Archives for April 2013

Q&A With James Clark

OSU FootballToday we have a Question and Answer session conducted by freelance sports writer, Evan Massey. Evan sat down with Ohio State WR recruit James Clark (you can read our post about Clark’s commitment here) to chat about our favorite things: Buckeyes and football.

os-james-clark-new-smyrna-beach-photo-20130123Q. What made you choose to sign with Ohio State? Who were the other schools you primarily considered?

A. Ohio State gave me the opportunity to be successful over all. They are the 25th ranked business school, as well as being the only undefeated team in the country. I felt at home on campus and the best opportunity for me to make an impact was in Columbus.

Q. Do you have a player who plays in the NFL or college game that you model your game after?

A. Wow, I could choose a couple players I try to model, but I would say Victor Cruz and Mike Wallace. Love watching those guys play.

Q. What would you say your biggest challenge facing you heading into the 2013 season is?

A. I would say adapting. New environment, new path ahead of me. It’s just a matter of adapting and becoming familiar with the way things are done at Ohio State as quick as I can.

Q. What would you like to tell the fans that you are going to bring to the team this season?

A. A kid that’s going to go in and give his all for the Buckeyes every day.

Q. How excited are you to be a part of the intense rivalries of the Big Ten? Any games that you’re looking forward to the most?

A. I guess I’m supposed to answer that big time last game vs. Michigan haha, but honestly the first game is what I’m most excited about. It will be an awesome experience.

Q. Taking this to a different level for a question, what is your favorite food?

A. Haha wow, I’ll go with pizza.

Q. If you were speaking to a young football player with dreams of making it to the Division I level, what would you tell them to do?

A. Ask themselves how bad they really want to be a Division I athlete. Are they willing to make the sacrifices, commitment, and do the work necessary? I would tell them don’t let anyone tell them they were not capable of and remain dedicated, humble, and hungry no matter how good they get.

Q. Last question, what is your workout routine?

A. My workout is different everyday. Whether it’s speed work, conditioning, or in the weight room, it’s something to get better.

Thanks to James for taking the time to answer some questions!

Interview conducted by Evan Massey (@evan_massey)

Buckeye Draft Preview Q&A with Alen Dumonjic

Alen Dumonjic is a writer for TheScore.com, with contributions to various other sites including The Boston Globe. He primarily studies the NFL in-depth, analyzing schemes and players, but when draft time rolls around, he studies prospects. He is a great follow on twitter for you X’s and O’s lovers @Dumonjic_Alen.

MOTSAG: Even though NFL Draft pundits have stated that Johnathan Hankins’ draft stock has fallen a bit, he should still be the first Buckeye selected in the draft. Which NFL player would you compare Hankins to and what particular scheme or specific team do you think Hankins would thrive in/for?

I think Dane Brugler of CBS Sports compared Hankins to Brandon Mebane of the Seahawks a while back and that’s the best comparison. Mebane has played the one and three-technique spots but he’s more of a one-technique, which I think holds true for Hankins. Mebane has played in a 30 front in the past but is best suited in a 40 front, which the same can be said for Hankins. As for team, maybe the Vikings, who are going to be needing defensive linemen soon and will be looking to add someone up front.

MOTSAG: Urban Meyer praises John Simon for his crazy worth ethic and love for the game, but do you see him as an eventual starter in the league or is he more of a rotational player?

I think he’s a rotational player and that’s not necessarily a knock. With the way the NFL uses sub-packages and rotates players, it’s not a bad thing to be a player who can play on a limited snap count.

MOTSAG: Who do you think represents the best value out of the Buckeye prospects based on where he will be drafted and potential upside?

After Hankins, Reid Fragel is the best value. He has a lot of upside as a pass blocker, but I would like to see him become stronger, develop his technique and become more fundamentally sound. He’s a project but has the upside you look for.

MOTSAG: Do you think Fragel could eventually develop into a solid right tackle in the NFL?

Based off of his skill-set, I do, but I think it’ll take time. He’s very raw, but has upside.

MOTSAG: Jake Stoneburner has the size and the hands to be a mismatch at the tight end position, but he never seemed to put it all together for the Buckeyes. Do you see him having more of an impact in the NFL if he is drafted by the correct team?

I do. I think he has the skill-set to develop into a solid contributor in the NFL, provided he goes to the right staff and has his head on straight. He can be a mismatch in the passing game as a flex tight end.

MOTSAG: Zach Boren is an interesting 7th round- UDFA prospect as he can play both sides of the ball and he is the type of football player that NFL coaches look for when filling out their roster. Thoughts on Boren? 

Boren is an interesting prospect because he has the traits that you look for in a football player in general. He’s tough, strong and willing to do what’s best for the team. He also plays a position that may or may not be dying, however. Some teams like to use fullbacks while others do not. Perhaps he could be an option for a team like Green Bay, who could be in the market for a potential future replacement for John Kuhn, or the Houston Texans.

MOTSAG: It is likely two seasons away but what are your thoughts on Braxton Miller and his chances of succeeding in the NFL? 

