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We Are The Ohio State Buckeyes And You Are Buckeye Nation
A message from the 2011 Ohio State Buckeye football players
to Buckeye Nation: We can't thank you enough for your support. Source: 28Buckeye
Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell accepted the commitment of Pickerington Central's Roger Lewis Tuesday morning. Lewis is commit number-12 for the 2012 recruiting class at Ohio State. Welcome aboard, Roger! Source: Rivals.com
Roger Lewis is aware of the NCAA investigation that has dogged the Ohio State football program for months. But that didn’t keep the Pickerington Central receiver, rising quickly on the prospects list, from becoming the 12th commitment to the Buckeyes’ 2012 recruiting class yesterday.
“All that stuff has been talked about for so long, but I really didn’t care because it would be hard to pass up an Ohio State scholarship offer, as long as I’ve wanted to go there,” said Lewis, who picked OSU over West Virginia, Cincinnati and Arizona. “I don’t think it is that big of a factor, and it should wear off soon.”
The Buckeyes, under new coach Luke Fickell, have tried to persevere in the recruiting realm, though they have taken their lumps while the NCAA situation festered. But in the chase for Lewis, it was no-contest, he said, after calling Fickell with his commitment decision yesterday, a week after OSU made the scholarship offer.
“Growing up in Columbus and just watching Santonio Holmes, Ted Ginn and all those great receivers go through Ohio State, I’ve wanted to be a part of that,” Lewis said. “So I decided to make it official: I want to be a Buckeye.”
The feeling evidently became mutual after the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Lewis, who has 4.42-second speed in the 40-yard dash, performed well in OSU’s summer camp, said Bill Kurelic, veteran recruiting analyst for Bucknuts.
“He really opened some eyes with his speed, his hands and his route-running,” Kurelic said. “He was very impressive. And I think once he gets to Ohio State he is going to surprise some people because, and this is no slam on Pickerington Central, one of the great high-school programs in this area, but they don’t throw the ball a lot.” Source Columbus Dispatch
Random Tuesday Practice Observations August 9, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors - "Today marked the second day of fall camp for the Buckeyes and although the pads aren't on quite yet (Friday is the first day for that), there's plenty to report:
• Jordan Hall spent a lot of time lined up at wide receiver. He did, however, take a few snaps at running back, but the trend is to split him wide.
• Jaamal Berry also spent some split wide, catching a few and dropping one that hit him in the hands earning a few guffaws.
• Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith were what you'd consider feature backs on the day and both looked pretty darn good toting the rock.
• Braxton Miller had his moments, including a 35-yard touchdown strike to Berry, but was also picked off by Orhian Johnson. Braxton also appears to have inherited Pryor's penchant for burrying balls into the dirt on short routes. It could have just been a jitters thing.
• Taylor Graham was intercepted following a T.Y. Williams bobble on a well-thrown ball. He did have a nice bullet to Jake Stoneburner later in the session.
• Joe Bauserman threw a couple of really nice deep balls on the day, but did overthrow DeVier Posey on one play that would have gone for six. Chris Fields had a sweet catch on a Bauserman ball on the sideline.
• Verlon Reed and Philly Brown continue to see time running with the first team offense.
• Bradley Roby is looking solid at cornerback. He saw a lot of time with the first team and is making a good impression with his fluid and smooth coverage skills, though he was beat long once by Philly Brown.
• Orhian Johnson and C.J. Barnett were your first team safeties.
• Mike Vrabel was very vocal, at one point riding Curtis Grant pretty hard. Grant later responded by stripping a ball to force a fumble.
• The first team defensive line is flat out nasty. They got the better part of their offensive counterparts for most of the morning.
• Solomon Thomas was sidelined again with a yellow jersey.
Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell talks to the press after practice #2 of fall camp. August 9, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors
TheBuckeyeTimes.com: Braxton Miller running offense at Ohio State fall camp 8/8/2011
First Day of Fall Camp: 40 Things to Watch For August 8, 2011 Source: The Ozone - "1. What the offense will look like in the post-Jim Tressel, post-Terelle Pryor era. (Webmaster note: Player's Twitter accounts, that we have, added in parenthesis)
2. Joe Bauserman’s ability to move the offense, or lack there of.
3. How much Braxton has expanded his knowledge of the passing game since the spring. (@BMiilER5)
4. Which of the other two quarterbacks—Taylor Graham or Kenny Guiton—will make a serious push for the starting spot. (@tharealkennyg)
