. For a place that has put out receivers like Santonio Holmes, Anthony Gonzalez, Ted Ginn, Jr. Terry Glenn, David Boston, you know the list, this is not a great receiver crop.

“Depth on the offensive line is an issue with three senior starters gone, so there’s lots of competition. There will be some young guys who factor in at tackle. Watch Reid Fragel, a senior who was a tight end but is moving to tackle. He’s 6-8, 300. He will be in the mix to start at tackle. Meyer talks about long, lean angular tackles who are good athletes as opposed to big bruisers with guts. Fragel fits that look. He always was a good blocking tight end. They need him to make that switch to tackle. It’s a big deal.

“They need linebackers. In my ideal world, sophomores Ryan Shazier and Curtis Grant would be starters. Grant was a five-star recruit last year. He is a great athlete but coaches say he didn’t pick up the defense quickly which limited his playing time and limited him mostly to special teams. He’s still a great talent. How can Grant progress? (Etienne) Sabino and (Storm) Klein are seniors coming off average years at best after splitting the middle linebacker spot, and then Shazier took over late. Can one of the two step up and grab a job? They are in nickel so much, there really are only two starting linebacker jobs. The other linebacker is a fifth DB half the time. Shazier will start for sure. And then other slot is between Grant and the two seniors.”

Kevin Noon, BuckeyeGrove.com
“They need the safeties to come through. I’m not sure how convinced Meyer is about the safeties. Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett still have something to prove in the secondary for this defense. I like the corners. Bradley Roby was a real surprise as a freshman last year. Travis Howard is a solid veteran.

“We all know about the linebackers. This group has work to do. Ryan Shazier came on last year as a freshman and really looked good. He has a bright future. Etienne Sabino and Storm Klein could be good as seniors. Curtis Grant was a highly-touted freshman who just got his feet wet last year. He needs to take the next step in his development. “On offense, who will catch passes? Chris Fields, Philly Brown, Verlon Reed, Devin Smith, guys like that need to come on.

“Urban Meyer is trying to change the look of the offensive linemen, wanting agile and shifty blockers for his spread scheme. Losing the center (Michael Brewster) and both tackles (Mike Adams and J.B. Shugarts) hurts. But I like their options. Andrew Norwell will be a good tackle, and the staff is converting Reid Fragel from tight end to tackle and it is going well. Brian Bobek will be good, too.”


Spring Football: 10 Changes to Watch for this Spring
March 26, 2012 Source: The Ozone - As Ohio State prepares to open its first spring camp under new head coach Urban Meyer (March 28), we take a look at 10 important changes to watch for around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center this spring.

1. Braxton Miller. No element is more important to Ohio State’s future—not to mention the 2012 season—than the development of quarterback Braxton Miller...

2. Urban Meyer’s new-look offense. ...even the staunchest Tressel defenders can admit his offense was about as boring and vanilla as they come. It will be interesting to watch how much of the new system Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman are able to implement in the spring.

3. A new killer mentality. Meyer doesn’t claim to be an offensive “guru,” but he understands two key philosophies that will drastically change the look and feel of Ohio State’s offense. The first is the importance of stretching the field, both vertically and horizontally, and the second is getting the ball into the hands of the top playmakers on the team.

4. The emergence of new playmakers on offense. There was a serious drop-off for Ohio State offensively last season... There were a few players who emerged as potential playmakers for Ohio State on offense, but right now they are all potential. Guys like Jordan Hall, Carlos Hyde and Devin Smith have shown glimpses, but Meyer is looking for a whole lot more than glimpses. About the only established playmaker on offense for the Buckeyes is Jake Stoneburner...

5. Luke Fickell as Defensive Coordinator. Having served under Jim Heacock as the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State, it doesn’t seem like a lot is going to change defensively for the Buckeyes under Luke Fickell...He is working with an entirely new staff, outside of his good buddy Mike Vrabel, so there are bound to be some interesting tweaks on defense from guys like Everett Withers and Kerry Coombs...

