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Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier discusses last year's undefeated season, areas where he can improve, and the team's biggest question mark on defense.

Buckeyes Can't Get Comfortable With Life as Favorites
May 16, 2013 Source: The Ozone - There aren't many ways to better a 12-0 record for the Buckeyes. In fact there are only two ways – there is 13-0, and there is 14-0. There will also soon be 15-0, but we don't have to worry about that quite yet.

Fans are already looking at 14-0 with wide, wanting eyes, like a hungry dog window-shopping at a steakhouse.

But it's not just the fans who have high expectations. When the preseason magazines start rolling out in the next week or so, the Buckeyes are going to be in everybody's top five.

There are already national pundits pitting Ohio State against Alabama in the BCS National Championship. When the polls are finally released later this summer, it is expected that the Buckeyes will be #2 behind the Crimson Tide.

Looking at the Ohio State schedule, there is a very good chance that they will be favored in every game this season. That's all well and good for fans to talk about, but it's a topic that the team itself should steer clear of.

"Coach Meyer uses the term all the time, the 'Human Element'," explained tight ends coach Tim Hinton.

"There will be all kinds of publications that come out, all kinds of media, and all of a sudden you have a guy, and I'll use Jeff Heuerman because he's one of my guys, Jeff Heuerman turns on all the different magazines and all the different predictors, and there's only pictures of certain players and his name is not mentioned a lot. Is Jeff Heuerman going to get all bent out of shape because he's an integral part of the game? That human element of 'Why aren't they talking about me?' That's what destroys teams internally.

"Honestly, we have to be bigger than that. The whole idea is that it doesn't matter what anybody says, doesn't matter what all goes down. Bottom line is every day work to be better, and every day work to be a champion, and every day demand from yourself, and it will all work and play out, but don't worry about who gets success, who's getting publicized, who's not, because we'll all have the same reward, and we'll also all have the same bitter taste in defeat."

Each week's burden is sufficiently difficult, whether the Buckeyes are heavily favored or not. They can only play one opponent at a time, after all. No matter how quickly they want to get to 12-0 again, it will still take them 14 weeks to get there.

The Buckeyes did a tremendous job of staying focused last season, but then they had nothing to distract them. There was no postseason, and there was no pressure. They could simply go out and play. That experience should be something that they draw on this season, but will they?

Just because Ohio State might have more talent than their opponents doesn't mean the cliches of 'one day at a time' simply don't apply. It will be up to the coaches to make sure that this team doesn't get too impressed by itself and start buying into what everyone else is selling.

"Do you know who our head coach is?" Hinton asked, laughing at the thought of players becoming overly-inflated.

"To pat yourself on the back and say that last year matters? Everybody is going to start off the season 0-0. Every game starts off 0-0. What you do from that point on is what makes the difference. We weren't world beaters at times last year and we had to scramble and work and claw and scratch to win some games, but we have to learn from those moments.

"That part of it I hope hangs in there, why we were able to be successful last year. The rest of it doesn't matter one iota, because it's over. You can't go back and replay it. Nothing will ever be the same. Like in my room, Zach Boren isn't sitting beside you any more. I love Zach Boren, he's my dude, but move on. It's time to move on to the next chapter in your life and the next chapter of Ohio State football."

The echoes of the lessons learned last year are still floating around, but will they be able to drown out all of the new noise coming from every media corner in the country?

A player's simple trip to the grocery store for Frosted Flakes and hair gel will also feature a gander or two at a stack of magazines asking if Ohio State is the team that can finally unseat the SEC.

Reporters and fellow students will ask them on a weekly basis whether or not they can stop the SEC's streak. Meanwhile, they'll be trying to get ready for a trip to Berkeley or Evanston.

Many already have the Buckeyes' record at 11-0 prior to their trip to Ann Arbor. That's fine for others to project. They can do what they want. The players just can't let themselves be poisoned by such toxic talk.

"To be honest with you, you don't look at those things," said co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.

"The reality is that you don't look at that. You're always looking at the top, and right now, obviously that would be Alabama or whomever has won the national championship. So that's where you're trying to compare yourself. That's what you're trying to match yourself up against."

It doesn't matter if Ohio State is going to be favored throughout the Big Ten schedule, because that's not the standard that the Buckeyes are holding themselves to. Being expected to win is nothing new at Ohio State. Heck, it's why most of the players became Buckeyes in the first place.

