The Dream 17: Urban Meyer’s Stranglehold on the Recruiting Game Part III and IV

URBANSTHE DREAM 17:  Urban Meyer’s Stranglehold on the Recruiting Game, Part III and IV

The Buckeyes are just a mere two weeks away from their first game of the season against the Bowling Green Falcons and although they are currently in constant pursuit of the edge, recruiting will never truly become an afterthought because of all the potential playmakers the Buckeyes have set their sights on.  We cannot just focus solely on the players that they are targeting and a lot of recruiting comes from maintaining a constant level of communication between the coaching staff and the players that have been committed for a long duration of time.  Memories of Bruce Judson should be the most fresh in all of our minds, but the train moves on.  Maintaining the relationships is important and although the staff is flexing their recruiting muscles for the whole nation to see, you could never fully keep the Ohio State staff away and with just 16 players committed out of potentially 20 or 21, I believe that the Buckeyes are just padding their stats and re-loaded at an unprecedented level that is adding toward their momentum.

MORETTI

JAKE MORETTI:

Jake is a mammoth Offensive Tackle at 6-5, 285 lbs.  He was highly regarded and a key piece to Coach Meyer’s Offensive Line, but he suffered a torn ACL at a Buckeyes Camp and has been shelved temporarily.  While still  being in the Buckeyes plans, Moretti is planning to enroll early so that he can get a head start on getting his mind, body and spirit right for his journey as a Buckeye.  He is an elite tackle prospect and although he is shelved, he still garners the respect by being in the Top 100 player in the nation.  Sure we won’t see him in action because he is unable to, but Coach Meyer and company know exactly how to revive a players career and get the utmost best out of them.

WHITEBRENDON WHITE:

Brendon White is the #2 rated Athlete in the nation due to his ability to make a play on both sides of the ball.  Just like Urban Meyer does, he stockpiles players that fit the mold of a multipurpose playmaker, who could impact either side of the ball game.  White is 6-1.5 and is a stout 200 lbs.  He can play Wide Receiver and Safety and until he makes it through the strength and conditioning program, we will just have to see.  Coach Meyer and his crew develop their players into more than the recruiting sites thought they would be and it’ll be fun to see if he can develop into a Darron Lee on defense or a lethal offensive weapon like Curtis Samuel.  We can only hope, but he provides a sure set of hands and the ability to catch on unsuspecting defenders and he could lay opposing players as a hard hitting, run stuffing safety.  Ah, hybrid players are indeed the best!

RIEPAMIR RIEP:

Amir Riep feels like one of those impact players to be and I am excited for his development as well as the rest of the current Buckeyes and the Buckeyes to be, but there is something about Riep and his rise after good showings at showcase events.  Ohio State received a commitment from a 5-11, 185 lb player who is projected to play cornerback.  Now, I don’t mean to rub it in or anything, but Ohio State has produced a pretty good amount of NFL caliber DB’s so…  You know where I am going with this.  Riep has that fluidity in his hips that will help him smother opposing players and Coach Meyer got a good one who has the potential to be great.  Ever since he blew up on the recruiting trail, the Buckeyes have their man and successfully fended away those pesky Spartans.  This was well worth the wait and we will see how Coach Coombs develops him.

WILLIAMSONMARCUS WILLIAMSON:

Do you notice a trend yet?  Defensive Backs just want to be coached up at Ohio State and the rich get richer!  Marcus Williamson was one of the first few to commit and he has helped the Buckeyes on and off with recruiting while at the IMG Academy, a Buckeye pipeline located in Florida.  Projected at Cornerback, at 5-9, 180 lbs he is a bit undersized, but the talent pretty much speaks for itself.  He may be a work in progress, but the talent is there and it is up the coaching staff to develop him into a NFL Cornerback.  Being undersized isn’t that bad either, Damon Webb is around the same height and weight and look at him after the strength and conditioning program.  Webb is also in the midst of earning some playing time as well so there is nothing remotely wrong with his measurable statistics.  He brings speed and the mirroring ability that Riep brings and he will be another player to watch.

CAGEJERRON CAGE:

Does the last name ring a bell?  His older brother was high on the Buckeyes list in 2014 before he decided to play for the Fighting Irish.  Although he plays the same position as his brother at Defensive Tackle, the younger Cage sits at 6-1.5, 275 lbs and is in fact smaller than his older brother during their Senior years, but John Simon wasn’t a huge guy and that did not stop him from wreaking havoc all around the Defensive Line.  Cage has a quick first step and he can occupy space and make space for Linebackers to get to the Quarterback.  He also has a few nifty go to moves in which he will develop under the tutelage of Coach Johnson and Coach Fickell.  He will be a key cog and will be utilized if he can turn some heads when he arrives on campus and Ohio State needs depth along the D-Line anyway and that is why Cage will be one out of potentially three Interior Defensive Linemen that the Buckeyes will take this cycle.