5. How often Miller gets to work with the first-team offense early in camp.
6. Where they choose to use Jordan Hall offensively. (@Jordan_Hall7)
7. Which tailback(s) get the bulk of the carries with the first-team offense knowing Boom Herron cannot play until week six. (@BOOMHERRON1)
8. How the staff choose to handle guys like Herron and DeVier Posey, who are used to taking all their reps with the first group. (@DPo8)
9. What Rod Smith and Jaamal Berry can do when they finally get to run behind the first group of offensive line. (@Realist24_Out, @JBerry305)
10. How they fair finally going up against Ohio State’s first-team defense.
11. Where Carlos Hyde fits and what type of shape he is in at the start of fall camp. (@king_hyde34)
12. How much the staff plans to use Jake Stoneburner as a wide receiver knowing that Posey is suspended for five games. (@STONEYeleven)
13. Whether Reid Fragel is ready to jump back in the mix after his recent trip to the hospital for a staph infection. (@Fragel88)
14. How much Jeff Heuerman has progressed from the spring and what role he will play behind Stoneburner and Fragel. (@JHeuerman86)
15. Whether Philly Brown is ready to take the next step by adding dependable hands to his amazing speed. (@coreyOSUbrown)
16. Which of the other receivers step up in Posey’s absence.
17. If freshmen Devin Smith and Evan Spencer will put the pressure on some of the more veteran receivers like Chris Fields and Verlon Reed. (@dsmithosu, @LiLSpencee, @DarkHorseREED_9)
18. What role T.Y. Williams can have on an offense desperate for playmakers. (@ty_williams18)
19. Which of the freshmen offensive linemen are ready to contribute right away.
20. Which of the veteran offensive linemen are going to slide into the spots vacated by Justin Boren, Bryant Browning and Mike Adams, who will miss the first five games of the season.
21. How much of a leadership role will seniors like Michael Brewster and J.B. Shugarts take offensively. (@Brewster50)
22. How far ahead the defensive line will be considering the guys they have coming back and the talent they brought in.
23. If Garrett Goebel can lock down the nose tackle spot, allowing Johnathan Hankins to slide over and play the 3-technique like Jim Heacock and the staff would prefer.
24. Which young player will step up to play behind Nathan Williams at the Leo position while Solomon Thomas is suspended.
25. If any of the freshmen are good enough to crack the rotation on the defensive line.
26. Whether the Buckeyes will be hurting at linebacker after all the attrition they have faced since last season.
27. How much Heacock and the staff decide to use the Sam linebacker position now that they have a healthy Tyler Moeller playing the Star. (@TylerMoeller26)
28. Whether this is finally the year where Etienne Sabino locks down a starting role on the defense. (@bino6)
29. How good Curtis Grant can’t be from the moment his feet hit the ground. (@CRRG14)
30. What kind of impact Mike Vrabel can have as a first-time coach.
31. Whether Moeller is completely recovered from the head and pectoral injuries that have cost him the bulk of his playing career.
32. Where Christian Bryant will find a home and how the Buckeyes will get him on the field. (@CB_2 )
33. Who will step up to claim the starting corner spot across from Travis Howard. (@Travishoward_7)
34. What kind of impact Doran Grant can have as a freshman at the cornerback position. (@dorangrant21)
35. Whether Orhian Johnson can take the next step and avoid having his starting job taken by one of the talented youngsters behind him.
36. How ready C.J. Barnett will be coming off the knee injury that derailed a promising 2010 season.
37. If Corey Brown can overcome his injury and return to any semblance of the kid who was a 5-star prospect as a high school senior. (@CBrown_3)
38. How much Drew Basil has improved as kicker from his freshman to sophomore season.
39. The legend that is Bryce Haynes.
40. Luke Fickell being in charge of his very first practices in the post-Tressel era at Ohio State..."
Breaking down the Ohio State Buckeyes as fall camp begins August 7, 2011 Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer - "Ohio State's freshmen reported for preseason camp Saturday, with the veterans arriving Sunday and practice beginning Monday. After losing seven defensive starters, four offensive starters including Terrelle Pryor, and with three other offensive starters suspended for the first five games, the camp for first-year coach Luke Fickell and 105 players includes a lot of questions.
Here's what we know and don't know, by position group, right now.
