#MOTSAGRising #NewBlood Buckeyes Set For A Silent Night in Beaver Stadium by Mike Scharf

Penn State’s traditional prime time, “Whiteout” game against Ohio State is the most exciting game of the year and has an atmosphere like no other. Although, the 7:00 primetime game will NOT have that same electric feeling due to fans not being in attendance as a limited number of family members of players, coaches, along with the staff are the only ones permitted in the stadium. 

This includes no gathering around the stadium. The Big Ten announced fan attendance and tailgating is prohibited this year because the health and safety concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19.

That being said, the primetime game will have an uncanny feeling of not seeing 110,000 in white screaming for all 3 hours and 24 minutes giving the Buckeyes an advantage come game time. 

There’s no denying that Coach Franklin’s team uses their Whiteout game to bring them liveliness. No better example of this as last season Michigan was forced to call a timeout on the first play of the game due to the noise created by the fans in the stadium. When the Big Ten announced there was no season former Buckeye quarterback Kirk Herbstreit voiced his disappoint (on ESPN) with regards to a Penn State whiteout against the Buckeyes not taking place saying: “I always tell people that have never been to Penn State, or they ask ‘What’s your favorite venue to watch a game? You go to Penn State at night when it’s a White Out, it’s as good as a scene there is,” Herbstreit said. “When Ohio State comes in there it seems to be amped even a few more notches.”

Ohio State will take full advantage of the atmosphere this Saturday as play-calling will come much more relaxed in the sense of thousands not being there making noise. The Whiteout would have been many of the Buckeyes first, notably big-name players on the offense: Justin Fields, Master Teague, Trey Sermon, Garrett Wilson, Josh Myers, Jameson Williams, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Julian Fleming. True Freshman Julian Fleming, a Pennsylvania native also has some added incentive since earlier this week speaking about his home state team and how his recruitment went down. Looks for Fleming to do as much damage as he can against a Nittany Lion team that desperately wanted him on their team a year ago.

#MOTSAGRising Depth Chart Preview: The Specialists

For the last position group available, I will tackle the vaunted specialist group that is leaned upon during crunch time. Whether it is to flip the field position or to score field goals, either group can be crucial to the team’s overall success against opposing teams. Not only are they viable weapons in the kicking game, the Long Snapper position and the returners are also a part of this group.

First the kicker, Blake Haubeil is the leading leg that is on his fifth year with the program. He is as experienced as any, but there could be some room for improvement. He was nearly automatic making 23 of 28 field goals for a respectable 81%. He also has made all of his extra point attempts, making 122 total through two seasons. Total points so far? 258 is the current number, but that could grow into a larger one after this season due to the sheer explosiveness of this years offense.

The bottle flipping champion of the world Drue Chrisman will re-engage the team as their starting punter. Like he flips his bottles, he will flip the field with his leg to trap teams inside of their 10-yard line or deeper during games. A weapon like this is useful for a defensive-minded team like Ohio State that forces teams to take the entirety of the field to possibly score. The field position battle will be important and this aspect is in capable hands to turn the tide in tight games.

The back-ups for both of the previous positions would be Dominic DiMaccio and Jake Seibert at the #2 and #3 positions respectively. DiMaccio, a walk-on at Missouri is doing the same for this years team. He will compete with Siebert, a signee from the 2020 class for the top spot after Haubeil departs for the NFL. Either way, the talent is definitely there for the not-so-distant future.

The same could be said for the punter position. Behind Chrisman there Zach Hoover and a class of 2021 commit, Jesse Mirco from Australia. Same situation from the kicker position, the punters have good competition behind Chrisman and they too will duke it out the following off-season for the starting gig.

For the long snapper position, Roen McCullough continues the family tradition of long snappers. His brother Liam was the 2019 seasons long snapper and he will look to continue in the Scarlet and Gray. Behind McCullough, Bradley Robinson is right there.

Finally, the returners. Returners can be used to score and to flip the field–and Garrett Wilson and Demario McCall are the kick and the punt returners respectively. Sure, there can be other people behind them, but they have established themselves a season ago. Sure, both have botched or muffed a few, but that is the exciting part about special teams. You just never know where it’ll leave a mark.

