Runningbacks' Coach Dick Tressel spoke with reporters about Beanie Wells, the health of Boom Herron and Brandon Saine, and how the depth chart looks at tailback going into the season.
Dick Tressel talks about Buckeye Runningbacks (Aug 24) Source: The Ozone
Wells Ready to Carry the Load for the Buckeyes August 24, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Terrelle Pryor might be the guy who generates the hype, but when it comes to generating offense on the football field, this year's main man in a Buckeye uniform is Beanie Wells. Check out the-Ozone report ..."
OSU Backfield Has Depth It Needs August 24, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "There is more to constructing a deep backfield than simply recruiting well, and the Ohio State coaching staff was reminded of that fact during 2008 preseason camp, when a couple of the scholarship runners were hobbled...Starter Chris Wells, who ran for 1,609 yards last season, is obviously a good start, but there is more to the Ohio State backfield than the burly junior... behind are three scholarship players all itching to give him a break at any time...senior Maurice Wells, a smaller and quicker option than the starter...sophomore Brandon Saine, Ohio’s high school 100-meter record holder, who combines his sprinter’s speed with a stout build and soft hands to be a multifaceted weapon...Boom Herron, a redshirt freshman who started turning heads with his work on the scout team last year and continued to do so with the regular offense during spring drills and preseason camp..."
Better Know A Buckeye: Michael Brewster August 23, 2008 Source: Our Honor Defend - "In the final installment of this 20 part series I finally take a look at Michael Brewster...I treat Brewster as the capstone of the 2008 class and, accordingly, of these features. Brewster’s story actually begins several years earlier...After discussing his recruitment and commitment, I move into a discussion of what most people have pegged Brewster for: recruiting other players to join him at Ohio State. I discuss some of the stories, and even myths, at that point. I close with miscellaneous errata involving Michael Brewster that defies quantification...His Recruitment: The courtship of Michael Brewster and Ohio State actually started rather early… as in his eighth grade year2..."
SN's team previews: No. 2 Ohio State August 23, 2008 Source: Sporting News - "Sporting News is counting down its top 50 teams in college football, one by one, from early July until kickoff of the season in late August. Here's a preview of the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes...Questions on offense? Well, frankly, there aren't many. But there is plenty of intrigue with the arrival of uber-recruit Terrelle Pryor...The defense has the makings of being one of the best in the nation. It all starts with a deep and talented pool of linebackers led by James Laurinaitis, who shocked many by opting to return for his senior year after winning the Butkus Award last season..."
Two-minute drill: No. 2 Ohio State: Burning Question: Can Ohio State finally silence its legions of critics? The Buckeyes quickly are becoming the nation's most despised team because of the last two BCS title games...Buckeyes fans have heard it for two years now—overrated, can't run with the big dogs, champions of a slow and outdated conference. The silencer could come in the form of a win at Southern Cal on Sept. 13...
2008 OSU Season Outlook August 22, 2008 Source: Men of the Scarlet & Gray - "Q: On what will the outcome of this season depend? A: On leadership...Q: Will OSU beat USC? A: Probably...Q: How many victories do fans have a reasonable right to expect? A: Nine...Q: Will OSU win a first-time-in-history fourth consecutive conference title? A: Yes...Q: Will Beanie win the Heisman? A: No...Q: Will OSU compete in the title game? A: Probably not..."
'Beanie' Wells leads talented OSU foursome at running back August 23, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "It would be hyperbole to the third power to call the current stable of Ohio State running backs the second coming of the Four Horsemen, but give the group some time, Chris "Beanie" Wells said yesterday. 'It's incredible.' For now, just call them Wells and Mo Wells, Boom and Zoom...'We learned this camp you better have a stable-full, because in a moment the thing can change," Tressel said. "It only takes one bump on the head or on the knee, and suddenly the group of tailbacks is all different.'..."
Veteran Mo Wells content with role August 23, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Four years ago, Maurice "Mo" Wells was one of Ohio State's big recruiting catches, a big-play running back from Jacksonville, Fla., who was going to infuse more speed into the Buckeyes offense. Now, as a senior, he's going into his second year as the backup to junior Chris "Beanie" Wells. That wasn't what the crystal ball seemed to forecast, but that's life, he said...If he can break tackles with more regularity this year and prove to be even more of a receiver coming out of the backfield, there is a precedent for a backup to a Heisman Trophy hopeful making good..."
Checking in with ... OSU's Jim Heacock August 22, 2008 Source: ESPN - "On the surface, Jim Heacock's job looks pretty easy right now. The Ohio State defensive coordinator returns nine starters from a unit that led the nation in fewest yards allowed (233 ypg) and fewest points allowed (12.77 ppg). He has the reigning Butkus Award winner at middle linebacker (James Laurinaitis), the Thorpe Award front-runner at cornerback (Malcolm Jenkins) and several others who could take home some hardware in December. Then again, it was Heacock's unit that allowed a combined 79 points in the last two BCS national championship games. It was Heacock's unit that helped fuel the perception -- founded or unfounded -- that the Big Ten is a step or three slow. And like many teams in many leagues, the Buckeyes' defense has had some struggles with the spread offense. So Heacock has plenty of work to do...I spoke briefly with Ohio State's fourth-year defensive coordinator before his afternoon meeting and discussed the outlook for the unit..."