But Fickell reminds us that there's no such thing as simply rolling a leaf-pocked silver helmet onto the field and securing a victory. The game must still be played, regardless of favorites or underdogs.

"You don't think about being favored in every game," he said.

"That's not something that goes through your mind. Whether it works out that way, that's the beauty of playing the games. All of the prognostications and things don't really matter."

Follow The Ozone's Tony Gerdeman on Twitter: @GerdOzone

RecruitingspacerOhio State recruiting: State Secrets, 5/14 - Garrett Williams, Trent Harris offered
May 14, 2013 Source: Land-Grant Holy Land - Winter Park (FL) High school class of 2014 defensive end Trent Harris received a full ride scholarship offer from the Buckeyes Monday afternoon. OSU joins the likes of Alabama, Florida and Florida State in the hunt for the 6-2 230 pound pass rusher who finished with 50 tackles and an impressive 11 sacks last season as a junior. Harris had most recruiting analysts counting down the days until he announced his decision, but since receiving his offer from Ohio State, Trent has pushed back his announcement and now plans to visit the Columbus campus over the summer before deciding on a school.

The Orlando Sentinel caught up with Harris' coach moments after finding out that the Buckeyes had offered one of his star players and this is what he had to say on where Trent stands in the eyes of coach Meyer.

"I talked to Coach Meyer and he said Trent's very explosive off the ball and has long arms and he said he sees him as a stand-up D-end or even with his hand in the dirt. He said he is definitely high on their board and they are going to attack and recruit him hard"

Ohio State offered another state of Florida recruit Monday. This time it was on the offensive side of the ball where 2015 The First Academy tight end Garrett Williams received his offer from the Bucks. The Orlando native isn't new to the recruiting game; the 6-4 225 pound junior already held offers from Clemson, Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan State and plenty of others before OSU came calling. Most believe Williams will probably end up a Seminole (his father is ex-FSU fullback Dayne Williams) when it's all said and done, but at they say, it ain't over till its over. To see what Williams could potentially bring to the Buckeyes, check out these highlights:

Recent Texas decommit Demetrius Knox will officially visit Ohio State in October for the Penn State game. Knox who now lives in Texas grew up in Ohio and is friends with Buckeye signal caller Braxton Miller and is also in contact with numerous commits. Since leaving the Longhorns in the dust, Knox seems to be pretty hot on the Bucks, Florida State and UCLA.

Another 2014 recruit, Poona Ford, told Scout.com that he is now has a top three of Ohio State, Louisville and Tennessee. The 6-0 285 pound defensive tackle will make his way from Hilton Head, South Carolina to Central, Ohio next month for a return trip to Columbus. A commitment out of Poona is not out of the question, but as of now he has plans to announce his decision half way through his senior season.

It was a busy day on the road for Ohio State's crack staff of recruiters. Mike Vrabel and Luke Fickell were in Georgia putting on a full court press for 2014 linebacker Raekwon McMillian. Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs was down in Texas. One of the recruits Coombs was reportedly set to visit was five star Ozen defensive back Tony Brown. The Beaumont native currently holds offers from the Bucks, LSU, Alabama, Texas as well as others. Tight ends coach Tim Hinton was in California to check in on La Mirada tight end Tyler Luatua Monday. One of the best tight ends in the class of 2014, most feel Luatua could end up committing to Alabama, where he is older brother plays. Zach Smith made the trip over to Virginia, while there he stopped by Lake Taylor High to check in on 2014 TE/DE Jalyn Holmes. Standing 6-5 and 225 pounds, Holmes hold offers from OSU, Florida State and Clemson to single out a few off a lengthy list.

Kerry Coombs @OsuCoachCoombs
Flag planted in Houston and Beaumont! Ton of speed in Texas! On the runway on the way from Lone Star State to the Sunshine State! #GoBucks
8:38 PM - 13 May 2013

Our own Zach Clark caught up with a pair of recruits Monday to get the latest in their recruitment. Louisiana defensive back Mattrell McGraw told Clark that Buckeyes assistant coach Everett Withers will visit his school on Wednesday. Zach also spoke with 2014 New Jersey wide receiver Saeed Blacknall the speedy wide out said he is contact with Coach Warinner is interested in Ohio State even though many reports have him headed to the SEC.

