Post Spring Game Depth Chart: Running Backs

The Cadillac position took a back seat in the Spring Game, but they proved their worth and made their presence felt during the course of the game.  The focus for the spring was to focus on working out the kinks in the passing game.  The Running Backs found ways to get involved in the game plan making timely catches and runs when leaned on.

The Starter:

Mike Weber, the returning starter from a season ago proved why he is still considered to be the starter for the Buckeyes.  He runs with anger and he is looking to have another successful season in the Scarlet and Gray.  He looks good early on and he has improved with his vision and patience.  He is still a load to tackle and with the improvements in the passing game, he will take advantage of opposing defenses that are attempting to stop the passing attack that looks to improve.

Running Back #2:

Demario McCall looked like he was shot out of a cannon during the entirety of the Spring Game, which helps him lock down the #2 Running Back on the roster.  He showed the ability to sit in open areas on the field to make clutch catches and the ability to turn down field in a hurry, displaying his playmaking ability. He also has the speed to outrun defender on designed running plays, which make him another asset to the team.  Versatility is key and he will be used to spell a tired Weber during games this year.

Running Back #3:

True Freshman and early enrolee J.K. Dobbins out of little known LaGrange Texas overtook Antonio Williams for this spot on the roster. He is another bruising back that is both strong and fast, a great combination to add to the dynamic in the offensive backfield.  He imposed his will on the defense during the spring and he looks to be another lesser known prospect that could potentially lead to another diamond in the rough.

 

Running Back #4:

Antonio Williams and the rest of the Running Backs room will be contributing in some form for the team.  Whether it is for scout duty or anything, they will be there waiting for their shot.  Barring any injuries or anything negative, they will contribute.  Until then, it is all just a waiting game.

2017 NFL Draft: Day 3

 

Noah Brown, WR (Dallas Cowboys):

Noah Brown was the first Buckeye taken on Day 3 of the draft, and better late than never.  At 6’2″, 222-pounds, Brown is an imposing Wide Receiver with the size to bully the smaller Defensive Backs and box them out for the football.  He couldn’t have gone to a better team, and he joins fellow Buckeye Ezekiel Elliot in Dallas.  Brown has Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley to work with and he will compete with the rest of the receiving group for reps and a roster spot.  During the 2016 season, Brown was used heavily early on in the year, but the lack of creativity in playcalling derailed his once promising season.  In the Oklahoma game, Brown was the go-to guy and he bullied his way to a stellar 4 touchdown game at Norman, Oklahoma.  He made highlight reel catches early and often and he gave the Sooner Defense fits.  After that however, his usage declined with a combination of poor line play and playcalling on offense.  He was underutilized and could have used another year in college, as he left for the NFL and caught the team unexpectedly.  Brown is a project, but he has the skills to flourish in Dallas’ offense.  He has a few injury concerns, but he should be in good hands.

 

 

2017 NFL Draft: Day 2

 

Curtis Samuel, WR (Carolina Panthers):

Curtis Samuel was the first Buckeye that was taken on Day 2 of the 2017 Draft, being selected with the 40th overall pick by the Panthers.  The Panthers have spent picks on back to back offensive studs due to the losses of Ohio State Alums Ted Ginn and Corey Brown during free agency.  With Samuel the Panthers will be getting a playmaker just like McCaffery who can play multiple positions.  Both players have the speed and they will help Cam Newton give opposing teams defenses fits.  Samuel will be used early and he will work in the slot, and he may see some time at Running Back.  Samuel is 5’11” and 196-pounds and turned in a 4.31 40-time in the combine.  His measurable and his talent will be utilized to spread the opposing defenses and keeping them honest during games.  He will share time with McCaffrey, but I feel like Ron Rivera will give both draftees ample opportunities to shine.