Ranking the 2008 Head Coaches - No. 1 to 60 August 22, 2008 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - "A ranking of all 119 head coaches based on how good they are right now, Part 2 ... No. 1 to No. 60: 3. Jim Tressel, Ohio State – When the Buckeyes plucked Tressel from Youngstown State seven years ago, few envisioned this much success. Ohio State has won or shared the last three Big Ten championships, leaving the rest of the league in its wake. Although there’s fallout from losing the last two BCS title games, about 110 schools could only dream of playing in back-to-back BCS title games. ..." (2008 Coaching Rankings - 61 to 119)
COACHES HOT SEAT RANKING August 22, 2008 Source: CoachesHotSeat.com - "1 Ty Willingham, Washington; 2 Joe Glenn, Wyoming; 3 Kirk Ferentz, Iowa; 4 Mike Stoops, Arizona; 5 Greg Robinson, Syracuse..."
Buckeyes back to win ... or claim Horrible Hat Trick August 22, 2008 Source: CBS Sportsline - Dennis Dodd writes: "It would be different if, say, Maurice Clarett were still punking things up, if the Buckeyes were accessorizing orange prison jump suits with Big Ten championship rings. It would be much easier to dislike these guys if they were the least bit arrogant...James Laurinaitis and the Bucks are poised to make another run to the BCS title game. These Buckeyes know their act is getting stale. They've played in the past two BCS title games and lost by a combined 41 points. That the winners were SEC teams has casual observers howling that Ohio State should be playing in the Sun Belt, that the Big Ten is the Sun Belt. Eight days from kickoff, these Bucks are aware that their reputation going into 2008 is somewhere between the Washington Generals and Dwight Schrute on The Office..."
Preseason BCS: Buckeyes No. 1, Again August 22, 2008 Source: BCS Guru - "Without a doubt we have been here before: Ohio State is No. 1 in the BCS standings...Just like at the end of the 2007 regular season, and the 2006 regular season, the Buckeyes are once again on top of the BCS standings. Despite Georgia's lofty status as the top team in both the AP and coaches preseason polls, Ohio State is ranked No. 1 in the preseason BCS standings after the computers have spoken..."
Football Captains Announced August 22, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - " Todd Boeckman, Malcolm Jenkins, James Laurinaitis and Brian Robiskie were elected as 2008 captains of the Ohio State football team, as announced to the squad today...'I’m extremely thankful and honored by the confidence shown by my teammates in my leadership,' said Boeckman, a senior quarterback...'When you think back on all the past captains at Ohio State, you realize what a great honor and opportunity this is,' said Jenkins, a senior cornerback...'It’s unbelievable to have the chance to represent the type of player and people we have on this team as their captain for another year,' said Laurinaitis, a senior linebacker (James Laurinaitis is the seventh two-time captain in Ohio State's history. )...'First and foremost, it humbles you. To have the respect of your teammates in such a way is definitely an honor,' said Robiskie, a senior wide receiver..."
Captain Robiskie Can't Hide His Enthusiasm For The Job August 22, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Brian Robiskie was scheduled to make a routine pit stop into the media interview room today but he ended up being a very popular visitor as word leaked the senior wide receiver had been named as one of Ohio State's four team captains for the upcoming season. For more on the other choices and Robiskie's reaction, click (on the link)..."
Players Meet with the Media Friday August 22, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "...Chris Wells, junior running back: On his injuries - 'Playing football, especially at running back, you’re never pain free. You learn to play hurt. And with this season, I’m more comfortable after a season of being a starter. I trust the guys I’m lining up next to, which is important.' On the running backs - 'We’re all great athletes. We’re all going to touch the football. It’ll be hard at time, but there is no way you can keep any of us off the ball. Mo, Brandon and myself are going to work hard all season.'..." (Includes audio interviews with Brian Hartline, Running Backs Coach Dick Tressel, Chris Wells and Brian Robiskie)
Quarterbacks provide Ohio State a wealth of options August 21, 2008 Source: USA Today - "A year ago, Todd Boeckman faced questions about whether he could win the starting quarterback job at Ohio State. Now the issue is whether he'll share it with coveted freshman Terrelle Pryor, USA TODAY's high school offensive player of the year in 2007..."
Buckeyes get advice from Kenyon College swim coach August 21, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Jim Tressel trails Jim Steen 47 to 5 in national championships. No wonder the Buckeyes went to Kenyon College today for a little advice...This quote from Steen probably caught the eye of a coach trying to lead a football team that has lost consecutive national title games. 'In order to engage in battle without compromise, you must find a place within yourself where success and failure don't matter. It requires resisting the emotional satisfaction of being No. 1, as well as the emotional uncertainty of defeat.'..."