Zach Clark @ZClark_LGHL
'14 3* S & #Buckeye target Mattrell Mcgraw (New Orleans, LA) tells me Coach Everett Withers will visit his school (John Curtis) on Wednesday
12:26 PM - 13 May 2013

In Buckeye basketball news, 2014 point guard Chris Chiozza will make his college choice today between the Buckeyes, Florida, Memphis, UConn, Auburn and others. The 5-10 160 Memphis, Tennessee native has blown up over the last few weeks with his outstanding play on the AAU circuit. There are plenty of reports floating around stating Chiozza will pick the Florida Gators.


2015 stud running back Jacques Patrick tweeted out that he had Ohio State stop by school Monday. The 6-1 200 pound back has offers for nearly every top team in the country. I spoke with Jacques to confirm the details of the tweet. He told me "[Coach Stan] Drayton stopped by my school. He spoke with my coach and we plan on speaking tomorrow.

Ohio State also had an assistant coach at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Florida, home of 2014 defensive end Spencer Williams Monday.

According to his Twitter page, 2014 Georgia four star wide receiver Demarre Kitt will have a Buckeye coach at his practice today. The 6-1 185 pound Kitt is down to OSU, Tennessee and Clemson for his services.

Per Luke Stampini of 247Sports, the Buckeyes will visit with 2014 Gainsville, Florida running back Tony James today. Stampimi also reported OSU stopped by the school of current Alabama commit Kalvaraz Bessant on Monday.

Thad Matta and the Buckeyes are starting to show interest in 2016 guard Kyle Guy.

Check out this AAU highlight video of 2014 Ohio State commit Jae'Sean Tate brought to you by the fellas over at Scarberry Media

Ohio State recruiting: State Secrets, 5/10 - New offer, visit updates
May 10, 2013 Source: Land-Grant Holy Land - Defensive line coach Mike Vrabel headed out west to the the Lone Star State of Texas to check in on some of state's top talent Thursday. One of the recruits Vrabel dropped in on was 2014 defensive end Solomon Thomas. The Buckeyes aren't the only team after Thomas; the home state Longhorns, Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma are just a few of the programs chasing him. No wonder so many coaches want to add Thomas to their rosters; the 6-3 255 pound lineman accounted for an impressive 89 tackles and 8.5 sacks for his Coppell High team last season.

From the sounds of things, Coach Vrabel also made a stop in Carrolton, Texas to take in the Hebron High spring game. Hebron is the home of 2014 four star defensive back Jamal Adams and 2015 offensive lineman Zach Rogers. Adams is a 6-0 200 pound ball hawk with just about every team in the country after him. Many believe it will be hard to get him to leave Texas, with the the Longhorns and Aggies near the top of his list. Rogers is no slouch either; with a couple years left of high school ball, the 6-2 300 pound junior to be is already putting together a list of scholarship offers better than some upperclassmen. Texas, Oklahoma and UCLA are just a few of the teams to send an offer his way.

Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs was down in Florida recruiting for the Bucks. One of the schools coach Coombs stopped by was Miramar High, which is the home of 2014 linebackers David Lee, Andre Godfrey Jr. and 2015 defensive back Tyrek Cole. Godfrey told Land-Grant Holy Land that he had to cut out of practice earlier due to a banquet while Cole added he didn't attend the practice. Both Godfrey and Cole have a decent amount of BCS programs trying to acquire their duties.

If you are an Ohio State recruitaholic you probably know JUCO offensive tackle Chad Mavety is one of the top recruits left on the Buckeyes board. Offensive line coach Ed Warinner took to the road to check in with some of the 6-6 320 pound lineman coaches Thursday. I had the pleasure of chatting with Chad to see what exactly coach Warinner was doing up on the east coast:

"Coach Warinner was up here. He was actually at my high school in New Jersey to meet with my coach there. He later came to Nassau to hang out with my coaches here"

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman was in Georgia to watch 2014 Lee County quarterback Stephen Collier practice Thursday. The 6-3 210 pound signal caller is already sporting offers from Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, Troy and Louisiana Tech but had a gang of BCS programs showing interest. I caught up with Collier to see just how practice went:

"Coach Herman stopped by, practice went very well. Coaches aren't able to speak to us so no conversation or anything like that happended but I think I did well"

Another Georgia recruit to hear from Ohio State was 2014 wide out Demarre Kitt. According to his Twitter account, head coach Urban Meyer called the 6-1 185 pound Kitt Thursday morning. The Buckeyes were once everyone's guess to land the talented receiver but plenty of scouts have since jump ship and now believe the Clemson Tigers might now have the inside track to gain his services:

Demarre Kitt @D_ocho
Just talked to coach Meyer #buckeyes
11:13 AM - 9 May 2013

Thursday evening while most were kicking their feet up and getting ready for the weekend, the Buckeyes were still working, offering a recruit.. 2014 New Jersey native and athlete Noah Brown is the latest recruit to have the chance to suit up in the Scarlet and Gray. Brown put up some pretty serious stats on the offensive side of the ball last season racking up 847 yards rushing and 630 yards receiving finishing the year with 20 total touchdowns for Pope John XXII High School. Ohio State isn't the first program to offer the 6-2 215 pound Brown; Michigan State, Nebraska and Virginia Tech are just a few of the teams the Bucks find themselves up against.

Check out what Brown could bring to the table for the Buckeyes:


According to reports Tom Herman will check out current Clemson commit Deshaun Watson today. As many of you know, Watson has had on again off again interest in the Buckeyes but told media last week he is 100% firm to Clemson and won't take any visits to any other programs as previously planned.

The Buckeyes are reportedly stopping by North Carolina's Havelock High today to see 2014 running back Derrell Scott. The 5-11 180 pound back has schools like Ohio State, South Carolina, Clemson, Notre Dame and Tennessee all after him. Scott is set to visit Columbus in June.

Ohio State aiming to end SEC's title streak in 2013
May 8, 2013 Source: Sorts Illustrated - Ryan Shazier grew up in Plantation, Fla., and committed to play at Florida before its coach left. The star linebacker wound up playing for Urban Meyer a bit farther north, but he's reminded constantly of the region he left.

"I hear about it all the time from my cousin -- SEC this, SEC that," said Shazier. "There's one reason I came to Ohio State -- to beat up on the SEC."

Bradley Roby hails from Suwanee, Ga. The All-America cornerback would love to face Alabama so he could talk trash with close friend and Tide linebacker Adrian Hubbard -- and also because it would likely mean Roby's Buckeyes are playing on the final night of the college football season.

"The SEC has won, what, seven [BCS titles] in a row?" said Roby. "What better than for Ohio State to be the team that ends it? That's what we're looking to do this year."

A lot of people believe the Buckeyes to be the nation's best hope of ending the SEC's national championship stranglehold in 2013. That sentiment took hold the day Ohio State hired former two-time SEC and BCS champion Meyer some 18 months ago, and it gained momentum when his debut team went 12-0 in a season shortened by sanctions. While two-time defending champion Alabama will be the overwhelming favorite to hoist the crystal football again next January, the Buckeyes are a trendy pick to emerge as its prime challenger. In fact, at least one major outlet has already elevated Ohio State above the Tide.

But might all of this buzz be a bit premature?

By their own admission, the Buckeyes were a work in progress for most of 2012, feasting on a historically weak Big Ten in assembling their undefeated regular-season record and No. 3 ranking in the final AP Poll. Ohio State finished a modest 34th nationally in total defense (359.6 yards per game), 47th in total offense (423.8 yards per game), 13th in Jeff Sagarin's power ratings and 14th in Football Outsiders' F/+ efficiency ratings, respectively. They're certainly not apologizing for their feat -- two huge banners inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center celebrate the accomplishment and the players received "12-0" rings -- but few would dispute that Ohio State's record was deceiving.

Much of the enthusiasm for 2013 centers on the notion that the Buckeyes will follow the same path Florida did in its second season under Meyer, when it improved from a shaky 9-3 team to a 13-1 BCS champion. Gators quarterback Chris Leak, much like Meyer quarterbacks Alex Smith (Utah) and Josh Harris (Bowling Green), improved dramatically in his second season running Meyer's spread offense, leaving Buckeyes fans salivating at the prospects for star Braxton Miller in his second campaign under Meyer's watch. And as those same fans remember painfully well, dominant defensive ends Derrick Harvey and Jarvis Moss keyed Florida's 41-14 rout of Ohio State in that year's BCS title game (which began the SEC's current streak); Meyer's first batch of blue-chip defensive linemen are expected to play pivotal roles this fall.

No one can assess the roster better than Meyer himself. Looking out at the practice field this spring, did he see the same type of high-caliber athletes as he did during his six seasons coaching and coaching against those SEC powers?

"Yes, but not as many," he said during an early April visit. "On special teams, you see it's not the same. The depth is different right now. But we're working hard to make it better."

