Tressel's "Season on the Brink"
August 16, 2009 Source: Denver Examiner.com - "Many sports fans have read or heard of sports author John Feinstein and his chronicles of the Indiana basketball season. Bob Knight was coming off one of his worst seasons at Indiana and the pressure was mounting. A championship coach was forced to start from scratch with a new group of players and build success that eventually culminated in an NCAA Championship win in 1987. The sport is different but the story is the same.
Jim Tressel heads into 2009 as respected, admired, and successful within the college football coaching ranks, much like Bob Knight was to the college basketball community. Tressel like Knight has won a national championship, but time has passed since the championship trophy was hoisted in January 2003 in Arizona, and the disappointment of six straight losses to top 10 teams has everyone scratching their heads. Buckeye faithful have to be hoping the 2009 season is 'The Season on the Brink' for the sake of the Ohio State program. Its amazing Buckeye fans can feel that way since we just said goodbye to one of the winningest senior classes.
Unfortunately, and maybe not fairly, the group will be remembered for losing three BCS bowls, two of which were lopsided national championship losses. Yes, this group was 29-3 in the Big Ten and handled their rival four times, yet we look at this group as a team that couldnít win the big game. Thatís a tough burden to bear for a group of outstanding men who wore the scarlet and gray with pride. Perhaps the best thing the 2009 Buckeyes have going for them is they donít know any better. These youngsters arenít marred by disappointing performances in big games. This will be their year to start their own legacy. The Buckeyes must beat USC The 2009 season will start with a test against perennial power USC on September 12. Simply stated, Ohio State must win this game. A close game like the 2008 Fiesta Bowl against Texas will not be enough. The Buckeyes must win this game to heal the bias that exists in the national media against them and the Big Ten.
I would be remiss if I didnít mention how important this season is to Jim Heacock and Jim Bollman. Tressel may be untouchable in Columbus and rightfully so. But, he has to consider the ability of these coaches to create the schemes needed to deal with some of the unique talents that schools with super fast skill players have. Though itís hard to understand if Bollman is to blame for the offensive woes, we know we need look no further than Heacock on defense. Tressel is going to have to consider making a change if his staff canít get things done in the big games this year..."
Boren injury gives Shugarts opening
August 15, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...Buckeyes officials issued no acknowledgement of Boren's condition, but sources indicated the left guard should be ready by the season opener Sept. 5 against Navy...the Pickerington native was seen as the firebrand for a renewed physical spirit on the offensive line...'I like to think that everyone on the offensive line is pretty (darn) nasty.' Now he'll find out whether that spirit can exist without him. Boren's injury might create an opportunity for sophomore J.B. Shugarts, the backup to senior Jim Cordle at right tackle. Cordle played left guard last season after starting at center. With the opener weeks away, there is no immediate need to move Cordle back to guard, unless Shugarts has proved he's ready to take over at right tackle. Going into camp, Shugarts had said that was his goal..."
Boren out with knee injury
August 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...starting left guard Justin Boren injured a knee in practice today and is expected to be sidelined several weeks. No other details are available, except that this is not considered serious: i.e., an ACL tear or something that would keep Boren out for an extended time. Remember, injuries "affect" a player differently depending on the time of year, if you know what I mean. If this had happened in the opener against Navy, maybe Boren would play the next week against USC. But it's preseason camp, so there's little reason to have him get back in there and bang it right now. It's still enough to send shivers down the spine of OSU fans. Boren has quickly become the face of the "new and improved?" offensive line..."
Buckeyes brace themselves on line as Justin Boren hurts knee
August 14, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State's offensive line competition took an unwanted turn Friday when junior Justin Boren, locked in as the starting left guard, went down with a knee injury during practice. A source close to the team said Boren was caught up in a pile and went down, and that the knee braces all the offensive linemen wear probably kept the injury from being worse than it is. Another source said it was too early to tell for sure, but Boren may miss only about a week of preseason camp. A transfer from Michigan, Boren was a starter two years ago for the Wolverines, and though he had to sit out last season as part of his transfer, Boren worked every day in practice, where some outside observers thought he was the best lineman on the team...The Buckeyes are three weeks away from starting the season against Navy and four weeks from the season-defining game against Southern Cal. At this point, there's no reason to expect Boren won't be back...For now, second-team left guard Connor Smith probably will slide into Boren's spot...Smith is a fourth-year junior and former Parade All-American who has served as a backup for two years..."
|UA All-American's Stand Out|
August 14, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - Bill Kurelic writes: "It is still very early, but four of the Ohio State freshmen have drawn very positive reviews. Three of the four were Under Armour All-Americans last year. Jim Tressel has already mentioned running back Jaamal Berry on more than one occasion. Wide receiver Duron Carter has been mentioned by a number of the Buckeye veteran players and has run with the second team offense. Offensive lineman Jack Mewhort is a third freshman who Tressel has mentioned. The other freshman drawing good early reviews is linebacker Storm Klein who has been with the second team defense..."
Small, Rose return to team
August 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "An OSU spokesperson just confirmed that both Ray Small and Rob Rose have returned to the team today. Both missed four days because of academic issues. Jim Tressel made it clear on Thursday that they would not immediately step back in right where they left off. They'll likely have days (or more) of extra conditioning and other remedial work to do. But football-wise, this has a big impact on the Buckeyes' special teams. Small led the Big Ten in punt returns last year. He gives them a sorely needed game-breaker. If he is allowed back into the receiver rotation, he is capable of a lot there, too, but that's less pressing. As for Rose, he was and is no better than a second-team end. The rotation would have been just fine without him, but of course, it never hurts to have another body."
August 14, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Sophomore Adams is bringing less of himself to the left tackle battle. Adams said he's playing at about 300 pounds, losing 40 pounds from a year ago and then putting a little weight back on in a healthier way. 'I feel faster,' Adams said. 'I can move better all around. It was something I decided to do for me, just try to get my body ready and help my chances of playing this year more.' Among the things on which he needed to improve, Adams also mentioned his on-field aggression. 'One thing that makes you more aggressive is knowing what you're doing,' Adams said. 'I definitely know the plays better, and that allows me to play better and play harder.'"
OSUís Spitler: Hillbilly Strong, Bearded and About to Shine
August 13, 2009 Source: Dayton Daily News - "...For several years Spitler has believed -- learning first from the linebacking trio of A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel and then Laurinaitis and Freeman -- and now those beliefs are finally paying off. He's in the spotlight and he looks so different. And it's not the beard. It's because he's first string and getting a chance to prove himself again..."
Ohio State opening gives Klein chance to make mark as freshman
August 14, 2009 Source: Newark Advocate - "It might have not come the way he envisioned, but Storm Klein is taking advantage of the opportunity nonetheless. With Ohio State linebacker Tyler Moeller out for the season after sustaining a head injury before fall camp opened, the Licking Valley graduate is doing his best to seize the opportunity. Klein is practicing with the second team at linebacker, the latest step in what's already been a productive tenure with the No. 6 Buckeyes...At Licking Valley, he jumped into the starting lineup early in his freshman season, leaving an indelible mark on the program. After enrolling early at Ohio State, Klein played well in the spring game, catching the attention of the coaches for his tireless work ethic and his relentless pursuit from sideline to sideline. 'Storm's naturally a physical guy, and he's got a lot of football ahead of him,' co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell said. "In the spring and now, there's a lot of natural things you could see. 'He doesn't have a lot of experience at linebacker, but the good thing is he has a lot of natural instincts. He's got the will to be physical.' Now weighing 235 pounds, the 6-foot-2 Klein has impressed others with his potential and extensive work in the film room..."