Ten players who have really, really tough acts to follow August 21, 2008 Source: SI.com - "The top 10 picks in April's NFL draft...How do you replace that? Here are the players who will try to step into the shoes left behind by those top-10 picks. Ohio State: Who's Gone? Vernon Gholston, DE (No. 6 pick) Who's Next? Lawrence Wilson Wilson was expected to partner with Gholston last season, giving the Buckeyes a formidable tandem on the ends -- and he did, for exactly 17 plays. Wilson broke his leg in the season opener last year, but not before he registered a sack and a tackle in the backfield against Youngstown State. It may end up being a lucky break for Ohio State, which will have another force at end -- one who coaches say is more physical than Gholston. It will be hard to duplicate Gholston's school-record 14 sacks from last season, but Wilson has put in the work. He played at 275 pounds last season but has trimmed his 6-foot-4 frame to between 261-267 pounds thanks to a new diet, which should make him quicker. Will he be the pass-rusher this team is missing? Someone has to step up since the eight players on the line's two-deep had a combined 7 ½ sacks last season..."
OSU talks TV with fans August 21, 2008 Source: Akron Beacon Journal - "The Ohio State University Department of Athletics has jumped into the middle of the fracas between the Big Ten Network and Time Warner Cable. The two entities have been locked in negotiations over the cable company carrying the year-old sports network. Athletic Director Gene Smith is advising Buckeyes fans who want to watch the team to switch video service providers. 'While negotiations are ongoing with Time Warner, it appears very unlikely that an agreement will be reached before the first game of the year and anything beyond that is problematical,'' Smith wrote in a open letter to Buckeyes fans on OSU's Web site. 'Therefore, we feel compelled to let Buckeyes fans know that there is only one way you would be guaranteed to get the Big Ten Network in time to see us take the field against Youngstown State and that is to call one of the providers now carrying the network in the state... ''..."
Ohio State's special teams not very special August 21, 2008 Source: Mansfield News Journal - "It's a statistic that rankles Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, a man not easily rankled. His Buckeyes were last in the Big Ten in 2007 in kickoff returns, and he's determined that won't happen again...A.J. Trapasso said a lot of different aspects must come together for a successful return. 'It's not just the returners, although that's all that most people ever see,' he said. 'We need to tighten up. We obviously know our numbers have been down, and we want to improve on that.'...'Coach says special teams win championships,' said Aaron Pettrey, who'll handle kickoffs for the second straight year. 'Last year we didn't play as well as we could. Our blocking and other things we could have done better on kickoff returns and things like that. So he's stressing those right now.'..."
Kick Scrimmage Shows Work To Be Done August 20, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "The annual fall kick scrimmage is a day for the specialists to shine, but the kickers and punters weren't always sharp during the 2008 version. The Gray team, featuring backups Aaron Pettrey and Ryan Pretorius, was able to do enough, thanks to a touchdown off of a fake punt pass, to earn a victory over the Scarlet in Ohio Stadium..."
Kick Scrimmage Notebook: Pretorius, McQuaide, Pettrey, Trapasso August 20, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Following Wednesday's special teams scrimmage at Ohio Stadium, Bucknuts.com had a chance to check in with several of the first-team specialists. The group included fifth-year senior Ryan Pretorius (kicker), third-year sophomore Jake McQuaide (long snapper), fourth-year junior Aaron Pettrey (kickoffs) and fifth-year senior A.J. Trapasso (punter). How did each of these players perform? We have a full report..."
Sanzenbacher stands out at OSU practices August 20, 2008 Source: Toledo Blade - "...'Someone asked earlier today if you had to pick one guy that's jumped up and really caught your attention in this camp, who would it be?' Tressel said. 'And the guy I would say would be Dane Sanzenbacher.'..."
Freshmen enhance deep receiving corps August 20, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Posey and Lamaar Thomas were two of the higher-rated receiver prospects in the country when the Buckeyes signed them in February. But that meant little, Thomas said, once the college gang gathered...With so many receivers competing for playing time, it seems every play in practice matters. 'It puts a little pressure on everybody to perform, but you've got to learn to deal with that,' (Dane)Sanzenbacher said. 'Everybody should have to show up in practice every day and earn their spot.' He likes what he has seen out of Posey and Thomas..."
The Spread - Is The Big Ten Really Changing? August 20, 2008 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - "Look out Big Ten, the spread is coming, the spread is coming! The slow, stick-in-the-mud conference of Woody, Bo, Dayne, and Griffin creating clouds of dust with power running games led by big, beefy offensive lines doing big, beefy things is being infiltrated by the spread offense. At least that’s the national perception...Ohio State has already joined the spread era, but it hasn’t been quite as obvious. Troy Smith won a Heisman thanks to an attack that allowed him to see the field more and use his speedy targets, Ted Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez, in mismatches. The addition of super-recruit Terrelle Pryor, who by all indications is the 100% real deal, and the eventual next-big-thing to hit the college football world, will simply allow the coaching staff to do different things. While Pryor would make for a star spread quarterback, he’d be successful in any scheme..."