While known primarily as an offensive innovator, Meyer's best Florida teams won first behind their defense. His 2012 Ohio State team struggled defensively early last season, giving up too many big plays to mediocre opponents like Cal and Purdue, but it bounced back late in the year. Over the last four games, that same defense sparked big road wins at Penn State and Wisconsin and held Michigan to a mere 279 yards.

Unfortunately, the departure of six of the Buckeyes' starting front seven -- including standout linemen John Simon and Johnathan Hankins -- makes it difficult to build on that momentum. On the other hand, Shazier, a rising junior who was playing at an All-America level by season's end (115 tackles, 17 tackles for loss), is a nice cog to construct a unit around. The coaches will also count on former all-everything recruits like sophomore defensive linemen Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence and junior linebacker Curtis Grant to make the transformation from second-string youngsters into key contributors.

"The front seven, where we have a tremendous void, we're starting to see glimpses of some very good players," said Meyer. "Adolphus Washington, Noah Spence -- as far as talent, they can play anywhere in America, but they're still not exactly where they need to be."

It helps that the Buckeyes have three reliable veterans in their secondary in Roby, who led the country last season with 19 passes defended (interceptions and breakups) in 12 games, and senior safeties Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett. Physical junior Doran Grant will likely line up opposite Roby at cornerback.

Still, it's on the other side of the ball where fans expect to see Ohio State make its biggest strides. For much of last season, the Buckeyes' offensive approach could best be described as "Run, Braxton, Run." The fleet-footed quarterback averaged nearly 19 rushing attempts per game and amassed 1,271 yards, though that wasn't always by design.

"Part of Braxton being the bell cow -- the main toter of the rock, if you will, was his inexperience in distributing the football," said offensive coordinator Tom Herman. "There were a lot of times the football probably should have been out of his hands but was still in his hands because of his lack of knowledge of what we were trying to do."

By all accounts, Miller -- a 58.3 percent passer last season -- became a more vocal leader and more complete player this spring, showing many of the same signs of progress that previous second-year Meyer quarterbacks have. Perhaps equally important, his supporting cast looks far more promising than it did at this time a year ago.

The offensive line, which returns four starters, is the undisputed strength of the team. Tailback Carlos Hyde, who recovered from an early-season injury to rush for 970 yards in 10 games, will take some of the load off Miller. Receivers Devin Smith, Philly Brown and Chris Fields have all earned Meyer's praise.

But Meyer is still looking for another playmaker or two to take the offense to another level, much like then-freshmen Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin did for the coach's 2006 Florida title team. The logical candidate is Jordan Hall, an injury-plagued senior running back who Meyer hopes to plug into Harvin's old hybrid H-back role. Unfortunately, Hall missed all but four games last season with foot and knee injuries and then sat out much of this spring with a hamstring injury. Meyer calls Hall's anticipated emergence "a necessity."

Meyer also points to incoming freshmen Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson and Ezekiel Elliott -- all four-star running backs/athletes and high school track stars -- as possible instant-impact playmakers. "I'm hoping they are exactly those kind of guys," said Meyer. "They're supposed to be. That's what the Rivals and Scout tell us."

Once an early draft fixture, Ohio State produced just three first- or second-round NFL draft picks from its past three squads; three-time Big Ten champ Wisconsin produced twice as many over that span, as well as more picks overall (14-13). This season, the Buckeyes should return to their once-given status as the most talented team in the conference, and while the schedule has a few potential speed bumps (a Sept. 14 cross-country trip to Cal, a home game against Wisconsin and a road game at Northwestern to open Big Ten play), they'll be seen as prohibitive favorites nearly every week leading up to their Nov. 30 finale at Michigan.

Schedule posters plastered around the football facility list that game as The Team Up North. They also include three more potential dates -- the Dec. 7 Big Ten championship game, Jan. 1 Rose Bowl and Jan. 6 BCS national title game -- that weren't on the table last year. Few doubt the Buckeyes have what it takes to get there. The question is whether the most talented team in the Big Ten is yet on the same level as the championship-winning squads down south.

"We have a big opportunity this year to do something special and I think we all realize that," said offensive lineman Jack Mewhort. "... You don't come to Ohio State to be in the back of the line, you come here to be on top, and that's what guys have been thinking about their whole careers here."

As for a possible BCS championship date, Mewhort said: "I'd be excited to play one of those big SEC powerhouses."

