Luke becomes Notre Dame’s 22nd commitment and third cornerback in this class, following Rashad Kinlaw and Devin Butler. The pledge boosts the Irish recruiting class past LSU and Michigan in the Rivals.com rankings to No. 2 nationally, now trailing only USC.
Just in case you thought UCLA was only courting Cordell Broadus because of his famous father, think again.
Usually when I wake up in the morning, my routine involves checking my e-mail, my text messages and obviously a read-through of the morning Eleven Warriors Skull Session.
However, in the last few weeks, the first thing I do is check the date and take one day off the countdown to Ohio State football season.
12 more days.
Oh yeah, welcome to your Sunday Skull Session. It has been quite a week and weekend.
IN THE POLLS. It is very strange to take a quick glance at the USA Today Coaches Poll and not see the Buckeyes. Yeah, we got a taste of that last year but it's nothing OSU fans can ever get used to. As most people know, OSU is ineligible from being in the USA Today Coaches Poll, but not the AP Poll.
Yesterday, the AP Poll came out and here are the teams touched by the very grace and benediction of bored college sports writers who deigned to give them their top vote:
1 USC (25) 0-0 1445
2 Alabama (17) 0-0 1411
3 LSU (16) 0-0 1402
4 Oklahoma (1) 1286
8 Michigan (1) 0-0 1000
Yes, Michigan got a number one vote. As mentioned in the Buckshots, Bob Asmussen from the Champaign News-Gazette has been huffin' those sweet, sweet Wolverine fumes, but as Sarah pointed out on Twitter, this isn't exactly unprecedented. Other B1G teams in the top 25:
12 Wisconsin 0-0 838
13 Michigan State 0-0 742
17 Nebraska 0-0 485
18 Ohio State 0-0 474
We'll see how it all plays out, but I personally believe this is a good spot for the Buckeyes to start.
Check out the whole AP Poll here.
POTENTIAL “TRANSFER”. Ron Patterson, a member of Indiana's Top 10 incoming 2012 basketball class, is “transferring” and has received interest from Ohio State, among other schools.
Patterson, a 6'3″ shooting guard from Indy suburb Broad Ripple, has sufficient scores and grades to play Division I basketball, but didn't fare well enough in summer classes for full admission into IU. The shooting guard committed to IU in August 2010. Schools showing interest include a number of high- and mid-majors, including OSU, Illinois and Purdue.
Missouri, Louisville, Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State, Memphis, Villanova, Providence among schools expressing interest in Ron Patterson.
— Jeff Rabjohns (@JeffRabjohns) August 17, 2012
While each university has its own standards, it makes you wonder if Patterson — who will be deciding between attending a prep school and another four-year university — would be admitted at OSU.
Certainly the Buckeyes have room for another strong guard, and Patterson's reputation for defensive tenacity and additional ability to score could fit Thad Matta's system.
IT'S ALL GOOD. Freshman running back Bri'onte Dunn was found not guilty of the disorderly conduct charge filed against him a few weeks ago in Alliance, Ohio.
Here's a snippet from the World Wide Leader's report from yesterday:
Dunn was stopped by police on July 28 just before training camp was set to open for the Buckeyes, and a small amount of marijuana was found in his vehicle along with a pipe. He was initially cited for possession of both marijuana and paraphernalia, but those charges weren't supported by additional examination of the evidence — including testimony from his mother, Donna Hatcher, who indicated those things were in the car before she loaned it to Dunn.
Dunn has faced no public discipline from Meyer relating to the incident, and he's drawn early praise for his work on offense this month as he competes for the No. 2 job in the Ohio State backfield.
Buckeye assistant Stan Drayton had a nice quote about Dunn following the final verdict:
“Bri'onte Dunn has really had a good, physical camp. With the ball in his hands, he's really good.”
It's great to know that legal issues shouldn't keep Dunn off the field this season. He is really needed with Jordan Hall injured.
TWO QBS? There has been much discussion about Urban Meyer using both Braxton Miller and Kenny Guiton this season, perhaps on the field at the same time.
Meyer mentioned that Guiton has done a 180 since he took over the team back in November and if he's one of the best 11 players, he will see the field.
Guiton told the Dispatch:
“I have to always be ready and I know Coach Meyer has used two quarterbacks in his system,” most famously with senior Chris Leak and freshman Tim Tebow on the 2006 Florida national championship team. “We’ve actually talked about that. That’s one thing I am trying to work hard on and try to let him recognize that maybe I can do that.”