Jim Tressel speaks to the media fefore the Evening Open Practice (Aug 18) Source: The Ozone
Fickell, Linebackers Meet with the Media August 19, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "The Buckeyes continued preparations for the 2008 season Tuesday with a morning full of meetings and film review. Afterwards, Luke Fickell, Ohio State linebackers coach, and linebackers Marcus Freeman, Ross Homan, James Laurinaitis and Austin Spitler met with the media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center...On Jermale Hines and Tyler Moeller switching to linebacker: 'Sometimes it is a confidence issue and there are some people who don’t mind. You always have to find out where they see themselves fitting best. Sometimes as a player it takes a little while to learn different things but as a linebacker coach you try to teach the whole concept of whether you’re a safety or a linebacker.'..."
Fickell Looks To Fill Roles At LB, Expects Greatness August 19, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Luke Fickell knows he's dealing with a wealth of talent at linebacker this season at Ohio State. However, the co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach says time will tell in terms of whether the 2008 linebackers can surpass the 2002 group, or even the 2005 crew. Fickell also discusses the progress of second-team sophomore outside linebackers Tyler Moeller and Brian Rolle, as well as much more..."
Ohio State LBs used to being eclipsed by No. 33 August 19, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "Marcus Freeman doesn't mind staying in the background while All-American James Laurinaitis gets all the attention. He's also more than happy to stay in the shadows when two teammates are trading pranks...In the Buckeyes' solar system, everything seems to revolve around Laurinaitis, winner of the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker, a two-time All-American and last season's Big Ten defensive player of the year..."
The fierce urgency of beating USC August 19, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...As proven in his "Winner's Manual," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel will quote anyone with a message that he likes...At interviews today, the Buckeye linebackers were talking about the "fierce urgency of now," the line that Obama has used to explain his run for the presidency. Of course, Obama is only citing the "fierce urgency of now" first articulated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 'Coach Tressel brought it up from Barack Obama's speech,' senior James Laurinaitis said, 'and he just said the acronym is FUN. We have a lot of guys who are seniors and have to have that fierce urgency of now because all we have is now. We don't have another year, and we have to have fun doing it.'..."
Buckeyes Practice Under The Lights August 18, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "As Ohio State prepares for the 2008 season, the Buckeyes continued what has become an annual tradition by hosting an open practice underneath the lights at Ohio Stadium. Find out how it went and why there were no autographs this time around in this update..."
Buckeye Bits: "Returning starter at defensive tackle ... strong (bench presses 400), fast and is one of those players whose motor is always running ... coaches like his work ethic and competitive nature..." August 18, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site
Head Coach Jim Tressel following the Jersey Scrimmage Saturday (Aug 16) Source: The Ozone
AP poll follows coaches' lead: Georgia the preseason No. 1 August 17, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "By the time Georgia was done demolishing Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl, it was apparent the Bulldogs were well on their way to being No. 1 — to start the 2008 college football season...The Bulldogs received 22 first-place votes and 1,528 points from a panel of 65 media members in the poll released Saturday...Ohio State, coming off a second consecutive loss in the national championship game but returning 20 starters, is No. 2. The Buckeyes received 21 first-place votes and 1,506 points..."
OSU battles a scheduling image USC doesn't face August 17, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State and Southern California meet Sept. 13 in what everyone agrees is the nation's marquee nonconference game of the season. But look past that game, and it's obvious that the two schools' scheduling philosophies vary drastically..."
Who plays the big boys? August 17, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "How the six Bowl Championship Series conferences compare in their nonconference scheduling, in terms of the number of games against other BCS conference teams vs. games against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA:
1. Pacific 10 Conference GAMES VS. BCS TEAMS: 45% (14 of 31) GAMES VS. FCS TEAMS: 6% (2 of 31) PERCENTAGE DIFFERENCE: +39
2. Big East Conference GAMES VS. BCS TEAMS: 39% (16 of 41) GAMES VS. FCS TEAMS: 17% (7 of 41) PERCENTAGE DIFFERENCE: +22
3. Atlantic Coast Conference GAMES VS. BCS TEAMS: 48% (23 of 48) GAMES VS. FCS TEAMS: 27% (13 of 48) PERCENTAGE DIFFERENCE: +21
4. Southeastern Conference GAMES VS. BCS TEAMS: 31% (15 of 48) GAMES VS. FCS TEAMS: 19% (9 of 48) PERCENTAGE DIFFERENCE: +12
5. Big 12 Conference GAMES VS. BCS TEAMS: 31% (15 of 48) GAMES VS. FCS TEAMS: 21% (10 of 48) PERCENTAGE DIFFERENCE: +10.41
6. Big Ten Conference GAMES VS. BCS TEAMS: 30% (13 of 44) GAMES VS. FCS TEAMS: 20% (9 of 44) PERCENTAGE DIFFERENCE: +9.1
Tressel pleased with Boeckman, Pryor August 17, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...'He didn't look like a freshman. He has good presence for a young guy,' (Tressel) said. 'It looks to me like he's going to be very, very good. He's got extraordinary ability.' For a coach who deals in serial understatement, that's effusive praise...Tressel said Boeckman was 'solid' and then was more generous later, adding that he had 'total command of what we're doing ... he just looks the part of the returning quarterback from a good team.' Boeckman enjoyed one of the better seasons in Ohio State history through 10 games last season but slipped toward the end..."