I am hoping for a lot of fireworks, but I am hoping for special teams type of fireworks. The last three special teams touchdowns? The most recent was in 2014, where Jalin Marshall took it to the house against Indiana. There was also the time where Jordan Hall did the same thing against The Team Up North in 2010.

If Ohio State wants to succeed, they might want to get back to returning kicks and punts for scores, but it’ll come in time and this offense is potent enough to do without. BUT, I won’t be too upset if they start tearing it up from this aspect either. They have plenty of ammo and weapons to field two full squads of “starters” waiting in the wings, but until they are asked to step up, we will just have to hope that they wait and be patient as they bide their time.

And there you have it folks! All aspects of this years teams broken down by Chris and I–and I really hope that you all enjoyed it! Thank you for the love and support. As we look ahead, I personally cannot wait to do more content for the Buckeyes and my team is also itching to get back to the best part of the year.

#GoBucks

#BeatNebraska

#MOTSAGRising Depth Chart Preview: Linebackers

Today friends we will be talking Linebackers and boy oh boy–they are deep at experienced at these positions! The Buckeyes have Captain Tuf Borland, Pete Werner, and Baron Browning taking up starting roles at the Linebacker. I am positive that Borland will take the lead at the Mike and both Werner and Browning would each be on the outside.

Behind them will be another talented group of back-ups in Dallas Gant, Teradja Mitchell, and Justin Hilliard. Behind them talent is still there and Tommy Eichenberg, Melton Mitchell, K’Vaughan Pope, Cody Simon, Craig Young, Trayvon Wilburn, and Cade Kacherski will be there to learn their own respective positions.

As starters, the collection of Borland, Browning, and Werner are one of the most experienced groups in the nation when considering both, the total downs being played and the impact plays they have made. Borland taking up middle will place a capable player to lead and call the audibles and the plays. Coming off a severe injury, he did well, but as a healthy body–I think he will do better this season.

Browning was playing at the Mike, but he will find himself on the outside and I think he will wreak havoc. Think how amazing it was to have Darron Lee–and I think it’ll be a similar fit scheme-wise and he will impact games for the Buckeyes. Browning was one of those players that has been buried by ballers ahead of him and this year will potentially be his last year with the program. He pondered leaving after last season, but like all others–he has returned for one last run.

Lastly, Pete Werner is like a missile that can cover and rush the passer. A Swiss Army Knife, Werner will also be used to disarm potent offenses that they will face this season within the conference. I think he will blitz more often than normal and he will do well against slot receivers, tight ends, and even backs out of the backfield. He may do it all this season in what also should be his last year with the program.

The Buckeyes second team are all great talents too! Hilliard has been through a lot, with injuries taking him out repeatedly but last year he was healthy and he balled out! This is his last season and he will make an impact with whatever role he is assigned. Dallas Gant is another star that was buried by the depth and talent ahead of him, but this is his season to shine to gain some consideration for next season. A speedy, coverage guy who is willing to get his nose dirty–he will be vying for time in the middle. Finally, for the second outside spot, I think talented thumper Teradja Mitchell is a shoo-in for that one.

Think about who could surprise us all too. I would think Pope will be that guy to make huge splash plays when asked to. Eichenberg and Young will also be leaned on once the starters are spelled when games get out of hand. Talented freshmen Mitchell and Simon could also be used on special teams to get a handle while the upperclassmen work. As I stated before I began, the talent is immense and they have a lot of it.

On the recruiting trail, ILB Reid Carrico will join the team in the summer. In the summer of 2022, a trio of talented player Dasan McCullough, C.J. Hicks, and Gabe Powers are all committed to uphold the tradition of being stellar players at their respective positions. This should excite us all and I cannot wait to see who the 2021 and 2022 classes finish off with. For now lets enjoy the season.

#GoBucks

#MOTSAGRising Depth Chart Preview: The Slobs

In today’s installment its all about the Slobs. This years offensive attack will be co-dependent on the ability of the entire offensive line to win their match-ups in the trenches. This group one of the most talented in the nation and Justin Fields will be hoping to rev things up when the season is officially underway. 10 more days left until Nebraska at home. This unit has definitely will have a championship-caliber team that can control games entirely, but again–we shall see.