When Meyer began the job at Ohio State, he would only gush about Braxton Miller and how excited he was to coach him. Now, he talks about Guiton in the same light as Miller.
Check out the whole Dispatch article here. It really is beginning to seem like Guiton will be one of the top billed Buckeyes on the squad this coming season.
Will Buckeye fans see multi-QB packages? How will it work?
LINKS FOR DAYS. Let's poke fun at Ohio State (and the other sanctioned programs)… And, let's forget about Ohio State in the poll… The 51st consecutive year with no Duke in the polls… The littlest Gasol is walking on at UCLA… Congrats to Minnesota, your 1904 National Champions… FIBA says Olympic basketball shouldn't change… The funny viral video of the week, if you're craving a snack… Look at all the countries that could fit their entire populations into Ohio Stadium (scroll down)… Ohio State basketball fluff here and here… Wayne Selden has OSU on his short-list.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
Your Friday 11W Digest catches you up on the content you might have missed or need to read again for your own good.
This Week in Skull Sessions
Saturday: The Buckeyes move their afternoon practice session, Devan Bogard loses his black stripe, CollegeFootballNews.com ranks the 20 toughest stadiums, Ryan Damn Shazier added 25 pounds, Tim May highlights changes in Tressel camp vs. Meyer camp and CBS Sports previews the 2012 Buckeyes. (Jeff)
Sunday: A losing season hurts revenue in merchandise sales, the black helmet stripes replace hazing for Urban and John Calipari is a cheater and his fellow coaches know it. (David)
Monday: Notes coming out of camp from Sunday's media day, Steve Spurrier on the evolution of college football, Jim Mora inserts foot into mouth, UM players drop the beat and the Honey Badger don't play on TV. (Jason)
Tuesday: Pryor gets his first extended NFL action, Denard vs. Usian Bolt, Stewart Mandel's comparative study of the past six BCS winners and debating Ohio State's possible two QB package. (Chad)
Wednesday: A Nathan Williams update, Reid Fragel gets advice from his grandfather, examining Jim Delany's role in the playoff discussion, Mike Brewster continues to fight for a Jaguar roster spot and Bob Baptist pieces together the OSU hoops schedule thus far. (Sarah)
Thursday: Breaking down ESPN's All-Access, UCF's dance with the devil, the best RBs in the five years of the BTN and the great comeback of Nevada WR Brandon Wimberly. (Chris)
Friday: The last day of two-a-days, Storm Klein was denied the dismissal of his criminal charges, Boom gets some PT with the Bengals last night, best case/worst case for UM this year and Montee's big adventure. (Johnny)
Last day of two-a-days means kickoff is just two weeks away.
This Week in Editorials
Black Stripe: Hooray Buckeyes: Freshmen have to earn their way, but the best players will play. (Kyle)
Temporary King: Luke Fickell is a true Buckeye who steered the ship through rough seas in 2011. (Chris)
A Backup To Believe In: Kenny Guiton is a huge upgrade over Bauserbombs. (Johnny)
Opening the Floodgates: A new era of offensive production will erase the vanilla taste of the last decade. (Chad)
Microfracture: The New Tommy John: A look at the new transforming procedure to hit the sports scene. (Kyle)
The Departed: Replacing holes left by the infamous Brew Crew. (Ramzy)
Meyer's Men: Urban's first recruiting haul at Ohio State. (David)
Divergent Paths: The hierarchy at the TE position undergoes significant changes. (Kyle)
Silver Bullets Post-Heacock: For the first time in 16 years, Jim Heacock won't be on the OSU sidelines. (Alex)
Linebacker U.: Is there really an argument when it comes to this? (Kyle)
Special Units Win Championships: The season preview continues with a look at the special teams. (Alex)
Growing Up Buckeye: Freshman wide receiver Frank Epitropoulos is living a dream. (Kyle)
Ninety-Nine Days: A preview of That Team Up North. (Sarah)
This Week in Recruiting
Catching up with C.J. Reavis: Friday Night Lights. (Derek)
Catching up with Marcus Baugh: OSU Visit. (Miles)
Best of the Rest
Urban Meyer: State of the Program: Urban addresses the media and is pleased with what he sees through one week of practice. (Kyle)
Media Day Roundup: News and notes from the annual media day. (11W Staff)
Photos: Ohio State Football Media Day 2012: A beautiful array of photos from our very own Walt. (11W Staff)
Previewing: OSU Training Days: ESPN's installment of All-Access starts tonight. (11W Staff)
Eleven Years Ago: The Dawn of the Tressel Era: A history lesson of Tressel's first season. (Joe)
Get Your Coffee Ready: Don't Sleep on These Players: Four players who will benefit from Meyer's coaching philosophy of playing the best. (Jeff)
A Crash Course in Urban Game Planning: What is done in-week can have a greater impact than gameday decisions. (Ross)
Eleven Warriors Roundtable: The good folks of 11W offer their predictions for the 2012 season. (Elika)
Camp Meyer: Friday Roundup: Much to the relief of the players, two-a-days are over. (Kyle)
Buckshot: USC's Lane Kiffin Relinquishes Vote in Coaches Poll.