The Speed Myth August 17, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "...The Buckeyes have been kind to the analysts over the last couple of seasons, dropping two-consecutive national title games. That has been an absolute boon to the analysts who have returned the kindness by tweaking Buckeye (and by extension the entire Big Ten) noses by telling everybody that the Buckeyes were slow, at least in comparison to the red-caped SEC teams they faced in the Fiesta Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The Buckeyes themselves, however, don't quite see it that way...'Everyone says that they're so much faster. I don't get it,' said Alex Boone...'I have no idea. I don't know if someone(the analyst) is drinking some really fast water or what. It was not the speed that got to us. It was us not making the plays,' said Coleman..."
Herron gets to show his stuff at Ohio State scrimmage August 17, 2008 Source: Canton Repository - " If Jim Tressel knows one thing, he knows the Buckeyes aren't going to slide up the college football polls in August. Ohio State had its last full-contact, no-holds barred scrimmage Saturday. For the record, the Buckeye offense beat the defense, 71-55, and retained the coveted scarlet practice jerseys. Wells and wide receiver Brian Robiskie (shoulder) didn't play Saturday...Without Wells, Boom Herron got a chance to show Tressel what he could do. Tressel indicated he liked what he saw in Herron, who could become OSU's No. 2 tailback..."
Tressel, Seniors Address the Media After Saturday's Scrimmage August 16, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "The Buckeyes continued preparations for the 2008 season Saturday morning during a full-contact, 165-play scrimmage under beautiful blue skies in Ohio Stadium. The scrimmage featured the first, second and third-team units against their respective counterparts on defense. After practice, the Buckeyes returned to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center where the Columbus media awaited their arrival... 'Today was a good workout,' head coach Jim Tressel said. 'We got a lot of snaps in and a lot of kids will have a chance to watch film of themselves in the stadium. I thought they played hard. We're coming off 13-straight practices so they weren't at top-end speed, but I think they were trying to be and that's the important part. The hitting was really good, I thought. Now the coaches will have a marathon film-grading session to see where we go from here.'..." (Also audio and quotes from: Todd Boeckman, James Laurinaitis, Malcom Jenkins and Ryan Pretorius)
Wells held out of jersey scrimmage August 16, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "The offense beat the defense in this morning's jersey scrimmage, Jim Tressel reporting a winning score of 72-52 for the offense. The win took place without Heisman Trophy candidate Beanie Wells...Saturday, Tressel said he just wanted to give other guys a look, claiming that he is not at all concerned with the health of Wells..."
Pryor relies on arm, not feet, at OSU scrimmage August 16, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "OSU head coach said freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) was more interested in throwing than running during Saturday's jersey scrimmage, which was closed to the public...'He's going to find someone to throw to,' Tressel said of Pryor. 'He's a thrower.'..."
Martin makes some fullback noise August 16, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...At the moment, one Glenville guy seems to be out, a Euclid guy seems to be in and another Glenville guy is in the mix...(and) LOVIN' HIM SOME QUARTERBACK...CENTER SQUARE...TALK ABOUT SANZENBACHER..."
Quotable: A few weeks after his injury, Lawrence thanked fans for their letters and words of support: "A lot of people sent cards and emails and I just wanted to thank all the fans out there for sending emails and cards. They said the whole Buckeye country wants you to get better. I thought that was real nice. They did not have to do that. I just wanted to say how much I appreciated it." (Wilson) enters the season listed as a starter at defensive end after missing the 2007 campaign ... has committed himself to a break-out season ... big, strong, athletic and smart. August 15, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site
Broken leg didn't break his faith August 12, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "After a strong run through spring practice, Lawrence Wilson, a 6-foot-4 senior, has regained his momentum as the Buckeyes head into the second week of preseason practice. The only thing he didn't make good on in his promise to his father was to become bigger...'I lost between 10 and 15 pounds -- I'm about 265 to 270,' (Wilson) said. 'I feel light, I feel better. My leg feels 100 percent again. And I approach the game differently. I don't take anything for granted.'..."
Wilson key to OSU's defense August 7, 2008 Source: The Morning Journal - "The last time we saw Lawrence Wilson on a football field, he was on a stretcher, getting carted off the Ohio Stadium turf with his right leg broken in half. Because of that, it might be unfair to call him the key to Ohio State's 2008 season. Then again, Lawrence Wilson is the key to Ohio State's 2008 season. That is, of course, as long as everyone else stays healthy...We also know Vernon Gholston and his 14 sacks are gone, and right now, we have no idea who will replace them. For Ohio State's sake, it better be Wilson..."