Known: The starter won't be departed three-year starter Terrelle Pryor. Whoever it is -- among senior Joe Bauserman, sophomore Kenny Guiton, redshirt freshman Taylor Graham and freshman Braxton Miller -- won't have thrown more than 37 career passes. Center Mike Brewster said in his mind he has a good idea of who the quarterback will be, but didn't identify him. Fickell might have less of an idea, because he admits he wasn't watching that battle closely in the spring, when he was still coaching linebackers. But he's been watching film.
Unknown: Everything else. Whether Miller, who has the most talent, most hype and is probably the most likely candidate, will be ready. "I hope so," Fickell said. "I think he has a lot of similar qualities to [Pryor] in what he can do as a football player."
Known: There is great depth. Senior Dan Herron is suspended for the first five games, but with junior Jordan Hall, sophomore Jaamal Berry, sophomore Carlos Hyde and true freshman Rod Smith, he may not be missed. Fullback Zach Boren may be the most complete football player among the backs, and though he won't carry the ball, he needs to be on the field a good amount.
Unknown: How the carries will shake out. Who among the young backs is ready to handle the responsibilities beyond just carrying the ball. If Smith, a bowl practice star, can emerge as the big back the Buckeyes love. Whether Berry, a friend of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson from their high school days in Florida, is ready to explode. "Both of us got that electricity," Robinson said. "He can be an impact player."
Known: Senior DeVier Posey is the only option with real experience, and he's suspended for the first five games. Sophomore Corey "Philly" Brown is fast, but still young. Given the inexperience, an incoming freshman like Devin Smith should have a shot to earn playing time.
Unknown: Whether the fact Fickell mentioned Brown and Verlon Reed last week means they're the next two behind Posey. If answers might come from other positions, like putting Hall in the slot or splitting tight end Jake Stoneburner out wide.
Known: Brewster is an All-American candidate. Left tackle Mike Adams is nearly at that level but is suspended for the first five games. Right tackle J.B. Shugarts believes his foot problems of last year are behind him. Sophomore Andrew Norwell will fill in at left tackle while Adams is out. The top seven are solid and then there's a major dropoff, and a few injuries could really hurt.
Unknown: Exactly how the guards will shake out, though Jack Mewhort is the assumption at left guard, with Marcus Hall and Corey Linsley at right guard. How often the Buckeyes might go to two tight ends -- Stoneburner and blocking tight end Reid Fragel are good options, and incoming freshman Jeff Heuerman has opened eyes.
Known: Though Cameron Heyward is hard to replace, Nathan Williams and John Simon are among the best in the Big Ten. Johnathan Hankins intrigues everyone, and Adam Bellamy and Garrett Goebel look ready to contribute in major ways.
Unknown: How a very good group of true freshmen -- Joel Hale, Michael Bennett, Chase Farris, Kenny Hayes and Steve Miller -- could work into the usual eight-man rotation, though a couple should have to redshirt.
Known: Senior Andrew Sweat could start at any position, but will hold down the weakside. Etienne Sabino and Storm Klein are solid options in the middle. The one-year suspension of Dorian Bell and transfer of Jonathan Newsome opens holes in the depth chart.
Unknown: How true freshman Curtis Grant fits in, but spot work on the strongside could be a possibility. "One of the things we might lack in the linebacker area is some of that size, and he would give you some size," Fickell said. "But mental capacity is always key for young guys." How much sixth-year senior Tyler Moeller, one of the Buckeyes' best 11 defenders, could work in some at the strongside to stay on the field rather than being only the star defender in the nickel defense.
Known: Junior Travis Howard will be the top cornerback and looks ready for a breakout year. Fickell likes the growth of junior safety Orhian Johnson, picking him as one of the players who represented the Buckeyes at the Big Ten meetings in Chicago. There's some talent and depth but a lot of questions.
Unknown: How potential starting safeties Johnson, C.J. Barnett (back after tearing his ACL early last season), Christian Bryant, Corey Brown (also back from injury) and others will battle it out. Whether someone like Bryant could slide to the second corner spot -- in the mix with Dominic Clarke, Dionte Allen and Bradley Roby -- if it's too crowded at safety.