Big Ten preview: Trying to regain national credibility
August 14, 2009 Source: Fox Sports - "The Big Ten is fine. Really, it's fine. Penn State and Ohio State have reloaded in a hurry and should be players on a national stage once again...Game of the year: Ohio State at Penn State, Nov. 7...One bold prediction: Terrelle Pryor will look every bit the superstar prospect everyone's been waiting for. He was terrific last season despite being handcuffed by a vanilla passing game (put in to limit the true freshman's mistakes), but now he has improved his passing and his effectiveness enough (at least in practices) to start pushing the ball down the field more. He could be the type of player who puts the entire team on his back...Five biggest shoes to fill: 4. Dan Herron for RB Beanie Wells, Ohio State..."
Source: 610 WTVN - "After months of speculation, 610 WTVN is proud to announce that the decades old tradition of Hineygate will continue for 2009, and it's bigger than ever! Live entertainment before and after the game and the game itself on two giant TV's!...610 WTVN's Best Buckeye Crew Coverage Crew will be broadcasting live on Lane Ave as well...Former Buckeye Head Coach Earle Bruce, Art Schlichter, Stanley Jackson, Bill Conley and Dave Purdy..." New location: Thirsty I, 300 W. Lane Ave.
Big Ten Friday mailblog: Big Ten Record in Bowls
August 14, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Kurt from Chesapeake, Va., writes: Adam, As you are talking bowl tie-ins I got to thinking. One of the reasons that the Big Ten has such a bad record in bowl games is because there have been 2 teams in BCS games. Because of this, the rest of the Big Ten has been "bumped up" in the slotting...Adam Rittenberg: You're absolutely spot on, Kurt. While the Big Ten must perform better in BCS games, the league's overall bowl record would be much better if each team moved down a slot and there was only one BCS selection. No league plays as challenging a bowl lineup as the Big Ten, especially when you factor in the geography. That said, I don't think the Big Ten will ever scream, "Please don't take two of our teams for BCS bowls!" The revenue and exposure is way too appealing to pass up. But as far as the proposed lineup, it does give the Big Ten another manageable matchup on Jan. 1 in the Gator Bowl. The Big Ten still will be "playing up" against the ACC in Jacksonville, but I doubt there'll be a major difference between those teams..."
Buckeyes Hold Annual Media and Photo Night
August 13, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site - "More than 550 family and 175 media members showed up for Ohio State's annual media and photo night with Thursday evening in Ohio Stadium...Media Day (9 players) Quotes: Jermale Hines, junior defensive back, On his team role: 'Right now I'm the nickel player, but I'm really what I like to call the rover -- a little of linebacker, a little defensive back. I'm just a little bit of everything when I'm out there. When it comes down to it, I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team out and win ball games.'...J.B. Shugarts, sophomore offensive lineman, On the team's improvement: 'As a team, we need to work on the mental part, but physically we are ready to play. We have had a great summer.'..."
"We have a 10-minute video with OSU head coach Jim Tressel from the media day Thursday afternoon at Ohio Stadium. The OSU head coach talks Ray Small, Terrelle Pryor's 4.33-second 40, the rigors of preseason camp, OSU's lofty ranking and more."
"Lawrence Wilson, Michael Brewster, Anderson Russell, Kurt Coleman, Thaddeus Gibson, Dan Herron, Cameron Heyward, DeVier Posey, Doug Worthington, Etienne Sabino, Terrelle Pryor, Brandon Saine "
|Media Day August 13, 2009 Source: OSU Official Site|
Buckeyes sophomores say they're ready to step it up
August 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "This is what happens when a team undergoes a major transfer of power and a rising group of sophomores is poised to take over. 'We really don't have as many big names, like (James) Laurinaitis and (Malcolm) Jenkins,' said Posey, a receiver. 'Our jerseys aren't in stores. But after this year, you'll hear the names.' The recruiting class of 2008 came in ranked No. 4 nationally. But like most classes, about half of them redshirted (nine out of 19)...Nearly half of the starting offense could be sophomores...On a veteran defense, the impact might be more subtle...'I hope they don't play like sophomores,' Tressel said, 'because September is going to be here in a hurry.'..."
The Buckeyes gathered in the Horseshoe on Thursday for the annual Media Day event. Check out Jim Davidson and Dan Harker's photos
Small to return, with limitations
August 14, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Receiver/returner Ray Small is expected to rejoin the team today, Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. But it appears the oft-sanctioned senior -- academics delayed his start at preseason camp -- is a ways from regaining all of his privileges. When asked yesterday whether Small will get to step back into the mix at receiver, where he had been expected to contend for a starting job, Tressel said, 'Probably not.' Or as Tressel clarified, 'He gets to do everything he's asked to do.' An example of where Small stands in the Tressel doghouse was apparent yesterday during picture day in Ohio Stadium. Small was not there and won't be in the official team photo. Another player who wasn't there was senior defensive end Robert Rose. He also had an academic issue. When asked whether Rose will be with the team today, Tressel said only, 'He may be. He's got a chance.'..."
|QUESTION: Was that a legitimate 4.3? PRYOR: Did coach Tress tell you? You gotta ask him. If I say it, you won't believe me.
QUESTION: Did you surprise yourself with that time? PRYOR: No, I've been running that all through high school.
Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
|Did Terrelle Pryor really run a sub-4.4 40? Yahoo! Sports says not likely unless he's a gazelle.|
August 14, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "According to a recent article on Yahoo! Sports, the only way OSU quarterback Terrelle Pryor could have run a 4.33 in the 40-yard dash, as reported, is if he were an actual gazelle. He might not have horns poking out of his helmet, but according to teammate Lamaar Thomas, Pryor might have some gazelle in him after all. 'It's the truth,' the sophomore wide receiver said Thursday at Ohio Stateís media day. 'It's legit. We ran in the summer on the track and everyone ran on the same surface at the same time and Terrelle ran a 4.33.'...'He takes really long strides. You donít think he's moving that fast, but watch film and he just breaks away from guys and they canít catch him,' center Michael Brewster said. 'He looks like heís moving in slow motion, but heís really not, I promise.' Regardless of whether that translates to a 40 time in the 4.3ís or the 4.4's, Pryor is most certainly one of the fastest players on the Ohio State roster, if not the college football landscape. 'It's not bad news for us," (DeVier Posey said. 'It's bad news for the other guys.' ..."
Believe it, Pryor is fastest Buckeye
August 13, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "The Plain Dealer's story five days ago reporting that Pryor ran a 4.33 when timed at Ohio State several months ago has created plenty of doubt on the Internet, where some college football reporters aren't believing that a 6-6, 235-pound quarterback is running the 40 faster than all but one player at any position at the most recent NFL combine..."
Wake me when Terrelle Pryor's fake 40 time eclipses speed of sound
August 10, 2009 Source: Yahoo Sports
'Other guy' Miller has a shot at tackle
August 13, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "If a public election were held to determine Ohio State's starting left tackle, Andy Miller would be the write-in candidate. Miller is a smart man, and he realizes this. He's aware that his competition, Mike Adams, is "The Next Big Thing" and that he's "the other guy."...When spring practice began, eyebrows were raised when Adams and Miller were alternating with the first team. What was this? Or who was this? After three years in Columbus, Miller was a forgotten man -- a tight end out of high school who converted to offensive line in 2007 but appeared buried on the depth chart...'The guy who's really super highly recruited, he might get more shots or maybe a better opportunity at first,' Miller said. 'Sometimes the best player doesn't get to play until a little later on, or the (big-name) guy has to screw up a little bit. Sometimes that kind of stuff happens. But when it comes down to it, if someone is giving up sacks, the guy who's protecting the passer is the guy that's going to be the guy, because coach Tress wants to keep his job.'..."