Raekwon McMillan, ILB (Miami Dolphins):

Raekwon McMillan, a recruit out of the Peach State was the second Buckeye taken in Round 2.  At 6’2″, 240 pounds he is the motor that was in charge of the Buckeye defense the last two and a half seasons.  He has the speed and the leadership abilities that will continue to flourish at the next level.  He is viewed as a 3 down linebacker and he must show development to see some playing time this fall.  McMillan is the first Inside Linebacker taken over Vanderbilt’s own Zach Cunningham, and he will be behind newly acquired addition Lawrence Timmons and Kiko Alonso, who re-signed with the team this offseason.  Behind both of them McMillan will have the time to develop under Timmons, who arrived after time in Pittsburg and Alonso, who was still hasn’t established himself in the league yet.  McMillan’s only concern is in coverage, but he is a sure-tackler, who can stuff the run when called to.  He can become great with some time, so I can see him as a back-up for now, but he can flourish with the right coaches in place.

Pat Elflein, C (Minnesota Vikings):

Pat Elflein was the Swiss Army Knife out of Ohio State who can play multiple positions along the Offensive Line.  During the Ohio State Championship year Elflein began at Guard and then the following season he seamlessly switched to Center, where he earned the award for the Top Interior Lineman Award in his last season at Ohio State.  At 6’3″, 303-pounds he will compete with the likes of Joe Berger and Nick Easton for the starting Center gig in Minnesota.  If he cannot beat out the others at Center, Elflein can compete for the starting job at Guard opposite of former Ohio State Alum Alex Boone.  The Vikings have another Guard in waiting and all Elflein needs is an opportunity to play and earn playing time.  The Vikings drafted Dalvin Cook in the Second round and he will look to Elflein to block for the fellow rookie in the upcoming season.  Elflein is a tireless blocker that almost always finishes until the whistle is blown.  There are questions about his overall strength, but with an NFL Caliber strength and conditioning program, he will improve.

 

Recruiting Spotlight: Sevyn Banks

The Coaching staff is hot on the recruiting trail, and once again they plucked another SEC type of player out of the South.  Banks is another lanky Defensive Back that will potentially join the Buckeyes ultra-talented Supreme18 and they could only improve from here on out.  Banks is a 6’1″, 186-pound Corner who can play Safety with his overall length.  This class will see a lot of their scholarships go toward the defense.  The Secondary, or BIA, will potentially lose this season’s starters IF things go like last year and IF the starters blossom during the season.  Banks did not follow in his brother’s footsteps and did not follow him to Florida, but this could be a good thing for recruiting Florida and the rest of the South. This recruiting cycle will be another one for the ages, stayed tuned in for some booms.  This class will be epic.

Recruiting Spotlight: Brenton Cox

Coach Johnson and Coach Meyer struck gold once again, plucking highly touted Defensive End Brenton Cox out of the talent rich state of Georgia.  Another notch is placed on their belts, as they add another talented Defensive End for Coach Johnson’s Rushmen package.  Cox is a hybrid and he is listed as a DE/OLB, and he would be paired with current Ohio State commit, Taron Vincent and they are still chasing more playmakers along the Defensive Line to add depth to compensate for the impending losses after next season because most of the starters are upperclassmen.

Cox is a monster that will only improve under the watchful eye of Larry Johnson.  He can bend with the best of them and he has the size and speed to boot.  He is currently 6’5″, 240 lbs. and he will be a terror along the edge for years to come.  Another great addition to what will be another stellar class for the Buckeyes.  This is the first commit since the two of the spring game, and there might be more to come. Go Bucks!

Here are his Junior season highlights below from Hudl.

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Post Spring Game Depth Chart: Quarterbacks

The Starter:

The Quarterback is what makes the offense go and after a rare poor performance combined with poor offensive play calling, J.T. Barrett quickly returned to redeem himself for one last season at the helm.  At the annual spring game, he showed why he was the starter, but his performance was far from perfect as he missed some of his receivers.  He will lead this years Buckeye team to show that he is capable of being an deadly passer instead of someone who relies too heavily on his legs to make plays.  Barrett will be an assassin because it is evident that Coach Wilson and Coach Day are making an impact with the Quarterbacks, but lets see how they execute when the season begins.