The offensive line will return Wyatt Davis, who opted out due to the uncertainty of the 2020 season even happening. As the lone Captain on the offensive line at Right Guard, he will lead by example with Center Josh Myers and Left Tackle Thayer Munford also returning for what many consider “their last ride” in the scarlet and gray.

Although the trio of Davis, Myers, and Munford is wonderful, they have two available spots up for grabs at the Left Guard and Right Tackle spots, but they do not have a shortage in talent to fill them. At Guard, the Buckeyes have Harry Miller, Enokk Vimahi, Gavin Cupp, and Ryan Jacoby. The first three are in a competition for the two deep, while the latter falls behind. Davis in the depth chart.

If I were a betting man, I’d give it to Miller by virtue of setting up Vimahi as the back-up. Not a slight, but I can see Myers doing his thing and then leaving for the draft, and Miller either slides in at Center or he dukes it out with Matthew Jones. Vimahi would then slide into the starting spot or battle it out with Cupp next season. Either way, the talent for this spot is there for the Buckeyes.

At Right Tackle, Nicholas Petit-Frere gets the nod with Big Thanos Dawand Jones right behind him. Big Thanos had flashes at Left Tackle, but with his athleticism and agility he’d fit on either side, but for the future Right Tackle is his spot for now. Jones would have the nod over Max Wray, who would fall behind him for third on the depth chart.

If you are keeping score the first team would look like this, from the left side of the line to the right: Munford, Miller, Myers, Davis, and then Petit-Frere. The second team in the same order would be: Johnson, Vimahi, M. Jones, Cupp, and then D. Jones. So basically two versions of the Monstars that will basically maul people, but I will try not to get too ahead of myself.

With the Buckeyes in general, attrition would be a factor in this position as we’ve seen it over the past few years. Yes, the Buckeyes are loaded, but sometimes players look elsewhere for consistent playing time. They are developed and ready to go, but they haven’t received their shot yet. Hopefully that is not the case, but we won’t know.

Ahead of the 2020 COVID season, the Buckeyes have started much later than anticipated or expected, but we all know they are ready to go. We have all seen the videos and it hasn’t changed my mind about what I personally think the season would look like, but again–I am containing myself and reserving judgement until 10 days from now.

There are also a few studs in the 2020 class still in the fold too. The trio of Donovan Jackson, Ben Christman, and Zen Michalski currently committed, more talent is on its way. They may close out with the trio, but big names are still out there despite being close to being out of the running. Until it becomes official you just never know in recruiting. Stay tuned until either National Signing Days and just enjoy it.

#GoBucks

#MOTSAGRising Depth Chart Preview: Wide Receivers

Alrighty folks–it’s Zone 6 time and I am on deck with the preview at the Wide Receiver position! This is by far my favorite position to cover and I am gushing over the fact that I get to do this. Not only does this room have a superior Coach in Brian Hartline, he has also amassed a ton of talented players that will make noise in this very moment or later down the road. Sure, there will be injuries and attrition, but being able to polish their skills over the course of their time with Coach Hartline–its only a matter of time until they are unleashed.

Wide Receivers: Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Mookie Cooper, Julian Fleming, Gee Scott Jr, Demario McCall, Ellijah Gardiner, Jaylen Harris, Kamryn Babb, Jameson Williams, Sam Wiglusz, Alec Taylor, Austin Kutscher, Marvin Davies, Chris Booker

  • WR-X: Garrett Wilson, Gee Scott Jr, Jameson Williams
  • WR-Z: Chris Olave, Julian Fleming, Kamryn Babb
  • H-B: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Mookie Cooper, Demario McCall

As I stated earlier, there is a ton of talent in this group, and by me leaving out a couple of talented players from this depth chart. At WR-X Garrett Wilson is the leading candidate that could move into the H-Back position if needed. Behind him is talented freshman Gee Scott Jr and Jameson Williams. The next person would be Jaylen Harris as the fourth player in line. This is a group of players that excels at making tough, contested catches routinely with the added ability to gain separation from defenders. Wilson has been a star and he can definitely groom Scott, Williams, and Harris to take their game up a notch.

