Archives for April 2012

Joey Bosa just joined Buckeye Nation

Dominoes is the best way to describe the way recruiting is going since Coach Meyer took over as the head coach at The Ohio State University. With each passing day it seems a new domino falls into place and what we seem to be ending up with is the perfect domino trail to success. This latest recruit may be the biggest domino yet. The ripple effects of this will most likely be felt later in the week as well when another OSU lean is set to commit to his school of choice.

Joey Bosa is a 6’5″ 260 lbs 5 star DE from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. According to Scouts Joey Bosa is the 2nd best DE prospect in the country. Rivals also lists him as the 2nd best DE in the land. 247spots has him as the 24th best overall prospect in the country. Joey Bosa is also a member of the ESPN150 and is listed as the 41st best recruit in the country. I am not sure what there is to say about Joey that hasn’t been said 1000 times. He is big and fast and strong and smart. He has a nose for the ball and the ability to get to it. He is a big time baller and a leader on the field and off of it. He is everything Coach Meyer and Buckeye Nation want and need. If you have any doubts watch the highlight reel below and enjoy what is going to be a star for years to come.

Lewis Neal becomes recruit no. 12

As more and more recruits go back home and meet with their parents and coaches and friends we are getting more news of verbals. Coach Meyer has focused heavily on DL and LBs and with this newest recruit he got one that can play both or either. To say that Coach Meyer believes defense wins championships would be an understatement. To say he strongly believes that a great DL wins games would be spot on.

Lewis Neal is a 6’2″ 235 lbs 3 star DE/LB from Wilson, North Carolina. Rivals list Neal as the 16th best DE in the country. Scouts has him listed as the 28th best LineBacker in the country. 247sports and ESPN both have him as high 3 stars. Lewis Neal brings a lot to the table in his ability to play multiple positions and in multiple schemes. As we watch recruiting it is becoming more and more clear that Coach Meyer intends to go to a 5-2 base defense and get after the QB. Lewis Neal hasn’t been scouted much by the recruiting services but new Asst. Coach Everett Withers knows him well from his days at UNC. Watch the highlight tape below to see why OSU is so excited about this recruit.

Spring Game lands OSU recruit

So here is how my day went yesterday. Got up at 5 AM drove 4 hours in a car with the wife and 2 kids. Sat on 315 for an hour. Parked in a lot at least 2 miles away from the shoe walked to the stadium sat in 40 degree temperatures with blowing winds and rain for 3 hours. Walked back to the car 2 miles and sat in traffic for an hour.

WAS THE BEST TIME I HAVE HAD IN A LONG TIME….. Got to hang out with some 81k+ people who just like me love OSU and knows what it means to be a Buckeye. By now most of you have heard about other schools fan bases and how many of them showed up to their games including TTUN. Let’s just say Buckeye Nation is without a doubt the best fans in the world. This show of love from the fans had a lasting effect on one recruit (at least expect more to commit today and this week).

Alex Anzalone is a 6’3″ 225 lbs 4 star Linebacker from Reading, PA. According to 247sports Alex is the 5th best OLB in the country and the 96th best recruit overall. He is also a ESPN150 recruit coming in as the 65th best recruit in the nation. Scouts has him as the 10th best OLB in the country. Alex has shown the ability to be a star at the next level and will help continue the real LBU that OSU has become. He has great speed and strength and will be a force at OSU. Coach Meyer beat out the likes of Alabama and Florida and Notre Dame and PSU and TTUN to get this recruit and it just adds to an already impressive class that will just keep growing as more people commit going forward. Take some time and watch the highlight reel below to see what a huge get this was for OSU.

Amedeo Della Valle is a Buckeye

So Thad Matta had an interesting recruiting season this year for most of the year he only had on scholarship to offer that being of his Sr. Will Buford who has graduated and is moving on to the NBA draft. Then Jared Sullinger declared for the draft giving him 2 schollies to offer. Things got even more hectic from there. JD Weatherspoon and Jordan Sibert decided it was in their best interest to get a fresh start and transfer. These decisions ended up giving Coach Matta 4 schollies to offer but it is extremely late in the process. Yesterday Coach Matta filled one of those schollies and also filled a position of need.