"Buckeye Bits: Anderson is a veteran third-year starter who can play either safety and the nickel position ... will be a leader on the Ohio State defense ... an intelligent player who studies and learns the game ... graduated with a degree in Communications in June..."
|Carter ahead of Dad on Day 1|
August 13, 2009 Source: The News Herald - "Duron Carter came to camp with high expectations. The freshman receiver from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is the son of former Buckeye great Cris Carter, who ranks No. 2 on Ohio State's all-time career receptions list with 168. The younger Carter made an impressive grab over the middle on Tuesday, giving Tressel flashbacks of his father, whom Tressel had when he was the receivers coach with the Buckeyes. 'Cris' first practice here at Ohio State, I was the receivers coach and he was terrible,' Tressel said. 'He couldn't run a route, he tripped and fell and he hadn't had many experiences.'
Freshman tailback Jaamal Berry seemed to have a second gear during the 12-on-12 jersey scrimmage at the end of practice on Tuesday.
Starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor looked sharp during the first two days of practice. In fact, Tressel thinks the sophomore is a far different player than the one who went through his first collegiate training camp last August. 'It was like watching two different people,' he said.
The starters on the Buckeyes' offensive line seem to be settled, with Andrew Miller (junior, 6-foot-6, 279 pounds) at left tackle, Justin Boren (junior, 6-3, 315) at left guard, Mike Brewster (sophomore, 6-4, 312) at center, Bryant Browning (junior, 6-4, 312) at right guard and Jim Cordle (senior, 6-3, 297) at right tackle. Tressel is not ready to etch the starters in stone just yet.
Tressel said just because Rose and Small are not in camp now, they could possibly join the team at some point during the three weeks the team will be practicing.
Big Ten preseason unit rankings
August 12, 2009 Source: Rivals.com - Tom Dienhart, Rivals.com College Football Senior Writer, rankings:
OFFENSIVE BACKFIELD: 2. Ohio State: QB Terrelle Pryor is ready to explode, but can the Buckeyes adequately replace Beanie Wells? Dan "Boom" Herron gets first crack.
RECEIVERS: 6. Ohio State: There are lots of questions to answer with the Brians (Hartline and Robiskie) gone.
OFFENSIVE LINE: 3. Ohio State: It's time for the big guys up front to get stronger and tougher.
DEFENSIVE LINE: 1. Ohio State: This group goes two-deep and teems with talent. Cameron Heyward and Thaddeus Gibson can be difference-makers.
LINEBACKERS: 4. Ohio State: There is no replacing James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman, but the Buckeyes still have talent.
SECONDARIES: 1. Ohio State: This should be another standout unit and is paced by the stud safety duo of Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell.
SPECIAL TEAMS: 4. Ohio State: Aaron Pettrey had the top field-goal percentage in the league, but a punter is needed. Ray Small can be a deadly return man if he is cleared to play this season.
COACHING STAFFS: 3. Ohio State: Jim Tressel has built a great defensive staff led by coordinator Jim Heacock. The offensive staff will be under the microscope this season.
Five younger Buckeyes to track after watching one Ohio State practice
August 12, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Five players to keep an eye on after watching Tuesday's practice:
1. WR Taurian Washington, Jr. - Running a two-minute drill near the end of practice, Terrelle Pryor found Washington twice...
2. S Orhian Johnson, Fr. (redshirt) - Running a two-minute drill near the end of practice, Terrelle Pryor found Washington twice...
3. LB Storm Klein, Fr.-As a true freshman, he has jumped up as the second-team middle linebacker after running with the third team in spring ball...
4. RB Jaamal Berry, Fr. - As a true freshman, he has jumped up as the second-team middle linebacker after running with the third team in spring ball...
5. QB Kenny Guiton, Fr. - Tressel said, 'I thought he threw the ball well today. His accuracy needs to get better, and he needs to get stronger, as all freshmen do, but I've been very pleased.'..."
Revamped depth chart adds thrill of the unknown to Ohio State football: Analysis
August 12, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said before preseason camp started that 'this was probably the youngest group that I can remember that we've had.' That may not really be the case, but the Buckeyes are so lacking in decorated seniors and juniors that they wind up seeming younger than they are. That's why it's difficult to get a read on this team with three days of practice in the books, because the older players haven't been recognized for much, other than winning conference titles, and the younger guys with the higher ceilings haven't had the chance to show much so far...The known quantities on the Buckeyes, who returned 12 starters, have so far been more solid than spectacular, save for sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year a season ago. For example, 10 first-team All-Big Ten players return to their teams this season, lending an air of certainty to their position on the field. None are at Ohio State. Overall, 25 players from either the first-team or second-team all-conference teams are back, but the Buckeyes have just one, safety Kurt Coleman..."
Michigan keeping Ohio State on its mind
August 11, 2009 Source: AnnArbor.com - "If Rich Rodriguez had any doubts about how big the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry was when he stepped on campus, theyíre gone now. Rodriguez was asked Monday about the appearance of Ohio State decals on some of the tackling dummies the team was using during the first day of practice. 'I donít know how they got on there,' Rodriguez said. 'Did somebody from Columbus put that on there? I donít know where that came from. No, I think weíve had some stickers on there. I think if you go down to Columbus, theyíve probably got a lot of Michigan stuff in their hall of fame deal. They kind of promote them a little bit, and thatís a pretty big game for us, too. So we got reminders. We got reminders of them and we got reminders of Michigan State and Notre Dame and everyone else on our schedule.' The Wolverines have lost five straight games to Ohio State, including a 42-7 loss last year. This year's game is Nov. 21 in Ann Arbor."
Austin Spitler shifts to outside linebacker
August 12, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Austin Spitler spent three seasons backing up James Laurinaitis at middle linebacker, but it doesn't look like he'll be starting in the middle this season now that Laurinaitis is gone. At Tuesday's second practice...it was junior Brian Rolle working the middle with the first team, while Spitler was the strongside linebacker and Ross Homan the weakside linebacker...Though plenty could change, with shoulder pads going on for the first time today and full pads coming Saturday, Tuesday's look made it clear what the coaches are thinking as they go about replacing 10 starters. Defense: In the secondary, third-year starters Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell were the first-teamers, backed up by Jermale Hines and Orhian Johnson, though OSU coach Jim Tressel seemed to sound a warning for the seniors by noting how good Hines is. At corner, Chimdi Chekwa is one starter, while senior Andre Amos and junior Devon Torrence split the first-team reps at the other corner...On the defensive line, Thaddeus Gibson, Cameron Heyward, Doug Worthington and Dexter Larimore were the starters...Offense: On the line, Tressel indicated that four spots are pretty solid -- Justin Boren at left guard, Mike Brewster at center, Bryant Browning at right guard and Jim Cordle at right tackle. Andy Miller and Mike Adams split time at left tackle, as they did in the spring, though Tressel made it clear a right tackle -- like backup J.B. Shugarts -- could move to the left side as the starter if he deserves it...At receiver..."
Competition for Playing Time Abounds as Fall Camp Begins
August 12, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "The competition for playing time at several key positions picked up right where it left off last spring as fall camp began this week. The absence of three key players has added to that drama. Check out the-Ozone report ..."
|You can see Terrelle Pryor complete two passes to No. 5 Taurian Washington and one short dumpoff to No. 3 Brandon Saine during this two-minute drill that featured Ohio State's No. 1 offense against the No.1 defense today. August 11, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer|
"Ohio State football head coach Jim Tressel addressed the Big Ten Network and the local media following the second day of fall practice Tuesday morning."
