Spring Ball Updates

Stroud Leads QB battle

  • The notable discussion this offseason for the Buckeyes was the three-way quarterback battle between C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller, and Kyle McCord. Ohio State opened practice to the media for the second time and reporters noted Stroud was the first quarterback in the passing order followed by Miller and then by true freshman McCord.
  • Reports note Stroud is building momentum due to his “big arm, underrated athleticism, and strong personality.”

Jeremy Rucket

  • Buckeye nation loved the news when Jeremy Ruckert announced he was returning for his final season with the Buckeyes and he looks to dominate
  • Ruckert will be a big-time weapon for Ohio State’s offense this year. Kevin Wilson thinks he can be “the most complete TE in the nation.”

Master Teague

  • Teague is back and ran an UNREAL 4.35 40 yard dash this offseason. That’s very impressive for a guy that’s 5-11 226.
  • The other RB’s to note are Miyan Williams and true freshman 5-star TreVeyon Henderson

WR core

  • We all know this unite of Zone 6 is ELITE with studs Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson returning but some freshman have been making some noise
  • Reports note Emeka Egbuka (5-star #1 ranked WR) is FAST
  • @OhioStateFB posted a video of Marvin Harrison Jr. catching three TOUGH passes against the Buckeyes secondary
  • This unit also has Jameson Williams, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Julian Fleming returning

Center Position

  • With Harry Miller sidelined this spring, Day says “Matthew Jones, Luke Wypler and Jakob James have been taking the reps at center.”
  • Luke Wypler is looking like the guy at center during spring ball per reports
  • Wypler has been getting first-team reps and making big improvements heading into his second year with the Buckeyes

Secondary

  • A big topic heading into this season is how the Buckeyes’ secondary will play after a ‘disappointing’ year this past season:
  • Kerry Coombs says Lathan Ransom is practicing at the cover safety/slot position right and from videos posted by the Ohio State social media team (@OhioStateFB) he’s looking to have a breakout sophomore season for this secondary
  • Coombs also noted Josh Proctor started the spring as the first-team deep safety and has been playing “really well.”
  • The coaches have been IMPRESSED with the true freshman defensive back from Arizona, Denzel Burke. Ryan Day says that he has already “flashed” and is making plays in practice. Defensive backs coach Matt Barnes says he’s been “blown away” by Burke thus far. The 6-0, 189 Burke has a bright future for the Buckeyes
  • Another name that keeps coming is Ryan Watts. Reports note Watts had a very productive winter off-season in the weight room. Watts is showing his potential and could be a HUGE contributor to the secondary this upcoming season

Tyleik Williams

  • The 6-3, 330 freshman DT from Manassas, VA. has been getting some high praise from his teammate this spring
  • Zach Harrison says Williams looks “really good” and “really promising” so far

More to come:

MOTSAG Draft Profiles: Justin Fields

With the 2021 NFL Draft fast approaching, the odds of a Buckeye getting drafted are pretty high—especially after the championship run this past season. Although the game did not go as planned, the legacy of the outbound players cannot be underestimated and their achievements speak for themselves. Here are just a few tidbits about each draft eligible Buckeyes starting with Justin Fields.

Although the scoreboard failed to showcase his improvements, Justin Fields’ had plenty of good plays that were captured on tape. His intangibles are good enough to be a great, productive quarterback in the NFL and he could potentially break the stigma for future Ohio State Quarterbacks.

Fields is accurate from deep and he has improved his mid and short range accuracy as well. The know of locking onto his first receiver is a thing of the past because he has shown that he is actively coming off of the first receiver and is working through his progressions. Yes, sacks and holding onto the ball is bad but Fields has the potential to be a good one in the future. Pack in the speed and toughness—and you have a durable player with leadership capabilities and the concept I’ve drive to help your team turn things around.

If oddsmakers have it right, there is very little chance Justin Fields winds up a New England Patriot after the 2021 NFL Draft says Paruk from SportsBettingDime.com had mentioned. After the 49ers traded up to #3, they became -150 favorites to take the Ohio State pivot. The Patriots were not among the other eight teams listed. That’s because the chances of Fields lasting until the 15th-overall pick are basically nil, as is Bill Belichick’s history of trading up in the draft.

The NFL Draft is never lacking in drama, but there many teams looking for a future signal caller/playmaker. Fields fits the mold in being one of those future stars and all he needs is to hear his name to begin putting in the work.