Amedeo Della Valle is a 6’5″ 185 lbs 3 star Shooting Guard from Las Vegas, Nevada via Italy. According to Scouts Amedeo is listed as the 29th best SG in the nation in this years class. Rivals also has him listed a 3 star. Amedeo comes to OSU from National High School powerhouse Findlay Prep where he honed his skills as a 3 point specialist. He is a work in progress but with his size and speed and ability to hit jump shots from anywhere on the floor he fills a need for OSU that they so dearly have missed since Jon Diebler left last year. A 3 point specialist and a guy who can hit it consistently on spot up shots. With the other 3 openings on the team Matta is chasing a few transfers and high profile recruits but he may end up with a short bench next year and have more options for 2013. We will know more in the coming weeks. In the mean time check out the highlight tape below of Amedeo. For those of us with receding or completely disappearing hair lines notice his Side Show Bob hairdo and weep silently.

Landscaping Duty For Gray

81,112 people poured into a cold and rainy Ohio Stadium Saturday afternoon to watch the Urban Meyer era begin. Scarlet edged out Gray 20-14 lead by Braxton Miller, Ryan Shazier and Michael Thomas.

This was officially the first time Buckeye fans and the rest of the college football world got to see Urban Meyers offense, though it was a shell of it’s actual self. This, like many other spring games before it was essentially a passing scrimmage. There were 36 rushing plays (though many of those were QB runs/sacks) compared to 57 pass attempts.

Both OSU offensive units ran out of the shotgun all day and used a no huddle, fast paced offense. One thing that was missing from the offense was the zone read option, speed option and all the running plays off of those looks. This was primarily because of the shortened game format and the running clock in the 2nd half. It was also because neither QB was “live.” Whenever anyone got within 11 miles of Braxton Miller the play was blown dead. This really limited what both QB’s could do, though their passing numbers didn’t take a hit. Kenny Guiton who is the clear backup for Miller was 17 or 26 for 191 yards with a TD pass and short TD run. Miller was 24-31 for 258 yards. Both QB’s threw INT’s. Guitons INT came in the 4th quarter in the redone after he stared down his WR.

What stood out:

Before the game Meyer surprised everyone by gathering both teams at the 50 yard line. They formed a tight circle and Meyer picked John Simon from Gray and Jack Mewhort to go at one another in an Oklahoma drill. Meyer matched up players from each team over and over again finally ending with Guiton vs. Miller. Guiton got the better of Miller, sending the Gray team into a frenzy. The crowd absolutely LOVED it!

Braxton Miller:

Miller seemed to be far more comfortable throwing the football compared to last year. Frankly, he is light years ahead of where he was last year. Miller was very accurate today, hitting 77% of his passes. He threw a tight spiral, something he struggled with last year and did so with good velocity. Miller wasn’t perfect as he still seems to need to work a bit on his touch. His interception came on a bullet he overthrew intended for Nick Vannett. Other than the INT there were a few forced balls but all in all he looked outstanding.

Ryan Shazier:

Ryan Shazier is a bad, bad man. This sophomore OLBer has All American written all over him. He had several big hits, a sack and a key 4 down stop tackling Brionte Dunn in the backfield. He passes the look test, the play test and the holy **** test. All he does is make plays each and every game and this game was no different.

Michael Thomas:

The surprise of the day came from true freshman Michael Thomas who caught 12 passes for 131 yards. He made a big play in the 2nd half after catching a pass in the flat from Miller on a roll out and his run after the catch set up Scarlet with a 1st and goal. Thomas is definitely one to watch come fall practice.

One thing I was very disappointed in was seeing Braxton Miller play without any of the skill players he will be playing with in the fall. Due to the format of the game the teams were drafted the Thursday before hand and Miller was left without Jake Stoneburner, Philly Brown and Devin Smith. Miller basically had 2nd and 3rd team guys to work with and still performed well. I would have loved to see Miller with more of the 1st unit skill position players.

There is definitely a new sheriff in town and a new feel to how things are done. Dare I say it…there is a swagger about this team. It comes from the top and trickles down. Call it trickle down swagger. Reagan would approve. From the Oklahoma drill to start the game to the fast paced no huddle offense to the constant challenges Meyer puts on his players…this is not your grandpa’s Model T Buckeyes. This is a 21st century, sleek Ferrari that is ready to pull up along side Big Ten competition and blow it’s doors off.

