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ESPN's Adam Rittenberg looks at some keys to the Buckeyes' 2012 season.
Ranking the 2012 Defensive Backs May 27, 2012 Source: Big Ten Network - BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart's ranking of the top 10 defensive backs in the Big Ten.
6. C.J. Barnett, S, 6-1, 202, Jr., Ohio State. The hard-hitting Barnett has started all 15 games he has played in. He got his feet wet on special teams in 2009 and moved into the starting lineup in 2010 before a knee injury in the second game ended his season. Barnett rebounded to pace the Buckeyes with 75 tackles last season to earn second-team All-Big Ten accolades for a defense that returns nine starters...
8. Bradley Roby, CB, 5-11, 190, So., Ohio State. Looking for the next great Buckeye cornerback? This guy may be it. Roby had a smashing debut in 2011 as a redshirt freshman. He led the team with nine passes broken up last season to go along with three interceptions. Roby has good quickness and instincts, showing a knack for playing the pass and the run with equal aplomb...
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart' doesn't have any Buckeyes linebackers in his top 10 rankings
My top 10 Big Ten defensive linemen May 21, 2012 Source: Big Ten Network - BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart: Here's my ranking of the top 10 defensive linemen in the Big Ten.
2. John Simon, T 6-2, 260, Sr. Ohio State – A relentless force who plays with power and strength, Simon is a tough player to handle. Simon probably was the top player on the Buckeye defense last season. Now, he's one of the top defensive players in the Big Ten—if not the nation. Simon is a great leader who has been described as a football junky. And, check out this praise from new coach Urban Meyer, who called Simon "Tebow-ish." Is there higher praise in the universe?...
4. Johnathan Hankins, 6-4, 317, Jr., Ohio State – The big fella showed flashes as a true freshman in 2010. Hankins has slowly changed his body and gotten stronger to emerge as one of the strongest interior forces in the Big Ten. Don't let Hankins' size fool you—he is quick off the snap, which makes blocking him that much more difficult. He could be Ohio State's top tackle since "Big Daddy" Dan Wilkinson back in 1992. And that is saying something...
My Top 10 Big Ten Offensive Linemen May 18, 2012 Source: Big Ten Network - BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart: Here are my top ten offensive linemen heading into the 2012 season.
3. Jack Mewhort, T, 6-6, 310, Jr., Ohio State. The versatile and mobile Mewhort can play any spot on the line but has settle in at the key left tackle slot. He started at right guard in 2011, probably only because the Buckeyes already had capable tackles in Mike Adams and J.B. Shugarts. Now, it's time for Mewhort to be the star of what could be a very good Buckeye line...
8. Andrew Norwell, G, 6-6, 304, Jr., Ohio State. The versatile and talented Norwell can play a variety of spots, but he has settled in at left guard. In fact, he's the only Buckeye lineman who is starting at the same spot as he did in 2011, as Norwell and Jack Mewhort are the only returning starters on a Buckeye line that's replacing both tackles and a center...
My Top 10 Big Ten Tight Ends May 17, 2012 Source: Big Ten Network - Tom Dienhart's ranking of the top 10 Big Ten tight ends heading into the 2012 season.
3. Jake Stoneburner, 6-5, 245, Ohio State, Sr. The rangy Stoneburner has become a better blocker, which complements his underrated pass-catching skills. Last season, Stoneburner caught 14 passes for 193 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns receptions, showing how impactful he can be in the red zone. Urban Meyer likes to use tight ends, which is good news for Stoneburner...
7. Jordan Hall, 5-9, 198, Sr., Ohio State. The quick and explosive Hall is supposed to fill a Percy Harvin-type role for Ohio State, serving as a versatile and multi-purpose weapon as a runner and receiver in the Buckeyes' new spread scheme. New coach Urban Meyer says Hall is one of the few "wow" players for an offense that's looking for playmakers. Playing behind Daniel "Boom" Herron last season, Hall ran for 405 yards and also caught 12 passes. He also was one of the Big Ten's top kickoff and punt return men in 2011. Bottom line: Hall could be in store for a huge season...
Ranking 2012's Big Ten WRs May 16, 2012 Source: Big Ten Network - Tom Dienhart's ranking of the top 10 Big Ten wide receivers heading into the 2012 season.
7. Michael Thomas, 6-2, 192, Ohio State, Fr. He enrolled early and took part in spring drills. And Thomas impressed, displaying great skill in the spring game. On that day, he was the star, grabbing 12 passes for 131 yards. But don't be shocked if a veteran like Devin Smith, Evan Spencer, Corey Brown, Chris Fields or Tyrone Williams emerges as the top wideout option. Still, Thomas looks like he could be that next great Buckeye receiver...
Ranking 2012's Big Ten QBs May 11, 2012 Source: Big Ten Network - Tom Dienhart's ranking of the top 10 Big Ten quarterbacks heading into the 2012 season.
3. Braxton Miller, 6-2, 210, So., Ohio State. He received a baptism by fire as a true freshman last season, taking over for an ineffective Joe Bauserman and flashing great potential. Miller is a dangerous dual-threat, running for 715 yard and completing 54.1 percent of his passes for 1,159 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions for a Buckeye program that suffered its first losing season since 1988. Miller looked good in the spring running Urban Meyer's spread scheme. This could be the start of something very special...
Grant, rated the No. 2 prospect nationally in last year's recruiting class, was reduced to a special-teams role last year. It wasn't what he or the Buckeyes envisioned, and the linebacker became discouraged. "I got to a low point where it was like I didn't want to play anymore," Grant said on Thursday. But now he believes last year's tribulations have prepared him for the greatness predicted for him.
