#MOTSAGRising: Studs and Duds

1-0! Yes, there are still games going on, but the Buckeyes are done for the day and we here at The Men of the Scarlet and Gray need something to accompany Mike’s post game review. His analysis was spot on and I have a few tidbits to add to it! Here we go!

  1. STUD: Justin Fields was efficient and poised for the entirety of the game amid getting off to a slow start and being sacked four times. Fields finished the game with 2 passing touchdowns after slinging it 21 times, with a single incomplete pass. He rushed 15 times for 54 yards and a score as well. Coach Day would need to prevent that many rushing attempts, but the line collapsed and his receivers were covered tightly during those plays–so lets see if they will improve against Penn State. For now lets enjoy the win!
  2. STUDS: Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba were balling out today! The duo of Wilson and Olave were a given, but toe-tapping action Jaxon stole the show! We all heard the hype about the inbound group of elite receivers, but wow is all we can say. For contrast, this catch and debut reminds me of Olave’s explosive debut against TTUN, but with less usage and just a splendid catch that made an impact. The future of Zone 6 is definitely bright, but the dangerous duo of Wilson and Olave grabbing 13 catches for 233 yards and a score will a staple of this years offensive attack.
  3. DUDS: A combination of the Slobs, Sermon and Teague started off too slow, landing them on the dud-side of things. Not by a lack of effort or talent, but they did not fare too well and it limited the offense as a whole during the first half. Let me explain before I get blown up–the offensive line got beat up early and often before turning it around in the second half. While it is true that their line is elite, they are still bringing along two new starters at Left Guard and Right Tackle and they look like they need additional time to gel. The thunder and lightning combination of Sermon and Teague need to be better too as they looked hesitant to hit the holes aggressively when they had them. Sermon looked good late while Teague had little to no wiggle and looks to hulk-smash defenders with his style of play. I have faith that they’ll get better, but this is just a minor setback for a major comeback.
  4. DUDS: Linebacker tackling, D-Line pass rushers, and tackling. Linebacker has always been a problem for the Buckeyes, but this week featured the trio of Borland, Browning, and Werner leaving tight ends open in the seams and the flats–and it is infuriating as always. The tackling could be better, but they did enough to stop the bleeding during the second half. The D-Line needs to provide consistent pressure and they need to do better with containing and stopping the quarterback runs. For the defense as a whole–they need tackle better, but again–they shut them down late. Overall great showing and promise. They need to fine tune things a bit, but the promised return of the vaunted Silver Bullets is achievable this early in the season and we are just a game into this short season.
  5. STUD: Haskell Garrett’s return. Garrett attempt to stop a fight this offseason resulted in him getting shot in the face and it seems like he has recovered. Garrett finished game one with a sack and a forced fumble that led to a Banks touchdown–which ultimately shifted the momentum toward Ohio State and halted the Nebraska offensive attack. Hopefully his stellar performance in week one will pave it forward because the confidence is there, but they need more people to step up in the absence of a dominant pass rusher like Joey and Nick Bosa and Chase Young. They have the pieces but they need to step up against Penn State.

#GoBucks

#MOTSAGRising #NewBlood Amid Slow Start, Buckeyes Roll, and Impress Late by Mike Scharf

No. 5 Ohio State officially started their quest in its pursuit of another second-straight College Football playoff run, pulling away with a 52-17 win against Nebraska. Although the Buckeyes led after every quarter, they only led 24-14 at halftime, but ended taking control of the game, dominating the second half out scoring Nebraska 28-3.

As the fifth-ranked Buckeyes opened their season against Nebraska things were looking interesting early. As noted, the ability to run the ball with dual-threat quarterbacks Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey was going to be a key factor heading into the game and the duo showed up poised and confident. Nebraka took advantage of an Ohio State defense that lost seven starters to the NFL draft and marched 75 yards in four plays for a game-opening touchdown drive, a drive that took less than 2 minutes. As Nebraka stuck with the ground game, the Buckeyes defense tightened up over the course of the game, allowing one touchdown and causing a couple of second-half fumbles.