How much the Ohio State offensive line does or does not use a blocking sled in practice has been a topic for OSU fans in the past. Well, they hit it at practice today. And like in the spring, during the two-hour practice this morning, the left tackle spot was shared between sophomore Mike Adams and junior Andy Miller. The rest of the first team was Justin Boren at left guard, Mike Brewster at center, Bryant Browning at right guard and Jim Cordle at right tackle, as expected...Now here is Jim Tressel offering the J.B. Shugarts exception early in camp when asked about the left tackle spot. 'That doesn't mean if someone looks good at right tackle they they're buried behind Jim Cordle, who's a senior," Tressel said. "So if the right tackle looks better than the two left tackles, we still have a little bit of time.'...Tressel also singled out true freshman Jack Mewhort as a freshman he's eager to look at on the line..."
Bucknuts TV: Tressel Recaps First Day
August 11, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel gave updates on Tyler Moeller, Rob Rose and Ray Small following the Buckeyes practice on Tuesday. Moeller is expected to miss the season with a head injury. Rose and Small are still not with the team due to academics. Is there a chance one or both of them could still return? Who would step up at receiver if Small doesn't return? And who will step up at linebacker with Moeller out? We have this and more. We have video of OSU coach Jim Tressel's press conference following the first practice of preseason camp on Tuesday..."
August 11, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Just got back from watching OSU practice this morning...
Freshman OT Marcus Hall certainly seems to carry his weight well. He's listed as 6-5, 300 in the spring media guide and is working as the third-string RT.
I gave you the starting OL, here's the second team, left to right: Adams (today), Connor Smith, Andrew Moses, Evan Blankenship and Shugarts. The third team was Sam Longo, Jack Mewhort, Scott Sika, Cory Linsley and Hall.
WR DeVier Posey sat out some drills with an apparently minor injury. When he was out -- and with Small also absent -- the top three receivers were Dane Sanzenbacher, Taurian Washington and Lamaar Thomas.-- Even though he was third-string, freshman WR Duron Carter stood out. He made a nice, pluck-out-of-the-air catch while running a crossing route.
Devon Torrence and Andre Amos continue to rotate as first-team CBs opposite Chimdi Chekwa.
When the team had three LBs on the field, they were Austin Spitler, Ross Homan and Brian Rolle. When they went to nickel, I most often saw Spitler and Homan out there, but I may have missed some reps where the looks were different.
Speaking of LBs, I thought it notable that freshman Storm Klein was running with the second team. In spring, he was third-team. He was joined on the second team by Etienne Sabino and Andrew Sweat. Freshman Dorian Bell was third string.
Freshman Corey Brown was a third-team CB.
Safety Jermale Hines seemed to be on the field a lot more, although always as a fifth DB.
Ohrian Johnson intercepted a tipped ball from Bauserman. Cameron Heyward blocked a field-goal attempt by Aaron Pettrey.
In team drills, the first play was a swing pass from Pryor to Brandon Saine out of the backfield. It was too far in front of Saine.
DE Nathan Williams looked very good. On some nickel downs, he and Thaddeus Gibson were the starting ends, with Heyward and Doug Worthington inside..."
Breaking down the best 20 Ohio State players on the roster right now as the Buckeyes have their second preseason practice this morning.
20. Lawrence Wilson, senior defensive end
19. DeVier Posey, sophomore wide receiver
18. Brandon Saine, junior running back
17. Aaron Pettrey, senior kicker
16. Dane Sanzenbacher, junior receiver
15. Ray Small, senior receiver
14. Jake Ballard, senior tight end
13. Mike Brewster, sophomore center
12. Doug Worthington, senior defensive tackle
11. Jim Cordle, senior offensive lineman
10. Jermale Hines, junior safety
9. Dan Herron, sophomore running back
8. Anderson Russell, senior safety
7. Chimdi Chekwa, junior cornerback
6. Cameron Heyward, junior defensive lineman
5. Ross Homan, junior linebacker
4. Justin Boren, junior offensive lineman
3. Thaddeus Gibson, junior defensive end
2. Kurt Coleman, senior safety
1. Terrelle Pryor, sophomore quarterback
"Senior D-lineman is part of most-experienced unit on 2009 roster...Buckeye Bits: Todd Denlinger was a key component along the defensive line because of his experience, versatility and leadership ... strong, fast and is one of those players whose motor is always running ... coaches like his work ethic and competitive nature..."
|Open Practice Confirmed: OSU will hold an open practice August 24 in Ohio Stadium. Admission is free. Gates will open at 6:30 pm. There will be no player autograph session. Jim Tressel will be signing copies of his book, "The Winners Manual," in the OSU library from 6-7 pm. Practice is scheduled to begin at 7:30pm. OSU is encouraging fans to park in the lots adjacent to St. John Arena or the Schottenstein Center. |
Cornerback Competition: Andre Amos and Devon Torrence are expected to vy for one cornerback spot opposite Chimdi Cheekwa. Anderson Russell believes Amos has won the job. "(Amos) did a great job all spring and he's done a great job all summer," Russell said. "And the (backup is) probably going to be either Devon or Travis Howard."
Moeller Released From Hosital: LB Tyler Moeller, who many expected to start this season and to replace Marcus Freeman at strong-side linebacker, was released from OSU Medical Center Monday. He spent several days there with a head injury suffered while on a family trip to Florida. Circumstances surrounding the injury are unclear. Update: Buckeyes Lose Moeller For Season - Source: BuckeyeSports.com
College Gameday: ESPN's College GameDay will broadcast from Ohio State on September 12; the Buckeyes face USC in The Shoe that evening at 8:00pm.
Buckeyes not buying criticism
August 11, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "...For several seasons, the Buckeyes' story line has been the same: win Big Ten titles and dominate inferior competition, but lose the big games. OSU is winless in its past five meetings against top-10 teams, dating to a 2006 victory over Michigan...'Ohio State has always been a top-tier program,' (Jim Cordle) said. 'We had a couple disappointing losses in the last couple years, but I don't think that takes away anything from the program. (Get) a couple big wins this year, and all that goes away.'...(Todd) Denlinger took note that, despite the beating OSU's reputation has taken recently, the coaches who vote in the USA Today poll ranked the Buckeyes sixth. 'We may not have all those big-name guys,' he said, 'but we're going to believe and we're going to fight to the last inch. Hopefully we'll get that No. 6 changed into No. 1 real fast.'..."
"Senior talks about making move to right tackle and competition on the offensive line...Profile: Jim Cordle is a three-year starter along the offensive line ... has quickness and speed ... plays with power ... tough and competitive ... can contribute effectively at any line position ... worked at right tackle during the spring..."