Coach Urban Meyer inserted Grant as the starting middle linebacker at the start of spring practice and declared that failure wasn't an option. "We have no choice," Meyer said in March. "He has to be a player for us. If he's not, we've got problems."
The Buckeyes — and Grant — feel encouraged that he will answer the challenge. Meyer described him as much improved until a pinched nerve ended his spring early. "I feel pretty good," Grant said of his development. "It's not great yet. I'm trying to keep progressing to get to the next level."... "There's a point where your mind has 1,000 things running across it," he said. "You don't know what to do or who's on your side."...
"Not playing was kind of depressing," he said. "But I got over it and got my confidence back up. I started talking to my parents and family a lot more and just reading the Bible knowing it was going to work out OK." A new year and a new coach gave Grant a fresh start, and he is determined to take advantage of it. Under the new strength-and-conditioning staff, Grant said he dropped 17 pounds in the first month...
"I look back at a year ago and just smile and laugh about it," Grant said. "With the family support and what God has done for me, it's just unreal. You go from being down and don't know if you're going to play anymore to, ‘Let's go, let's go do what you've got to do.' Coach Meyer and all my coaches and teammates and the strength staff has been great motivation to keep getting better every day."...
Two-Minute Drill: Buckeyes Talk Summer Workouts May 24, 2012 Source: The Ozone - It has been over a month since the conclusion of spring practice at Ohio State, but guys are still hard at work inside the walls of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mickey Marotti and his staff were running conditioning drills at one of the indoor practice field while we got a chance to speak with a number of Buckeyes about summer conditioning, and a number of other issues.
Here is a rundown of what guys had to say Thursday.
* TE Jake Stoneburner said he ran a 4.49 laser time in the 40-yard dash this past week.
* A number of guys reportedly ran in the 4.3 range, including Bradley Roby, Devin Smith and Doran Grant.
* Those were 3 of the fastest guys in the 40, but Braxton Miller was also timed as one of the fastest players on the team.
* Corey Linsley ran a sub-5.0 40-yard dash. Hand-timed at 4.86, laser timed around 4.92.
* Jack Mewhort said Linsley can "lift a house" on the bench and squat. Supposedly over 500lbs on the bench.
* Big Hank didn't run the 40, but said John Simon ran a 4.6 at 265 pounds.
* RB Jordan Hall didn't run the 40 because of his sprained foot, but said he probably would have run a 4.4.
* Stoneburner said he and Braxton Miller are out here working on routes and timing every day for 20 minutes. Usually with Kenny Guiton, Devin Smith and Mike Thomas. Different guys work separately.
* A number of players said there are more guys working out and training on their own at WHAC this year than they can ever remember.
* Jordan Hall said he was practicing on his sprained foot for a few days during spring before finally decided to have it checked.
* Hall isn't running yet, but he is running in the pool. Should be back to dry land running soon.
* Stoneburner said he was playing most flexed out as a WR this spring, but will see time at both spots in the fall.
* Stoneburner said he was mainly in WR meetings and drills during spring. They wanted a senior/veteran presence in the group.
* Linsley said Jim Bollman told him his best spot was always going to be center, but he had issues snapping the shotgun.
* Linsley said he has worked extremely hard on his shotgun snap and he is more proud of that than anything else he has done at OSU.
* Linsley said Ed Warinner asks him every day if he's working on his snapping, and he's always proud to say that has been.
* Mewhort said Reid Fragel and Taylor Decker are really battling at right tackle.
* Mewhort was surprised how quickly Decker picked things up. Knew the playbook on Day 1 after having it for 3 days.
* Johnathan Hankins said he is down to 320 pounds right now and feels great.
* Hankins also said he isn't considering leaving early unless he will be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Wants to win a championship first.
* Hankins said John Simon isn't normal. He is at the weightroom every morning at 5:30 a.m.
* Michael Bennett said everyone will lift hard and go home. Simon will come back 2 hours later for another lift.
* Bennett said he wasn't upset about being listed as second team on the depth chart. Just makes him want to work harder.
* LB Curtis Grant said he contemplated quitting football during his first year at Ohio State. Was very frustrated. Couldn't understand why he was having so much trouble and why he wasn't playing.
* Grant said family and faith helped get back to a good place. He feels great now, physically and mentally. A whole different person than he was in December.
OL Jack Mewhort talks w/ Adam Rittenberg about the first spring under coach Urban Meyer. May 23, 2012 Source: ESPN
Q&A with Ohio State's Ed Warinner May 22, 2012 Source: Big Ten Network - Urban Meyer has built an impressive staff at Ohio State. On defense, Meyer retained coordinator Luke Fickell and lured Everett Withers from North Carolina to help run the unit. On offense, Meyer tabbed Tom Herman from Iowa State to serve as coordinator. And the offense will be co-coordinated with Ed Warinner, one of the nation's most respected—and underrated—offensive minds.
Warinner brings an impressive resume that includes stops at Notre Dame, Kansas (twice), Illinois, Air Force and Army, among other jobs. Warinner was offensive coordinator at Kansas and run-game coordinator at Illinois and Notre Dame, where he worked the past two seasons under Brian Kelly. Warinner's Jayhawk offenses were among the best in the nation, helping Kansas cap a 12-1 season by beating Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl after the 2007 season...
Now, he wants to put his mark on Ohio State as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach...