The Justin Fields Heisman campaign is officially underway and it didn’t disappoint. The Junior quarterback had a flawless 2020 debut. Fields completed 20-of-21 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns along with 54 yards on the ground and one touchdown. Along with Fields his wide receiver core did not let down. Garrett Wilson (seven catches, 129 yards, and one touchdown), Chris Olave (six catches, 104 yards), and notably an incredible highlight toe-tapping touchdown catch by freshman Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the back of the endzone in the fourth quarter. 

Going forward, the Buckeye coaches have stressed enough not relying on Fields in the running game. Fields was two yards shy of being the team’s leader in today’s game with 54 yards on 15 attempts. Though Nebraska defense came to play and looked very much improved from a year ago. The effort to replace JK Dobbins’ was on full display as three running backs saw quality time on different drives. The trio of Master Teague, Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon and redshirt freshman Steele Chambers combined for 128 yards on 27 carries.

Next weekend is possibly the Buckeyes biggest test of the season as they travel to Happy Valley. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions will clash in a 7:30 primetime game on ABC.

The Clash of Allies: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs #5 Ohio State Buckeyes by Mike Scharf

After the Big Ten cancelled the 2020 football season in August, and then reversed that decision last month, Ohio State’s pursuit for another CFB Playoff trip starts this week as Nebraska comes into Columbus to take on the Buckeyes. 

The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers are meeting for the seventh time since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011. The Buckeyes have won seven of eight matchups including five straight. This Buckeye team is starting their season in October for the first time since 1939.

The Big Ten was the first power 5 conference to cancel its fall schedule, only for the decision to be backpedaled due to constant strategies within the conference along with an eight week schedule that features eight games with no off dates. The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers both voiced their opinions strongly on the desire to play so it’s only right these two face off in Ohio stadium this weekend.

Ohio State fell just short of a visit to the national championship game last season losing to Clemson 29-23 in the CFB semifinal, but this Buckeye squad led by Head Coach Ryan Day reloaded for another run at it this season. Day returns a Heisman Trophy Finalist at quarterback in Justin Fields, one of the best offensive lines in the country, along one of the most talented wide receiver groups in recent years, and a stout defense.

The Buckeyes will also have some new faces displaying their ability this weekend with Oklahoma transfer running back Trey Sermon and a talented freshman recruiting class led by the receiving core of Julian Fleming, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Gee Scott.

Like Day, Nebraska coach Scott Frost also re-establishes some key members for his squad. Notably starting quarterback Adrian Martinez along with a returning offensive line. Martinez was in a fight for the starting job as redshirt freshman Luke McCaffrey, who offers a unique, similar skill set as a dual-threat quarterback for the Cornhuskers. So the Buckeyes defense needs to have their focus on both quarterbacks come game time as both could see snaps. The offensive front for the Cornhuskers is experienced as they get returning all five starters from last year including three seniors in tackle Brenden Jaimes, and guards Boe Wilson, Matt Farnoik. 

There’s no denying the notable talent gap between the two programs as the Buckeyes have won its last five games against the Cornhuskers in dominating fashion and is 7-1 all-time including a 48-7 matchup in Lincoln last year. Many are expecting Ohio State’s high-powered offense to blow the doors off Nebraska. Although it shouldn’t be eye opening if Nebraska makes some plays on the offensive side of the ball as Ohio State’s defense is playing its first game without seven starters who were all drafted into the NFL including two of the top three picks in Chase Young, and Jeff Okudah.

SCORE PREDICTION: 52-20

Fans Interact: Pre-Season Roundtable; Todd, Brad, Abe and Elizabeth Take on the pre-season

We will do some various fans interacts this season and we kick things off with a roundtable that our staff had already answered earlier on. Please click on there link in their names and give them a follow! They did an awesome job answering some difficult questions.

Who do you believe had the best offseason considering all of the COVID issues they had. Explain why this player exceeded your expectations.

Easy Pick

Elizabeth – Justin Fields elevated himself as one of the leaders for the team during the unpredictable off season. His leadership in social issues in the country has engaged him in a unique way. His drive to reinstate Buckeye football was relentless. His resilience through the adversity cemented his image as a leader in multiple ways. He has dedicated himself to a strong year on the field as quarterback. He by far exceeded what I expected from a player as the Big Ten cancelled the season. He is set to lead the team and teach the next generations of players. It is exciting what we have witnessed to this point. 