6. New faces looking to make their mark...That includes guys like Jacoby Boren, Josh Perry, Tyvis Powell, Cardale Jones and, likely, Luke Roberts. The guys who will be most interesting to watch, however, are guys who could legitimately challenge some veterans for playing time. That includes tailback Bri’onte Dunn, wide receiver Mike Thomas, defensive end Se’Von Pittman and offensive tackle Taylor Decker...

7. Familiar faces in new places...Headlining that group is senior Reid Fragel. The 6-8 Michigan native actually started the Gator Bowl at tight end, but he is up to 298 pounds this off-season and could be in line for the top spot at right tackle. Former defensive lineman Darryl Baldwin is another guy to watch. He is listed at 6-6 and nearly 300 pounds, and is also making the switch to offensive line this spring. Another guy to watch this spring is Kenny Hayes, who goes from a potential rush end, to a 285-pound guy who can play inside or out.

8. Mickey Marotti’s off-season overhaul...there were a number of guys expected to lose weight in Mickey Marotti’s first winter conditioning program. That includes defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins, who is now listed at 317 pounds after playing at over 340 pounds last season. It will also be interesting to see how Marotti’s program will help some of Ohio State’s massive offensive linemen.

9. Constant competition...Meyer is going to bring a whole new meaning to the word this spring. It will be interesting to see how intense things get at practice with so much riding on the line. Meyer is going to reward the winning team with Gatorade, while the losers drink from a hose. More importantly, however, is the respect of the head coach. He doesn’t like losers, so right there is all the incentive the players will need to take every day seriously.

10. A renewed sense of excitement. Last year was rough on everyone at Ohio State. There was a lot of emotion, both good and bad, surrounding the program and the team in 2011, and most of it was bad. Losing a beloved head coach was only the start of a roller coaster year that ended with a 6-7 season. By the end, it was pretty tough to watch some of the guys who were obviously emotionally drained from all of the controversy surrounding the University. It will be refreshing to watch a team practice with a renewed sense of excitement this spring. Heck, the hiring of Urban Meyer has brought a renewed sense of anticipation to just about everything surrounding Ohio State football...Click to Read the rest



Buckeyes look to build a bridge to Cincinnati
March 25, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Much was made this week about the bind — or lack thereof — between Cincinnati and Ohio State before the matchup Thursday between the Bearcats and Buckeyes in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The widespread perception is that the Queen City views itself as more inOhio than of Ohio. As such, the visceral link that most Ohioans feel toward Ohio State and Buckeyes football isn’t necessarily as strong in the far southwestern corner of the state. Cincinnati has been regarded as one of the few areas where Ohio State doesn’t have a major home-field advantage in recruiting.

“I keep hearing that, that Cincinnati’s not been good,” said new coach Urban Meyer, whose first Ohio State spring practice begins on Wednesday.

Meyer, a University of Cincinnati graduate, has ties to the area. So does tight ends/fullbacks coach Tim Hinton, who coached at UC for six years, including in 2009 as recruiting coordinator. But the man who will make it his personal mission to bring the Cincinnati area fully into the Ohio State fold is the newest member of the Buckeyes’ coaching staff, cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.

Hired three weeks ago, Coombs, 50, is a Cincinnati native who was a highly successful football coach at Colerain High School for 16 years before becoming an assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati in 2007. Coombs believes the perception that Cincinnati has little allegiance to Ohio State is overblown. But if there’s any resistance to Ohio State, Coombs vows to end it.

“Absolutely, it’s going to change,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to change. I know it’s going to change. I know those coaches. Those coaches run great programs. They want the very best for their kids. It is our job to present to them that what we have for them here is the No.?1 option for them athletically and academically.”

Coombs promised to be “relentless” in his pursuit of Cincinnati’s top players.

“There’s not a school, not a home, not anywhere in that city that I can’t walk into and be very comfortable and have those people not be comfortable with me,” he said. “I have been at every high school in Cincinnati every year for five years. Those are my friends. Those are my colleagues.”...Click to Read the rest


Welcome to 2012 Ohio State Spring Football
March 23, 2012 Source: OSU Official Site - Head coach Urban Meyer and staff will take to the practice fields with their players for the first time Wednesday, March 28 at approximately 4 p.m. for the official start of the 2012 Ohio State football spring drills.