He's not alone. Seven years ago, Ohio State became the first victim of the SEC's run of dominance. Now, that very same program may hold the best hope of ending the streak. "I'm not saying we're 100 percent ready yet," said Shazier. "... But once the season comes, we will be the best team in college [football]."


Urban Meyer on Wall to Wall Sports Sunday night, May 5, with Dom Tiberi Source: 10TV.com

Ohio State's Urban Meyer is casting wide net for quarterback recruits
May 5, 2013 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Zack Darlington had several scholarship offers in hand, but then came the call he had been waiting for late last week.

Summoned from his sixth-period class to the office of his father, Rick, the football coach at Apopka (Fla.) High School, he found out Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was on the phone. In the next few seconds, Meyer told Zack he was what the Buckeyes were looking for in a quarterback and formally offered a scholarship to be part of the 2014 recruiting class.

“Honestly, I don’t even think thrilled is the right word, it’s not good enough for what I am feeling,” Darlington said. “I’d say ecstatic, every great word that could come to mind, that’s what I’m feeling. It’s something I’ve been working toward for a long time.

“And when Ohio State started showing the interest early, that’s the offer I wanted to get because it shows the work is paying off.”

Ohio State’s homework also is showing. There was no secret Meyer and his staff hoped to flip the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback prospect, DeShaun Watson, of Gainesville, Ga., from his long-standing commitment to Clemson. But it became apparent at the start of last week that Watson didn’t share the same interest in OSU.

Meyer and his staff, led by offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman, worked quickly to develop other options in the quest for a quarterback in the 2014 class.

They offered Kyle Allen of Scottsdale, Ariz., a standout in their summer camp a year ago and considered one of the elite pro-style quarterback prospects nationally, and followed with offers to dual-threat quarterbacks Darlington, who led his team to a Florida state title last season, and Brandon Harris of Bossier City, La. Herman watched all three on different days during their schools’ spring football drills. Ohio high schools aren’t allowed to hold spring practices.

It was the recruiting equivalent of casting a national dragnet. It was newsworthy because no position is more vital to a football team than quarterback, especially in Meyer’s spread offense. That the three players Meyer and Herman identified seem quite different in ability is missing the point.

“The best quarterback,” Meyer said a couple of weeks ago when asked what he seeks for the position.

And what did he tell Darlington?

“He told me they’re not only looking for someone who is going to be great, but who is also going to make the team great,” Darlington said. “That’s what I want to be able to do, not only to do great things but to bring my team with me, to push them ahead of me and keep everything going.”

But Meyer wants more than just a leader.

“A quarterback that can run,” Meyer said.

Not that they are seeking a laser-etched copy of Braxton Miller, who in the first year under Meyer and Herman in 2012 set an Ohio State season record for total offense.

“You probably won’t find another kid like Braxton Miller,” Meyer said. “I wish I could, but you probably won’t find another kid that fast and that athletic.

“But I am convinced — and our belief system is — you have to be able to get out of trouble, or it’s a bad day. And that comes from watching our defense game-planning from week to week — the quarterbacks that can’t move, the defensive guys love that.”

Allen likes the pocket but has shown an ability to buy time with his feet and escape when needed. In Apopka’s victory in the state title game, Darlington put on a show running the option one minute and throwing passes the next. It’s the same with Harris, who plays in a stout league in northwestern Louisiana.

“You have to be able to throw, oh yes,” Meyer said, as if that were a given. “And we have to be able to do that much better.”

He referred to Ohio State’s offense and Miller, whose quest is to become better in the passing game heading into his junior season. If he does, there is a good chance he could leave for the NFL. Considering that his backup, Kenny Guiton, is a senior, that would leave just two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster: redshirt freshman Cardale Jones and freshman J.T. Barrett, a member of the 2013 recruiting class.

That’s why it’s imperative the Buckeyes sign at least one more quarterback with the 2014 class. Although all three who were offered last week were thrilled, none committed.

“My approach right now is I want to be able to get up there on a visit, make sure I fall in love with everything about Ohio State, and I expect I will,” Darlington said.

QBs offered scholarships by OSU

Kyle Allen
• Status: Pro-style QB also has offers from Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, among others.

Zack Darlington
• Status: Dual-threat QB also has offers from Nebraska, Virginia Tech and West Virginia, among others.

Brandon Harris
• Status: Dual-threat QB also has offers from Texas A&M, Baylor and Arkansas, among others.

DeShaun Watson
• Status: Dual-threat QB is committed to Clemson.

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