Big and incredibly nasty August 15, 2008 Source: The Morning Journal - "...Three true freshmen -- Michael Brewster, Mike Adams and J.B. Shugarts -- are expected to crack the two-deep fairly soon. Adams would be there already, but he's still recovering from shoulder surgery in April. Shugarts is there now, while Brewster is the third-string center behind starter Jim Cordle and backup Andrew Moses. Brewster, though, enters as perhaps the top center prospect in the country. It shouldn't be long before he passes Moses, a junior walk-on, for the backup spot. It's difficult to count true freshmen as depth, but Brewster, Adams and Shugart already have taken to the nickname, ''Block O'' as the future of the offensive line. All three enrolled at Ohio State early to take part in spring practice. Injuries affected all three, but at least they were around to familiarize themselves with the system..."
Three freshmen offensive lineman that could shape Ohio State's offense for three years after this season, first as highly recruited and top ten nationally ranked high school recruits and now as Ohio State Buckeyes. In the first photo, Mike Adams from OH, Mike Brewster from FL, J.B. Shugarts from TX; in the second Shugarts, Brewster and Adams.
Bollman Likes his Lineman Lean, but not Necessarily Light August 15, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "Bollman for one is a fan of lean offensive linemen. 'There's signs all over my room that say 'The leaner you stay the longer you'll play.' About four of them to be exact,' said Bollman. While Bollman likes lean, he does not necessarily like small. Size according to Bollman is a necessary asset for an effective offensive lineman in Big Ten play, especially when it comes to pass blocking. 'Really what weight is necessary for is a ballast in pass protection,' explained Bollman..."
Buckeyes' line depth may rival 2006 unit August 15, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Ohio State hopes its offensive line can return to the level it reached in 2006. The Buckeyes sent in their second-team offensive line at Texas that season to seize control in a game that was teetering...The only blemish, of course, was in the title game, when the line was overwhelmed by Florida's defensive front seven. After last season, when five players were mainstays on the line, offensive coordinator Jim Bollman and coach Jim Tressel won't guarantee the same type of unit-for-unit substitution as in 2006. But they agree the ingredients are there. 'I think we're going to be deeper but have less experience,' Tressel said. 'From a talent standpoint, I think we're going to be a little better than we've been.'..."
Pryor turning heads...Injury report August 15, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "The reports so far on freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor come back the same: He's exciting, he's fast and athletic, and he's not sure yet exactly what he's doing...Starting receiver Brian Robiskie has been sitting out practice recently because of an undisclosed injury, believed to be either a shoulder problem or a stinger. It is not considered serious...Bollman said he hoped to get (Mike) Adams into contact drills early next week, and it certainly sounds as if the coaches intend for Adams to play rather than redshirt..."
Robiskie, Terry and O-line notes August 14, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Saturday's scrimmage is a major opportunity for players hoping to move up the depth chart...Offensive coordinator Jim Bollman expects Robiskie to be ready for Youngstown State on Aug. 30....On the first day of camp, Jim Tressel said Curtis Terry was basically out of the mix at linebacker and was focusing on playing fullback. Today, Bollman said he thought Terry was with the defense again, with some work at fullback...On the offensive line, with Bryant Browning holding the only open starting job at right tackle, Bollman said the second-team line, from left to right, is Andy Miller, Kyle Mitchum, Andrew Moses, Connor Smith and freshman J.B. Shugarts..."
Brutus On Parade Statues August 14, 2008 Source: BrutusOnParade.com - "Brutus On Parade is an amazing & exciting program developed by The Ohio State University to assist in raising funds for the renovation of The William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library. The first wave of Brutus statues has arrived for the parade. They are all located around the Jerome Schottenstein Center located on the Ohio State University Main Campus. Come Join the parade, bring a camera, tell a friend! A display of current statues on exhibit can be viewed in the gallery. The Brutus statues will be located at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State Main Campus. Maps detailing the locations of the sculptures are available in the "MAPS" section of this site. The statues will be on display from August to October 2008..."
Is Jim Tressel a bargain? August 14, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Forbes.com thinks he is. Two straight national games and a salary of $2.6 million last season makes him the best bargain in the business, according to the Forbes way of measuring things (The Best (And Worst) College Football Coaches For The Buck: "But the best bargain was Ohio State’s Jim Tressel, who scored a 122. Tressel has led the Buckeyes to the last two national championship games (losing to Florida in 2007 and Louisiana State in 2008) and was paid $2.6 million last season, less than eight of his peers."). According to the extension he officially signed on June 30, 2006, these were the salary figures Ohio State released for Tressel..."
Shaving Mike Brewster And More August 14, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Plenty of things are said during interviews for fall camp at Ohio State, and not all of them get repeated. What follows is a collection of anecdotes from fall camp including why Michael Brewster should fear for his hair, who Thaddeus Gibson looks like, how Solomon Thomas is progressing and more..."
