Archives for May 2015

Chirico’s Corner With ’16 DT Mike Panasiuk

Already with three 2016 defensive tackle commitments in Kierre Hawkins, Jonathon Cooper, and Terrell Hall. The Buckeyes are hitting the recruiting trail hard to not only come out with not only a great upcoming defensive class, but to come out with one, if not the best defensive line class. The defensive line has seen much success in the past, especially with the addition of former Penn State coach, current Ohio State defensive line coach, Larry Johnson. Johnson has helped the Buckeyes keep on the radar for some of the top defensive line prospects, including top targets Nick Bosa, Antwuan Jackson, Kyree Campbell, and Prince Sammons. Along with these four top targets includes Mike Panasiuk out of Roselle, Illinois.

Standing 6’3, 285 pounds, Panasiuk was given a three-star rating and ranked the 49th defensive tackle coming out of his class (Per 247Sports). Panasiuk holds offers from some Big Ten programs, including Wisconsin, Penn State, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota, along with some offers from programs such as Army and Florida Atlantic. “It feels good to have these offers. Every other offer I get just keeps motivating me more and more, some other school may come along and see what the like. It is a huge motivator for the upcoming season.” Panasiuk said. “The schools that are recruiting me the hardest right now are Iowa, Illinois, and Penn State.”

Panasiuk wants to wait and see which schools will come along and show interest before he decides on his favorite schools. He has visited Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio State. He most recently visited Ohio State this past month, and made it a productive one. Coach Chris Ash did recently stop by Lake Park High School to visit Panasiuk. “I got to talk to Coach (Chris) Ash and Coach (Larry) Johnson. They both said they really liked my film and want to find a time to come up and see me.” Panasiuk said. “Coach Ash keeps in contact with me. Hopefully something happens soon.”

“Having an Ohio State offer would be huge. If that came around, that would definitely change around my thinking in which schools I would want to push forward and get to know. Relationship wise, I would want to get to know the coaches a little more and some other recruits. Also I would definitely want to get up there one or two more times and get the feel of Ohio State.”

Focusing on school and track, there are no planned visits. But, there will be some plans in the summer made for the defensive tackle. Panasiuk is looking to lead Lake Park in the upcoming season after going 5-4 last season. On top of that, he is looking to continue further in his recruiting process and improve his game. “Coaches have been telling me that they can tell I love to play the game with a viscuos mentality in the trenches. I am really focusing on my strength, speed and handwork.” Pansiuk said. “I want to help my team make the playoffs and be a leader on the team. We want to go to the state championship.”

Watch Panasiuk’s highlights here.

Chirico’s Corner With ’16 Linebacker Ethan Tucky

ethan tucky

Instate recruiting has always been a major factor in a program’s recruiting success. The great state of Ohio has been known to produce some of the top prospects in the country. With Ohio State being the top program in the state, instate recruiting always has allowed the Buckeyes to come out with the best Ohio prospects. The upcoming 2015 class brings six of the top ten ranked Ohio recruits. The 2016 class is not shy of living up to that standard. Already, the Buckeyes have grabbed six of the top twenty players out of Ohio with commitments from guys like Demario McCall, George Hill, and Jake Hausmann. The Buckeyes are still on the hunt for players such as Brendan Ferns, Prince Sammons, and Luke Farrell. Within the top 15 prospects coming out of the 2016 class lies Ethan Tucky.

The 14th rated prospect out of Ohio and 30th ranked linebacker (per 247Sports) is just a short ride to Columbus, coming from Delaware, Ohio. Tucky has been busy building relationships with coaches, taking visits, and receiving offers. “What I learned about the recruiting process is that it is almost like a relationship with every school that you talk to. After a while, you start to develop a personal relationship where you see who coaches are as an individuals. The more serious you get on a school, the more visits you take. I just always compare it to a relationship.” Tucky said.