Q: What can fans expect to see from the Ohio State offense under Urban Meyer?
A: More balance, for sure. As things wound down last year, I think they were throwing the ball about 10 times a game. They will see more spread formations. They'll see more option-oriented offense in terms of the quarterback having options to give, run, pitch … things like that. They were more of a power, I formation, down-hill run team last year. We have some elements of that. But we will spread it around. We have some playmakers. We have good running backs and tight ends who can do some things and we are developing some wideouts. It will be about getting the ball into playmakers' hands.
Q: Who will be some of the playmakers for the offense?
A: Our running back (Jordan Hall). He really didn't play in the spring game. In practice, he has shown that he's a pretty good player. (Quarterback) Braxton Miller is a playmaker. He touches the ball every play. (Receiver) Devin Smith could be a playmaker. The freshman wideout (Michael Thomas) who did a nice job in the spring game. He had 12 catches. Corey Brown is going to be a good slot receiver. Carlos Hyde is coming along at running back. I think he will be pretty good. The (Zach) Boren kid as a fullback-H-back will be a playmaker for us, too. Jake Stoneburner at tight end. We will have a lot of different guys.
Q: Is this offense similar to any offense you have been a part of?
A: It's different. There are elements of the spread that are common. It's about 40 percent the same as the offense we had at Kansas. Our personnel is different here that will allow us to do some different things. With (Kansas quarterback) Todd Reesing, we weren't gonna run a lot of zone read. But we had it in our offense and scored the winning touchdown vs. Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl with it. They weren't expecting it. Braxton Miller will run more zone read. There are passing concepts that are similar, so maybe it's about 50 percent the same (as Warinner's Kansas offense).
Q: How is the talent level?
A: We have enough talent to be successful on both sides of the ball. For sure. We have good kids. They work hard. They recruited good players to come to Ohio State. I think we will be happy with these guys and we'll keep adding to it. Urban is a great recruiter. We can spread our wings and recruit nationally a bit more for certain positions of need we can't find in the state of Ohio.
Q: How is the line coming together?
A: It's coming together well. It was a concern coming in. But the guys have worked hard. They are in good shape and becoming more disciplined, tougher. We were really concerned at the start when we took over but have seen a lot of transformation. We lack some depth but do have some young guys who are coming who hopefully will supple some depth and get where they need to be by the fall. The linemen had to adjust to the offense, as the spread was different from what they were doing.
Q: Did you ask the linemen to lose weight?
A: We had to get leaner. We put them on a diet and leaned out. They also must adjust to using a two-point stance, a new cadence, a new numbering system, a no-huddle look.
Q: Who will be the leader?
A: Jack Mewhort is one leader at tackle. Corey Linsley is the other at center.
Q: How is the right tackle spot shaping up?
A: That's a position that's still up in the air. We moved tight end Reid Fragel there. He is coming along and developing. We also have a true freshman (Taylor Decker) who came for spring ball who has really looked good. He could be the guy. We moved a defensive end there, Darryl Baldwin. It's between those three guys. One played tight end, one played d-end and one was in high school last season. I have three guys with ability but have no experience. Getting them ready is my challenge. They have the tools...
Analyzing B1G schedules for 2015, 2016 May 21, 2012 Source: ESPN - The Big Ten on Monday released the league schedules for the 2015 and 2016 football seasons. These schedules were approved last Tuesday by the league's athletic directors at the spring meetings. Unlike the 2013 and 2014 seasons, which have two separate start dates to league play, the 2015 and 2016 slates both have all 12 teams kicking off conference games on the first Saturday of October.
Let's start breaking this down. NO-PLAYS Here are the three cross-division foes each Big Ten squad won't face in 2015 or 2016. Illinois: Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska Indiana: Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota Iowa: Indiana, Ohio State, Wisconsin Michigan: Indiana, Penn State, Purdue Michigan State: Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin Minnesota: Illinois, Indiana, Penn State Nebraska: Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue Northwestern: Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin Ohio State: Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern Penn State: Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern Purdue: Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska Wisconsin: Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern...
FOUR-YEAR BREAKS/SERIES RESUMING The big downside to division play and the eight-game league schedule is that each squad will go four years without playing a Big Ten opponent.
Here are the six pairings that won't face off between 2013-16 (these teams will play in 2012): •Illinois-Minnesota Indiana-Iowa Michigan-Purdue Michigan State-Wisconsin Nebraska-Ohio State Northwestern-Penn State
END-OF-SEASON GAMES All six games that end the seasons in 2012, 2013 and 2014 will remain for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. These include traditional rivalries (Michigan-Ohio State, Indiana-Purdue, Illinois-Northwestern), one new rivalry game (Iowa-Nebraska) and two division games (Penn State-Wisconsin and Michigan State-Minnesota)...
FINAL NUGGETS The 2015 Big Ten championship game will take place Dec. 5 at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium. The site for the 2016 title game has not been selected (the game will take place Dec. 3)...
Non-conference games for the 2015 and 2016 games are still being scheduled. Ohio State has one date still to be filled for the 2015 season and it has two openings that are yet to be scheduled for the 2016 campaign.