SIMMONSANTJUAN SIMMONS:

Antjuan Simmons is a blessing in disguise for the Buckeyes.  He comes from That State Up North and right in That Team Up North’s back yard.  Literally!  That is what makes this recruiting victory so sweet.  Living in that territory can be rough, but he will be in good hands with Coach Meyer and company and I look for him to continue the tradition of Linebacker U while at Ohio State.  As the only Linebacker commit, he will be looked at to replace Raekwon McMillan on the interior or Chris Worley or Dante Booker on the outside, but at 6-1, 215 lbs he looks like a rock solid addition to the proud tradition.  Although ranked as the 289th overall player nationally, he will contribute as soon as that black stripe comes off and he looks like a monster.  With Ohio State chasing other Linebackers to come join Simmons, we can only wait and see, but it is so exciting to see playmakers come in droves to want to play for the Buckeyes.

CLARKDANNY CLARK:

Mr. Buckeye, the Prototype himself Danny Clark is Quarterback commit #2 and he isn’t backing down from competition after the commitment of fellow Quarterback prospect, Tate Martell.  I like his tenacity during Friday Night Lights as he competed fiercely the entire night.  I think it is safe to safe, barring any last-minute flips that the Quarterback position is one of the many deep position groups that the Buckeyes have.  Clark will add to the depth and he will looks to surprise some people.  At 6-5, 223 lbs, he is a Pro Style Quarterback, opposite of Martell who is the top Dual Threat Quarterback prospect.  Clark is quick on his feet, but he can throw the ball with velocity and accuracy.  Most of his passes were on the money and he will look to compete at Ohio State with one of the most crowded groups or units.  With time, I think he will develop and potentially become the Cardale Jones or the Kenny Guiton of the team and be that leader from the bench or the one who saves the day after numerous, unplanned injuries.  We will see and I for one am hoping that he stays on board.

HAUBEILBLAKE HAUBEIL:

You know how Coach Meyer loves his Special Teams?  Yeah, he used one of the spots in this years class for a Special Teamer who so happens to be the #1 Kicker in the nation.  It is some serious business and we need it.  Sean Nuernberger is in his Junior season and we need a player to fill in once he departs and it so happens to be Haubeil, at 6-3, 200 lbs.   He is willing to pay for the first semester at Ohio State to add a scholarship to add a key player so he may forgo the grayshirt and just pay until his scholarship is guaranteed.  I love this kid already.  A truly selfless act and he should be a good player in the future.  He has a leg that is capable of routinely nailing 30-45 yarders and who knows, he may be able to hit from downtown too.  All we have to do is wait and see, but I am confident that he will be game ready when the time comes.

fall is herefallfall is coming

GO BUCKS !!!

The Dream 17: Urban Meyer’s Stranglehold on the Recruiting Game Part II

UrbsAnother week closer to the College Football season and Coach Urban Meyer and his band of merry men have been taking the recruiting world by storm.  Their status, whether committed or uncommitted–THEY WILL FIND YOU!  Coach Meyer and his coaches have been building a perennial juggernaut and this class is just the start of the warpath that they have been committed to for the duration of Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State.  It seem as if though there aren’t any boundaries, no limit to this coaching staff’s reach.  They can pull from just about any part of the country for either top tier talents or the Darron Lee’s and Ezekiel Elliott’s of the recruiting world.  You flatly just never know until they immerse themselves and adopt the culture that is in place at Ohio State.  Here is another installment of The Dream 17.  Enjoy!

J.K. Dobbins:

Dobbins

J.K. Dobbins is one of those running backs that remind you of the great ones.  The Zeke’s, the El Guapo’s the Beanie’s and the Boom’s that hold a special place in all Buckeyes fans hearts.  He is the reigning Sparq rating champion and he looks to play the part on when he gets an opportunity to show out in the Scarlet and Gray.  Dobbins hails from La Grange, Texas and stand at a solid 5-9.5, 199 lbs.  Once he enrolls and goes through the rigors of Coach Marotti’s strength and conditioning program, I fully expect him to grow into his frame and pack on a ton of muscle.  He has made some noise about the potential for fellow running back Cam Akers joining him at Ohio State and if Buckeye recruiting vets have been paying attention, it eerily similar to the Four Star, 12th overall Running Back Ezekiel Elliott or Five Star 4th overall Running Back Derrick Green.  Hope that it does not come to that because this kid is going to be a beast for years to come.  He can do it all, just like Zeke so hopefully, he sticks with the Buckeyes regardless of the persistent chatter that he may eventually flip because the depth at running back took a huge hit with the dismissal of Brionte’ Dunn this off-season.  Tote Nation needs you J.K., with or without Cam.

Isaiah Pryor:

Pryor

I don’t care what you say but Ohio State can be called and considered as DBU.  With Buckeye greats ranging from the various era’s, Arnie Chonko, Neal Colzie, Tim Fox, Ray Griffin, Mike Sensibaugh, Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield, Jack Tatum, Chris Gamble, Malcolm Jenkins, Kurt Coleman, and more recently Vonn Bell and Eli Apple who both left early for the NFL.  Pryor look to continue to uphold the legacy of all the Buckeye greats.  He comes from the IMG Academy and stands at 6-1.5, 195 lbs.  He is a rangy prospect and he is versatile enough to play both cornerback and either safety spot.  He can wreak havoc against the run, being able to shed blocks while still being able to play in coverage.  The sky is the limit with Pryor and seeing that he has been on board for a while now, I feel that he is securely in the plans for the Buckeyes future.  He is talented and is an able learner.  He will take guidance from Coach Schiano upon his arrival.  He will look to secure playing time and he will surely try to vie for time against oft-injured upperclassmen that have been in the program longer.  You never know during the offseason, so it will be an exciting time to see who the next great Buckeye Defensive Back will be or if we will have multiple emerge.