Back-up Quarterback-A:

Joe Burrow was impressive when Barrett was pulled off of the field.  He had three scores through the air and a bunch of yards, and he flat out was impressive.  He found receivers at will and he showed that he could play at the Division I level.  Coach Meyer has quite the dilemma on his hands, but it is a good problem to have.  Burrow showed his ability to sling the rock and read the defenses he faced.  Burrow has done all he can to secure the job after his performance at the spring game.  It is up to Coach Meyer at this point.

Back-up Quarterback-B:

Dwayne Haskins also threw for three touchdowns, and he too showed that he could play at the Division I level.  He found his receiver and showed the ability to throw it deep, with a silky smooth touch and deadly accuracy.  He will look to earn the backup job this season, and after J.T. leaves, he will look to beat out Burrow for the starting job.  He is a year younger than Burrow and has the wheels and the biggest arm out of the rest of the Quarterbacks.  If he can establish a foothold, he has the potential to succeed.

Scout Team Quarterback/Red Shirt:

Highly touted Quarterback out of Las Vegas was one of the biggest wins in last years recruiting class.  He had quite the highlight reel and he established that during the spring game after he weaved through two defenders for a rushing touchdown.  He was live and he did not have the black jersey on, so it is safe to say that he will work the scout team duties.  He isn’t a terrible player and he has the traits that Coach Meyer looks for in a Quarterback.  He has the arms, the speed and the accuracy, and he will be a star in the near future.

 

Spring Game Fever: The Spectacle We Love

The spectacle of the Ohio State Spring Game is upon us.  This is one of the biggest offseason events that the Buckeyes host and this year will be no different.  With many blue-chip recruits of all ranks, the Buckeyes will look to rise up in the rankings with a great showing, that is looking like it won’t disappoint.

***  The storylines will feature a brand new Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach in Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day, it will return a good amount of starters from last season with J.T. Barrett on offense and the majority of the Defensive Lineman.  The inexperience and the lack of creativity and variety was a problem, but with a few old pieces in places and some new faces on the coaching staff, this makes for another intriguing storyline to follow.  Look for a more improved offense that will tire out the defense with their upgraded tempo.  Will they find their next version of Curtis Samuel?  Will they find their next Devin Smith, Braxton Miller or Mike Thomas?

***  Zach Smith and Tony Alford will be tasked with providing playmakers and balance for the Buckeyes offense with members of their respective units.  Will Coach Smith find the next stars for his unit?  He needs Zone 6 to produce another playmaker and establish his role in the offense.  The Buckeyes will have the talent, but can they find the playmakers to follow what Mike Thomas, Devin Smith, and Braxton Miller have built?  Will Coach Alford they find their next version of Curtis Samuel or the next Ezekiel Elliott?  He has Mike Weber, who acted as their workhorse, but will Antonio Williams and J.K Dobbins step up?  Or can walk-on Jerimiah Knight carve out a steady role for himself?

***  Look for new Linebackers Coach Bill Davis to find his niche from within the Schiano captained defense.  He took over for Luke Fickell and he looks to use his extensive NFL coaching experiences to bridge the gap left by Fickell.  He lost Raekwon McMillan, but he retained Chris Worley, who is now the starter at the Mike spot, Dante Booker, who is coming off of an injury-plagued season and Jerome Baker, who had a coming out party last season.  He also has a lot of talented personnel waiting for their chance to reload the Buckeyes.

***  Coach Schiano and Coach Coombs will have the task of rebuilding the Scarlet Curtain or B.I.A., the Best In America.  Three of their starters, Malik Hooker, Garon Conley and Marshon Lattimore left for the NFL, leaving only Damon Webb as the only returning starter.  The Buckeyes signed five talented DB’s during NSD and they will look to make an immediate impact or contribution to the lack of established starters.