2015 Ohio State Schedule
Sept. 5 - North Carolina
Sept. 12 - Northern Illinois
Sept. 19 - at Virginia Tech
Sept. 26 - TBA
Oct. 3 - at Purdue
Oct. 10 - Penn State
Oct. 17 - Michigan State
Oct. 24 - open
Oct. 31 - at Minnesota
Nov. 7 - Wisconsin
Nov. 14 - at Illinois
Nov. 21 - Indiana
Nov. 28 - at Michigan
Dec. 5 - Big Ten Championship Game
2016 Ohio State Schedule
Sept. 3 - Bowling Green
Sept. 10 - TBA
Sept. 17 - at Oklahoma
Sept. 24 - TBA
Oct. 1 - Purdue
Oct. 8 - open
Oct. 15 - at Michigan State
Oct. 22 - Illinois
Oct. 29 - at Penn State
Nov. 5 - Minnesota
Nov. 12 - at Wisconsin
Nov. 19 - at Indiana
Nov. 26 - Michigan
Dec. 3 - Big Ten Championship Game
Source: OSU Official Site
Former Wolverine Steve Everitt Says Buckeyes are "Stuck" with Braxton Miller May 21, 2012 Source: The Ozone - There's nothing quite like having somebody who hasn't played in twenty years hand out bulletin board material to your archest of rivals. It's right up there with buying your wife a dress two sizes smaller than she normally wears and then cheerfully telling her to "look at it as an incentive".
However, providing bulletin board material is exactly what former Wolverine Steve Everitt did while appearing on Ann Arbor radio station WTKA last Friday afternoon when the topic of Ohio State football turned up.
"I'm not trying to give bulletin board information—but I mean they're stuck with that quarterback for the next two or three years," he said.
"That's fine with me," he added, while decked out in a t-shirt featuring the outline of the state of Ohio with the words "Worst State Ever" written inside its borders...
I'm guessing that being "stuck" with Braxton Miller for two or three more years is fine by Urban Meyer, as well as Buckeye fans everywhere...
This is the same quarterback who put more points on the board against Michigan than any other team last year, and did it in an offense that tried to keep him under wraps almost as much as opposing defenses did.
Miller put up nearly the same individual numbers that Troy Smith used to against the Wolverines, and which Terrelle Pryor never could. If that's being stuck with a player, then being stuck don't sound half bad.
Yes, Miller and the Buckeyes lost to Michigan last year, which Smith and Pryor never did as starters, but last year's loss had much more to do with the Ohio State defense than it did the offense...
Everitt didn't stop with his criticism of Miller there, however. "He throws worse than Tebow," he added. The same Tim Tebow who finished either number one, number two or number four in passing efficiency in the nation in his three seasons as a starter at Florida? And a Heisman winner? That Tim Tebow?!...
Please tell us more, O' Wise One. Maybe you can tell us how you see the future of this rivalry turning out. You can? Great!
"I see us torturing them," he said, concluding his completely free-of-charge gift to Urban Meyer and Ohio State football...
First, Everitt says the Buckeyes are "stuck" with Braxton Miller—a quarterback that fits Meyer's dynamic offensive system perfectly. Second, he dismisses Miller because he "throws worse" than Tim Tebow, whom he apparently thinks was some duck chucker who never saw the field, rather than arguably the greatest college quarterback of all time. Then, to cap it all off, through his visionary powers of foresight, he sees years of torture at the hands of the Wolverines in the Buckeyes' future.
This isn't just bulletin board material, this is Joey Harrington levels of side-of-the-building advertising. Urban Meyer will have this blown up and put in the WHAC by the end of this week, if it isn't already being done so as we speak.
This is not to say that Braxton Miller is perfect, because he is far from it. But it's either moronic or dishonest for Everitt to believe what he said about the Buckeyes being "stuck" with Miller. Sure, it's probably just a whole lot of braggadocio on Everitt's part, but then isn't that what bulletin board material generally is? Just because it comes from a place of ignorance doesn't mean we ignore it. In fact, we should embrace such windbaggery. It's the only way to ensure that future generations do not make the same mistakes...
While former Wolverines Charles Woodson and Steve Hutchinson , who along with Brian Griese are hosting this weekend's fundraiser for Mott Hospital, were diplomatic when asked about Ohio State, former center Steve Everitt stirred things up.
Everitt, wearing a maize "Worst State Ever" T-shirt referencing Ohio, compared Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller to Tim Tebow , who played for OSU coach Urban Meyer when he was at Florida.
"I'm not trying to give them bulletin board information, (but) they're stuck with that quarterback (Miller) for the next two or three years — kid throws worse than Tebow," Everitt said.)
2012 Ohio State Football Movie Trailer Prequel: A taste of what's to come. The one and only 2012 Ohio State Football Movie Trailer's official release: August 6, 2012 Source: youtube.com/82WProductions
Ohio State Self-Reports 46 Violations: Joe Schad talks about Ohio State self-reporting 46 secondary violations in 21 sports since May 30, 2011. Source: ESPN - Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith on Friday acknowledged having committed secondary NCAA violations in recent months...
Most indispensable players: Ohio State May 17, 2012 Source: ESPN.com - We're getting near the end of our series looking at the most indispensable players on each Big Ten team. Once again, this is not necessarily a listing of the best players on each team, but ones whose absence would be toughest to absorb because of their particular value or a lack of depth behind them.
We're selecting two players from each Big Ten squad, usually one on offense and one on defense, but not always. Ohio State is on the clock:
Braxton Miller, QB, Sophomore
It's not just that Miller is the team's best playmaker and a seemingly perfect fit in Urban Meyer's spread offense. It's also that there isn't much depth behind him. Kenny Guiton is the only other quarterback on the roster with any game experience, and that experience is threadbare at best. While Meyer said earlier this week that he liked what Guiton was doing, there is still a major dropoff from Miller to anyone else. The Buckeyes' season would also experience a major dropoff if Miller had to miss extended time.