Tucky, with ten offers from Iowa, Kentucky, Boston College, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Miami (OH), Ohio, and Toledo has been hearing from programs who are still interested in offering. “The schools showing most interest are Kentucky, Boston College, Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan State. They seem to be the pushing the hardest right now.” he said. “I don’t have a list yet. As soon as I get out the schools that have contacted me. It is all about the fit to me in terms of recruiting. I want to see what every school has to offer.”

“I am going to guess by the end of summer, after I have visited and camped at schools, I will have a top five, or a top ten list of my favorite schools. But right now, I don’t have a designated list right now.”

Unfortunately, Tucky was planned to visit Ohio State for the Michigan game, but was not able to attend. To make up for it, he was able to attend the Big Ten Championship game versus Wisconsin, witnessing a total Badger beat-down. Even though it was not an unofficial visit Tucky was still able to see the Buckeyes at full force, which is always an eye opener for anyone, especially with a 59-0 blowout in a conference championship game. The last time he was in Columbus was for the Cincinnati game back in late September.

“Right now, I am just focused on my track season. I am not going around to look at too many schools at the moment. I am dedicated to my team and to improving myself.” Tucky said. He also plans on getting back to Ohio State for a game this upcoming season. “Over this summer, or definitely this fall I will be getting out to Ohio State.”

Thus far in the recruiting process for the Delaware, Ohio native, there is no offer from Ohio State. But, Tucky is looking to get out to a camp this summer and show what he can bring to the table for The Silver Bullets. To describe the situation with Ohio State as a whole, Tucky spoke very confidently about his relationship with Ohio State, and how its grown throughout the past year or so. “I know they want to see me at another camp to evaluate me. They still want to look at my upcoming game film. I honestly think an offer from them is very, very close. I am very confident with where I stand with them right now. I don’t think there are many odds against me, I hope they see what I can put out there for them.”

“Coach Fickell and I have a really good relationship. He stopped by before the dead period awhile back and I think he is stopping by soon within the next upcoming weeks. I love the guy, he is an absolute great coach and person, which has allowed us to develop a close relationship.”

Last season, Tucky lead his team with 48 tackles. He described his success was able to come from his great work ethic and his speed, or “motor” as he described. “It is crazy how fast everything has gone. I just want to play every game with my all, and end my senior season with a smile on my face, I will be beyond happy.”

With plenty of time to go in his recruiting process, Tucky is still on the edge regarding when he would like to make his college commitment official. This will either happen before or after the football season. “If I get the right fit over the summer, then I will go ahead and commit to a program.”

Tucky plans on being pretty patient with the recruiting process. He wants to make sure he has the chance to visit all the schools he is interested in and see what each of them have to offer. With Tucky being an Ohio native, it would be not too surprising if he jumped an Ohio State offer when given to him. But also, the patience could come into play no matter where he will commit.

Click the link to see Tucky in action:


Washington Redskins Draft Ohio State Wide Receiver Evan Spencer in 6th Round of 2015 NFL Draft

With the 187th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected Buckeyes wide receiver Evan Spencer. He is now the fifth Ohio State player picked in the draft this year and the third today. While Spencer has never been known as the flashiest player or the best offensive weapon on the field, one of the biggest strengths he brings to the table is his pass blocking. That’s one of the big reasons why head coach Urban Meyer played Spencer over better offensive threats at the receiver position. Ask any Ohio State fan and they will vouch for Spencer’s great blocking. He’s also a pretty nice contributor in special teams, somewhere he could make an impact immediately for the Redskins this upcoming season. In addition he has good speed, is a great leader and has the size to hang in the NFL. With some development he could become a solid pro receiver. Here’s some highlights of Spencer’s career at Ohio State:

Here’s a perfect example of the kind of blocker Spencer is:

Spencer’s reaction on being drafted by Washington:

Former Buckeye running back and ESPN analyst Robert Smith reminded everyone of what Meyer thought of Spencer this past season:

So Redskins fans you’re not getting a Calvin Johnson type player here. You’re getting a glue player who brings many intangibles to the table and does all of the little things right. He may not be putting up crooked numbers in the box score, but he can surely help put your football team in a better position to win.

Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Buckeyes Defensive Tackle Michael Bennett in 6th Round of 2015 NFL Draft

With the 180th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett. It was a huge surprise to see Bennett fall this far in the draft. Many experts and fans expected him to be as high as a second round pick and as low as a third round pick. Bennett was one of the anchors of the Ohio State defense all season long in 2014. He was a First Team All American, second team All-Big Ten and recorded a tackle for loss in 9 of 15 games. He had a total 14 tackles for loss on the season (third best on the team), seven total sacks and three forced fumbles. In the Sugar Bowl against Alabama he recorded one sack and one and a half tackles for loss. In addition Bennett was a great senior leader and teammate for a young Buckeyes team last year. Perhaps it was his size that caused him to drop so far in the draft, but the Jaguars are getting one hell of a steal in the 6th round in Bennett. Take a look at your newest player Jacksonville fans:

Bennett definitely took notice of being passed over on Twitter. It’s seemed to fuel his motivation even more:

But he’s very thankful for the opportunity from Jacksonville:

I think the Jaguars just made one of the biggest steals in the draft. It blows me away that Bennett fell this far and many teams will be kicking themselves for passing over such a great football player and person. Congrats to Bennett and best of luck in Jacksonville.

Pittsburgh Steelers Draft Buckeyes’ Cornerback Doran Grant in Round Four of 2015 NFL Draft

With the 121st pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Ohio State safety Doran Grant. He is now the third Buckeye player selected in this year’s draft after the Jets picked Devin Smith and the Broncos picked Jeff Heuerman yesterday. Grant’s biggest knocks against him have been size and speed. He’s certainly improved in the latter area and a great performance at the NFL Combine in the 40 yard dash quieted some concerns about his speed. While he is a little undersized for NFL standards, he makes up for it with his great leadership and athleticism. Grant has been a great contributor in the Buckeye secondary and a big part of why the Buckeyes’ secondary was one of the most feared in college football last year. He should be a great option off the bench right away and with the right scheme maybe even a starter at some point this season. While he won’t be at the level of Troy Polamalu who just retired for Pittsburgh, Grant should be a nice contributor in the Steelers’ secondary.

Here’s a taste of your newest player Steeler fans:

The Steelers are well-known to take Buckeyes in the draft in recent years. Here’s Pittsburgh’s secondary coach Carnell Lake on picking Grant:

Grant started all 15 games last season for the Buckeyes and was second on the team in interceptions with five total. He also totaled 63 tackles for the season. In the semifinal championship game against Alabama in the playoffs last season he held top five draft pick and Alabama wide receiver Amari Copper to zero catches when guarding him. So Grant certainly has a ton of upside and should make a fine addition to the Steelers.

ICYMI Buckeye Teams to Play in B1G Championship Matches

This is the inaugural year of the B1G Conference. Sure there’s only six teams in the men’s conference play but they represent 56 National Titles. Johns Hopkins who’s one of the most dominate program in the NCAA, having 44 National Championships, joined the B1G for lacrosse. Big Ten newcomers Maryland has 11 National Titles with Rutgers having 1. Might be safe to say that the B1G is going to be a power conference along with the ACC and Ivy Leagues.

The woman’s conference is just as formidable. Also having six teams like their male counterparts difference being Northwestern instead of Johns Hopkins. The other teams that represent both the men and women are Maryland, TTUN, Ohio State, Penn State along with Rutgers. The women’s teams of Maryland has 11 National Titles, Northwestern with 7, followed up by Penn State’s 2.

Pretty impressive what the Big Ten teams representing the conference have done in lacrosse.

Speaking of impressive both the men and women have pulled off the upsets to play in the Inaugural B1G Conference Tournament Championship Matches. The #3 seed Buckeye men (11-5) play top seeded Johns Hopkins (8-6) tonight at 8pm meanwhile the #4 seed Buckeye women (13-6) face #2 seed Penn State (13-4) at noon tomorrow.