Buckshot: Dorian Johnson Names Favorite.
Buckshot: Penn State's Accreditation in Jeopardy.
Buckshot: Schutt Loses His Stripe.
Buckshot: Taylor Decker Sheds His Stripe.
Buckshot: Washington's Stripe Gone.
Buckshot: Notre Dame Has New Uniforms for Shamrock Series Against Miami.
THE PEOPLE'S CHAMP for the WEEK of AUGUST 11-17, 2012: scUM – Alabama, by FACTOR11. With this game just two weeks away, the hype has begun and the debate rages on.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
More excerpts from Joe Posnanski’s authorized biography, Paterno, are coming to light. The latest one covers what the book describes as a rocky relationship between Joe Paterno and his former longtime defensive coordinator, convicted child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky.
The Patriot-News reports on the relevant passages from the book, which divulges that Paterno had written what the family called a “Why I Hate Jerry Sandusky” memo in 1993.
“In it Paterno complained that Sandusky had stopped recruiting, seemed constantly distracted, had lost his energy for coaching, and was more interested in his charity, The Second Mile.
Continue reading at ESPN.com – Big Ten Blog
One day after launching, NittanyNation has more coverage of Lions recruiting and preseason camp.
Josh Moyer breaks down the 2012 offensive class : No offensive prospects left in the face of unprecedented NCAA sanctions, so this year’s incoming class offers Penn State some hope for the future.
Moyer breaks down the 2012 defensive class : The defensive players in Penn State’s 2012 recruiting class are not the most heralded the Nittany Lions have ever snagged.
Continue reading at ESPN.com – Big Ten Blog
Baugh had a blast on his trip to Columbus
As you have already seen with Jake Stoneburner, Jeff Heuerman, and Nick Vannett, the tight end position will be very different under Urban Meyer than what fans have gotten used to during the Jim Tressel era.
While the position has not been short of talent over the last decade, you can expect more superior athletes that play tight end to be drawn to Ohio State while Meyer is in charge, mainly due to the way he uses them as potent weapons in his spread attack.
The first tight end to be drawn to the new style of play was Riverside (CA) North's Marcus Baugh. Baugh shocked many, including myself, when he pulled the trigger on a commitment back on April 10, without having visiting campus as a recruit.
At 6-4/230, Baugh is likely to be used like former Florida Gator Aaron Hernandez was when he was coached by Meyer down in Gainesville. He will also be the only tight end in the 2013 class, as Mike Heuerman went to Notre Dame and Josh McNeil chose Alabama, meaning he will have the opportunity to jump right into the mix and step into the shoes of Stoneburner, who is playing that flex receiver/tight end role (despite Urban saying he is solely a receiver now) this season.
Going into last week Baugh had only been to Columbus once, for a basketball game when he was youngster. Having family in Columbus, Baugh decided to make a trip to Ohio's capital right before his football season started so that he could finally get another glimpse at the place he will call home for the next four years.
We caught up with Baugh to get the scoop on his visit, his relationship with fellow Buckeye commits, when he will enroll at OSU, and more. Keep reading to find out more about 2013 tight end commit Marcus Baugh.
How did you like your visit to Ohio State?
I loved it. I really loved it. It was a great place. I actually didn't even want to go home because I liked Columbus so much.
What did you get to see on the visit?
I was there for a good amount of time, so they were able to show me pretty much everything around the campus. I also got to watch practice, visit The 'Shoe, and meet with coaches.
What was your favorite part of the visit?
Definitely seeing The 'Shoe. It was overwhelming.
Did you hang out with any current players on the visit?
Yes, I hung out with Michael Thomas who is also from California.
Which coaches did you meet with? What were they telling you?