At the WR-Z it is Chris Olave taking the lead once again with Julian Fleming and Kamryn Babb behind him. The fourth in this group would be Ellijah Gardiner. Olave returns to close his career out on a high note after the end of the Fiesta Bowl. He will lead by example in an effort to win it all this season and he will mentor Fleming, Babb and Harris in the process–like what Wilson is doing. Pay particular attention to Babb to come back strong after injury-plagued seasons. He is another talented player that has been buried by injuries and was left behind with the stockpile of talent at the position. I have a good feeling that he would have a Johnny Dixon type of end to his career–so watch out for him.

Finally, at the H-Back position, Jaxon Smith-Njigba will get the first shot as the new H-Back. Behind him is another talented freshman in Mookie Cooper and Redshirt Senior Demario McCall. Depending on what the offense wants to do, I could see Wilson or Olave filling in at this position to give others a shot at the X and Y positions, but for now, Smith-Njigba and Cooper will get the first shot at it.

This collection of talent is great and I think they’ll put up some Madden stats up if used properly. They will run a balanced offensive attack, but I expect big things from Zone 6 for years to come. There is a lot of potential and I cannot wait for them to unleash it.

#GoBucks

Quarterbacks

With two Saturday’s left before the opening game of the season, we here at The Men of the Scarlet and Gray are getting antsy–and I am especially excited to provide more content to all the people that have supported us amid the content drought.

With the season fast approaching (finally!), I will be starting out with the basics–talking about our beloved Buckeyes. Today’s content will feature our projected two-deep of the offense and a combination of writing styles between Chris and me over the next couple of weeks. This roster is definitely packed full of talent, but we will make it work. Here we go Buckeye Nation.

Quarterbacks: Justin Fields, Gunnar Hoak, C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller III, Jagger LaRoe, Danny Vanatsky, J.P. Andrade

  • QB1: Justin Fields
  • QB2: Gunnar Hoak

The QB1 throne belongs to Fields and we can all expect a Heisman type of season from him this year. The heirs to the throne are the pair of C.J. Stroud and Jack Miller III, but QB2 duties would most likely be entrusted to Hoak, due to his in-game experience (for now at least). QB3/3A would fit Stroud and Miller. They are talented and they are the future along with 2021 stud Kyle McCord. Don’t be surprised if either Stroud or Miller overtake Hoak mid-season. The rest of the group are scout team personnel. This is not to devalue their talent, but they are not going to be leaned upon. Looks for the trio of LaRoe, Vanatsky, and Andrade to pull scout team duties.

Why?

Justin Fields is without a doubt the starter of this prolific Buckeye offense. He is a polished product and with his historic numbers in 2019–he will be looking to cap off his Buckeye career with the accolades and a natty. After he left 2019 behind, he has all the motivation in the world and he will lead this deadly offense to the promised land. With weapons at every level this offense is going to be fun to watch with Fields leading the charge!

Hoak at the backup slot is highly dependent on how Stroud and/or Miller perform in camp over the next two weeks. He is a safe pick, but it could change if either perform well. I can see all three getting in-game experience IF Fields and company are blowing out Nebraska, but we will see. I’d love to get a glimpse of the future, but I won’t be mad if Fields pads his stats for a Heisman run.

MOSTAG Rising: Tongaricious

Hello everyone and thanks for stopping by to read this! This is a newer, fun-styled segment that introduces the writers in the #MOTSAGRising movement that is on Twitter. It is a closer look at our origins and our backstories that is needed to better get to know us as a unit. I am up first.

I am Tongaricious on Twitter, but my name is Richard. I was born and raised in Guam and I am a little over 15 years into a career in the Air Force. I became a Buckeye fan after watching them thrash Nebraska in their first season after joining the Big Ten and I never looked back.

I enjoy talking about games and I pay close attention to recruiting. I wish I had insider powers and I hope to follow it more closely, but with the lack of sources–I am just a fan and a regular guy. I started out with the Men of the Scarlet and Gray for a few years–I did my interview with Jeremiah in 2015 and I have been a staple for the brand since.