Confident freshman Bell expects to make quick impact at linebacker
August 10, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Freshman Dorian Bell didn't sound very interested in waiting his turn when he talked about his future...While Ross Homan, the only returning starter...there may now be two spots (with Moeller uncertain for the season) waiting to be filled by a group that includes senior Austin Spitler, junior Brian Rolle, sophomores Etienne Sabino and Andrew Sweat and maybe even true freshmen like Bell and Storm Klein. 'Hopefully, I learn everything so hopefully I am going to start,' Bell said recently, before reports surfaced about Moeller's injury. 'I have the ability, I think, and I have the smarts for it.' Much of this is just an expression of the confidence that the Buckeyes hope every player brings to camp, regardless of age. But remember that Bell was a five-star recruit, ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Pennsylvania last season. The state's No. 1 recruit from the year before, quarterback Terrelle Pryor, wound up starting in the fourth game a year ago. 'I play at any speed of any game. I can play anywhere at any time,' Bell said when asked if he's expecting the game to change in college. 'When I get everything down and know my plays, I'll be ready to play...I'm fast, physical and I'll make an impact every single game. I promise you that. When I get on the field, I'm an impact player.'..."
|Arrival Day! The players reported in today as they checked into the team hotel. Practice starts on Monday and Photo Day is this coming Thursday. Check out Jim Davidson and Dan Harker's photos, in the photo gallery below, from The Ozone. From the OSU Official Site - First Week Highlights: The team will practice as a group for the first time Monday afternoon. Tuesday practice sessions will be videotaped by the Big Ten Network as part of its 2009 Big Ten Football Tour. The BTN's Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith will be at the practice fields with their production staff covering a day in the Ohio State camp. The 90-minute program will be broadcast on BTN Tuesday evening at 10 p.m. |
Serious head injury could prevent Moeller from playing this season
August 10, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Linebacker Tyler Moeller remained hospitalized last night in fair condition at OSU Medical Center. Sources said Moeller suffered the injury in July when his head hit the ground while on a family trip to Florida. Some reports have said Moeller, 21, was punched. Moeller was not immediately hospitalized. He returned to Ohio last week, and apparently suffered a seizure recently...Sources say the normal recovery time for such an injury is two to three months, and it could be longer than that before he is cleared to play football...Tellingly, OSU is holding only two roster spots open, apparently for Rose and Small. The NCAA allows teams to have 105 players in preseason camp, and 103 reported yesterday. Once the 105-man roster is set, no one can be added until after the first game..."
Three Missing As Buckeyes Report For Camp
August 9, 2009 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "Ohio State will open fall camp minus three scholarship players, and at best only two of them will rejoin the team anytime soon...missing in action were Tyler Moeller, Robert Rose and Ray Small. An OSU spokesperson said 103 of the 105 players on the roster had reported...Once a player is added to the list of 105, he can not be removed unless he is injured...Moeller, a linebacker who is expected to compete for a starting job...NBC 4 Columbus reported Saturday night that he was listed in fair condition at the OSU Medical Center and was being treated for a head injury..."
Arrival Day Note and Quotebook
August 10, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "Heating it Up, Tough Test, Shouldering the Load, Not Exactly First Class, Summer Standouts, and Off-Season Losses; they're all covered...OSU's first day starts early tomorrow with conditioning testing. The testing begins at 6:30AM and consists of just one test, albeit a long and demanding one. 20 half-gassers, which is across the field and back with various times for the position you are..."
Tackle spots up for grabs as OSU begins practice
August 9, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "The three-year starter at left tackle, Alex Boone, is gone and the starting right tackle might be the third-most-likely guy to win that job this season. So as Ohio State opens preseason practice today, the battles for the starting tackle jobs will be as interesting as anything going over the next three weeks. Senior Jim Cordle, juniors Bryant Browning and Andy Miller, sophomores Mike Adams and J.B. Shugarts and maybe even true freshmen like Jack Mewhort or Marcus Hall will be fighting for playing time. 'I think the reality of the situation is that the coaches have an idea in their minds who the guys are going to be,' Miller said. 'But their philosophy is that they're going to play the best five guys [on the line].' OSU coach Jim Tressel wants to throw as much gasoline on the fires of competition as he can..."
They've got issues: Buckeyes return a lot of talent but must replace key contributors
August 9, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Even though Ohio State returns 12 starters from last season, there seems to be a "clean-slate" feeling around the Buckeyes as they report today for fall practice...Issue 1: Where is Pryor in his development, and what offense will OSU run?..Issue 2: What about the offensive line? Will it/can it really be better?...Issue 3: Who will step up at receiver?...Issue 4: Back to reality: Under Tressel, Ohio State is not going to shelve the running game. But can the post-"Beanie" backs deliver?...Issue 5: Who fills the high-profile shoes on defense?"
Big Ten position rankings: WR/TE
August 10, 2009 Source: ESPN - "The Big Ten wasn't known for its air show last year, as only Illinois ranked among the top 25 nationally in pass offense...The overall landscape at wideout/tight end should improve this fall. 1. Illinois...2. Minnesota...3. Michigan St....4. Wisconsin...5. Ohio State -- The Brians (Robiskie and Hartline) are gone, but Ohio State could be more explosive at wide receiver this season. Though Ray Small's academic situation creates some uneasiness, DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher form a nice 1-2 punch. Ohio State should be better at the tight end position with the Jakes (Ballard and Stoneburner)...6. Michigan...7. Iowa...8. Penn St...9. Purdue...10. Northwestern...11. Indiana..."
Big Ten position rankings: Offensive Line
August 7, 2009 Source: ESPN - "Everything on offense starts with what happens up front, and line play will make or break the season for several Big Ten teams. The league loses a handful of standout linemen...There's a lot to like about the top three, and I don't see any truly bad units in the league. 1. Iowa....2. Ohio State -- -- A major disappointment in 2008, Ohio State's line should be much improved thanks to experience, the addition of guard Justin Boren and some excellent recruiting. Boren brings a much-needed spark to the line and impressed just about everyone this spring. Center Mike Brewster is a year older, and senior Jim Cordle has shown impressive versatility in shifting to right tackle. The left tackle spot concerns me a bit, but Ohio State has recruited extremely well here...3. Wisconsin....4. Northwestern....5. Michigan...6. Michigan St...7. Penn St....8. Illinois...9. Minnesota...10. Purdue...11. Indiana..."
Big Ten position rankings: Quarterbacks
August 5, 2009 Source: ESPN - "...Depth also plays a huge role at quarterback and could hurt teams that have a big dropoff in experience between the first and second strings. Keep in mind these rankings assess the entire position, not just the starters. 1. Illinois....2. Minnesota...3. Ohio State -- -- Terrelle Pryor showed unmistakable signs of progress in spring ball, and his teammates saw leadership skills develop during the summer. The Big Ten preseason Offensive Player of the Year still has a lot to prove, as does an offense that ranked 105th nationally in passing last year. Former minor league baseball player Joe Bauserman certainly has the arm strength to step in for Pryor, though Ohio State's overall depth at quarterback looks shaky...4. Penn St....5. Iowa...6. Michigan St...7. Northwestern...8. Wisconsin....9. Michigan...10. Indiana...11. Purdue..."
Big Ten position rankings: Running Backs
August 4, 2009 Source: ESPN - "...1. Penn St....2. Wisconsin...3. Michigan...4. Ohio State -- Replacing Chris "Beanie" Wells isn't easy, but Wells' injury problems created opportunities for his successors to see the field in 2008. Dan Herron and Brandon Saine both performed well in spring ball and will share the carries load, with Herron expected to be the starter. Depth is a bit of concern behind the top two, though heralded incoming freshman Jaamal Berry appears to have avoided major punishment for his marijuana possession arrest and should be a factor this fall...5. Illinois...6. Iowa...7. Purdue...8. Michigan St....9. Indiana...10. Minnesota...11. Northwestern..."
Big Ten position rankings: Secondary
August 2, 2009 Source: ESPN - "...1. Iowa...2. Northwestern...3. Ohio State -- It's a bit of a mixed bag for the Buckeyes, who return the Big Ten's top safety tandem but look thin at cornerback. Safeties Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell both will contend for All-Big Ten honors after solid junior seasons. Ohio State loses Thorpe Award winner Malcolm Jenkins and hopes Chimdi Chekwa can fill the void. Several young players will get a chance to shine this fall, including Travis Howard and Ohrian Johnson...4. Michigan State...5. Purdue...6. Minnesota...7. Wisconsin...8. Michigan...9. Penn State...10. Illinois...11. Indiana..."