Tate Martell:

Martell

The rich get richer and with Ohio State, they have lost both Braxton Miller and Cardale Jones to the draft and with J.T. Barrett returning along with Stephen Collier (out for season with torn ACL), Joey Burrow, Quarterback turned Wide Receiver Torrance Gibson and incoming Freshman Dwayne Haskins, the Buckeyes add two more, if they stay and one of them is Tate Martell out of Las Vegas, Nevada.  Yes, rumors per another recruit state that one of the two will not be a part of the Dream 17, but until something is confirmed, it is all heresy.  Martell is 5-10.5, 203 lbs and he is often compared to Johnny Manziel, which is flattering when comparing playing styles, but hopefully he hates to party.  Martell is the #1 Dual-Threat Quarterback and if he lives up to the hype, he could be the next Troy Smith.  He is just as accurate while passing the rock as he is when he is making a mad dash for the first down or for the touchdown.  He looks to be a key piece of this class and if Ohio State needed it, he can also recruit.  While at The Opening he was seen regularly with top-tier prospects attempting to get them to join him in this class.  Two of those targets make their decisions at the end of the month and he is not going to stop until the Buckeyes secure the top class for this one and for years to come.

Haskell Garrett:

Garrett

Haskell Garrett is another mammoth, with huge potential and upside that the Buckeyes have plucked away from the West Coast.  Garrett hails from Las Vegas, Nevada and is teammates with Tate Martell.  Garrett is 6-2, 298 and looks like the part and oh, he plays like his head is on fire.  At The Opening, he wrecked some of the top rated offensive linemen prospects and held his own for the duration of the drills.  With Coach Marotti’s program, he will turn into highly sought after high school prospect to the next Adolphus Washington, Michael Bennett or Jonathan Hankins that will wreak havoc for offensive lines in the BIG 10.  This kid is already a wrecking ball and with the correct guidance from Coach Fickell and Coach Johnson, he will develop like all the other prospects who committed and who had embraced the ways at Ohio State.  Look at Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis.  They waited and look at them now.  They developed and forced their way into a starting position.  Garrett will do the same and who knows, he might beat out the upperclassmen placed above him.  He has the tools, the aggression and the potential to shoot up the depth chart.  He just has to work at it and he will be the next Buckeye great on the inside of the defensive line.

Urban

There is a lot to be excited about for this recruiting class and there is a potential for fireworks and possibly another huge run when landing additional prospect to seal the deal and ensure that the Buckeyes dethrone Alabama atop the recruiting ranks.  Although there is still a ton of time left, I will not let myself make hasty notions or statements prior to National Signing Day.  There can be twists and turns (Johnny Townsend, Carlton Davis) and until then, I will continue to dish out on the Dream 17 and beyond.  Hope you enjoyed!  Go Bucks!  O-H!

The Dream 17: Urban Meyer’s Stranglehold on the Recruiting Game

Here is my first installment of The Dream 17:  Urban Meyer’s Stranglehold on the Recruiting Game.  I will be giving you a brief summary of four (04) committed recruits over the next couple of weeks and after all are mentioned, I will go over the remaining needs for the staff and the remaining targets, then I will eventually branch off into the 2018 Class.  Enjoy!

Meyer Ohio State

Coach Urban Meyer’s and his Ohio State Buckeyes are a team that is transitioning away from a team that has had tremendous success on the gridiron, winning 50 games against 4 losses.  Coach Meyer’s success shouldn’t be measured by wins and losses, but the overall health of his football team.  Success in the classroom, success on the field and most importantly, success on the recruiting trail.  As of late, Urban and company have been winning at every level, and they have been winning BIG.  Take a long, hard look at the current recruiting class, the class of 2017.  He is lighting it up and he is clearly getting commitments from just about anyone that he wants, commits from anyone who he envisions having the Buckeye spirit.  Potential prospects who demonstrate traits of the Buckeye Culture and who are willing to live the lifestyle that Coach Meyer and company want their players adopt is one reason why this class is so unique and loaded with star power at just about every tier on both offense and on defense.

