Recruiting Spotlight: Brenton Cox

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

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

Here are his Junior season highlights below from Hudl.

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Post Spring Game Depth Chart: Quarterbacks

The Starter:

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

Back-up Quarterback-A:

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

Back-up Quarterback-B:

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

Scout Team Quarterback/Red Shirt:

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


Spring Game Fever: The Spectacle We Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Draft A Buckeye: Cameron Johnston


Cameron Johnston took over punting duties for Ohio State and he was quite the weapon.  Johnston hails from Australia and he turned out the be a dependable weapon during special teams with his patented directional and rugby punts.  He has the ability to shift field position and put opposing teams in a bind, with little to no room.  Johnston averaged 46.7 yards per kick in 2016 and he was second in the nation as he averaged 43.9 net yards.  He also has wheels.  He ran a 4.92 on the 40-yard dash and that could be another weapon, if he is willing to stick his nose out during special teams opportunities.  Johnston is destined to go in either day 3 or go undrafted.  Maybe he will be the next undrafted special teams ace thta makes it in the big leagues.

Draft A Buckeye: Noah Brown


Noah Brown blew up against Oklahoma, showcasing his ability to out-muscle opposing DB’s.  He showed the ability to separate and high point the ball over unsuspecting defenders.  It was certainly a shock for him to leave, but he has the size and the speed to make it if a team takes a chance on him in this year’s draft.  Brown is 6’2″, 222 lbs. and he can be a monster, and has the ability to take over during games. Brown is susceptable to the injury bug and two seasons ago, he broke his leg, which caused him to redshirt that year.  Last season, he was the featured peice, but then the gameplans moved away from him as the season progressed.  He has some film, but he doesn’t, but he is an intriguing prospect due to his measurables.  He is projected to go as early as day 2 of the draft, but he is more likely going to be taken sometime in day 3.  He may follow Jailin Marshall and end up being an undrafted free agent, but who knows, the draft tends to be unpredictable.

Draft A Buckeye: Pat Elflein


Pat Elflein has been an anchor on the Buckeye Offensive Line for the past few seasons.  He has the talent to plug into either Offensive Guard spots and he can also be effective as a Center.  At 6’3″, 303 lbs. Elflein, last seasons Rimington winner will be a valuable commodity for a Offensive Line needy team in the NFL.  Although a tad bit inconsistent with his strentgh, his effort level and his dedication to his craft are traits that most teams covet.  He needs to improve his strength, but his experience as a wrestler would help him when placed in the game.  Versatility is the name of the game and Elflein is a proven asset at Guard and at Center.  He is projected to go in the 2nd Round.

Draft A Buckeye: Raekwon McMillan


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

Draft A Buckeye: Curtis Samuel


Curtis Samuel was the Swiss army knife that the Buckeyes leaned heavily on during the previous season and he is a playmaker that could make some noise at the NFL level.  Samuel has the right blend of size and speed, with the ability to break tackles and leave defenders in a cloud of dust.  At the NFL Combine Samuel was clocked at 4.31 in the 40-yard dash, a 4.33 in the 20-yard shuttle and a 7.09 in the 3 cone drill.  He has the ability to change directions with ease as he patiently waits for an opening.  He put up 18 reps on the bench press, 37 inches in the verticle jump and 119 inches in the broad jump.  He will look to make teams happy with his skill set and he is currently projected to go in the 2nd round, but could be in demand due to his ability to do it all.  At 5’11” and 196 lbs., Samuel is viewed as a Jack of all trades that has not mastered a particular skill.


Recruiting Spotlight: Jackson Allen


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Draft A Buckeye: Gareon Conley

Gareon Conley was the lone starter after Tyvis Powell, Von Bell and Eli Apple left for their NFL dreams two seasons ago.  He has started since they left, and has become a reliable player for the Buckeyes, often shutting down a half of the field with his play.  

Conley is listed as 6’0″, 196 lbs., and he is projected to be drafted late in the first round.  He ran a 4.44 at the combine and displayed his athleticism during drills.  

Conley has drawn comparisons to current Denver Bronco Aqib Talib from NFL Scouts.  He has the ability to use his talents at the next level with the blend of size and speed that he possesses.  He is durable and he can be used right away by NFL teams.  

Unlike other Buckeye Defensive Backs, Conley has more than a season of starting experience, and that is the intriguing part when considering the talent that the Buckeyes send out on a yearly basis over the past few years.