Terrelle Pryor quickly becoming known for his speed
August 9, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State players report for preseason camp at noon today and the first player to arrive at the team hotel should be Terrelle Pryor. After all, he is the fastest Buckeye. As the sophomore enters his first preseason camp as a starter -- after taking the job in the fourth game of last season -- let's lay down the baseline so everyone is clear what the Buckeyes are dealing with here. The fastest guy on the team is the quarterback. Fans may have heard this news already. It's based on 40-meter times from the spring. Center Mike Brewster reported Pryor's time to The Plain Dealer last month. His 40 time was a speedy 4.33. Sophomore receiver Lamaar Thomas said he ran a 4.37 and no one else ran under 4.4 when the players were timed early this summer. Thomas reported that low 4.4s came from receivers Ray Small and DeVier Posey and running back Brandon Saine...Thomas wouldn't mind double-checking that Pryor in fact holds the title of fastest Buckeye. 'I hope to challenge him again to a race or something so we can figure this out,' Thomas said. 'I've got to get an open field and make this happen, make it open to the public and everything.' Thomas laughed at his plan, but just the idea is incredible: Pryor is 6-6 and 235 pounds; Thomas is 5-11 and 186..."
Rob Oller commentary: Pryor is one of the few who can supply a title August 9, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch
Buckeye football: Pre-camp Thoughts
August 7, 2009 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - "With the start of Ohio Stateís preseason football camp (they call it "fall campĒ, but we both know fall doesnít start until late September) upon us, what better time than to take a long view of the team as it stands after an offseason with more turnover than usual..."
Preseason Consensus Poll: Aug. 9 Update
August 9, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "We have the second edition of the 2009 Preseason Consensus Poll. We look at who the magazines and web sites have ranked as the top teams in college football. We also project the various BCS bowls for the upcoming season, including a familiar face in the title game..."
Hagan Commits to the Buckeyes
Canonsburg (PA) Canon-McMillan defensive back Chad Hagan is newest Buckeye commit, the 11th verbal in the Class of 2010. Hagan had been to OSU a number of times and today (Aug 6) he met with assistants Luke Fickell and Paul Haynes before meeting with Coach Tressel and giving him the good news. "I committed to coach Tressel and he was pretty excited," Chad said. He went on: "I love the school. Itís just awesome." Hagan, who is 6'1" 230lb, runs a 4.3 40. He played free safety and running back during his junior season and made 63 tackles and rushed for 800 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Buffalo and others. Welcome aboard, Chad!
Hagan Makes It 11 For Buckeyes
August 6, 2009 Source: Bucknuts - "Chad Hagan visited Ohio State this afternoon and things could not have gone any better. 'I'm on my way home now,' Hagan told Bucknuts.com. 'I was there for about an hour and a half. Everything went well. I committed...I like their tradition, and I like how the coaches react with the players.' Hagan...met with Jim Tressel in Tresselís office. 'That was the first time Iíve been in his office,' Hagan said. 'It's ridiculous. Coach Tressel was showing me their Big Ten and National Championship rings. He said he needed me to help get some more of those. I told him I was ready to do that. He was ecstatic. He was really excited.'...Kurelicís Comment: In landing Hagan, the Buckeyes have a big, hard-hitting safety who can run. Hagan has the potential to be an impact safety for the Bucks. He could play either strong or free safety for the Buckeyes.
|Columbus Dispatch OSU football beat writer Ken Gordon's Camp preview:|
Defensive backs and specialists
August 7, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "SPOTS LOCKED UP (3): Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa, strong safety Kurt Coleman, free safety Anderson Russell...SPOTS UP FOR GRABS (1-plus): Cornerback: It's on between fifth-year senior Andre Amos, who has missed two years to injuries, and junior Devon Torrence...The plus in my equation is at the nickel spot. It's hard to really pin down who's competing here, because OSU uses different fifth defensive backs based upon the situation. Jermale Hines basically became a part-time starter last year, carving out a niche as the nickel man against spread teams...There is opportunity here for a pair of redshirt freshmen...Travis Howard and Ohrian Johnson to see the field...BACKUPS AND OTHERS...Senior safety Aaron Gant seems to be improving. Donnie Evege and Nate Oliver both had their moments in spring ball where they appeared field-ready, as well. Others in the mix include Rocco Pentello, Zach Domicone, Corey Brown, C.J. Barnett and Dominic Clarke...CAMP COMPETITION FACTOR: (1 to 10): 4...Specialists SPOTS LOCKED UP (2): Kicker Aaron Pettrey, long-snapper Jake McQuaide...SPOTS UP FOR GRABS (1): Punter: There is serious competition here...Fifth-year senior Jon Thoma has been Trapasso's top backup for a few years now, and probably has the edge for the job. But redshirt freshman Ben Buchanan should give him a run, at least..."
August 6, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "SPOTS LOCKED UP (1): Austin Spitler in the middle...mark this down: Spitler will be on the field the most of all linebackers this season. A fifth-year senior, he has had the misfortune of playing behind James Laurinaitis for four long years. But by all accounts, he has been a beast in the weight room and a highly motivated force on the field in the offseason. He's strong and tough and could have a big year. SPOTS UP FOR GRABS...The one clear competition is between Ross Homan and Brian Rolle at the weak-side spot. Homan is experienced and seems to produce whenever he's had the chance...Rolle is a bit undersized but makes up for it with hustle. He has an infectious enthusiasm. In three-linebacker sets, Tyler Moeller may be the leading candidate to play...He could be pushed by promising sophomore Etienne Sabino or several incoming freshmen. BACKUPS AND OTHERS...sophomore Andrew Sweat...freshman Dorian Bell, a top recruit who has said he expects to play right away. Other incoming freshmen are Storm Klein and Jordan Whiting. CAMP COMPETITION FACTOR (1 to 10): 8..."
August 5, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "SPOTS LOCKED UP (3): Doug Worthington at tackle, Thaddeus Gibson at end, Cameron Heyward somewhere...Worthington suffered through a bit of a down year last year. He has been a good, but not yet dominant tackle. Gibson had five sacks last year and narrowly missed at least that many more. He's a beast. Heyward has proved an invaluable swing man, lately playing mostly strong-side end. He's just all-around solid. SPOTS UP FOR GRABS: (1) Tackle:...The leading candidates are junior Larimore and fifth-year senior Todd Denlinger....There's a chance that up-and-coming players such as Garrett Goebel and/or Willie Mobley could be factors here, as well. BACKUPS AND OTHERS: (Lawrence) Wilson is a fifth-year senior who has suffered two serious leg injuries in two years. (Nathan) Williams came on strong as a true freshman, and was arguably OSU's best pass rusher at times...Staying at end...watch Solomon Thomas. The third-year sophomore came out of obscurity to have a monster spring...with academic issues looming, it's tough to count on senior Rob Rose being a factor. Sophomore Keith Wells could force his way into this blend. Incoming freshman Melvin Fellows is an intriguing prospect. Jonathan Newsome is another freshman...Freshmen John Simon and Adam Bellamy have arrived to compete, as well. CAMP COMPETITION FACTOR (1 to 10): 6..."