I still enjoy writing and I jumped at the chance to get things back since the season is about to begin. It is crazy that I have been writing for five years and I am glad for every person that has contributed and is still contributing today. I am also glad for every person that I have interacted with over the years. Let us bring it forward as we all prepare to have another awesome season. I am excited to continue the tradition of bringing you awesome content.

#GoBucks

Spring Game 2020: Defensive Depth Chart

With the all of the firepower and potential of the offense, the defensive side of the ball is looking to flex their depth and talent as well. With losses of a few key cogs on the defense, the Buckeyes are re-loading once again as they look to not taking a step back in production. Laden with high four stars and many more five stars, the talent in this room is unmistakable. Most have been biding their time and most finally have their shot. Lets take a deep dive into this pretend depth chart for the Silver Bullets.

Defensive End: Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith, Javonte Jean-Baptiste, Jonathan Cooper, Tyler Friday, Noah Potter, Darrion Henry-Young, Cormontae Hamilton, Jacolbe Cowan, Ty Hamilton and Aaron Young.

Coach Johnson’s room have lost a few key players over the previous few NFL Drafts, but he always finds a way to keep it stocked full of talented players. With the departure of Chase Young, Jonathan Cooper is the unquestioned leader and he has Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith to make up a trio of experienced players. The talent of the younger players is also an added benefit as they prepare to wreak havoc on opposing defenses in 2020.

Scarlet Team: Jonathan Cooper, Javonte Jean-Baptiste, Cormontae Hamilton, Jacolbe Cowan and Tyler Friday

Gray Team: Tyreke Smith, Zach Harrison, Darrion Henry-Young, Aaron Young and Noah Potter

Reserves: Ty Hamilton (summer enrollee)

Defensive Tackle: Taron Vincent, Antwuan Jackson, Jerron Cage, Tommy Togiai, Jaden McKenzie and Haskell Garrett.

Like at Defensive End, the Defensive Tackles also suffered a few key losses over the years and with both BB Landers and Davon Hamilton’s eligibility being over, the young bucks will continue the great tradition of interrupting the trenches. Experience is there but not to the level that Landers and Hamilton had, but it is a start. Each player on this list has impacted the game in some form–notably Togiai and Garrett have been players that saw time when the game had been put away. They will be counted on, but do not discount Vincent, Jackson and Cage because they’ve also seen some time with Jackson playing SEC football with Auburn before joining the Buckeyes. Jaden McKenzie is the new guy on the block, but with the strength coaches–he is in good hands just as long as he continues to work.

Scarlet Team: Taron Vincent, Haskell Garrett and Antwuan Jackson

Gray Team: Tommy Togiai, Jerron Cage and Jaden McKenzie

Reserves: N/A

Linebacker: Teradja Mitchell, Baron Browning, Dallas Gant, Pete Werner, Tuf Borland, K’Vaughan Pope, Craig Young, Tommy Eichenberg, Justin Hilliard, Ben Schmiesing, Cade Kacherski, Mitchell Melton and Cody Simon.

Linebacker was one of the few positions where they lost a key cog. Out of all the potential players to depart, only Malik Harrison left after his eligibility ran out. It could’ve been more with Werner, Borland, Browning and Hilliard all coming back into the fold. Like all other position groups, this room is filled with star power and talent that have all been waiting on their chance to shine. This room returns starters and they will attempt to dominate as usual. It is another season of waiting for a few, but you better believe during mop-up duty they’ll get their shot.

Scarlet Team: Tuf Borland, Teradja Mitchell, Dallas Gant and Craig Young

Gray Team: Baron Browning, Pete Werner, K’Vaughan Pope, Tommy Eichenberg and Justin Hilliard

Reserves: Ben Schmiesing, Cade Kacherski, Mitchell Melton (summer enrollee) and Cody Simon (summer enrollee)

Cornerback: Lejond Cavazos, Sevyn Banks, Tyreke Johnson, Ryan Watts, Marcus Williamson, Shaun Wade, Cameron Brown, Lloyd McFarquhar and Darryl Sinclair.