John Simon, DL, Senior
Depth isn't nearly as big of a factor in selecting Simon. Ohio State should actually be pretty stacked on the defensive front once its talented newcomers all get up to speed. Depth at linebacker is much more of a concern on the defense. But Simon is indispensable for reasons other than just his talent, which is immense. Meyer can't heap enough kind words on the senior, at one point calling him "Tebowish." Simon provides an excellent example on and off the field in building the type of program Meyer wants. He's also good enough to be an All-American and can play either end or tackle if needed. That makes this choice a pretty easy one.
The first official two-deep chart of the Urban Meyer coaching era at Ohio State was revealed today as Meyer presented it to a room of more than 40 reporters covering the news at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center.
With 18 starters returning from last season including both kickers, there are plenty of familiar names on the two-deep chart, including fourth-year starting fullback Zach Boren and three-year starters Jake Stoneburner (tight end), John Simon (defensive line) and C.J. Barnett (safety).
Some two-deep notes:
The offensive two-deep lists 12 positions to take into consideration the myriad of options Ohio State's spread offense will present with a running back, fullback, tight end and three receivers.
Counting the 11-man defensive look, those 23 positions feature eight seniors, nine juniors and five sophomores.
Defensive end Nathan Williams, receiver Verlon Reed and center Jacoby Boren all appear on the two-deep despite missing all or part of spring drills. Coaches are hopeful all will be ready to help the team this fall.
Only two starters return on the offensive line - Jack Mewhort and Andrew Norwell - with Norwell the only returnee at his 2011 position (left guard). The projected starters do have a combined 32 starts, though, with 13 apiece from Mewhort and Norwell, six from right guard Marcus Hall and nine tight end starts for the converted-to-right-tackle senior Reid Fragel.
Every skill position player on offense is an underclassmen except for Boren and Stoneburner.
The defensive line leads all position groups with 78 combined starts (including 62 among the starters) with John Simon's 26 tops. Williams, Johnathan Hankins and Garrett Goebel have 13 starts apiece and Adam Bellamy has 10.
Among the specialists, the only change from last year is at holder where Ben Buchanan takes over for the now graduated Derek Erwin. Otherwise, Buchanan returns as punter, Drew Basil will handle kickoffs and placements and George Makridis returns as the long snapper, although Bryce Haynes is listed along with him as the starter there.
And some two-deep quotes from Coach Meyer:
"Corey Linsley was a surprise on offense, but not really a surprise. I just hadn't seen him play. But he is a journeyman-to-starter player. He has the potential to be a very good player. He is a very committed player."
"Michael Bennett was a surprise on defense. He's listed as a backup to Johnathan Hankins but that may not necessarily be the case in the fall. It's hard for me to say that he isn't one of the four best."
Regarding the receivers: "I think we have enough talent there to be functional in the fall."
"Talent will get you seven or eight wins. Discipline gets you to around nine. Leadership is when the magic starts happening." "I am very much satisfied with our quarterback depth. I like Kenny Guiton. I'm proud to say he is great to be around. He's serious about school and himself. I'm very pleased with his progress and with Braxton Miller's progress."
"Much rides on the leadership of Braxton and Kenny this summer for our passing game to be functional this fall."
"Zach Boren is someone who can wiggle in space. He is much better than I thought. He can catch and carry the football."
Regarding a college football playoff: "I think the ideal setup is what we've had the last decade of football."
The Buckeyes have released their new post-spring two-deep and we have head coach Urban Meyer's thoughts on it as well as his thoughts on expectations for the team, the leadership of the team and we also touched upon when people not affiliated with the university get a little 'too' involved with the recruiting process and how that can disrupt efforts.
Spring Risers: Defense May 16, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is set to release his first-ever post-spring depth chart this afternoon. Meyer and his coaches met with the players individually after the conclusion of his first spring practice in Columbus.
Some players heard a lot of good things from Meyer and his assistants during those sit-downs, while others are probably having second thoughts about their opportunity to see the field come fall.
We're going to take a look at both groups, but let's start with some of Spring Risers on defense. These are the guys who really excelled over the 15 practices in April, setting themselves up for good things in the fall if they can continue their positive momentum over the summer.
1. DE John Simon (6-2, 260, Sr.)...
2. LB Curtis Grant (6-3, 235, So.)...
3. DL Michael Bennett (6-3, 277, So.)...
4. CB Doran Grant (5-11, 188, So.)...
5. DL Chase Farris (6-4, 286, rFr.)...
6. LB Connor Crowell (6-1, 233, rFr.)...
7. CB Adam Griffin (5-8, 180, rSo.)...
Player Development 2012: Grading the Journey from High-school Recruit to the NFL May 15, 2012 Source: Black Heart Gold Pants - In this article we are going to make things even simpler. We are going to focus on just one part of that formula: Player Development; Number (2); The ability of a coach to turn raw talent into football playing ability. What's more, we are going to approach player development from the player's perspective. We know, and the talent knows, what they can do for coach. Let's leave that aside for the moment and focus instead on the player's perspective: What can coach do for the talent? Where should a recruit go, and who should he play for, if he wants to maximize his development as a football player?...
This is Player Development 2012, where we provide the hard answers to the question of who's doing the best, and worst, at turning talented recruits into football players that can play at the highest level of the game - the NFL...