The 2012 spring drills - 15 practices, including the LiFE Sports Spring Game April 21 - kick off a couple of historic notes for the football program, which will play its 123rd season this fall:

The practices will mark the first opportunity for Meyer and his staff, featuring six new assistant coaches and three retained from the previous staff, to work on football drills and skills after seeing only conditioning and training exercises since Meyer took sole leadership of the program Jan. 3; and

Spring drills will also signify the start of Ohio State's 100th season of football in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State joined the former Western Conference during the 1912-13 academic year, but could not compete in the conference in football until 1913...

What Meyer will, or will not, see in terms of numbers when he assembles his 94 players on the practice fields this spring will be:

A senior class comprised of 21 individuals;

48 lettermen returning off the 2011 team (25 on offense, 20 on defense and three specialists);

24 departed lettermen (10 on offense, 12 on defense and two specialists);

18 returning starters, including nine on defense (DL John Simon, DT Johnathan Hankins, NG Garrett Goebel, DT Adam Bellamy, LB Storm Klein, CB Travis Howard, CB Bradley Roby, SAF Christian Bryant, SAF C.J. Barnett) and seven on offense (QB Braxton Miller, FB Zach Boren, WR Corey Brown, WR Chris Fields, OG Jack Mewhort, OG Andrew Norwell, TE Jake Stoneburner);

The return of both kickers - K Drew Basil and P Ben Buchanan - and long snapper George Makridis;

Six departed starters, including offensive linemen Mike Brewster, Mike Adams and J.B. Shugarts, and running back Dan Herron. Defensive starters gone are safety Tyler Moeller and linebacker Andrew Sweat; and

Nine true freshmen from the 2012 recruiting class who have/will have enrolled by the start of spring drills (winter quarter enrollees OL Jacoby Boren, RB Bri'onte Dunn, QB Cardale Jones, LB Josh Perry, DB Tyvis Powell and WR Michael Williams, and spring enrollees OL Taylor Decker, DL Se'Von Pittman and LB Luke Roberts).

PRACTICE DATES, TICKETS & MORE...Click to Read the rest


VideoUrban Meyer meets with the media prior to the FB team opening for Spring Practice

Source: OSU Official Site


Gary Danielson on Urban Meyer's recruiting, OhioState, Michigan and rest of the Big Ten

Meyer Ready to Take Hard Look at Running Backs
March 21, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Urban Meyer may already have the most talented group of running backs he has ever worked with in his tenure as a head football coach. The operative word being may.

With the exit of senior captain Daniel “Boom” Herron this offseason, a number of Ohio State’s backup tailbacks will get a chance to show Meyer they can carry the load in his new spread attack. The Buckeyes are just over a week away from the start of their first spring practice under Meyer, and the new boss is ready to take a hard look at the running backs he will have to work with in the fall.

“Again, I don’t know who is going to carry the ball,” he said while previewing the start of spring football...

“No. 1, we will not be a finesse running attack,” said Ohio State’s co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ed Warinner, who came over from Notre Dame in the offseason. “Some people equate the spread with finesse running, and that will not be us at all. We will be a physical, aggressive, attacking offensive line and running game.”

“Rod Smith and Carlos have come light-years,” Meyer said. “Talk about January to what I saw in the last week and a half — they’re different people... Click to Read the rest



A look at the areas of strength and concern for Ohio State this spring
March 14, 2012 Source: ESPN


VideoUrban Meyer answered questions from reporters on Tues about winter conditioning, spring practice and more. Part 1

Source: The Ozone - Meyer answers questions about winter conditioning, spring football priorities, the 2-deep lineup, Reed Fragel, player attrition, Kenny Guiton, Braxton Miller and more.
VideoUrban Meyer answered questions from reporters on Tues about winter conditioning, spring practice and more. Part 2

Source: The Ozone - Meyer answers questions about his coaching staff, recruiting Cincinnati, Brionte Dunn, positions of need, Rod Smith, Taylor Decker, Luke Fickel and more.

Two-Minute Drill: Meyer Amped for Start of Spring Practice
March 14, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Urban Meyer previewed spring football with media members today. Brandon Castel's Two Minute Drill report on the event... Click to Read the rest


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