***  Last, but not least, the recruiting aspect for this game will be one of great importance.  Many blue-chippers will come to see if their prospective unit succeeds or what improvements have been made.  The potential of someone pledging their allegiance to the Buckeyes are good, but only time will tell.  Both the offense and the defense need to put on a show, and with a few Buckeye commits present, you really never know what could occur.

***  P.S.  The BTN chose to air the Ohio State Spring Game over TTUN’s.  Lol!

 

Draft A Buckeye: Raekwon McMillan

 

Raekwon McMillan was one of Urban Meyers most prized recruits coming out of SEC territory and he has grown into a leader on defense for the Buckeyes.  At 6’2″, 240 lbs., McMillan is viewed as a speedy Middle Linebacker who can play sideline to sideline, stuff the run and diagnose plays.  The former Butkus Award recipient played Quarterback for the Buckeyes defense and directed his troops as he sees fit.  He was a leader and he should blossom and evolve after a team takes a chance on him.  He ran a 4.61 in the 40, 7.15 on the 3 cone, 4.39 in the 20-yard shuttle and an 11.84 in the 60-yard shuttle.  He is athletic and flat out fast for a linebacker, and he will be used sparingly until he finds a foothold or if injuries occur.  This is not detracting from his talent, but he had a decent season but was less productive than previous seasons.  McMillan will be an asset to a team as he is projected to be drafted in the 2nd to 3rd Round of this year’s draft.

Recruiting Spotlight: Jackson Allen

 

Here we are Motsag Sports subscribers with another recruiting spotlight on 2021 Quarterback prospect Jackson Allen from Hattiesburg, MS.  We know this is a bit off but the youngster is impressing people. College football, indeed all of college sports starts paying attention at such young ages. Jackson isn’t the first and won’t be the last. But the composure these young people possess is startling as this interview suggests.

It’s virtually impossible to identify big time success at such a young age and we don’t pretend to be able to project that. But we thought it interesting to hear from a youngster who has gotten some buzz. He obviously has matured to a point where he can talk like a talented yet respectful lad who understands the path ahead. We will be interested in following his development.

R.T:  With it being so long until you sign your letter of intent, what schools are you currently hearing from?

J.A:  Well the past few years, I have had Mississippi State show interest, and mainly that’s it, but I think with me just getting my film out there to colleges and me performing well my freshman year will really help me out as far as interest goes.

R.T:  Are there any schools that you are highly interested in at this moment?

J.A:  I have grown up a Mississippi State fan, so Mississippi State has been my number 1 school and I love how Dan Mullen works with quarterbacks.  I think he is the best in the business at progressing quarterbacks, but I also love Alabama.  I love how their offense is, they will spread the defense out from the shotgun but they will also go from under center and work their offense from there.  So those are my 2 favorite schools right now.

R.T:  What offers do you currently have?  Which offers would you like to have prior to your National Signing Day moment which is quite a bit in the future?

J.A:  At this point, I don’t have an offer.  I’m only in the 8th grade, but I think if I perform well my freshman and sophomore years, the offers will come flowing in.  I think it is just the competitor inside of you that want to have every D1 scholarship in the country going into signing day.

R.T:  What factors do you consider “musts” for the schools that you are interested in?

J.A:  My number top 3 “must” would be:  1.  Being able to compete for the job as a freshman right when I get on campus.  2.  Would be the right system for me as a quarterback.  And number 3:  Would be, being comfortable with the coaching staff and my position coach.

R.T:  Being from Hattiesburg, MS, did you become a quarterback because of Brett Favre?  If not, who would you say influenced you to?