PROS:

  • Deep ball accuracy/placement
  • Durability
  • Athleticism/Speed
  • Leadership Qualities
  • Arm Strength

CONS:

  • Holds onto ball too long/Eats sacks

Class of 22′ OT Carter Smith talks recruitment, Ohio State involvement and fun outside of Football

Carter Smith, Olentangy Liberty, Offensive Tackle (247sports.com)

OT Carter Smith might not have the loftiest recruiting rating per the 247 Sports composite rating, but if there is anything we all know about Ohio kids they have an act of outworking anybody/everybody in the country no matter what the recruiting analysts say. Carter may be lower ranked but he lets his hard work do his talking and programs are clearly listening as the offers continue to roll in. “I currently have 24 offers and I don’t want to disclose any leaders until the time comes. I’m hoping to have my top 5 out by April 15th, but anything can happen.” Smith said.

I can honestly say I do not blame Smith for waiting as just in the last couple weeks alone he has had offers still rolling in and the last two have been from SEC country (Auburn , Vanderbilt) but he also has a Tennessee offer so the big programs are definitely interested and Smith is excited about the potential opportunity to take his talents to SEC territory. “It’s really cool to have the opportunity to play good ball down south, but I just want to find somewhere that fits me best.” Smith said.

With Carter being located just a short ways away from Ohio State I Asked him if Ohio State has reached out about a potential offer and if he thought the lack of camp opportunities that Ohio State usually holds and the on-going recruiting dead period on campuses has caused a lull in said communication. “I know they (Ohio State) would like to see me at around 280-290 pound range and I’ve talked with Coach Stud a few times but nothing too much about an offer.” Smith Said. “Absolutely. It’s the worst part about this right now, not only can I not see the campus, but the coaches and players too. It’s really frustrating. I hope to make it to a camp or two this summer, there will absolutely be visits taken.” Smith added.

While football is important to Smith there is plenty that he values outside of the sport. “I enjoy doing volunteer work, youth group, making smoothies at my work, and hockey. I hope to make an impact on everyone I meet and make my mark at the best place for me! It’s all about relationships and i need to cherish that as much as possible.” Smith said.

I cant thank Carter enough for giving me some of his time and I think we can all agree that he will do big things no matter wherever he goes!

Buckeyes C.J. Stroud, poised to be great:

The 6-3, 205-pound quarterback is primed for a breakout career for the Ohio State offense.

C.J. Stroud will be in a quarterback battle all summer into fall camp with fellow quarterback Jack Miller III and incoming 5-star freshman Kyle McCord, all competing for the job — but Stroud is certainly the favorite. 

According to 247sports, Stroud was a four-star in high school ranked #42 in the country and #2 pro-style quarterback.

Stroud is from Rancho Cucamonga, CA. where he threw for 6,569 yards and 70 touchdowns in his career at Rancho Cucamonga high school. — His senior was extraordinary as he threw for 3,878 yards and 47 touchdowns leading his team to the state semifinals. 

During his senior campaign, he competed at the Elite 11, the nation’s premier quarterback competition, and won MVP. — Scouts have compared Stroud to NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

As a true freshman, Stroud’s significant moment came against Michigan State when he sprinted off for a 48-yard touchdown run — He never attempted a pass but was the first to replace Justin Fields off the bench versus Michigan State and Rutgers.

Stroud has all the tools to become the next great Buckeye quarterback.

He has a solid frame and his high school film shows he has one of the strongest arms with a smooth tight release and has unreal athleticism to make plays outside of the pocket. Along with that, Stroud throws the deep ball with great touch and accuracy.

Stroud may be the favorite heading into next season, but the three-way quarterback battle will be surreal, and this Ohio State offense will be highly-powered and explosive come the 2021 season.

Chris Olave returning for senior season with Buckeyes:

With all eyes expecting Ohio State’s star wide receiver Chris Olave to enter his name into the 2021 draft, he announced he’ll return for his senior season.

“I’d like to thank God for this life, without him none of this is possible,” Olave wrote on Twitter and thanked coach Ryan Day, wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, strength coach Mickey Marotti along with Buckeye nation.

“There are so many great memories, but we’re not done yet, I’ll be returning for my senior year at Ohio State,” says Olave.

In his three-year career as a Buckeye, Olave has caught 110 catches, 1,766 yards, and 22 touchdowns.

He was projected as likely a first-round NFL pick and shocked Buckeye nation with his return.