Freshman Brewster knows he's facing a hairy situation August 14, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "They're after her son, and Kathy Brewster has come to grips with his impending baldness. The doldrums of preseason camp, with the Ohio State Buckeyes going stir crazy each night at the University Plaza Hotel, are expected to cost freshman center Michael Brewster his curly locks by Sunday in an agreement reached with Ohio State's elder offensive linemen..."
New Look Lineman Meet with the Media Thursday August 14, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - Coach Jim Bollman, offensive coordinator On the importance of speed in linebacker position: 'I think overall strength and quickness is more important than speed. I like them to be able to run, but they don’t need to be able to run long distances. We work on their overall athleticism. Their power and quickness is important.' On Saturday’s scrimmage: 'It’s an important day Saturday. They go hard against each other in practice. This is different because it’s more of a game-like setting to see how guys handle it.'..." Plus more audio, video and quotes...including:
Buckeye Bits: "Promising young defender with ability to contribute in a number of roles ... explosive hitter who packs a punch ... is working this spring at wide-side linebacker behind Marcus Freeman and Ross Homan. (2007) Impact player on special teams, playing three units ...18 tackles for the season ... team-high seven tackles and a sack against Kent State ... special units player of week: Northwestern ... scout team workhorse: Akron ... special teams dog tags: Akron, Northwestern, Michigan State ... first-year letterman. August 14, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site
10 questions on the 2008 Buckeyes August 14, 2008 Source: Associated Press - "Here are 10 questions swirling around the 2008 Ohio State Buckeyes: Is three a charm?...How long before Terrelle Pryor's the QB?...Are there any other real concerns on offense?...Will the defense be as good as last year's?...The Buckeyes have almost everybody back in their run for a third-straight trip to the Bowl Championship Series title game. They've gotten blown out in those two earlier ones. Several columnists, pundits and publications have weighed in that they'd rather see a return to leather helmets and the flying wedge than to have to watch the Buckeyes get drilled in another title game. As good as Ohio State figures to be this fall, a third trip to the championship game will be difficult to pull off, particularly with a showdown at Southern California looming...not to mention games at Wisconsin, Michigan State and Illinois...Can the Buckeyes win at USC?...So, another perfect season and a trip to the BCS title game, right?"
Senior linebacker gives in to pressure August 14, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Curtis Terry entered his senior season looking to go out with a bang as a full-time contributor on the Ohio State defense. But when the coaches proposed during spring practice that Terry consider blocking for running back Chris "Beanie" Wells, he stepped across to "the dark side," as one of his defensive teammates put it. Now, it looks as if Terry could see time at linebacker as well as fullback. Regardless, the decision to switch sides was anything but an easy one..."
Terry Makes Transition To Fullback August 11, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "Curtis Terry is a fifth-year senior who is looking to end his Ohio State career with a bang. And those bangs will be coming on offense as he is in the running to be the Buckeyes' starting fullback. Terry is a converted linebacker and he missed the entire 2007 season due to injuries as he redshirted. Terry is competing with classmate Ryan Lukens -- also a former linebacker -- for the starting spot. We caught up with Terry for more..."
Lawrence Wilson, Nader Abdallah and Todd Denlinger answer questions from the press after practice on Tuesday (Aug 12, 2008).
Buckeye Bits: "Enters his third year as the starter at left guard... 23 career starts ... big, strong, powerful and surprisingly quick and agile. 2007: Started every game at left guard for the Big Ten champions ... Jim Parker lineman of week: Kent State ... third-year letterman ...2006: Moved into the starting lineup in the Penn State game and started all nine games to end the season ... named team’s offensive lineman of the week the week before vs. Cincinnati ... offensive line allowed just 12 sacks in the regular season as quarterback Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy." August 13, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site
Captain's Corner: The Forgotten Positions August 13, 2008 Source: Bucknuts.com - "College football is seeing more and more offenses spread themselves out, in the process losing emphasis on the fullback and tight end positions. But while the old school variety of fullback and tight end is becoming more rare, those players still carry plenty of importance to a football team. Jerry Rudzinski explains why in this edition of the Captain's Corner..."
The nickel and the linebackers August 13, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Defensive coordinator Jim Heacock makes it sound as if the battle to play the nickel position early in the season remains pretty wide open. It's clear that Chimdi Chekwa will step in as a starting cornerback for the first two games while Donald Washington is serving a two-game suspension. It appears that everyone likes where Chekwa is as a sophomore after playing in the nickel package a year ago. The Buckeyes can go a lot of different ways with that fifth defensive back spot. To be more physical, they can play Glenville sophomore Jermale Hines, who has made the move from linebacker to safety...Tyler Moeller, another player with experience at both safety and linebacker, is another consideration..."