JOSH MYERS  JOSH MYERS:

Josh Myers out of Miamisburg, OH stands at an astonishing 6-6 and 306 pounds and looks to be a key piece on the Offensive Line.  He was one of the first members of the lauded 2017 Class and he is solid on his commitment.  Myers will be trouble for opposing linemen when his time comes at Ohio State.  He shows the instincts that Offensive Tackles should have and the drive to finish plays until the whistle blows.  He displays the tenacity and a nasty streak to finish off rushers and he has the ability to pull left or right.  He will be quite the player once he figures it out, but until he proves himself to the coaches, he looks to add depth to bolster the Tackle ranks.

wyatt davis  WYATT DAVIS:

Wyatt Davis out of Bellflower, CA was a surprise commitment that the Buckeyes managed to secure even though they started recruiting him during the latter stages of the recruiting game.  Meyer secured his commitment after a month and he looks to be another firm Buckeye pledge.  Davis plays Offensive Guard and he stands at 6-5, 310 pounds and looks solid on film.  He showed people at the opening that he will be a solid contributor and eventual starter on the Buckeyes Offensive Line once he gets an opportunity.  He flashes quick, fluid hip movement and he flat out destroys defenders who dare to come his way.  He will be something special and the Buckeyes line looks to be building something special.

shaun wade  SHAUN WADE:

Shaun Wade committed to Ohio State during their CFB Playoff run to the top.  He plays Cornerback out of Jacksonille, FL and stands at 6-1, 177.  He has that Florida speed that Urban covets and the skillset to lock down opposing Wide Receivers consistently.  He has the instincts and the ability to lockdown one side of the field and could be used at any corner spot.  There has been a ton of negativity surrounding Wade and his potential to flip to another school.  We would never know and until it is actually made official (Insert Carlton Davis situation), he is a Buckeye commit until then.  He has the tools to surpass the upperclassmen above him with numerous injuries and inexperience.  He has a shot at starting if he stays and puts in the work.

chase young  CHASE YOUNG:

Chase Young committed at the well-known Friday Night Lights Camp, that the Buckeye staff puts out annually to attract top tier talent to get them to compete and learn the Buckeye way.  It worked with Young, who many thought had been leaning toward the hometown Terrapin team.  Luckily for Coach Johnson and Coach Meyer, they secured his commitment and stole him away like Dwayne Haskins and Keandre Jones from last years class.  Young is projected to become a Weakside Defensive End and he is 6-5, 225.  He has the speed, the techniques and the drive to succeed at a higher level and that is why he was a top priority for the Buckeye staff.  Another fine piece to pair alongside other commits along the Defensive Line.

 

 

Day Two and Three: Buckeye Bonanza Continued

The countdown until the 2016 NFL Draft was a long winding road filled with suspense and intrigue. There were a few stories that have left a mark and the only one that I can recall is the…  Actually, I can’t remember anything right now, but I digress.  The 2016 NFL Draft is now over and done with and my job right now is to go over the list of Buckeyes selected in this years draft and honorably mention the ones who weren’t as fortunate, but I trust that they’ll succeed even though their dreams are temporarily on hold for the moment.

Mike Thomas:

Thomas was the first Buckeye taken on Day 2 with Pick #47 in the 2nd Round by the New Orleans Saints.  After the Saints released Marques Colston, their longtime go-to Wide Receiver, they had to make a move to bolster their receiving corps to complement Willie Snead and company.  Thomas has the bloodlines and the sheer potential to add life into the potent Saint Passing onslaught.  He can run routes, he can catch it in traffic and he has the ability to separate from opposing Defensive Backs.  The only thing that he cannot do is return kicks and punts but his skillset will bolster their offensive attack.  Thomas fell into the perfect situation and he has the opportunity to work with a legend in the making in Drew Brees.  He will look to him early and often to learn the playbook and to get the timing and chemistry right for the upcoming season.

Vonn Bell:

Who Dat!?  The Saints strike while the iron was hot during the 2nd Round with the 61st Overall Pick and another Buckeye fell on their laps.  This time in the form of Vonn Bell.  Bell would provide a talented potential starter for the Saints and he would fit in perfectly with Kenny Vaccaro in the Defensive Backfield.  A playmaker to work alongside a thumper is more than Coach Rob Ryan could ask for.  Bell will look to patrol all over the field looking to make plays. Rookie Camp will also be interesting since it’ll be like being back at Ohio State.  He will defend Mike Thomas for the life of their rookie contracts and it looks to be interesting to say the least. Bell is a steal because prior to the NFL Combine, he had projections for the 1st Round.  He will continue to make plays like had always done throughout his Buckeye career and I don’t see any drop off in the NFL.

Adolphus Washington:

Diesel was picked up by the Buffalo Bills in the 3rd Round with the 80th Overall Pick and Rex Ryan is looking to stockpile Defensive Line depth to get a little younger.  After being suspended for the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, he worked his tail off and got himself back on track.  Although he had been projected to go in the Late 1st Round to Mid 2nd Round, he finally heard his name in the 3rd and it continued the Buckeyes streak.  The biggest asset that Washington has is his quick first step and his ability to beat the initial blocker.  He blows past the slower interior lineman early and often and he has the ability to occupy two blocker to free up one of his fellow Silver Bullets so that they can finish the play.  Overall good fit for the Bills.

Braxton Miller:

X-Brax was taken in the 3rd Round with the 85th Overall Pick to add to a now potent offense.  The Texans took Fighting Irish Wideout Will Fuller in the 1st Round.  They added Lamar Miller to the fold and now all of a sudden the Offense oozes with potential.  Oh, and they still have Hopkins on the roster as well.  Although they had released longtime bruiser Arian Foster, I think that they will just fine.  The Human Highlight Reel will join newly acquired Quarterback and former Denver Bronco, Brock Osweiler in Houston and I am looking forward to seeing if they can light up the scoreboard early and often this season.  Miller will look to prove that the transformation into a new position is complete and that he can be the playmaker that all Buckeye fans know him to be.  He will most likely start in the slot and be Osweiler’s security blanket.