Cornerback saw the biggest loss in talent with Arnette and Okudah leaving for the NFL. At one time, they could’ve had Wade on that list too, but he returned after leaving the Fiesta Bowl on that ejection and wanting a shot at redemption. He comes back and the only two experienced players in Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint are currently facing legal issues. The other players who they will lean on are Banks, Brown, Johnson and Williamson and a pair of highly touted 2020 early enrollees Cavazos and Watts are all vying for playing time to help the Buckeyes for the season.

Scarlet Team: Shaun Wade, Marcus Williamson, Ryan Watts and Lloyd McFarquhar

Gray Team: Sevyn Banks, Cameron Brown, Lejond Cavazos, Tyreke Johnson and Darryl Sinclair

Reserves: N/A

Safety: Josh Proctor, Bryson Shaw, Marcus Hooker, Ronnie Hickman, Kourt Williams, Kevin Dever, Ryan Batsch and Lathan Ransom.

At safety, Jordan Fuller had quite a career but he moved onto the the pros. There isn’t much experience at the position but Proctor got everyones attention after laying the wood on the Jack Coan in the Big Ten Championship Game as the time dwindled down. He is the frontrunner for the robber position, but the talent behind him is unquestioned. He leads a young room that could blossom into something special.

Scarlet Team: Josh Proctor, Bryson Shaw and Kevin Dever

Gray Team: Marcus Hooker, Kourt Williams, Ronnie Hickman and Ryan Batsch

Reserves: Lathan Ransom (summer enrollee)

And there you have it! The defense is the hardest to predict with the amount of losses, but the talent is undeniable. The talent is there to take the Buckeyes back to the big dance, but it is all work from here. The Buckeyes are now two weeks away from the Spring Game as the anticipation steadily builds for the players and the fans.

#GoBucks

Spring Game 2020: Offense Depth Chart

The Horseshoe Wide Shot. Credit: News.osu.edu

Since we here at The Men of the Scarlet and Gray have plunged off the deep end with our Pretend March Madness series, I have succumbed and jumped on the hype train. I have this idea in mind that would do two things: fill the void with Buckeye content and to distract us from the on-going chaos around us. This mini-series not only fills the void in my heart, but it keeps me occupied as well so enjoy!

Quarterbacks: Justin Fields, C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller III, Gunnar Hoak, Danny Vanatsky, J.P. Andrade and Jagger LaRoe.

With Justin Fields returning, he will be the unquestioned starter coming into the spring game. Fields’ spot is his to keep, but the depth behind him was a huge question up until reinforcements from the 2020 recruiting class entered the fray to bring some competition to the room. Chugunov left and Hoak had some in-game experience, but he is not ready to contribute just yet. The Buckeye starter job is set, but the back-up battle has just heated up.

Scarlet Team: Justin Fields and Jack Miller III

Gray Team: Gunnar Hoak and C.J. Stroud

Reserves: Danny Vanatsky, J.P. Andrade and Jagger LaRoe

Running Backs: Master Teague III, Trey Sermon, Demario McCall, Steele Chambers, Marcus Crowley, Miyan Williams, Xavier Johnson, Mitch Rossi and Robert Cope.

The tradition at the Buckeyes Cadillac position has been great over the years and with J.K. Dobbins departing for the NFL early, the legacy gets passed onto another back ready to prove his worth. Enter Master Teague III. Coming into the offseason, the starting nod was all but his, but the injury bug bit and an injured achilles later–he is shelved for a little while. Marcus Crowley is still shelved too and the depth was lacking, leaving a single scholarship player at a key position for the Buckeyes in Steele Chambers. True Freshman Miyan Williams won’t be on the roster until the summer and news broke today from Birm that former Sooner and former Buckeye target Trey Sermon has chosen the Buckeyes. I have plugged him into the spring game for funsies.

Scarlet Team: Steele Chambers, Demario McCall and Mitch Rossi

Gray Team: Trey Sermon (Grad transfer), Xavier Johnson and Robert Cope

Reserves: Master Teague (injury), Marcus Crowley (injury), Miyan Williams (summer enrollee)

Wide Receivers: Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Julian Fleming, Jameson Williams, Kamryn Babb, Mookie Cooper, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gee Scott Jr, Jaylen Harris, Jaelen Gill, C.J. Saunders, Elijah Gardiner, Sam Wiglusz, Austin Kutscher and Chris Booker.