The announcement is huge for the offense heading into next fall.

Key offensive pieces entered the 2021 draft, as expected — Justin Fields, Wyatt Davis, and Trey Sermon.

Olave’s value is magnificent and was on full display this past season as he was unable to participate in the Big Ten Championship game due to COVID protocols — the Buckeyes struggled in the passing game as Justin Fields completed only 12 of 27 passes for 114 yards.

Olave’s return, along with tight end Jeremy Ruckert and left tackle Thayer Munford is enormous, especially within the quarterback room.

The Buckeyes will see a new face at starting quarterback come next fall with sophomores CJ Stroud, Jack Miller, and 5-star true freshman Kyle McCord all competing for the job — the return of Ruckert, Munford, and Olave will help break in a new quarterback.

Olave’s revenge game against Clemson was surreal as he caught six passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

Against the Crimson Tide in the national title game, Olave caught eight passes for 69 yards.

His career as a Buckeye has been special — But he’s not done yet and has one goal in mind.

C02 is back.

The Reload: Running Backs

The running back room is also affected by uncertainty with Trey Sermon’s status up in the air. He suffered an injury that took him out of the game and it cost the Buckeyes. It is his decision to make but all signs point to him pursuing his NFL dream. The talent that is in place and the backs that are coming in will be exciting to say the least.

Master Teague played in place of Sermon and he did what he could, scoring twice and running for 65 yards. This season, he will be in his third year with the program and he is the early favorite to be the bell cow for the Buckeyes. Yes, he’s no Sermon, but he could fill a leadership role and he brings experience in a mostly green room of backs. He could take his game up a notch while guiding the younger backs under the tutelage of Tony Alford, but this is if the redshirt sophomore decides to stay.

Marcus Crowley is the next talented back and he is a former Gatorade Player of the Year in the talent-rich state of Florida. He saw a few snaps in the championship game when the game was out of reach and he showed some burst but not a ton. As talented as he is, all he is waiting for is his shot for some meaningful snaps. I hope he sticks around for the long haul.

Steele Chambers, out of Roswell, Georgia is the third back on the reload and he is coming off a year where he was recovering from an ACL injury and we will see how he feels in 2021. When he was in the game, he always got his yards and I’m hoping the rust shakes off quickly.

Miyan Williams is the third and “bowling ball” really went out there against Clemson and played like a man possessed. He will ride that momentum moving forward and watching the tape, he really is a downhill runner that isn’t afraid of contact. He is also deceptively shifty which won’t hurt either.

The incoming freshman are TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor, two talented back that will come into the fold soon. Henderson, a five star out of Hopewell, VA has a lot of potential to overtake the talent above. Electric and sudden, he will give the Buckeyes a potential game breaker in the backfield. His stablemate Pryor from Cornelius, NC is a four star but also has the same traits that compliment Henderson. The pair are the #1 and #2 players at their position and they will look to make an immediate impact as freshman.

Regardless of who stays or goes, the room is in good hands. Coach Alford has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal and I know we will be fine. Attrition wouldn’t shock me either, but until we know enjoy the talent we have been stockpiling.

#GoBucks

5-star Buckeye commit Quinn Ewers, Caroll Dragons ready for state title game:

Ohio State five-star commit Quinn Ewers, the country’s No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2022 is ready for the big stage.

Ewers, and his Carroll Dragons will take on Cade Klubnik and Austin Westlake for the Texas 6A Division 1 title game.

Despite missing six games due to a sports hernia, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Ewers has been a force for the Dragon’s offense all season long.

Ewers has played in seven games, throwing for 2,091 yards, 25 touchdowns, with a 125 QBR.

Last season the Dragons suffered a fourth-round playoff loss to Duncanville — Ewers, as a sophomore threw for 393 yards and 3 touchdowns despite the losing efforts —

The Dragons got their revenge this season defeating Duncanville 34-27 advancing to the state title. Ewers threw only 11 times for 168 yards with 2-total touchdowns — one rushing, one throwing. —

According to Maxpreps.com, the Dragons are currently ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 21 nationally while Austin Westlake is ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 10 nationally.

Ewers and the Dragons will take on Westlake at AT&T Stadium with a 7 p.m. CST (8 p.m. EST) start time.