Brad – Obviously It’s Justin Fields , I wouldn’t say he exceeded  my expectations however he did step up to be the Leader I thought he could be.  Harry Miller is definitely going to be a future leader of this team. Anyone who has watched his Twitter post would agree.

Todd – I think it’s a toss up for me between Justin and Wade, Justin had taken on a bigger leadership role and wants that Natty, Wade didn’t want his last game in a buckeye uniform to end like it did…both will play lights out this year

Abe – I gotta go with Fields.  By all accounts he has become the vocal leader that he was not last year.  Faced with sitting and watching the games play out after the interception and then in the delay due to C19 (that’s the new cool way to refer to it), he has used that fire just like he should.  Drive others and push yourself.

What defensive player is going to shock the world and why?

Think the Buckeyes will miss this guy?

Elizabeth – I’m going with junior safety Josh Proctor to be a defensive player to shock college football. Last season he had four tackles with three solo in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Clemson. I think he returns with that drive and energy. 

Brad – Zach Harrison is definitely  going to have to step up to be the next in line for a dominating Defensive End. Pete Werner could actually wind up being an All-American & a first round draft choice with another solid season & I’d really like to see Kerry Coombs turn Josh Proctor Loose this season he has a potential to be like Jack Tatum or Antwan Winfield Sr. A freshman to watch  is going to be Cameron Martinez . How Captain Khaki let him get out of the state up north is going to haunt him for years.

Todd – I also think Browning, I feel the same as Abe, he has a year under him now and a year of the best coaching in CFB, look for him to step up and make plays 

Abe – I typically like to figure out freak athletes or someone that has all of the skills and manages to put it together, last year I said that Arnette was going to have a very solid year and that Browning would emerge as a playmaker.  Arnette did have a very good year, albeit with a broken wrist.  Browning was steady, although not a playmaker.  This year, after a year under his belt watch for Browning to shine and make those big plays.  My sleeper is a backup that could be thrust into the rotation with an injury at LB, Terdja Mitchell.  Took too much speed to leave on the bench..

What offensive player is going to shock the world and why?

Elizabeth – I’m taking sophomore wide receiver Garrett Wilson as the offensive player to shock the world. He made extraordinary catches with amazing balance and agility as a freshman. I know he’s been taking reps in the slot and Hartline likes him in this position to add to the receiving plays. He learned from K. J. Hill has increased his time watching films. I predict an exciting year offensively. 

Brad – Take your pick of any of the Freshman members of Zone 6 Fleming,Scott Jr, Cooper ,Smith -Njigba will all add depth. The outside duo of Olave & Williams are going to cause a lot of problems for defenses when Ohio State goes over the top & with Wilson moving to the slot is going to be a nightmare for B1G DC’s. 

Todd – Master…kids gonna run angry and has a chip on his shoulder to prove he can do it, and he’ll do it

Abe – How did I know you were going to ask this question now?  The popular pick will be Wilson, but I don’t think he is a shocker, he is just a stud.  Someone that comes out of nowhere and has a chance to really surprise people is what I am thinking of….. And in this case, another receiver is the pick.  Not one of those super freshmen that this class contains, but a super-sophomore, Jameson Williams.  Not only does his first name resonate with good times, but that kid is faster than….. well, I don’t know, he is just fast.  I think he could fill the Parris Campbell role on crossing patterns using that blazing speed.   Rumors are swirling that he might return punts…… please let us have someone return punts that can take it to the house each and every time they touch it!  I mean Ted Ginn and Santonio Holmes style…..As it is written, so let it be done.

What will be the average score during the season, and will it be because Coombs and Johnson are back together or because Ryan Day wants to hang a hundred on everybody?

This is a “friendly” rivalry and good teammates for getting B1G back on, but will Day score a lot of points Saturday?

Elizabeth – The Buckeye team is poised and motivated to take care of the unfinished goal of winning it all last year. With all sides of the ball feeling the motivation and drive and the crew of premier coaches, I can see them scoring 35-42 points a game. Ryan Day may just outshine the entire NCAA in coaching successes this year. The way he fought for his players will produce amazing results from the team to #Fight. I don’t think I’ve been more excited for a season to begin. 