Dear rest of the Big Ten…good luck. This is coming for you:

Special Thanks to Josh Winslow for providing the pictures!

BBN Ohio State Spring Game Preview: Defensive Line



Welcome to Thursdays with Slyvester (and el Kaiser). It’s sort of like Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays with Slyvester (and Fridays, too). Basically, it’s when I get bored at work, open Microsoft Communicator and begin to bother SYR with whatever is on my mind. Sometimes we talk Buckeyes, sometimes it’s video games and Reality TV, and sometimes we share.

This time, however, SYR was asked to provide a contribution to the Buckeye Blogging Network’s Spring Game Preview. (I had told them earlier I was a little too busy to help out (busted!)). So what follows is a stream of conscious between the two of us. (You may notice I have a touch of the ADD and tend to go off-topic). It’s a bit long, so hit the jump for the full conversation

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J.T. Barrett becomes recruit No. 10

Well we all knew it would be a big week for this years recruiting class but still didn’t expect this many recruits to verbal before the Spring Game festivities. So far this years class seems to be defensive minded but with the news today OSU has hit the offensive side of the ball hard getting the QB they so desperately needed and wanted.

J.T. Barrett is a 6’2″ 205 lb 4 star Dual-Threat QB from Wichita Falls, Texas. According to 247sports Barrett is the no. 1 ranked Dual-Threat QB and the no. 37 overall best recruit in the nation. Rivals has him listed as the 134th best prospect and Scouts has him as the 7th best QB in the country. JT being a dual-threat QB will fit in perfectly in the Coach Meyer spread offense. He is the perfect combination of thrower and runner. He has the accuracy and the speed to confuse defenses. At the same time he is a natural leader who will command the offense and make everyone around him better. This is a huge pick up for Coach Meyer and his staff. You can see his highlight reel below.

The Rebranding of the Buckeyes

What a great weekend for Buckeye Nation!  Although I didn’t have the privilege of being in attendance, all signs point to the fact that Saturday’s open practice with the students was a tremendous success!!  This is one of many great ideas Coach Meyer and his staff have put together in the process of giving the look of Ohio State football a facelift.  This “rebranding” is something I would like to talk about.

Being in marketing, I sometimes get caught up in commercials and magazine articles as I dissect the target audience and the intention behind the messaging.  Although the refurbishing of the Ohio State image is not a commercial, nor a magazine article, I have taken notice to several things this new coaching staff has put into place…and for good reason.  After everything that’s happened to this program over the past year or so, the most important thing any new coach could do is demonstrate that OSU is still the best place to get your education, develop as a young man and play on a perennial powerhouse football team.  Head Coach Urban Meyer and his staff have meticulously done that since day one.

Take, for example, the official Ohio State website.  Even though they had created this new look prior to Coach Meyer taking over the helm, the new way in which they highlight news, add photos and video and portray the “champions” of Ohio State is straight from the Urban Meyer playbook.  The way that all of the coaches seemingly use the media in terms of interviews, social media, videos and news reporters is completely different than we’ve seen before and portrays the transparency Coach Meyer promised to have on the day he was hired.  Ohio State has also approved the $7 million purchase of a new scoreboard and high definition video monitor, sound system and video ribbons that will circle part of the stadium.  If you’ve been to a game in the last decade, you’ll know that this was sorely needed and will benefit everyone that attends future games as well as be impressive to future recruits.  That was followed up by this past weekend’s open practice where the students at OSU were given full access to the team as well as a tour of the beloved Ohio Stadium.  Word is also out that Coach Meyer is bringing his wildly successful “Friday Night Lights” up from Gainesville to Columbus.  Anyone who has followed football recruiting knows how successful Meyer was in attracting the top high school talent each summer to the bright lights of the Swamp.  And I’m sure this is just the beginning of big things we will be seeing out of the “Mecca” of college football.