The game will be streamed on Fox Sports Southwest:

foxsportssouthwest.com

The Reload: Quarterback

The combination of the current group of Ohio State quarterbacks and the incoming freshman over the next two seasons helps Coach Day and Coach Dennis build toward the future of the program. They certainly have the talent at their disposal, but even that could be put into jeopardy with a surprise return from Justin Fields. Let’s say he leaves and what do we have left? Who is available to make some noise? Who will come in in the future?

Jack Miller III and C.J. Stroud the understudies to Justin Fields in the 2020 season and they have had their moment when called upon. When games were out of play, they were put in and when each got their shot, the electricity was evident for each. Jack Miller III was the first of the pair to be thrust into the game against Nebraska. He had no pass attempts but carried the ball twice for 23 yards and a score. C.J. Stroud on the other hand played in the Michigan State game and carried the ball once for a 48-yard scamper for six. Both will have a leg up on the incoming players, but even their talent is notable.

Joining Miller and Stroud in the summer, Kyle McCord and is another player that will show up and add to the competition within this position group. McCord, according to 24/7, is a quarterback from Pennsylvania is the #25 overall player in the nation, the third-best quarterback and oh, he’s one of the five five-star players that is coming in. Spicy, but having competition never hurt anyone, especially at a blue blood school like Ohio State.

Looking into the future, we have Quinn Ewers currently committed. Obviously, he is a 2022 recruit and the McCord of the class that will hopefully add to the QB room. He is a big-time player that will be playing in the Texas State Championship Game and he is one of the few players to have a perfect grade of 1.000 on the 24/7 composite. It is still a long way until he signs, but he looks like a gunslinger, and imagine if he is fully developed under Coach Day.

Each of these quarterbacks brings a diverse set of skills. It is up to Coach Day to develop them as men and as players, and the competition this spring will be a storyline to watch. It’ll be a three-way deadlock and the competition will be fierce to be “the man” at Ohio State.

The future at Ohio State is bright. There is no taking away from that. The reload is here. Buckle up.

#GoBucks

Silver Linings, Onto The Future

The offseason is usually a rough time for me, but being able to continue writing about the Ohio State Buckeyes puts my mind at ease. The passion I have and the sheer love for the team prevents me from walking away and here I am talking about the future of the program.

Players will often take some time to make up their minds about their future and here we are in limbo for the time being. Fields, Olave, Fields, Wade and the majority of the linebacking core are likely to leave but the greatest mystery would be to see who stays.

Now, when we find out whoever does stay, it’ll be interesting to see the attrition process play itself out too. Younger players with no shot at being “the guy” for their respective positions—let’s see how mentally tough they are and if they can be patient. This is probably the most interesting part of the year where anything can happen leading up to the annual spring game.

While you can’t bet on the Buckeyes in Ohio just yet, there is optimism in 2021. Sports betting legislation is in the works. If you can’t wait and are in the Michigan area, sports betting in MI is going live this week. You can wager on all the Buckeyes futures bets on DraftKings, FanDuel, or BetMGM, Lineups has the latest news and reviews if you don’t know which book to use.

Anyway, this team should look different this year and the future is too bright to discount the efforts and the strives it took to have a season. These kids are here for our entertainment and for their future. Do not blur the lines. Being able to not let wins or losses dictate our lives is a blessing and for me, I’m just happy that I have found that silver lining in this.

Buckeyes future is… BRIGHT

When the Big Ten’s fall season fell apart, the thought of Ohio State playing in the national championship seemed like an imagination. 

Coach Ryan Day, Justin Fields, and the Buckeyes fought hard for this season and made it a reality. Fields started a #WeWantToPlay petition which received 250,000 signatures and it took off from there.

That’s all this Buckeye team wanted, a chance. On Sept. 16, when the Big Ten announced a season will take place in October, they got just that.

The Buckeyes ran with the opportunity and didn’t disappoint. This team faced more obstacles then imagined throughout the year. They faced COVID difficulties from week 6 of the season until the end but didn’t stop the fight.

This team was doubted from the start and proved all the doubters wrong winning the Big Ten championship, beating Clemson in the Sugar Bowl championship, and finished the historic season with a heartbroken national championship loss to one of Alabama’s most talented teams we’ve seen in years. 

Looking ahead

Leaving (accepted senior bowl invite or most likely to enter draft.): Justin Fields, Wyatt Davis, Shaun Wade, Chris Olave, Trey Sermon, Jonathan Cooper, Tuf Borland, Baron Browning, Marcus Williamson, Drue Chrisman, Justin Hillard.