WRs and TEs
August 4, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "SPOTS LOCKED UP (2): DeVier Posey at receiver and Jake Ballard at tight end...last year as the No. 4 or 5 guy, the freshman Posey showed a smoothness that belied his youth. He is polished...Ballard has been playing for three years...He is a sturdy blocker and competent receiver. SPOTS UP FOR GRABS (2) Iím calling this two starting spots...with Beanie Wells gone, I expect OSU to be in a one-back set most often, whether with three or four wideouts, or two receivers and two tight ends...who makes up the other starting receiver(s)? It begins with whether senior Ray Small will be available...Dane Sanzenbacher is the other clear choice to be in the top three, but with him, the question is whether he can stay healthy...Two other names should be in the mix...junior Taurian Washington...and freshman Duron Carter, son of OSU all-time great Cris. When OSU plays two tight ends, expect redshirt freshman Jake Stoneburner to be the guy. A converted receiver, he adds a dimension of speed and downfield ability to the spot that OSU has not had, maybe ever. BACKUPS AND OTHERS: At receiver, itís not inconceivable that sophomore Lamaar Thomas works into the top three. Grant Schwartz has made strides since converting from defensive back. Freshman James Jackson may not redshirt, because he has kick-return ability. There would not appear to be much playing time in store for the other tight ends: Nic DiLillo or freshman Reid Fragel. Likewise for freshman receiver Chris Fields. Corey Brown is listed as a receiver/defensive back. CAMP COMPETITION FACTOR: (1 to 10, 10 being the most): 7..."
QBs and RBs
August 3, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Quarterbacks/running backs SPOTS LOCKED UP (1): Terrelle Pryor at quarterback. Um, duh. More discussion on quarterbacks below. SPOTS UP FOR GRABS (2): Tailback: I debated calling this spot locked up, as well, because everyone would be shocked if Dan Herron is not the opening-day starter...Fullback: Donít expect OSU to use a fullback more than about 30 percent of the time...good competition between walk-on James Georgiades (no, heís not hurt) and two freshmen, Adam Homan and Zach Boren...BACKUPS AND OTHERS: QB: If Pryor is a straight royal flush poker hand to be the starter, then Joe Bauserman is holding four of a kind to be his backup...TB: It gets interesting behind Herron and Saine...Jaamal Berry, a highly touted freshman, has survived legal trouble and could contend for the No. 3 spot. The staff moved Jermil Martin over from fullback, which signals that he will get a serious look, at least in short-yardage or goal-line situations..."
August 2, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "OFFENSIVE LINE SPOTS LOCKED UP (2): Justin Boren at LG, Mike Brewster at C...SPOTS UP FOR GRABS (3): LT _ Leading candidate is sophomore Mike Adams...RG _ Look for fifth-year senior Jim Cordle and fourth-year junior Bryant Browning to battle it out here...RT _ J.B. Shugarts is another highly touted sophomore who battled injuries last year and sat out spring ball as a precaution. But heís fully healthy, and comes with a reputation as someone who plays with an edge, which OSU sorely needs...OFFENSIVE LINE COMPETITION LEVEL (1 to 10, 10 being the fiercest): 8 This is a perennial area of concern for OSU, with much riding on high hopes for Adams and Shugarts..."
"...Brewster started the last 10 games of the 2008 season at center. In this video interview, he reflects on being thrown into the mix last year. He also talks about how the offensive linemen want to perform well to redeem offensive coordinator/line coach Jim Bollman. He also talks about the development of his friend and quarterback Terrelle Pryor..."
Jaamal Berry promises "I'm not here to make any problems."
August 6, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "After Jaamal Berry was arrested on a marijuana possession charge in Miami two months ago, a charge that was originally a felony before it was dropped to a misdemeanor, he thought his Ohio State football career might be over before it started. The charge was reduced and then last week at a Miami hearing, the charge was dropped all together, provided that Berry completes a six-month drug program that he can take online. 'It's definitely not going to happen again," Berry said Wednesday. "I'm not here to make any problems. I'm here just to ball out on the football field and do good in school.' When Ohio State's camp starts Monday, Berry should be in the mix at tailback...At the moment, though, OSU fans know him best as the guy who got arrested. 'I don't know their impression of me, but I hope it's not bad,' Berry said. 'I learned my lesson, hanging around with the wrong people, about making better decisions and just moving on from there. Everyone makes mistakes. It's how you go along and move forward from there.'...Berry said he reported to Ohio State at 173 pounds because he lost so much weight in his legs while he was sidelined. After several weeks of summer workouts, Berry said he's back up to 188 pounds and his ankle is close to normal. Berry guessed it was around 95 percent healthy...Berry said, 'I definitely feel I can make an impact as a freshman this year.'..."
Berry gets option to clear charge
August 4, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "A drug-possession charge against Ohio State freshman running back Jaamal Berry will be dropped if he completes a six-month diversion program. That was decided Friday at a hearing in Miami-Dade County Court. Berry was arrested in his native Miami on June 11 and charged with felony possession of marijuana. The charge later was reduced to a misdemeanor, which allowed Berry to suit up for the Buckeyes. Students charged with a felony cannot play sports while the charge is pending. He has been in Columbus since late June. According to a diversion program official, out of town clients can complete an online drug course. Last week, coach Jim Tressel said Berry would not be "held back" because of his off-field issues..."
Returning starters in the Big Ten
August 5, 2009 Source: ESPN - "...But the number of returning starters for a given team often determines how well that team performs. The returning starters stat unquestionably shapes preseason perception of teams and the numerous rankings of teams and positions...The official list of returning starters in the Big Ten this season features 19 all-conference honorees, including seven first-teamers...
|Big Ten returning starters |
|Team ||Offense ||Defense ||Special teams ||Total |
|Illinois ||8 ||6 ||2 ||16 |
|Indiana ||6 ||9 ||1 ||16 |
|Iowa ||6 ||8 ||2 ||16 |
|Michigan ||10 ||5 ||1 ||16 |
|Michigan State ||7 ||8 ||2 ||17 |
|Minnesota ||10 ||8 ||0 ||18 |
|Northwestern ||5 ||8 ||1 ||14 |
|Ohio State ||5 ||7 ||0 ||12 |
|Penn State ||5 ||4 ||1 ||10 |
|Purdue ||4 ||7 ||2 ||13 |
|Wisconsin ||6 ||5 ||2 ||13 |
|Average ||6.5 ||6.8 ||1.3 ||14.6 |
|A number of OSU football players gathered today (Aug 5) at the Damon's restaurant in Columbus for the Uplifting Athletes Charity Video Game Challenge. This is an annual event with the proceeds going to support research in rare diseases. This year's event proceeds went to the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association. Check out Jim Davidson's photos from the event. Source The Ozone|
#50 Mike Brewster
|Adams, Shugarts get a shot|
August 5, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Large sophomores might anchor line at offensive tackle...Put together, Mike Adams and J.B. Shugarts would stand 13 feet, 4 inches tall and weigh 620 pounds. That might win them the title of world's biggest question mark. As Ohio State gets set to open preseason practice Monday, there might be no more pressing issue than how well its rebuilt offensive line comes together. The Buckeyes likely will have only one player -- center Mike Brewster -- starting at the same position as last year...two returning veterans -- Jim Cordle and Bryant Browning -- might be moving to different spots. Given the perennial inconsistency that seems to hinder the line, some might say all this change is good. But so much of that depends on how Adams and Shugarts perform as they step up into significant roles. Both are sophomores...Both came to Ohio State highly touted...now have the inside track at winning the tackle spots..."
Which 40 teams should make up our new Division I-A?