Ohio State Defensive Coordinator Jim Heacock answers questions from reporters after practice on Tuesday (Aug 12, 2008)
Heacock Says Defensive Line Will be Improved in 2008 August 13, 2008 Source: The Ozone - "The conventional wisdom this fall is that the OSU defensive line my be the weakness of the team. Defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Jim Heacock thinks the conventional wisdom may not be so wise. Check out the complete story..."
Criticism has OSU feeling defensive August 13, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Thom Brennaman was stunned. The Fox network announcer had seen and read all about the Ohio State defense heading into last year's national title game -- its star power and stinginess, its lofty rankings and equally high standards...as he watched Louisiana State march toward its 24th unanswered point of the first half, Brennaman, with an incredulous tone, said: 'This No. 1 Ohio State defense right now is being toyed with by the LSU offense.'...It's rare that a defense ranked No. 1 last year in points allowed (12.8) and total yards (233.0) and that returns nine starters would have so much to prove..."
A dominant Ohio State defense slipped at the end of the 2007 season:
Buckeyes' flops start Big Ten bashing August 6, 2008 Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - "Now that preseason practice has begun and the start of the non-conference season is less than a month away, Big Ten bashing is in full bloom. Ohio State's poor performance in the national championship game the past two years seems to have tainted the entire conference. It doesn't seem to matter that the Big Ten has five teams ranked in the USA Today Top 25 preseason coaches' poll, tying it for the lead with the SEC and the Big 12. 'The Big Ten has always been hated by the SEC and the Pac-10 and now the Big Ten has become a national punch line,' ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said recently. '[Those conferences] mock the Big Ten. They laugh at the Big Ten. They think the Big Ten is the most overrated conference in the country every year...'..."
On his first carry last year vs. YSU: “I saw the hole and just went for it. It was amazing. I was trying to be cool, trying not to jump around and get too caught up in a crazy situation.” August 12, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site
OSU Tight Ends Helping In Multiple Ways August 12, 2008 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Needless to say, with so many starters returning for Ohio State, familiarity is everywhere. Maybe no group represents that status than the Buckeye tight ends, but they might also be the most in favor of a few alterations to the script, too. On one hand, the top three tight ends figure to be the same as they were last year: fifth-year seniors Rory Nicol and Brandon Smith along with junior Jake Ballard. Joining the group this year is true freshman Nic DiLillo...Andy Miller became an offensive lineman..."
Defensive Coach & Linemen Meet with the Media Tuesday August 12, 2008 Source: OSU Official Site - "Defensive coordinator Jim Heacock along with defensive linemen Nader Abdallah, Dexter Larimore, Lawrence Wilson and Todd Denlinger met with the media following Tuesday morning's practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center...Click on the audio links to hear from the players..."
Heacock defends his defensive tackles August 12, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...when I asked him about the pressure his defensive tackles put on quarterbacks last year. 'I wasn't happy at all with the inside pressure,' Heacock said. Today, I asked Heacock about measuring defensive end Vernon Gholston's contribution to the pass rush last year (I was thinking about 75 percent), and he took it as an opportunity to defend his defensive tackles. The four-man rotation will be the same as last year --- Todd Denlinger, Dexter Larimore, Nader Abdallah and Doug Worthington --- with the possibility of defensive ends Cameron Heyward and/or Robert Rose playing inside on passing downs to allow Thaddeus Gibson to enter as a pass rusher at defensive end..."
Defensive tidbits August 12, 2008 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Incoming freshman defensive lineman Willie Mobley will sit out the year with a shoulder injury that Heacock said he may have had from high school...Shawntel (Shaq) Rowell, a defensive lineman from Cleveland Glenville, who has academic issues (has) kept him from enrolling this fall. Rowell hopes to enroll in winter quarter...Is he a linebacker, a fullback, or both? Heacock said Curtis Terry worked with the defense today. This, after being told by coach Jim Tressel last week that Terry was full-time on offense now..."
Gibson earning praise from OSU coaches, teammates August 12, 2008 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...And that's why defensive coordinator Jim Heacock could say this about Gibson on Tuesday, when asked for a player who has stood out through Ohio State's first week of preseason practice. 'I'm a coach, so I know a little bit of the deficiencies,' Heacock said, couching his praise, 'but the guy that is probably standing out if you watch us practice or scrimmage is Thaddeus. He's got good speed and he makes plays. I see he has a long way to go to fit into our defense, but he's a guy with some buzz.'...The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder has waited. And now he's ready, even if that sometimes mean waiting for his turn. 'Coach Heacock tells me every day to go hard and when it's your time, show it,' Thaddeus Gibson said. 'I learned a lot, and now is my time.'..."
Terror coming off of the edge August 13, 2008 Source: The Morning Journal - "Last October, as Ohio State was marching toward another Big Ten championship, Thaddeus Gibson took his own march. Right off the field. Gibson was irritated over his lack of playing time and got into a shouting match with a coach. He finally had enough, and walked off the field. 'He had a decision to make,' defensive coordinator Jim Heacock said. 'I didn't think he would make any other decision than the one he did, but he definitely had a choice to make.'..."