In a crowded, talent-stocked room the Buckeyes reloaded at the position once again. With the departure of a trio of leaders in Austin Mack, K.J. Hill and Binjimen Victor, the need for leaders is needed to continue the tradition. Enter Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Two younger players that have been key parts of a lethal downfield attack are back to wreak havoc once again. The legendary 2020 haul featuring Julian Fleming, Gee Scott Jr, Mookie Cooper and Jaxon Smith-Njigba did nothing but boost the profile of Brian Hartline and increased his stockpile of weapons to unleash for years to come. C.J. Saunders is still awaiting an answer eligibility, but he is another one of the leaders on the team until we get a final answer on him.

Scarlet Team: Chris Olave, Julian Fleming, Kamryn Babb, Jaylen Harris, C.J. Saunders, Jaxon Smith-Njigba (H-Back),

Gray Team: Garrett Wilson, Gee Scott Jr, Jameson Williams, Mookie Cooper, Elijah Gardiner, Jaelen Gill (H-Back),

Reserves: Sam Wiglusz, Austin Kutscher and Chris Booker.

Tight Ends: Luke Farrell, Jeremy Ruckert, Jake Hausmann, Cade Stover, Corey Rau and Joe Royer.

Tight Ends saw an uptick of usage in the Buckeyes offense last season and they will look to build on that momentum. Luke Farrell, Jeremy Ruckert and Jake Hausmann all return and a former defensive standout in Cade Stover joined the fold along with Corey Rau, a grad transfer from SMU joined the team. The depth is fairly stocked, but thin due to all three players being upperclassmen after this season. The Buckeyes are looking to secure two additional players in the 2021 class and they have Sam Hart as the only player at the position. They are still searching for a partner to join him, but that is looking too far ahead.

Scarlet Team: Jeremy Ruckert, Jake Hausmann and Corey Rau

Gray Team: Luke Farrell and Cade Stover

Reserves: Joe Royer (summer enrollee)

Offensive Line: Nicholas Petit-Frere, Nathan Brock, Wyatt Davis, Matthew Jones, Luke Wypler, Zach Stevenson, Ryan Smith, Gavin Cupp, Chris Kuhn, Jack Jamieson, Enokk Vimahi, Ryan Jacoby, Max Wray, Trey LeRoux, Thayer Munford, Harry Miller, Paris Johnson Jr, Dawand Jones, Josh Myers, Grant Toutant, Josh Fryar and Jakob James.

The offensive line is still in great shape following the departures of LG Jonah Jackson and RT Branden Bowen. They managed to retain LT Thayer Munford, C Josh Myers and RG Wyatt Davis in another deep position group for the Buckeyes. Stocked full of ballers the one guarantee is that the best players aside from the aforementioned three will get the nod. This could be another ultra-competitive group and it’ll be another great battle.

Scarlet Team: Thayer Munford, Gavin Cupp, Josh Myers, Ryan Jacoby, Paris Johnson Jr; Luke Wypler, Max Wray, Nathan Brock and Jack Jamieson.

Gray Team: Dawand Jones, Enokk Vimahi, Harry Miller, Wyatt Davis, Nicholas Petit-Frere; Trey LeRoux, Matt Jones, Zach Stevenson and Chris Kuhn

Reserves: Grant Toutant (summer enrollee), Josh Fryar (summer enrollee) and Jakob James (summer enrollee)

With the offense set-up for both the Scarlet and the Gray teams, the contest inches closer as we remain three weeks away until game day! The collection of talent at just about every offensive position accompanied by projected gains in the summer make this game more exciting. I hope you enjoyed my little piece of happiness and next week we will bring you the Defensive depth chart. Following that Special Teams and then the game. Thank you to all who have stuck with us and Go Bucks!

Recruiting Targets: Hits & Misses

In another long-awaited installment of the hits & misses content, I will be looking at the 2017 class which features a bunch of familiar names. This was the year where eventual stars would join the fold and what better time to do it than right now?