August 4, 2009 Source: ESPN - "It's time to clean house and build a new Division I-A. In these tough economic times, we all have to cut back. We've taken it upon ourselves to trim the fat from the college football landscape and narrow the club down to the best of the best. No more cupcake schedules, guaranteed wins, running up the score or statement games against teams that can't speak up for themselves. Below you'll find all 120 teams that participate on the FBS gridiron. SportsNation has voted. Total Votes: 228,870: Ohio State 4th Overall with 41.0% of the vote..." (Also: It was survival of the fittest -- college football style. Find out the 40 teams still standing after Pat Forde, Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach's selection process. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg wrote, of the top 40 selection by Forde, Maisel and Schlabach: "Still don't understand all the love for Oklahoma, which went No. 3, three spots ahead of Ohio State. Both teams have amazingly parallel profiles during this decade, and Ohio State hasn't lost to Boise State in a bowl game." And, "Feel free to mail (Ivan) Maisel a Hanukkah card (I know I will). Without him, the Big Ten really would have suffered in the mock draft." Of the six Big Ten teams picked for the top 40, Maisel chose three: OSU, Wisconsin and Iowa. )
2009 CFN Preseason Rankings - The Top Ten
August 4, 2009 Source: CollegeFootballNews.com - "There's one very important distinction in the CFN preseason rankings: these are based on how good the teams are going into the season and NOT how they're going to finish. 6. Ohio State
Why Ohio State should be No. 1: Don't shed any tears for a Buckeye team that replaces several star players with more top-shelf talent. A combination of runners will replace the unreliable Beanie Wells, while Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey will flourish thanks to Terrelle Pryor and the improved passing game. The defensive line and secondary are as good as ever, and they should make up for the potential growing pains at linebacker. Why Ohio State isn't No. 1: While the players are in place, there are way too many question marks to expect any sort of run at the national title. The Buckeyes are good enough to go 10-2 on talent alone, but there might not be enough in the bag to get by USC at home on September 12th. The D and special teams should be great at times, but they're not at the elite level needed for Tressel Ball to work effectively. The offense will have to open things up, and that could lead to just enough inconsistency to potentially lose at Penn State or at home to Illinois.
Relative Strengths: Quarterback, Defensive Line Relative Weaknesses: Linebacker, Running Back
What to watch for on offense: The line. While the overall production wasn't bad, when push came to shove, last year's line got shoved. It got ripped apart this spring by the defensive line, but the OSU front four will probably be dominant against everyone. With three good starters returning, led by center Michael Brewster, and with the addition of former Michigan Wolverine, Justin Boren, to bring more of an attitude and a nastiness to the offensive front, the line should be better and should allow all the speedy skill players time and room to work.
What to watch for on defense: The rotation on the end. The pass rush was supposed to be unstoppable, even after losing Vernon Gholston, but it was only above average. This year, there are too many ends to get on the field at the same time. Thaddeus Gibson is a star who could grow into an All-America-caliber pass rusher, while Cameron Heyward is productive inside and out. Nathan Williams and Lawrence Wilson are just a few of the great options who'll be a part of the rotation. With good tackles in Doug Worthington and Dexter Larimore to eat things up on the inside, the ends should be free to blow into the backfield..."
Worthington on the rebound
August 4, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "Senior tackle bounces back from arrest...He knew there would be public fallout, and he knew coach Jim Tressel was not going to be happy. 'It was probably the hardest time in my life, a time when I needed a lot of people's help, and a lot of people stepped up and became good friends and teammates,' Worthington said...With Ohio State practice set to open Sunday, there's a good chance that Worthington could be named a team captain before the season starts Sept. 5 against Navy. Tressel apparently considers him to be a leader; he took him along with safety Kurt Coleman and tight end Jake Ballard to the Big Ten media days in Chicago last week..."
Duane Long on QB Taylor Graham
August 3, 2009 Source: The Duane Long Report - "...(Taylor) Graham...throws the ball so effortlessly. Tight spirals and could put the ball anywhere they asked him to. He threw a touchdown pass that was straight out of a highlight film. The receiver made a great play but it took a great ball too. 3 defenders get back. They are arranged so there is a hole. If the receiver does not read it this is an inconsequential incompletion. If Graham throws it anywhere else it is likely to be intercepted. He drops it perfectly in the only spot where his receiver can make the play. Nearly 50 yards in the air with a flick of the wrist. Perfect touch on the ball. Alot of people, including me, are anointing Braxton Miller the heir apparent. What Graham has done since spring is make himself a national top 10 quarterback prospect, and he could be the steal of the class. Anointing Miller is premature. I have been talking about upgrading the quarterback position. This is a definite move to make that happen. Add Miller and I can't say I remember a time when we were in a better situation at quarterback..."
The-Ozone Note and Quotebook
August 3, 2009 Source: The Ozone - "Left Tackle Update; Most Gullible Buckeye?; On the Road; Putting it on and Taking it off; Stick with Football; Fully Vested; Terrelle's Challenges, End to End; Sizing them Up; The Corner Market; Power of the Press; Going Long with Terrelle; Brandon's Back; and Not for Pipsqueaks: they're all covered in the-Ozone Note and Quotebook...(Left Tackle Update) OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel is...glad to see sophomore JB Shugarts back in the mix at that position after sitting out spring ball following post-season shoulder surgery. 'He's got to jump into the fray at tackle,' said Tressel. 'He looks good, I've seen him in my office a couple of times. He says he feels great. How exactly the tackle thing is going to sift itself out at whose at right, whose at left, we've got a whole bunch of practices to figure that out, but JB has to be in the fray. He (Shugarts) was in my office twice last week. He looks good and he says he's feeling good and doing everything. I don't know of any reason why he wouldn't be ready (this fall)..."
|Teammates like what they're seeing in Terrelle Pryor's maturation |
August 2, 2009 Source: Columbus Dispatch - "According to teammates and opposing players, last year Terrelle Pryor was an indecisive, run-first quarterback who didn't know the offense very well and took too many sacks. Considering that, it's amazing the Ohio State quarterback had success -- going 8-2 as a starter, leading the Big Ten in pass efficiency and being named the conference's freshman of the year. Imagine what Pryor might do this fall. From watching him in spring practice -- when he showed significant improvement in the passing game -- and from listening to those around him, the sophomore appears poised to take a big leap forward. 'He's making huge improvements,' tight end Jake Ballard said, 'and I know his expectations for himself are just as high. And that's what makes Terrelle such a good player -- he always wants to get better. He's going to be a big part of our team success this year.' The easy comparison would be to look at the improvement former quarterback Troy Smith made between 2004 and 2005..."
Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor is learning from adversity
July 31, 2009 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "...After the most ballyhooed high school career in the country, Pryor encountered collegiate adversity early. "Just learn from it," said OSU coach Jim Tressel..."
5 Questions for Ohio State
August 2, 2009 Source: The Morning Journal - "Ohio State heads into the 2009 football season with its typical high expectations, loaded with blue chip recruits and national award candidates all over the field. However, this season may provide Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel and his staff with its biggest challenge since he took the reigns of the fabled program prior to the 2001 season. He has to replace 33 players, lost to either graduation or the NFL Draft, from a 2008 team that won 10 games but, for the third consecutive season, lost during bowl season. There is reason for optimism, but also reason for concern...1. Will Terrelle Pryor be able to take the next step into the realm of ďelite quarterbacks?Ē...2. Who will step into the starting running back role, Daniel ďBoomĒ Herron or Brandon Saine (and donĎt count out Jaamal Berry)?...3. Will Ohio Stateís offensive line, hit hard by graduation, be able to grow into a stable, cohesive unit before the start of the regular season?...4. With Thorpe Award winner Malcolm Jenkins lost the the NFL Draft, who will step up to be the shutdown cornerback?...5. Will Ray Small be able to make the transition from kick returner to every-down receiver? Who else will step into primary roles among the Buckeyes receiving corps?..."