Nick Vannett:

The Seattle Seahawks took Vannett in the 3rd Round with the 90th Overall Pick and although they still have Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson on the roster another Tight End that is well-rounded cannot hurt what they are trying to accomplish.  Yes, the Buckeye Offense rarely used the Tight End, but he was utilized and is a proven blocker.  Don’t let the scarcity of his production fool you because he can catch too.  He can get open and he can beat slower Linebackers and smaller Defensive Backs if asked to.  A workout warrior and a locker room leader, Vannett will learn from Russell Wilson.  I am unsure if he’d see the field early but I feel that if he could contribute in any way possible, he would if given the opportunity.

Josh Perry:

Perry was taken in the 4th with the 102nd Overall Pick and he get’s to team up with former Buckeye and now San Diego Charger, Joey Bosa.  Bosa also had the privilege of announcing his teams pick.  Perry will be a handful for the AFC West.  Not only is he quick off the snap, he can diagnose plays quickly and he is not even close to being injury prone.  Perry is an athlete.  It will be great to see him earn some playing time and watching him grow.  With many other Linebackers on the roster, I think that he will become a Special Teams Ace until players either leave or suffer injuries.

Cardale Jones:

King Dolo Dale was drafted with the last pick in the 4th Round by the Buffalo Bills.  Although Tyrod Taylor is the current Starter at the position, Jones will look to learn and develop while waiting for the opportunity to play.  Jones has arm strength for days and I do not see that being the issue.  His main issue is locking onto a single receiver and his decision making and touch with his throws.  All minor things to work through.  Cardale pulled a Hulk Hogan after finding out that he had been drafted and when he finds his true potential, WHAT YOU GONNA DO BROTHER!?  It’ll be fun to see him succeed when given the shot to.

The Undrafted’s

Although you can debate on whether certain players should’ve stayed an extra year to develop, you really cannot fault them for chasing their dreams and betting on theirselves.  Being Undrafted isn’t necessarily a bad thing because diamonds are usually found in this field.  It is heartbreaking to not hear you name called but these players still have a shot to stick on a roster whether it is on a Practice Squad or a 53 man roster.

Tyvis Powell:

Powell was not drafted but he is a playmaker and a ballhawk.  He chose to sign with the Seattle Seahawks joining Nick Vannett.  He has a knack for making timely plays and what better environment to learn from that from the L.O.B?  The Legion of Boom will assist his progression throughout Training Camp.  Although a longshot to make the roster, he can still be placed on the Practice Squad to he can hone and develop into a contributor on the Active Roster.

Jalin Marshall:

Marshall should’ve stayed to develop into a star, but like I had mentioned, I cannot blame a player for betting on himself and believing in his ability.  Marshall signed with the New York Jets and he joins former Buckeye Devin Smith in a new look offense.  Smith played a key role in the recruitment of Marshall and together they could wreak havoc on opposing defenses if they can develop.

Chase Farris:

Farris signed on with the Detroit Lions and joined Taylor Decker on the Offensive Line.  Not many people know that Farris was originally a Defensive Lineman out of high school but due to the lack of able bodies on the offensive side, he was converted.  Farris was the final piece to the Offensive Line puzzle that won all the marbles for the Buckeyes two years ago.  An able blocker and strong as an ox, Farris will look to once again work alongside Decker.

 

Well it was fun covering this and I cannot wait to see the talent over the next few years develop and have a chance to break the Miami Hurricanes record of 6 players drafted in the 1st Round.  Although some players’ dreams weren’t realized, nothing is ever easy and they will all continue to fight to secure a spot on their respective teams.  Oh and before I forget GO BUCKS!

***FWIW:  A kicker was drafted in the 2nd Round…  And the first Wolverine to come off the board?  Graham Glassgow in the 3rd…  Yeah the talent overflows up north (sarcasm)…  Buckeyes over everything…  Especially over anything Maize and Blue.***

Post Spring Game Shuffle: Quarterback and Running Backs

As we all inch closer toward the Regular Season, all the excitement and buzz surrounds the annual Scarlet Vs. Gray Spring Game.  This is normally the time of the year where the entire roster receives a chance to “control their destiny”.  This is the time for the relative unknowns to display their talent to a raucous crowd within the confines of The Shoe.  It is a time for the young Buckeyes to show their coaches what they can bring to the table, whether it is as a starter, part-time starter or a rotation player, the time is now for them to put on a show for all to enjoy.  Whether you are a die-hard Buckeye fan or a fan of another team, this will be a spectacle to enjoy and see.  The future should be as bright as the sun and for the non-Buckeye fans, prepare to get scorched and pan-seared because this years team, albeit young and replacing a bevy of starters, should be their normally dangerous selves by the time the fall rolls around.  Here is an in-depth look at our future Buckeye Football Team.