Back to the original question - we know Ohio State produces more draft picks then Purdue, but is that just because of all those 5-stars they bring, or does Ohio State have a better development program as well? If I am a recruit with NFL aspirations, which schools will best help me fulfill that dream? And how much does it matter?
Ohio State ranks #4 overall in the nation...TTUN is #31...
Top Developers of Ball-handlers (QB, RB, WR, ATH) Ohio State is #2
Top Developers of the Defensive Back 7 (LB, DB) Ohio State is #1...
OSU High Energy Drill with Students at UFM Town Hall Meeting with Zach Boren, Coach Marotti, etc. This is a NEW TRADITION that will be done after warmups on gameday in the south end of the stadium, per Urban Meyer.
We (as a collective group) decide to project how someone is going to develop as an athlete and as a person, ultimately, because a lot of what happens on the court and the field is determined by how a player chooses to spend his time and energy.
Then, if that player does not meet our expectations of what they should be at a certain point in their career, we decide they are busts. We decide they are the ones who failed us.
Take for instance Duron Carter and Jamie Wood, two players from Ohio State's 2009 recruiting class. Both players were highly-rated by all the major recruiting services, although Wood was actually ranked higher by most than Carter, the son of former OSU wide receiver Cris Carter.
Neither player contributed much for the Buckeyes, especially Carter, who lasted one season in Columbus before fizzling out because of academic issues. He spent one year at a junior college and still hasn't made it back to Division I football.
Compare that to Wood, at one time rated as a 5-star safety by Rivals.com. The Pickerington Central product was buried on the depth chart when he got to Ohio State and he has been slowed by injuries...
Losing one of the better offensive tackles and centers in the country usually spells disaster for almost any program in America, but the Buckeyes will likely find a way to still move the ball offensively.
Urban Meyer didn't come back to Ohio State to see his Buckeyes struggle out of the gates, and his defense certainly looks borderline spectacular.
However, they need to patch some things together upfront on the offensive side of the ball. Braxton Miller is a scrambler that can freelance and create so much on his own for the group of young receivers he has, but only three linemen return and they are all juniors.
The bad news that Buckeyes fans certainly do not want to hear would be the struggles they had one season ago in terms of protecting Miller.
Mike Adams was suspended for five games, so some of the numbers were skewed, but the bottom line was Ohio State ranked 118th allowing 46 sacks (3.54 per) on the season... (other top 25 teams)
Left tackle is undoubtedly the most important position on the offensive line and is usually where the team's best pass blocker is placed.
The Big Ten is loaded with ferocious defensive ends and Mewhort will never be able to take a play off—and the Buckeyes plan on running 80-90 of them a game.
With his experience, elite footwork and agility, the 6'6", 300-pound LT has an extremely important job. In order for the right-handed Miller to be successful in 2012, his blindside must be taken care of...
Top LB Prospect Makes Bold Statement About Ohio State May 13, 2012 Source: Buckeye House Call - A message of 140 characters or less - from a 16 year old kid - must be taken with a grain of salt. The faster we all figure that out, the better experience everyone will have on Twitter. With that being said, Hinesville, GA inside linebacker prospect Raekwon McMillan made his intentions known on Sunday afternoon through one simple-but-bold message, and it only took him 111 characters. From his @Kwon_daTRUTH account: "I'm gonna go ahead and say ,, if Da'shawn Hand commits to Ohio State ,, im going too , #BuckeyeNation #gobucks"
Hey Urban - it's working.
Let's back up a little bit. Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, VA) is an elite 2014 defensive end that schools from every major conference have their eyes on. He's yet to play the first snap of his junior year of high school and already has nineteen scholarship offers, including those from Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina of the SEC and Michigan, Penn State and - The Ohio State University - of the B1G. Simply put - everyone wants him, including Mr. McMillan.
A linebacker's best friend is a talent-laden defensive line, and Urban Meyer is building just that. Ohio State's 2012 class, Meyer's first in Columbus, included a couple of 5-Star defensive ends (Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington), a 4-Star defensive end (Se'von Pittman) and a 4-Star defensive tackle (Tommy Schutt). He's continued that focus with the start of his 2013 class, already landing 4-Star defensive linemen Joey Bosa and Billy Price as well as the ultra-athletic Tracy Sprinkle who was the 9th commitment of the class. Raekwon McMillan knows the value of a star studded defensive line from the perspective of a linebacker. This series of tweets Sunday afternoon details it in pretty simple terms:...
Below is the 2011 highlight video of McMillan. A quick warning - there's some strong language in the background music of McMillan's vid, so viewer beware. If you're ok with that, this video is as impressive as you'll find. Kid. Is. A. BEAST...
Catching Up with Da'Shawn Hand May 13, 2012 Source: Eleven Warriors - Take one look at Da'Shawn Hand and it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he is a special football player. In fact, at 6-5/250 you might even mistake him for a rising college senior or NFL player after watching him go through a football work out. Be told that he is just a sophomore and has two years of high school football left, and your mind becomes boggled.
Hand, from Woodbridge High School in Virginia, is already rated as a five star prospect and the nation's top overall player. After racking up 84 tackles and 21 sacks during his sophomore season, it's easy to see why nearly 30 of the country's top college football programs are flocking to the Mid Atlantic region in pursuit of the super star defensive lineman. Programs that have offered include Ohio State, Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford, Virginia Tech, and many others.
What's even more impressive than his on field accolades and offer list is the way he handles himself off the field. Being that he is just in his second year of high school, it would be easy to see all of the early attention getting into Da'Shawn's head and giving him a bit of an ego. That is as far from the case as it possibly could be, as Hand was one of the most impressive prospects I have ever spoken to, regardless of age, and handled himself and the interview with the upmost class and respect.