Miller will be one to watch simply because if Chip Kelly’s offense takes off in the pros, teams will be scrambling even more to find dual-threat quarterbacks. NFL coaches copy schemes and Kelly’s scheme doesn’t place too much stress on the quarterback, which is why Miller could be a target for some teams that run that scheme when he comes out.

In Case You Missed It

College Football Playoff name revealed

The long awaited playoff in college football is becoming a reality as conference commissioners have decided on the name of the new playoff game. What name would they settle on? Something inspirational, something captivating, something… memorable? Nope. It will be called, “The College Football Playoff”. Voting has been opened up at the aptly named collegefootballplayoff.com website where you can vote on the logo from four equally uninspired designs. Truly democracy at its most boring.

Steve Rohlik named new OSU hockey coach

Rohlik brings 16 years of experience as a DI coach including the last three as associate head coach in Columbus. Before becoming a Buckeye he was a part of the Minnesota Duluth team for ten years including 2 tournament appearances as well as a trip to the Frozen Four.

Jonathan Hankins looks forward to the draft

Hankins, who was once a top twenty draft prospect has seen his stock go down over the last week. Now, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has him as a top sixteen prospect… In the second round. Despite that, Hankins has kept his confidence up. Kiper pointed out that Hankins’ production was not as good this year as last. Says Hankins, “When they ask me about that (drop-off in production), I tell them we went undefeated as a team in 2012 and I was a big part of that,”

Reid Fragel confident in his NFL future

Coming off his private workout with the Bengals last week, Reid Fragel said it was ‘Awesome’ and that they said he improved his draft stock with the team. The former tight end has only been playing tackle for a year but despite that he is extremely confident in his skills. “This whole time, not to sound cocky, but I was confident in my ability to become an NFL tackle,” Fragel said. “That’s been a one-year project, and a credit to the coaches I’ve worked with.” Currently Fragel is ranked the 14th tackle and the 147th overall pick.

Jamarco Jones gets visit from OSU

In the never ending world of college football recruitment, the Buckeyes are making strides after one of their most important prospects. It looks like Meyer is bringing the house when it comes to Jones, going after the offensive tackle from Illinois hard. Jones just tweeted out 3 hours ago that he had spoken with Urban Meyer himself. Rivals gives Jones a 4 star rating and his position is one of the most important OSU needs to shore up going forward.

Legends and Leaders, R.I.P.

While the university presidents still have to vote, the new Big Ten division alignment starting in 2014 is being widely reported as official. Gone are the confusing alignment (which never really achieved the competitive balance it was designed for) and the arrogant-sounding division names (which never really gained even the minimal acceptance Jim Delany thinks they did).

Instead, the divisions will be called the “East” and the “West,” and will be made of the eastern-most teams (East) and the western-most teams (West). I know it sounds crazy, but it just might work. Oh, and this might surprise you: The Big Ten will actually be the only conference with geographically-named divisions that adheres completely to the division names. Conference USA comes close, though.

But let’s stop wasting time. The single most important result of this realignment is that Ohio State and Michigan will be in the same division. This means we no longer have to worry about that looming threat of moving The Game to an earlier point in the season, nor the tempting-but-ultimately-terrible prospect of a repeat edition in the B1G title game. (Well, technically we have to worry about that one for one more season.)

So with Ohio State/Michigan as the annual East season-ending showdown (often, one assumes, with a B1GCG appearance on the line), it would be silly for the conference to not attempt to stage a similar battle on the other side. Nebraska/Wisconsin makes the most sense to me at this time, although Iowa could potentially be in that mix if they ever hired a coach that tried a little bit.

In Case You Missed It

Brian Robiskie re-signed by Lions

Former Buckeye Brian Robiskie has been re-signed by the Detroit Lions after being briefly released by them last week. Details of the deal aren’t yet known but his re-signing most likely has to do with the new minimum salary cap put in place by the NFL. Robiskie hasn’t done much to think he has a shot at a starting position and with Nate Burleson (the person Robiskie replaced) coming back and whichever receiver the Lions take in the draft, Robiskie certainly has a lot of work to do to earn a starting spot.

Devin Gardner thinks he’s Colin Kaepernick 

Can’t wait to see what some veteran defensive lines think about that

Yes, the similarities are striking.

Receivers make a splash in Spring Game

Michael Thomas, who I mentioned in last week’s ICYMI again looked very good. However this is eerily similar to last year’s spectacular performance which failed to foreshadow the disappointing numbers he would put up in the regular season. Meyer said about him, ““He’s one of those guys that just makes these great plays and then makes mistakes… That’s just either lack of focus or it’s inconsistency, which great players don’t have.”

Chris Field’s on the other hand impressed enough to earn a starting spot. The senior scored touchdowns for both the Scarley and Gray teams and has been impressing all spring. “I’m going to name him a starter today,” Meyer said after the game. “I told him I would if he finished this spring (strong). Chris Fields has earned a starting job on the offense, which is amazing.”

 Location, location, location

Bob Hunter writes about the Spring Game, “There was still the sense that location is what really mattered, that holding the “game” in an NFL stadium in a city that never really has embraced the Buckeyes made this day special. It added spice that the scrimmage wouldn’t have had were it just another spring day with 70,000 watching practice in the Horseshoe.”