The Return of J.T. Barrett:

It has been a poorly kept secret, but…  Although we had endured through a mass exodus at the Quarterback position, we still managed to retain one of the previous “Big Three”.  That is a huge plus as the Buckeyes look to move forward with the heir apparent to the Buckeyes’ Quarterback Throne.  J.T. Barrett or better known as Just Touchdowns Barrett chose to stay for at least one more season to lead the Buckeyes this fall through the grueling 2017 College Football Schedule, with road games at Oklahoma, at Wisconsin, at Penn State, at Maryland and at Michigan State.  His experience on the road and as a starter would help ease the transition with this years offensive line, skill players and playmakers.

Barrett possesses big game experience and that is a major plus for the team.  Barrett’s poise under pressure and familiarization with the offensive scheme will be the determining factor.  After getting the starting nod from Coach Meyer after week 8 due to the sloppy play from former starter Cardale Jones.  Let’s just say that the offense started humming and thoroughly destroyed the hapless Rutgers team at Piscataway.  The team responded and huddled around J.T. Barrett and delivered their most resounding and prettiest win in recent memory.  I expect this years offense to do the same, although it may take some time to adjust to the new personnel.

Barrett had somewhat of a hard time this spring with all of the more experienced players on the mend due to injuries suffered last season.  Noah Brown (Broken Leg), Corey Brown (Broken Leg) and Curtis Samuel (Broken Foot) all chose to rest their bodies this time around, but don’t think that they won’t be huge factors for the Buckeyes this fall.  They will be leaned on heavily for their experience during key moments and stretches of the season.  Barrett finished the spring game 13 of 22 for no touchdowns and two interceptions.  No need to push that worry button through, this is by no means any indication of what is in store for us this fall.  He will revert back to the form and player that we all know and love.

Battle for #2:

Joey Burrow and Stephen Collier have been dueling for the designation as the backup quarterback at Ohio State.  The spring game was used as a platform to audition for that role on the team.  Burrow had the slight edge over Collier throughout the spring workouts and scrimmages.  Now after the spring game, he extended his lead and he might have secured the starting role.  Burrow led the Scarlett team over Barrett and Collier’s Grey team to a 28-17 victory.  Burrow finished 14 of 23 for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns and a single interception to a leaping Jerome Baker.  Burrow showed the poise and precision and even touch on his throws and Coach Meyer and company couldn’t be any happier.  Collier finished 4 of 9 for 154 yards and an interception.  Although the numbers were decent for Collier, it wasn’t as productive as Burrows day and for that Burrow secured the backup spot, for now.  We all know that the Buckeyes are deep at just about every position and with the pending arrival of Dwayne Haskins, you can never count any Buckeye out.  An opportunity will arise and whoever is in line will take full advantage of the opportunity.

Conclusion:

So to conclude, the future at Quarterback is in good hands and is very bright.  Once J.T. Barrett moves on, Burrow and Collier will surely step up and keep the tradition going.  With Haskins from the 2016 Class and Clark from 2017 and potentially other Quarterback targets such as current Texas A & M commit Tate Martell (Arizona) and current Baylor commit Kellen Mond (Florida) constantly coming up inside of recruiting circles close to the Buckeyes, I think we will be set and that we are in good hands for years to come.

Saying Goodbye to a Legend:

After the stunning loss to Michigan State last season, Ezekiel Elliot let the coaching staff and the world that he wanted more carries to lead his team to victory.  That did not happen and after the game he stated that there was no way that he would be coming back for another season in the Scarlet and Gray.  Although disappointing, I feel that everything happens for a reason and Elliot got what he wanted and consistently ran down opposing defenses throats to cap his final season off as a Buckeye.  Although he would be sorely missed, I feel that the current crop of Running Backs at Ohio State have the talent to carry the tradition of the bruising Running Back.  Let’s look over the many options that the Buckeyes hope to unleash this season.

Baby ‘Los Running Wild:

Saying goodbye to Zeke was tough, but what better way to replace a legend with a Running Back who has the same body type and play style like another former Buckeye great, Carlos Hyde.  Baby ‘Los or Mike Weber is better known for nearly flipping to TTUN in what was simply a misunderstanding between both parties as a former coach bolted for the NFL.  That is done and over with and now we have this young and hungry Running Back who shined during the spring game.  Weber finished with 38 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns inside of the red zone.  He was quick, ran with determination and he ran with the power that we had grown accustomed to with Carlos Hyde.  He currently is in a battle for the starting gig with upperclassman and our next player.

Five Star Redemption:

The stress of being a highly touted recruit, a Five Star Recruit as a matter of fact can be very difficult.  Brionte’ Dunn was a player similar to previous players like Curtis Grant who never could live up to the hype.  That is not by any means a slight to Dunn.  He was slotted to be the lead back after Warren Ball transferred out.  Dunn can be a solid back as previously seen during mop-up duty.  He runs with authority, runs with power and is determined to reach pay dirt.  The problem?  He played behind Running Backs like Daniel “Boom” Herron, Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliot.  That is some tough sledding for a player who was so highly regarded in high school, but he stayed because he bought in and he will most like be in the rotation throughout the year.  Whether it’s on spot duty or when games are out of hand look for him to follow the same path as fellow Five Star Curtis Grant.  Although he suffered an injury to his ankle during spring practice, he was unable to suit up for the spring game.  Regardless if he played or not, I feel that he will earn some snaps and opportunities.