How did we get here? The men pulled off the upset over #2 seed Maryland by coming back in the second half with a final score of 9-6. Far cry from what happened in Columbus when they last met on April 18 in from of thousands of fans where the Terps pulled off the comeback taking OSU to overtime and winning that match.

The woman Buckeyes also beat Maryland to advance beating the previously undefeated and #1 ranked Terps 11-10 yesterday giving them their biggest win in history.

I am not going to pretend I know much about lacrosse but I have started to enjoy more after watching the Spring Games plus fellow twitter followers have been helping me (you know who you are). Why buy the fight tonight,unless you have money to burn, when you can watch it next week on HBO or Showtime since folks like me already pay for them (Hope its on next week)? You can watch your favorite school tonight take on a top program in a exciting sport for free!

By the way the men’s team did beat Johns Hopkins earlier this year so they have a legitimate shot at this meanwhile the women only lost by one their last meeting against the Nittany Lions.

Good Luck Buckeyes and bring home the hardware!!!

Videos courtesy of

Chirico’s Corner With ’16 Wide Receiver Ruben Flowers


Already with one 2016 wide receiver commit in Kierre Hawkins, the Buckeyes are still after several top receivers in the class such as Austin Mack, Donnie Corley, Javon McKinley, and others. Standing without an Ohio State offer, Ruben Flowers hopes he can prove himself and gain a Buckeye scholarship, which he has plenty of time to do throughout his senior season. The Lima Senior wide receiver is rated a three-star, the 65th wide receiver in his class, and the 13th prospect out of Ohio (Per 247Sports). Over the past year, Flowers has gained interest in a couple of Big Ten programs, such as Illinois and Iowa.

The recruiting process kicked up for Flowers when he received his first offer back in April of last year. Programs have shown a lot more interest in Flowers during 2015 with five of his six offers coming in the first third of the year. “It’s been a good experience with the different schools and different things coming at me. It has been picking up lately.” Flowers said. “The schools showing the most interest now are Illinois and Kentucky.”

Flowers is confident that the offers this year will keep coming, especially with the five he has already received this year. “I think Pittsburgh is really close. As well as Purdue, Michigan State, and Ohio State.” Flowers said.

Flowers has not been shy visiting Ohio State, camping at Friday Night Lights and visiting this past season in September, enjoying both of his trips to Columbus. “Friday Night Lights was a good experience because it gave me an outlook on how the competition is at Ohio State by being able to compete with recruits that have already earned scholarships. It showed me that the top players are only going to get into Ohio State.” he said. “I also visited for the Virginia Tech game, which was a really good experience being able to witness a sellout atmosphere. The fans are great. Everything was great.”

“It would be a nice experience to get an offer from one of the top programs.”

The future in the recruiting process will be quite busy for Flowers, as he is looking to get out to visit a couple more schools. “I want to get out to Notre Dame and NC State since they are starting to recruit me heavy.” he said.

Last season, Flowers received 62 receptions for 826 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is looking to produce more in his upcoming season to show what he can do. “Before I had a relaxed game, but it was good enough to make me an effective receiver. Now, I play more quickly. My speed was not there. Over the past off-season I was able to work on my speed. I am not just a still receiver, I worked on my speed and quickness.” Flowers said.

“I want to get better every season, and prepare myself for the next level because I do not want to get to college and be one to be red-shirted. I want to prepare myself now so I can be ready and go right into a school and have an impact.”

With plenty of time left in the recruiting process, there is a still a chance Flowers could receive an offer from the Buckeyes. With no commitment date, only time will tell.