J.A:  Being from Hattiesburg, MS and when I have to introduce myself to coaches and or media, the first question I get is, “does Brett Favre living in your town influence you to play quarterback?”.  My first response is “no” because the funny thing is, I did not wanna play quarterback until my 3rd year of tackle football, which would be my 5th grade year, and the reason I never got to play a different position is because my dad forced me to play quarterback and it turned out amazing, so I give all the credit to my dad!

R.T:  What type of quarterback are you?  What are your strengths and weaknesses?  What can you improve on?

J.A:  I don’t hold myself to a specific type of quarterback.  I believe I can do it all.  I can throw it, I can run it, I can throw it on the run, I can manage the game, and I can make the players around me better. My biggest weakness is flexibility and I’m not the strongest in my core but I’m working hard to fix those things so I can find something else to critique about my game. 

R.T:  What type of leader are you on the field?  And off the field?

J.A:  On the field, I am a very intense leader.  I feel like I know when to get onto a player and then when to just tell them you’ll get it next time, and I think that separates me from other guys.  Off the field, I’m a little bit more laid back, but I do good in the classroom, and I encourage my teammates and classmates to do the same.  

 

Recruiting Spotlight: Julius H.F. Buelow

I have something new and exciting for you Motsag fans, an interview with Class of 2019 recruit Julius Buelow from Kapolei High School in Hawaii.  Buelow is 6’7″, 314 lbs., and is currently an Offensive Tackle for Kapolei High School, but he is comfortable when placed outside his natural position, whether it is on the offensive or defensive side of the ball.

R.T:  First off, how would you describe your unofficial visit to Ohio State?  What stood out to you during the visit?

J.B:  The visit to Ohio State was awesome.  The campus is huge and the football facilities are impressive. The football building was really busy the day we went and I got to meet a lot of the coaches, trainers, and players.  The atmosphere stood out to me, there is a lot of energy there and you can tell people are working hard to be the best.

R.T:  I know that the 2018 recruiting cycle has just begun, but what schools are currently “high” or “sticking out” to you?  And why?

J.B:  This is a hard question to answer.  I’ve been to a few different schools and they each have different things to offer.  So I really need to figure out what I’m looking for as far as what I might want to study, the football program, and maybe even the type of campus, but I’m only a sophomore, so right now I’m trying to learn about different schools, so I know what kind of options I might have.

R.T:  What offers do you currently have and what offers are you striving to obtain/that you covet?

J.B:  Right now I only have some verbal offers, nothing official yet.  Not sure yet, same as last question, just trying to check out as many programs as I can, so I can have a better idea of what I’m looking for.

R.T:  When would you consider cutting down the list of offers?  Do you have an idea on when you will commit?

J.B:  I probably won’t commit until my senior year, 2019, unless I figure out what I want really early, and that school feels the same way about me.  But it’s a big decision, so I don’t plan on making it quickly.

R.T:  Being from Hawaii, how comfortable are you about moving far from home?  Does weather play a factor?

J.B:  As long as I have family kind of close by, I have no problem moving away from Hawaii for college.  I always wanted to go to the mainland for school.  I like the cold so that doesn’t bother me, by cold, I mean 30’s – 50’s.  Don’t know yet how I will do if it’s colder than that lol.  Just gotta make sure I have the right clothes and that there’s an indoor practice field haha.

R.T:  What factors play a key part in your recruitment?  Coaches, facilities, playing time, etc?

J.B:  Yes, all of those, and one of the biggest factors is going to be if the school is highly rated for the major I’m in, and also if they have a lot of options if I decide I want to change my major.  But the O-Line Coach is going to be one of the main factors for me, and the culture of the program.  I want to be somewhere that will prepare me for life after football.

R.T:  What are your strengths and weaknesses?  What are you looking to improve during your junior and senior years in high school?

J.B:  Strengths – my size, footwork, and technique.  Weakness – lack of experience, didn’t start playing until 8th grade and never had playing time until 9th grade.  Looking to improve everything that has to do with me as a player and a person.