Early Enrollee Turning Heads:

Being able to participate in the spring game not only gives you a head up on the competition, it gives you a chance to learn the playbook and earn a few snaps.  It also gives you valuable face time with your peers and your coaches.  Antonio Williams flipped his Wisconsin commitment and signed on with the Buckeyes late into the 2016 recruiting cycle.  I couldn’t find any stats but I don’t think he did too bad.  He is a true freshman and it will come with time.  But in the classroom he is doing it the way it is supposed to be. Although he didn’t burst into the scene, he has made a positive impression on the coaching staff.  I think Williams will earn some snaps sporadically throughout the season.  He just has to be patient and trust the coaches and the process.

Conclusion:

I think Weber will earn the starting nod.  He showed that he is game ready and capable.  Dunn will be the second Running Back and Williams will work until he earns the playing time he craves.  It is no slight to the player.  I wish there were enough carries to go around but none of these Running Backs will back down.

1st Round of the NFL 2016 Draft: Buckeye Bonanza

With the recent success with Coach Urban Meyer and his fine coaching staff on the College Gridiron, you almost would be foolish to claim that the Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the more highly regarded College Football Programs in the nation.   Without a shadow of a doubt, the Buckeyes have lived up to the tradition and the expectation of excellence and success that many college programs aspire or strive to be.  Coach Meyer, the program building architect and his band of excellent coaches have amassed an astounding 50-4 record during their tenure within the Buckeye program.  They have effectively restored Ohio State to the powerhouse that the nation and solidifies their place among the other top programs in the nation.  With consistent success with recruiting the Buckeyes stay competitive and stay loaded with talent year in and year out, without any drop-off in talent or production.  This is only the start of what could be an annual occurrence.

Class of 2013:

The Buckeyes recruiting class of 2013 was by far Coach Meyer’s best and most productive class to date. From top to bottom, the 2013 class became the defining class to Coach Meyer’s legacy, to his legacy as a coach for the Scarlet and Gray.  With key players and playmakers moving on in this years draft, they all share memories together and an unbreakable bond with each other.  They have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  They won Big Ten titles together and the Inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship and most recently the Fiesta Bowl against a competitive Notre Dame squad.

Joey Bosa:

The Buckeyes first round dominance was started by the San Diego Chargers and Buckeye Defensive End Joey Bosa at #3 Overall.  Many draft pundits were predicting a steep fall down the mid to lower part of the first round, but as we all know, the draft can be filled with twists and turns and pleasant surprises.  And this definitely qualifies as a surprise.  No one expected the Chargers to pull the trigger on Bosa due to the needs on the Offensive Line, but there was his moment and he would be the first Buckeye taken in the first round.  Bosa brings a relentless motor and pass rushing ability as well as the knack for blowing up plays and disrupting timing and wreaking havoc in the backfield.  Definitely not a huge need, but it can’t hurt to bring pressure to the opposing Quarterbacks of the AFC West.

Ezekiel Elliot:

At #4 overall, Zeke was removed from the Big Board after Bosa was taken a pick prior.  Wow!  This was a headscratcher from a needs standpoint.  The Dallas defense was in need of an impact player and they passed on Jalen Ramsey of Florida State.  The Cowboys signed Alfred Morris to a contract during free agency and the Cowboys still have Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar on deck and many fans were left scratching their heads collectively.  There is no doubt that Elliot would be the best out of the bunch and it isn’t even close.  Sure Morris has the edge on experience, but I feel that Elliot is far more superior in all aspects of the game.  He can run it down defenses throats, he has the speed to pull away in the open field, he can shimmy through the smallest of holes and he can block.  He is the full package and he will become an integral part of the Cowboys offense to lessen the burden on Tony Romo.  Behind the wall of humanity that he will soon call his Offensive Line, he is a can’t miss prospect because he will be running behind something similar to what he had at Ohio State.  The sky is the limit with his potential.

Eli Apple:

At #10, to the New York Giants, Eli Apple will be locking down Wideouts within his division and will see former teammate, Ezekiel Elliot twice a year for the duration of their rookie contracts.  It sounds enticing and I am looking forward to the matchup when it comes around.  Apple was one half of the Defensive Back Alcatraz, starting alongside Gareon Conley.  Never shying away from contact, Apple with wreak havoc and have an opportunity to shut down opposing Wideouts for the next couple of years.  Apple can mirror the opposing Wideout, preventing him from breaking away and more times than not, he wins that battle.  In the NFC East, a division that has Dez Bryant, Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, he will be sorely needed to make stops early and often.  I feel that he will fit perfectly into the system alongside DRC and newly signed DB Janoris Jenkins, Apple would be tasked to play the slot man, if he was needed to play right away. Regardless, with time being available he will blossom into a starter as he gets more experience in the NFL.