Brad –  42 points per game average.Offensively they will be able to score at will. My Concern is Defensively & the Middle of the defensive line Tommy Togiai is going to be an absolute beast but are Taron Vincent (shoulder) & Haskell Garrett going to be healthy enough to give him a rest instead of playing 50 snaps a game if they have to use Cormontae Hamilton (true freshman) or Darrion Henry-Young also a true freshman could be a huge issue.

Todd – 35-42 probably, I’m not sure Ryan will hang a ton of points on teams because he’s not that guy, now when it come to the last game, watch for him to go all out and hang 70+ on them

Abe – This entire team should be angry the way the game ended with Clemson.  Not just Fields and Olave.  The running back, the O-line, the defense….. Every…single….unit.  That being said, I look for the margin of victory to be high, probably 40 as an average.  

What is your prediction for the season and will there be games lost due to COVID?

Elizabeth – This is the greatest question we all wonder about with the start of the 2020 season a week away. The Buckeye team of players, coaches, and family members are making tremendous sacrifices to finish a complete season healthy. We have the depth to have a team on the field if players test positive. My greatest hope is we all stay healthy.  I believe there will be interruptions to teams in the conference. Hopefully nothing happens to keep Buckeyes and TTUN from playing each other for the 116 time. I know the safety protocols will be a possible reason for lost games. 

Brad – I honestly don’t know,  let it play out. One thing for sure is the Genuses  who run this conference left no room for error. At the time of this round table The NFL , &  S.E.C are having Issues. Even Saban has Covid ( False Negative)  & Florida has over 20 players Including Mullen that have tested positive , they have to move their game with L.S.U to December 12th. Cincinnati also has to move their game with Tulsa. With all that said anything short of a National Championship is going to be a major disappointment.

Todd – tough to answer that 1, I don’t think there will be any lost games at least not because of us, these kids are on a mission to get that Natty and are doing whatever it takes to keep from getting sick….it’s National Champs or bust this year 

Abe – I don’t think there will be lost games….at least I hope not.  I think we need to figure out how to play with this virus.  By that, I mean using our 2nd team player when and if someone comes down with it.  At their age and condition, they should only need 10 days according to the CDC, once they are fever free.  Why the B1G chose 21 days is beyond me…. Hopefully they will revisit it as these kids need each and every game to display their abilities.

#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: Secondary

As deep and good as the front seven are the secondary may just be the best the Buckeyes have seen in recent years. The speed and talent covering opposing teams WR’s can be potent and led by one of the top prospects for next years NFL draft in Shaun Wade.

The starting line-up will more than likely not get a lot of breathers but they probably don’t need all that much with how quick the front seven will get after the opposing QB and give them time to help shutdown the run.

Wade is helped at CB on the other side by one of the coolest names in college football in Sevyn Banks. the safeties will probably be Junior Josh Proctor and Senior Marcus Williamson.

Red-shirt Sophomore Marcus Hooker is the one youngster everyone is hoping to see a lot of and most thing he has a lot of the same talent his older brother and former Buckeye Malik Hooker had when in the Scarlet and Grey.

Also look for Cameron Brown and true frosh Legond Cavazos to contribute when there’s opportunities.

#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: Anti-Slobs(Rushmen)

Today we roll with the glue that has held the defense together for quite sometime thanks to Larry Johnson and his ever improving Rushmen packages. Anyone that has played for him the past several years stands a good chance of becoming a pro.

Lets start at the ends where the rotation should be all but set for this season.

DE – Jonathon Cooper backed up by Tyler Friday, then Tyreke Smith backed up by Zach Harrison and there should be plenty of plays for all four which will make things difficult on opposing QB’s.

DT – Is a different story altogether but we should see Tommy Togiai and Taron Vincent emerge as starts in this years defense which will see more of Togiai lined up over the C. He has proven to be a problem already and will shine as this years starter.

The rest of the group can produce but may not see as much time as the others. Haskell Garrett is a proven leader and will be a force after returning from an off-season shooting that left him needing to work his way back. As of late he is practicing and doing well. Antwuan Jackson is a graduate transfer that will see some time and opportunities to prove himself behind Togiai.

DE 18 Cooper, Jonathon RS SR 54 Friday, Tyler JR
NT 72 Togiai, Tommy JR 52 Jackson, Antwuan RS SR/TR
DT 92 Garrett, Haskell SR 6 Vincent, Taron RS SO

#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