DeMatha High School’s own Chase Young. Credit: 24/7sports.com

Hit: Chase Young, WDE

When I spoke of a legendary class in terms of talent, the 2017 class was the tipping point when building depth and collecting talent. Defensive Ends were plentiful and most players at Ohio State had to wait their turn, but Young, the Buckeyes own predator took the same route the Bosa’s took to their rise to stardom. The slight wait was worth it and while he turned into the guy, the impact he made was by his talents along, but we have seen this before with lesser known or less heralded recruits.

Chase Young has declared for the NFL Draft this year and he is locked in to be a potential top-3 pick. He also might join two familiar faces in Haskins and McLaurin, but we will see how the draft process unfolds. It is unpredictable, but it has been worth seeing the development and the talent turn into stars and make an impact like Young.

Jeffrey Okudah in high school. Credit: Dallasnews.com

Hit: Jeffrey Okudah, CB

Like Young, Okudah also was highly recruited and he excelled after some time in the system. He was recruited and he sat and learned behind the likes of Marshon Lattimore and Denzel Ward, but the wait has been worth it as well. He essentially played it out and played himself into being a top-10 pick in this years draft. He was the shutdown corner that everyone avoided during games. He was one of three cornerbacks taken in the class, with Sheffield blossoming into a good player in the NFL and with Wade turning down the NFL for another shot at redemption.

Okudah has been preparing himself for years and he has maximized his talents. He left an everlasting impression and he should have passed-on some pointers to Wade and the younger BIA stablemates. His legacy has been fulfilled, even though it has left a year early.

Dobbins carrying the ball. Credit: Hudl.com

Hit: J.K. Dobbins, RB

And the hits keep coming, with J-K-All-Day being the third member of a stellar class to blossom into a full-fledged star in the Buckeyes offensive attack. In 2018, he shared the ball carrier duties with Mike Weber. He had over 1,000 yards that season, but he thought it was a failure. Fast forward to this past season, he reached his potential en route to breaking records and cementing himself and his legacy in Columbus. The added time and conditioning have been wonders and he surely plunged himself into uncharted territory being a top 3 running back.

Cass Tech’s own Donovan Peoples-Jones. Credit: Bleacherreport.com

Miss: Donovan Peoples-Jones

Now, let us get a couple of misses in the article, and this one comes from our most bitter rival, Michigan and a one-time Buckeyes lean, Donovan Peoples-Jones. The pipe line at Cass Tech was flourishing, but I have no clue what went wrong in his recruitment. It also was a miss, but the team has been stacking talent over the past two seasons and well into the 2021 season. Sure, he is a star returner and he was needed in an unproven class that has two 6-5 players in Jaylen Harris, Elijah Gardiner and a 6-3 playmaker in Trevon Grimes.

DPJ is now leaving for the NFL and he left 0-3 against the Buckeyes and he never really made an impact during The Game. He is a valuable player, but the older, more-experienced players have held the team together for the time being.

The Replacements: Fast forward to now, the two big-bodied players have yet to reach their potential and Grimes is returning to Florida for one last ride. There are a lot of factors to consider, injuries, lack of experience or playing time, but it takes time to build yourself. Prime example, Johnnie Dixon. Injuries have plagued him his first three years, but the last two were memorable and productive. You cannot close the books on them but Grimes is no longer on the team and the other two could still make some noise.

The last NSD I watched with a hilarious twist with Darnay Holmes’ UCLA decision. Credit: Larrybrownsports.com

Miss: Darnay Holmes, CB

Last miss would be the youtube sensation “decision” from cornerback Darnay Holmes. He spurned the Buckeyes to go to UCLA and his little buddy was not happy to say the least. I know it is based on their decision in the end, but this is funny and it is needed during recruiting. Separating myself from that has helped and I don’t think it is that serious anymore. This one really grinded my gears, but now its all water under the bridge. Now he has announced his intent to pursue his NFL dreams, but with the transfer portal, rumors have been flying about him coming to Ohio State to sharpen his skills. I doubt that’ll happen, but I have seen weird things happen since following anything College Football.

Replacements: To call Sheffield, Okudah and Wade the replacements is foul, but with Holmes slipping away, they stepped up big-time. I would not change anything with this class, and I am happy that we still have Wade for one more season. If Holmes does come full circle, cool, but if not, it’s fine. You cannot predict things, but things have turned out pretty well so we can’t complain.