Taylor Decker:

The Detroit Lions took Decker #16 Overall in the First Round.  The Lions will most likely plug him in as a starter with the lack of depth at that position.  Decker can play both the pass and the run which makes him valuable.  He is not only durable, he is also dependable and he never gives up easily.  The Ohio State offense would occasionally lean on him and depend on him to protect the Quarterbacks blindside and he succeeded more often than he had failed.  The former Buckeye Team Captain shows the grit and the determination to finish blocks and although he doesn’t have the nasty streak that most people would like to see, he gets the job done.  He will lift and reshape an Offensive Line that has struggled for years.  Although, he will be playing up north, he will pave the way for Abdullah and company for years and years.

Darron Lee:

With the #20 Overall Pick, the New York Jets took a chance on Lee, a former High School Quarterback and “skinny, pencil necked” Athlete.  Ohio State develops players, whether you are highly sought after or an afterthought in recruiting circles.  It panned out for Lee and the Buckeyes.  The Silver Bullet or the Defensive Missile usually wreaked havoc to opposing offenses throughout his Buckeye career.  It will translate easily for Lee in the NFL.  He will be called upon to make plays when his teammates are being doubled my offensive lines.  With David Harris as the Defensive Quarterback and with Revis Island on one side and a bevy of defensive behemoths throughout the Defensive Line.  I think that it is safe to say that Lee has the most ideal scenario to become the most productive out of the five Buckeyes that have been drafted.

So with Round One in the books, I can see a similar outcome during day two of the NFL Draft.  With many Buckeye playmakers still waiting to hear their names called, I feel that this would only solidify the Buckeyes both in the College ranks, with recruiting and in the NFL by having so many former players drafted in the draft.  It is a perfect storm with exposure and it will only help strengthen the Buckeyes case for years and years.  This is always the case with Coach Meyer.  You lose the players that you would like to keep, but there are always players that have stayed the path and patiently awaited for their time to shine. They will not waste their opportunity to fill the vacant spaces as they hope to follow the path of the 2103 Buckeyes class.  Rounds Two and Three will be an interesting one and more Buckeyes are going to hear their names tonight.  Go Bucks!!!

Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast Bosa Is Not Top 8 Draft Pick

This week Ryan Rosko an editor for factoryofsadness.co joins us to discuss the Ohio State
Buckeyes in the draft along with the Cleveland Browns.

We discuss that Ryan doesn’t feel Joey Bosa is a Top 8 draft
pick. The reasons why the Cleveland Browns need to stay away from
Cardale Jones. Can the Buckeyes get 6 players drafted in the first
round of the NFL Draft to tie Miami who set the record in
2004. There was also talk about Eli Apple to the Steelers.

Chip gave us his wish list of the Browns picking Michael Thomas
and Nick Vannett along with giving Chase Farris a shot. Shannon
gives his dream scenario of the Browns drafting Joey Bosa, Michael
Thomas and Cardale Jones. Ryan wishes the Browns don’t trade out of
the 8th spot and taking Ezekiel Elliott.

Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast Clair Crawford Tells Us Her Spring Game Experiences

Clair Crawford joins us to help dissect the Ohio State Spring Game. We discuss the players that stood out to us along with if there should be any worry about J.T. Barrett.

What all did we learn if anything from the Scarlet and Gray game. We also dove into the record size crowd of 100,189 and some of the festivities. 

I included the Urban Meyer Spring Game press conference for our fans to enjoy.

We want to thank Clair for joining us and please give her a follow on twitter at @buckeyeclair and don’t forget to listen to her and Joe Dexter on Script Ohio on buckeyesportsradio it really is a great show and Clair and Joe really knock it’s out of the park every Monday through Friday.

Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast with Stanley Jackson

Chip Minnich and I had the privilege of getting with Big Ten Network analyst and former Buckeye quarterback Stanley Jackson to talk some Buckeye football. We discussed the upcoming Spring Game, NCAA ban on satellite camps, Cardale Jones ripping the NCAA.

We played a tribute for former Buckeye and New Orleans Saint great Will Smith. Tyler Bishop (@tyler123B1) put together a great youtube video honoring the former defensive lineman that was tragically taken away recently. Stanley gave us his thoughts on the tragedy as well.

It was great discussing with Stanley what the Buckeyes key areas to watch are, what its like as a player to get ready for the Spring Game, we also kind of talked about who at this time (which is early) might be a front-runner for the Big Ten.

You can follow Stanley Jackson on twitter @jacksonville8. We want to thank him again for taking the time out and joining us. We also want to thank our listeners.


Men of the Scarlet and Gray Podcast Spring Ball

Spring is in the air and Ohio State football is back, well sort of. Being cooped up for months in a mild winter we finally get to start talking about our favorite football team.

I get with my co-host Chip Minnich and our special guest Chuck Strawn of thebuckeyebattlecry.com fame to discuss Buckeye football.

We discuss the Harbaugh khaki pants in a bunch issue that recently happened along with the who and the what we are looking forward to for the upcoming Spring Game. Six practices in and we finally get to discuss what we feel will be the group or groups to keep an eye on for Spring Game. We also discuss our picks for possible impact true freshman for the upcoming season. 

As always its a fun time to get to talk Buckeye football with Chip and throw a little Chuck in there and major knowledge dropped with lots of humor.