POSSIBILITY of returning: Tommy Togiai, Haskell Garrett, Pete Werner, Sevyn Banks, Nick Petit-Frere, Jeremy Ruckert, Tyreke Smith.

2021-2022 Season

The Offense

The Quarterback Battle…during the offseason will be as competitive as it gets. CJ Stroud and Jack Miller will be looked at as the front runners for the job heading into the season, but incoming 5-star freshman Kyle McCord may add a three-way race to be the Buckeyes next quarterback.

  • CJ Stroud: Class of 2020 (4 star, #2 QB, #42 overall)
  • Jack Miller: Class of 2020 (4 star, #13 QB, #334 overall)
  • Kyle McCord: Class of 2021 (5 star, #3 QB, #25 overall)

Offensive Line…remain dominant. Nick Petit-Frere, Matthew Jones, Harry Miller, Dawand Jones, and Paris Johnson Jr. will be a force up front.

Running Backscompetition will be interesting. The Buckeyes will have Master Teague, Miyan Willams coming back, but incoming #1 ranked, 5-star running back TreVeyon Henderson will add some fuel to that competition.

Wide Receiversloaded. Garrett Wilson will be returning for his junior season and looks to have a Heisman type of year. He has the talent and ability to put up record-breaking numbers for this Buckeyes offense next season. The WR core will also bring back Jameson Williams and stud freshmen Jaxon Smith-Njiba and Julian Fleming. The Buckeyes also bring in the #1 and #8, and #15 WR’s in Emeka Egbuka, Jayden Ballard and Marvin Harrison Jr.

The Defense

D-Line…dominant and ready. The D-line will consist of Tyreke Smith (if returns), Taron Vincent, Jerron Cage, Zach Harrison, Tyler Friday. Along with these five, Incoming freshman Jack Sawyer (ranked #4 in the country) will make an immediate impact for the defense.

Linebackers…will consist of some new faces but will be poised for a big year: Dallas Gant, Craig Young, Cody Simon, and Javontae Jean-Baptiste

Secondary…improved and prepared. Sevyn Banks and Josh Proctor will be returning and looking for a strong offseason translating it into next fall. Cornerback Cameron Brown will be back after suffering a Torn Achilles against Penn State early in the season. Along with these three true freshman Lathan Ransom showed his star potential to be a stud for this secondary.

The Buckeyes will also have the #3 and #4 ranked cornerbacks in the country coming in (Jakailin Johnson, Jordan Hancock).

The 2021 Recruiting Class: according to 247sports

  • Jack Sawyer, DE (#4 player, #3 pos)
  • Emeka Egbuka, WR (#9 player, #1 pos)
  • Donovan Jackson, OG (#17 player, #1 pos)
  • TreVeyon Henderson, RB (#24 player, #1 pos)
  • Kyle McCord, QB (#25 player, #3 pos)
  • Jakailin Johnson, CB (#47 player, #3 pos)
  • Mike Hall, DT (#49 player, #4 pos)
  • Jayden Ballard, WR (#66 player, #8 pos)
  • Jordan Hancock, CB (#67 player, #4 pos)
  • Evan Pryor, ARB (#81 player, #2 pos)
  • Reid Carrico, LB (#84 player, 5 pos)
  • Marvin Harrison Jr, WR (#91 player, #15 pos)
  • Ben Christman, OG (#124 player, #6 pos)
  • Tyleik Williams, DT (#161 player, #12 pos)
  • Andre Turrentine, S (#167 player, #9 pos)
  • Denzel Burke, ATH (#191 player, #8 pos)
  • Jantzen Dunn, S (#202 player, #12 pos)
  • Zen Michalski, OT (#318 player, #23 pos)

Early 2022 Recruiting Class look: according to 247sports

  • Quinn Ewers, QB (#1 player, #1 pos)
  • Jahiem Singletary, CB (#10 player, #5 pos)
  • Caleb Burton, WR (#14 player, #1 pos)
  • Gabe Powers, LB (#33 player, #2 pos)
  • C.J. Hicks, LB (#38 player, #3 pos)
  • Dasan McCullough, ATH (#54 player, #6 pos)
  • Jyaire Brown, CB (#123 player, #13 pos)
  • Tegra Tshabola, OT (#138 player, #15 pos)
  • Benji Gosnell, TE (#265 player, #12 pos)

Future is bright.