Ohio State freshmen speak with the media August 3, 2011 Source: Eleven Warriors/YouTube:
Freshmen Meet the Media August 3, 2011 Source: Ohio State Official Site - "Twenty Ohio State true freshmen football players received their first media exposure on campus Wednesday afternoon at media suites at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. The 55-minute session provided about 30 members of the media with an excellent chance to familiarize themselves with the Buckeye freshmen, and it provided the newcomers an opportunity to experience the media attention they will likely be given over the next four years in Columbus. Two frosh were not with their classmates today. Connor Crowell, a linebacker from Waldorf, Md., and North Point High School, and Kenny Hayes, a defensive lineman from Toledo’s Whitmer High School, each had scheduled appointments.
The new Buckeyes provided insights into what kind of person they are off the field but also what drives them and what they have seen on the field in their short time on campus. A few of their thoughts:
Michael Bennett – DL – Centerville, Ohio “From the time I committed, I really don’t remember a time where I regretted my decision. There is a lot more to Ohio State than the coach. I never thought for a second about reconsidering. This made it even more concrete, it doesn’t feel like we’ve lost a step at all.”
Brian Bobek – OL – Inverness, Ill. “The first month has been a great experience for me; I have been gaining a ton of experience. Taking classes and going to workouts, I feel like I have had a great start to getting into college.”
Tommy Brown – OL – Akron, Ohio “I just love to be here. I’m very happy to be here. I started here in the spring. It is a huge jump from high school and it’s a lot faster. I am getting much stronger and learning the playbook, learning the plays and getting to know the guys. Mike (Brewster) and Mike Adams have helped me out a lot.”
Chase Farris – DL – Elyria, Ohio “We are all on the same page as defensive linemen. We all need to step up because it is us against the world this year. That is the team’s attitude.”
DerJuan Gambrell – DB – Toledo, Ohio “Learning from other players like Travis Howard has been a huge help to me. He has been a big brother helping me learn plays, coverages and everything.”
Curtis Grant – LB – Richmond, Va. “Coach Fickell and I have a great relationship. He was always a guy that was truthful with me. He wasn’t trying to sell me; what you see is what you get.”
Doran Grant – DB – Akron, Ohio “As a freshman class we are together. We can’t wait to make an impact. I think this class is very strong, I feel like we have a lot of underrated guys and I think we are going to make some noise this year.”
Joel Hale – DL – Greenwood, Ind. “I feel coming in early really helped me as a student and as a football player. I gained so much knowledge of the way Ohio State plays football and of how Ohio State runs things as a team, and not just a defense.”
Bryce Haynes – LS – Cumming, Ga. “So far this summer has been interesting and fun. I really love this team. I’ve been through some hard workouts but I feel like they are all going to pay off. I’ve been getting a lot better.”
Jeff Heuerman – TE – Naples, Fla. “I enrolled early in January and it has been great since I got here. Ohio State has a cool feeling. I didn’t want to stay in Florida and I got up here and liked it. I feel like everyone here is so experienced and everyone knows what they’re doing.”
Braxton Miller – QB – Huber Heights, Ohio “Right now I feel a little more pressure than I did six months ago but I am trying to take it day by day. I really want to work on the passing plays because I have the running plays down pat. It’s a long learning process. I really want to get the plays down pat so if I do get in I know what I’m doing.”
Steve Miller – DL – Canton, Ohio “I’ve had a lot of fun this month with my teammates. We have bonded so much and this is a great group. We are really close.”
Ryan Shazier – LB – Plantation, Fla. “Everything is getting much easier, the older guys are teaching me things and I feel a lot better now. I have been learning the Mike, Will and Sam linebacker spots. I am most comfortable at Sam but if coach wants to move me he can put me wherever he wants.”
Devin Smith – WR- Massillon, Ohio “If I work hard and keep working and keep trying to learn as much as possible, I could make my way onto the field.”
Evan Spencer – WR – Vernon Hills, Ill. “My first month here has been exciting. My father (Tim Spencer) is really excited I’m playing at his alma mater and on the next level. It’s going to be fun.”
Ron Tanner – DB – Columbus, Ohio “Since spring quarter this has been a wonderful experience. Growing up in Columbus and always looking at the Buckeyes and The Ohio State University, this is a pleasure and a privilege.”
Antonio Underwood – OL – Shaker Heights, Ohio “We most definitely have a personality as a class. We hang out a lot. We joke a lot and we don’t have one guy on the team that doesn’t get along with another guy.”
Nick Vannett – TE – Westerville, Ohio “This has been a big difference since high school, being around the players is kind of surreal because you have made it here (Ohio State). I don’t think it’s been a tough adjustment. We have just been doing work, working hard and doing all that we can control. That’s all we can really do.”