When it comes to Ohio State, they are certainly one of the programs in the thick of things for Hand's services and y extended an offer to the sophomore star early in the process. Hand is fond of the Buckeyes too, building a solid early relationship with the coaching staff and taking notice to the Buckeyes coming out to Virginia to check on him.
We caught up with Da'Shawn to hear the latest on his recruitment, more about his thoughts on Ohio State, what visits he has planned ahead, and more. Join us after the jump to hear more from the nation's number one player in the class of 2014, Da'Shawn Hand...
It may sound strange since they're ineligible for postseason play this season, but I believe the Ohio State Buckeyes are still the league's best bet to win a national title in the near future. This is a program that has never lacked for talent and has a lot of good young players in the system right now, plus some future studs at key positions on both lines coming in. Meyer knows how to win national championships; he has two more than every other Big Ten coach right now. Ohio State has everything in place to compete at the highest level, as evidenced by its three BCS title game appearances since 2003. Nebraska (2002) is the only other program in the league to make the championship game in the BCS era.
Meyer still has work to do to get the Buckeyes back among the nation's elite. Specifically, he has to recruit world-class athletes at the skill positions to run his offense effectively. But those players are easier to find than dominating defensive linemen, several of which he has already scooped up, and they can be plugged into the starting lineup more quickly than the guys in the trenches. That's why I believe Ohio State can contend for a title as soon as 2013, and definitely by 2014. The biggest difference for me between Ohio State and Michigan is that the Buckeyes will have an established veteran quarterback for the next three years in Braxton Miller, while the Wolverines will have to break in a new starter for Robinson next season.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Michigan State or Wisconsin break through and play for -- and possibly win -- a national championship in the next five years. But if I'm picking one program to do it, I'll take Ohio State...
Buckeyes spring forward with Meyer May 10, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - ...But when SportsBusiness Journal published an attendance list of the major-college football spring games, it got my attention — and not because Ohio State topped the list. That was a given as soon as the figure — 81,112 — was announced and we knew it topped the 78,526 that watched the same kind of riveting scrimmage at Alabama.
What piqued my interest was the contrast in crowd sizes at other games. Penn State, where the curiosity of an NFL coordinator replacing coaching legend Joe Paterno spiked attendance, was third at 60,000. Texas was fourth at 46,000. Starting to get the picture here? Five football-crazy schools — Arkansas, Oregon, Georgia, Auburn and Florida State — stood between the Longhorns and 40,000, attendance figures that seem plenty healthy. But when you realize that's half the crowd that Ohio State drew, and when you see which schools are much farther down the list, the Buckeyes' turnout becomes truly revealing. A handful of other spring game turnouts for your perusal: Florida (38,000), LSU (33,000), Notre Dame (31,582), Michigan (25,000), Michigan State (21,000), Oklahoma (20,509), Southern California (15,515) Wisconsin (10,479), University of Miami (10,000) and Syracuse (3,716)...
Some figures do invite discussion — Michigan is back from the dead and it can't draw more than 25,000 for a Brady Hoke revival? — but what's most important around here is what it says about Ohio State football in general...
The state of emergency that existed last fall not only has ended, but fans also have forgotten about it almost completely. Jim Tressel's resignation, the first losing season since 1999, a looming NCAA penalty and a lackluster recruiting class all contributed to the growing despair.
Urban Meyer's hiring as coach changed that abruptly. Recruiting rallied dramatically. Adrenaline surged through the program. The NCAA slapped Ohio State with a bowl ban in 2012 and it didn't even slow the momentum. In a place in which some fans can enter a deep depression over a bad half against Akron, it's rare to hear the bowl ban even mentioned.
The sky has stopped falling, and Ohio State fans have emerged from their bomb shelters. Things are back to football normal at OSU, where normal never has been quite the normal of everywhere else.
This spring game actually showed us something:
In less than six months, without one "real" game having been played, the mood around here has undergone a remarkable change...
Urban Meyer will have the team ready to rock and roll from Day One, but it'll be a building season for 2013. The Buckeyes might not be eligible for the Big Ten championship or a bowl game, but there's a ton of talent on both sides of the ball and QB Braxton Miller appears ready to blossom into a superstar in Meyer's attack. At the same time the Buckeyes will play loose, since there's no pressure with nothing to play for, and angry, because Urban is will make the team that way.
UCF is a dangerous non-conference game, as is Cal, but both are at home with Buckeyes getting five home games in the first six weeks. There are only four road games and one of them is Indiana. However, going to Michigan State and Wisconsin will be beartraps and Penn State isn't a layup. Michigan and Illinois have to come to Columbus, and the Buckeyes should take care of home and win both.
No postseason, OSU focuses on UM May 4, 2012 Source: ESPN - Ohio State-Michigan has always been highly anticipated, but this season's contest figures to be even more intense...
As Meyer prepares to begin his first season as Ohio State's coach, he already knows there's only one game that really matters to Buckeyes fans: the Nov. 24 finale against Michigan at Ohio Stadium...For the first time since the 2004 season, the Buckeyes will try to end a losing streak against the Wolverines. Ohio State won seven consecutive games over Michigan under former coach Jim Tressel from 2004 to 2010 (its 37-7 rout over the Wolverines in 2010 was later vacated because of NCAA violations)...