Mike Osiecki fired as OSU head hockey coach

The three-year coach was fired today after what athletic director Gene Smith called, “a difference of opinion over the management of the program that could not be resolved”. During his tenure Osiecki compiled 46-50-16 record. Assistant coach Steve Rohlik will take over in the interim.

12-0 Ring

12-0 ringsTTUN will never get a ring of their own and they will never get their name on ours.

 

ESPN’s College Football Live visits Columbus

Earlier today Rece Davis and Chris Spielman visited Columbus on their spring practice bus tour. They devoted today’s College Football Live segment to the Buckeyes and talked with Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller (could not find the video with Miller). Meyer reflected on last year’s team and touched on his expectations for Miller and the team as a whole for 2013. Meyer also talked about his health and taking time off this off-season for the first time as a head coach.

If you happened to miss it, check it out!

 

 

Football Moment 2012 Bracket (Round Two, Offense)

OSU FootballNow that you’ve voted on the best defensive moments of 2012, it’s time to for the offense to have it’s time.

In the “Just give it to Kenny G” region, we have:

#1 Kenny Guiton’s last drive [Purdue] vs. #9 Rod Smith TD [Nebraska]

2012 Football Moment Bracket #1 vs. #9 (Round 2, Offense)

  • #1 Kenny Guiton's last drive [Purdue] (100%, 30 Votes)
  • #9 Rod Smith TD [Nebraska] (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 30

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#4 Hyde feeding himself [UM] vs. #5 Braxton’s stutter step [Miami]

2013 Football Moment Bracket #4 vs. #5 (Round 2, Offense)

  • #4 Hyde feeding himself [UM] (56%, 15 Votes)
  • #5 Braxton's stutter step [Miami] (44%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 27

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And in the “Devin Smith and everyone else” region, we have:

#3 Braxton’s goaline TD [PSU] vs. #6 Philly Brown TD [Illinois]

2012 Football Moment Bracket #3 vs. #6 (Round 2, Offense)

  • #3 Braxton's goaline TD [PSU] (78%, 21 Votes)
  • #6 Philly Brown TD [Illinois] (22%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 27

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#2 Devin Smith TD catch [Miami] vs. #7 Braxton to Devin Smith [MSU]

2012 Football Moment Bracket #2 vs. #7 (Round 2, Offense)

  • #2 Devin Smith TD catch [Miami] (73%, 19 Votes)
  • #7 Braxton to Devin Smith [MSU] (27%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 26

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Football Moment 2012 Bracket (Round Two, Defense/Special Teams)

OSU FootballNow that we’ve got a lot of time on our hands, it’s time to continue our final look at the moments that defined the 2012 football season.

And without further ado, it’s the matchups for round two on the defensive side of the ball. No real upsets in round one, but the choices will continue to get tougher and tougher to make.

In the “All Shazier, all the time” Region we have:

#1 Shazier’s goal line hit [Wisconsin] vs. #9 Shazier’s hit on Denard 4-and-3 [UM]

2012 Football Moment Bracket #1 vs. #9 (Round 2, Defense)

  • #1 Shazier's goal line hit [Wisconsin] (85%, 39 Votes)
  • #9 Shazier's hit on Denard 4-and-3 [UM] (15%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 46

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#4 Shazier’s INT TD [PSU] vs. #5 Shazier’s sack up the middle [PSU]

2012 Football Moment Bracket #4 vs. #5 (Round 2, Defense)

  • #4 Shazier's INT TD [PSU] (89%, 24 Votes)
  • #5 Shazier's sack up the middle [PSU] (11%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 27

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And in the “Not Shazier, but still really good plays” Region, we have:

#3 Boren hit on Garnder [UM] vs.#6 Roby pass break up [Wisconsin]

2012 Football Moment Bracket #3 vs. #6 (Round 2, Defense)

  • #3 Boren hit on Garnder [UM] (77%, 20 Votes)
  • #6 Roby pass break up [Wisconsin] (23%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 26

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#2 Kenny G’s 2-point conversion [Purdue] vs. #7 Philly Brown punt return TD [Wisconsin]

2012 Football Moment Bracket #2 vs. #7 (Round 2, Defense)

  • #2 Kenny G's 2-point conversion [Purdue] (81%, 21 Votes)
  • #7 Philly Brown punt return TD [Wisconsin] (19%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 26

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NCAA Pick ‘Em Winner

basketball_iconCongratulations are in order for Gamehenge Multibeasts MoT for his winning bracket in MotSaG’s 2013 NCAA Tourney Pick ‘Em contest (even if he only had the Buckeyes making it to the Sweet Sixteen). He had Michigan and Louisville in the final game with a pretty close final score prediction. As long as he had Michigan losing, we will overlook the slight Buckeye Snub.

For proving his prowess against the rest of us shlubs, he’s won a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate. So get in touch with us, Gamehenge, to claim your prize.

Also, get in touch with us so we can learn what a Gamehenge Multibeast is. Inquiring minds want to know!