Click the link to watch his junior season highlights:

Denver Broncos Draft Ohio State Tight End Jeff Heuerman in Third Round of 2015 NFL Draft

With the 92nd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman. While he never put up gaudy numbers as a Buckeye, he’s certainly a reliable and dangerous threat on the field. Not only is he a great receiver, but a great blocker too. Heuerman will now be catching passes and blocking for one of the all-time great quarterbacks, Peyton Mannings. It’s certainly a great situation for Heuerman and he should make an impact for Denver this season. Heuerman is the second Buckeye drafted tonight, as the New York Jets drafted wide receiver Devin Smith earlier in the night. In 2014 he caught 17 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns, but as I said the numbers don’t tell the story of Heuerman’s potential. Keep in mind he also played with an injured foot all season too. Here’s a look at your newest receiving threat, Broncos fans:

Heuerman has yet to comment on being drafted by the Broncos, but he left this sincere message back in April to Buckeye Nation. He’ll certainly be missed:

His now former coach, Urban Meyer weighed in on Heuerman being drafted:

Broncos head honcho and legendary quarterback John Elway explains why they chose to pick the Buckeye tight end:

As I said above Heuerman will be missed by Buckeye Nation. I think he’ll quickly become one of Manning’s favorite targets and should be a great addition to Denver’s offense.

New York Jets Draft Buckeyes’ Wide Receiver Devin Smith in Second Round of NFL Draft

With the 37th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith. He’s the first Buckeye to be drafted this year after no Buckeyes were picked in the first round of the draft. It was surprising to see him fall this far as many experts and fans expected him to be a mid to late 1st round pick. Smith was integral part of the Buckeyes all season long in 2014 and had huge performances in the national playoffs to help lead Ohio State to their first national championship since 2002. Jets fans you’ll be getting a deep threat receiver you can plug into the slot with ease. Smith’s speciality is on deep passes, so Jets quarterbacks you better have strong arms. Here’s a taste of your newest receiver New York fans:

Here’s one of Smith’s best performances, the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin:

Smith’s reaction on Twitter on becoming a Jet:

The biggest Jets icon was certainly pleased with Smith becoming a Jet too:

Big Ten opponents certainly won’t miss Smith, but everyone in Buckeye Nation will certainly remember the impact of the bright wide receiver Devin Smith.

Post-2015 Ohio State Spring Game: Reranking Concerns

Throughout the weeks leading up to the 2015 Ohio State spring game, I had written ten articles where I ranked my concerns about Ohio State heading into the 2015 season. These articles were written from lowest concern to highest concern, primarily based upon players lost to eligibility or injury.

A couple weeks have passed since the glorious spring game, allowing me to contemplate and reflect upon what I saw during the spring game, as well as what I had written prior to the game. Were my concerns warranted?

Here are my top three concerns as Ohio State prepares for the influx of freshman talent in their 2015 recruiting class to arrive upon campus in June, gearing up for the all-important summer workouts that will be key to the Buckeyes’ 2015 national championship hopes…

3. Wide Receiver: Corey Smith had a terrific spring game, and Michael Thomas was sidelined due to a surgery procedure. Why am I ranking this wide receiver position higher than my earlier concern? Quite simply, losing Devin Smith as a consistent deep threat is something that will need to be demonstrated in true game competition. Corey Smith had some moments in the spring game, but I am skeptical about the consistency aspect that has plagued him in the past. We shall see if Corey Smith becomes the deep threat that is necessary for Ohio State’s passing offense to flourish.

2. Tight End: Nick Vannett is the listed starter, and could be primed for a big senior year, provided he stays healthy throughout the season. Marcus Baugh would have to be considered the second-string tight end heading into summer workouts. Why am I ranking this position higher than my earlier concern? Plain and simple, Baugh did not play in the spring game, due to a stomach virus that sidelined him. The lack of experienced depth has me concerned, but incoming freshmen Rashod Berry and A.J. Alexander may have opportunities to get playing time in the early portion of the season.

1. Defensive Tackle: Yes, my earlier concerns about defensive tackle heading into spring practice remain my top concern heading into the summer and fall. Ohio State did not truly emphasize the run in the spring game, so it would be difficult to gauge how effective the interior defensive linemen are at shutting down the run. Tommy Schutt did not play in the spring game, so there is another factor in not being able to accurately see the position group at full strength. With the Virginia Tech game on September 7th, Ohio State fans such as myself are going to have to be in a true “wait and see” mode as to how strong the defensive tackles are for the 2015 Buckeyes.