Meyer will spend part of the summer researching how to handle a team that's ineligible for the postseason. He plans to talk with Southern California coach Lane Kiffin, who inherited a program on NCAA probation and was ineligible for bowl games in 2010 and 2011. Kiffin guided the Trojans to an 11-2 record and No. 6 ranking in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll last season.
"I haven't been through it," Meyer said. "I don't know. That's something I'll research. Our goal has always been to play for championships in November. You want to play meaningful games in November. That's the way it's always been."
None of Ohio State's games in 2012 will be as important as the last one.
"This year's Michigan game is going to be like the national championship game," Buckeyes tight end Jake Stoneburner said. "It will be important for Coach Meyer because it's his first Michigan game. It's our Senior Day. It's our Super Bowl."...
Anzalone's Dad clarifies his original comments May 6, 2012 Source: Reading Eagle - Sal Anzalone had no idea of the firestorm that would erupt when his son, Wyomissing football star Alex Anzalone, de-committed from Ohio State Friday afternoon. By Saturday morning Sal Anzalone was hoping the story would just go away...
"There's nothing wrong with Ohio State; it's a great institution. When I said there was something wrong with Ohio State, I was talking about the visit - there was something wrong with the visit, not with Ohio State."
Sal Anzalone said that Meyer called Friday evening, but did not wish to provide any details about that conversation.
"We can't implicate Ohio State for what happened (during that visit)," Sal Anzalone said. "That's wrong. That had nothing to do with the university itself. I don't hold them accountable; they're not responsible for what fans do; it's not their fault."
After saying Friday that Alex would no longer consider attending Ohio State, Sal Anzalone said the Buckeyes are back in the picture, but that his son - an All-State linebacker and one of the top recruits in the nation - needs time to reassess the situation.
"With all the craziness, we want to slow down the process, calm it down a little bit," Sal Anzalone said. "There's no reason we wouldn't consider the Buckeyes. We love Ohio State. The academic opportunities there are tremendous."...
As first reported by Irish Sports Daily and then Mike Farrell from Rivals, Anzalone's decommitment comes less than two weeks removed from his attendance at the OSU Spring Game.
There is no evidence (yet) that Anzalone's decommitment is related to photos or his interactions with Charles Eric Waugh, the aforementioned sex offender who has tweeted and pursued photos with numerous Buckeyes, but the timing of his announcement is suspicious to say the least.
More news as it emerges.
OSU Issues Statement On Waugh Issue May 4, 2012 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - In the wake of a recent issue involving a Twitter user's interactions with numerous Ohio State student-athletes, the university department of athletics released a statement outlining its stance on the issue Friday evening..."The issue surrounding the individual from Kentucky is being treated by the Department of Athletics as a student-athlete welfare issue," it read. "When the University became aware that this individual had been seen in pictures – taken in public places – with student-athletes, proactive precautions were taken and the Department of Athletics alerted more than 1,000 Ohio State student-athletes about this person. The email message also reminded them of the negative implications that can be realized through simple associations on social networking sites. This individual is not associated with Ohio State. He is not a booster. He has not engaged in any activities on behalf of the University. The Department of Athletics will continue to monitor this issue and it will remain proactive in its efforts with regard to precautions for its student-athletes."...
Read this: The Cautionary Tale Of @Bdubstriviaguru May 4, 2012 Source: Land-Grant Holy Land - On the morning of Monday, April 30th, 2012, something out of the ordinary became apparent on the social media network Twitter. Multiple current Ohio State football players and even a few Ohio State football recruiting targets began to retweet the same motivational quotes from the same origin account. The quotes, perhaps uninterestingly enough, cited Muhammad Ali and read as follows:...
Ohio State loses a top linebacker recruit as sex offender surfaces in photos with players May 5, 2012 Source: Washington Post - Dr. Sal Anzalone, Alex's father, told the Reading (Pa.) Eagle late Friday that "something is just not right at Ohio State. It's not for him."... "You don't want your son to go to a place where there's a potential issue," Sal Anzalone told the Eagle. "You expect the staff to have some sort of control on how things are handled with recruits when they visit. This is ridiculous."
Wyomissing linebacker Anzalone de-commits from Ohio State May 5, 2012 Source: Reading (PA) Eagle - "I had to make a decision that's best for me, and for my family," Anzalone said. "There's a reason behind it. I don't want to get into it; I don't want to hurt anyone. We've been talking about it for a week or so with my family. I need to re-evaluate things right now, slow everything down."
Rodgers On The Rise May 1, 2012 Source: Bucknuts - One of the fastest-rising recruits in the entire nation is offensive lineman Khaliel Rodgers from the state of Maryland, who has an offer from Ohio State.
Rodgers is Big-Ten-ready to say the least at 6-foot-3, 323 pounds. The Army All-American Bowl selection does not have a leader at this point, but a source close to the situation says he's quite intrigued by Ohio State.
"First of all, this is a kid who was under-the-radar for a while and is finally getting his just due," the source said. "All the big-time programs are looking at this guy. He plays both ways in high school, but will definitely be an offensive lineman – a guard – at the collegiate level.
"(Ohio State offensive line coach Ed) Warinner absolutely loves this guy from what I've been told."
Rodgers is a very large young man, but word is he's extremely athletic for his size. Also of note is the fact that Rodgers was a wrestler before giving up the sport as a junior so he could focus on football.
As Luke Fickell could tell you, having a wrestling background is nothing but a good thing for football players.
As for Rodgers, below is a Bucknuts Front Row Radio interview, as well as more on recruiting, Lewis Neal and much more...