Now, I realize that some stories have come out recently that portray Coach Meyer in very poor light.  I refuse to give those articles any more publicity than they have already gotten.  Personally, I think it’s a combination of a sore Florida fan base and the ever-present media hatred for Ohio State that continues to cause these things.  Sometimes I wish these reporters and “snitches” would look themselves in the mirror and think about their own faults and mistakes before trying to irresponsibly destroy the lives of others…but that’s just me.  Regardless of the reasoning behind the stories and whether there is any truth to them or not, the bottom line is:  People are people.  EVERYONE makes mistakes…me, you, Matt Hayes, George Dorhmann, Urban Meyer and Jim Tressell.  We’ve seen it before, we’ll see it again.  I have no doubt that the perfect coach for Ohio State University’s football team is Urban Meyer.  He has my full support and Buckeye love and as Buckeye fans, I’m sure he has yours, too.

The present and future is very bright at Ohio State.  We have arguably the best coach in college football, one of the best assistant coaching staffs, the best and largest fan base of any football team, a renovated ‘Shoe on the way and promise of continued football dominance in the days ahead.   I can’t wait to see this team play in the fall, but for now, I’ll take the Spring Game this Saturday!  Go Bucks!!

Recent Ohio State Football Coaching Stories

Cloudy with a 100% chance of a Sprinkle

Well we are a few days away from the first Spring Game under new head coach Urban Meyer and what is believed to be a huge recruiting weekend. As of right now the weather service is calling for cold temperatures and a 30% chance of rain. While most years that may be a cause for low attendance this year the excitement and buzz around the program is fever pitch. The slight chance of rain though didn’t stop recruiting as OSU picked up their 9th commit today and this one assures us that we will always have a Sprinkle in our game day forecasts.

Tracy Sprinkle a 6’4″ 270 lbs DT from Elyria, Ohio is rated a 3 star prospect according to scouts. Rivals and 247sports also have Sprinkle listed a 3 star recruit. Although all of them have Tracy listed as a DE his body size and style of play lean towards him converting to DT at OSU. He is a relatively unknown prospect who doesn’t have a lot of offers or love from the recruiting sites. No doubt as people watch his tape they will see why Coach Meyer and his staff love this player for what he will become. You can see his Jr. year highlights below.

Transfers leave bench short

As has been rumored for weeks now JD Weatherspoon and Jordan Sibert have officially asked for and been given their release from their scholarships at The Ohio State University.

Jordan Sibert a 6’4″ SG from Cincinnati is a sophomore with 2 years of eligibility left. Sibert was expected to battle for playing time this past year but lost his battle with Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Sam Thompson. Sibert could never find consistency in his shooting and ended up sitting on the end of the bench for most of the year and was rumored to be very unhappy all year. Coach Matta had this to say about Jordan “Jordan has worked to improve since he became a Buckeye two years ago,” Matta said. “He has represented our program well and we wish him the best.” You can read the entire Ohio State press release here. Rumors are he will end up at Dayton but may also choose a MAC school to be closer to his hometown.

JD Weatherspoon a 6’6″ SF from Columbus is a sophomore with 2 years of eligibility left. Weatherspoon is a pure athlete with serious hops. He was a fan favorite for his dunks and effort but as a whole never developed the skills needed to be a starter. Coach Matta had this to say about JD “J.D. has done everything we’ve asked,” Matta said. “I can relate to a young man’s desire to play. I was in his shoes during my collegiate career. His teammates and our staff appreciate the hard work J.D. has put in to make our team better. We wish him nothing but the best.” You can read the entire Ohio State press release here. As of this moment JD says he doesn’t know where he will transfer to but most expect it to be a MAC school with the possibility of going with Sibert to Dayton where former OSU Asst. Coach Archie Miller is now the Flyers HC. Miller recruited both players to OSU. Archies staff also includes former OSU Assts. as well.

With the departures of these players as well as Sully and Buford to the NBA this leaves OSU with 9 scholarship players for next year. For most coaches this would be panic time but 9 scholarship players is 4 more then Matta likes to use anyhow :). There are really only 2 possibilities for recruits in this years class. Tony Parker a 6’9″ 250 PF from Georgia who isn’t likely to pick OSU next week when he decides. Also Amedeo Della Valle is a 6’5″ 180lb SG from Italy via Findlay Prep. He fills a need as he is a 3 point specialist and a pure shooter. He is currently on an official visit at OSU today. He will decide between OSU and Texas A&M soon.