I met with Coach Meyer, Coach Hinton, and Coach Herman. They said they plan on using me like Aaron Hernandez.
Do you plan on visiting again before enrolling?
Yes, I want to use my official visit for the Michigan game.
Despite living all the way out in California, have you been able to build relationships with fellow 2013 commits?
Yeah, I have. We talk on Twitter a lot and I got to meet most of them at The Opening.
Is your commitment to Ohio State still 100% solid? Are any other schools still recruiting you?
Yes, it is 100%. I have always wanted to go to Ohio State, so I won't be changing my mind. My recruitment has really quieted down. Arizona State is the only school still recruiting me.
Will you be enrolling early?
I won't be enrolling until June 2013.
What goals do you have for your senior season?
My only goal is to win a championship.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
Oh, how things have changed since Urban Meyer has come to town.
It's been a little more than eight months since the new Ohio State coach took the reins in Columbus and as we approach the new season, it's a good time to reminisce on how the 2012 recruiting class was saved and actually made out to be absolutely better than expected.
Meyer knows how importing recruiting is to the game
Before we deep dive into the stars, statistics and scenarios, let me point out something.
The Ohio State scandal will forever be an event that is a dark mark on the program's storied tradition, but one quote still stands out to me to this day.
A friend (actually alumnus and big fan of another B1G School) pointed out a few weeks after the Meyer hiring:
“It's kind of sickening that Ohio State can go through such a major scandal and make out better than they did before. Seriously, their all-world coach lied and got fired, then OSU went out and got an even bigger named coach. They didn't even 'go out' to get him, he came to them”
Tough luck, Big Ten fans.
It's true. How many other schools in the country can have a scandal and come out on top? Indiana basketball took nearly five seasons to recover from Kelvin Sampson lying to the NCAA, SMU football took decades to recover, and whatever happens with Penn State remains a question mark, but it'll certainly be a long recovery period.
When Jim Tressel resigned at the end of last spring, a lot of questions and doubt circled the Ohio State program. One of the first items of business that surrounds a football program after a coaching change is recruiting.
Interim coach Luke Fickell was able to secure a few of the commitments, leaving a solid core that Tressel left behind in Kyle Kalis, Bri'onte Dunn, Warren Ball, Jacoby Boren, Frank Epitropoulos, Blake Thomas, Luke Roberts, Josh Perry, De'van Bogard, Tyvis Powell, Pat Elfien, Najee Murray, Mike Thomas and Cardale Jones, but players quickly felt insecure about the Buckeyes' coaching situation. Of the few commits, Cleveland OL Kyle Kalis was the headline recruit and he eventually decided that the uncertainty was too much and changed his loyalty to coach Brady Hoke and Michigan.
Although dozens of players' interests remained high in Ohio State, it was the instability and unknown that kept them from building a respected 2012 class.
In order to play, you need players. In order to win, you need some good players. In order to win it all, you need the best players.
When Coach Meyer signed on in November, the Buckeyes would be on their way.
As soon as Coach Meyer signed on the dotted line and stated his goal to make the great state of Ohio proud, things changed.
Interest levels across the board spiked and the following months would be as eventful as they had ever been in Ohio State off-season history.
Negativity from the national media in regard to Tressel and Tat-gate quickly shifted to excitement and the realization that Ohio State will be back, sooner than expected. Top recruits expressed interest in Ohio State and Meyer. Meyer was instantly labeled one of the sport's rock stars and he used that reputation to help his new school.
Noah Spence could have gone anywhere in the country
Before Meyer was official, there was much speculation around the community that the deal had been done.
It was an even larger tell-tale sign of what was to come when Cincinnati DE and former five star recruit Adolphus Washington had expressed interest to commit to Ohio State and hinted that Coach Meyer would be a great guy to be the coach. Washington committed a day before Meyer was official, increasing speculation from the outside.
Buckeye Nation was pretty positive what was to come the following day.
Soon, what is known as the domino effect, commenced in the 2012 recruiting class.
Florida WR Riquan Southward finalized his recruitment at the end of November, followed by a new theme of 2012: poaching from rival schools.
Tommy Schutt, a top DT committed to Penn State, decided that Meyer and Ohio State offered more and quickly changed his commitment. Then, a handful of other major prospects would be taken from other schools. Ohio DE Se'von Pittman, a Michigan State commit, became a Buckeye. Later, LB Camren Williams and CB Armani Reeves would later do the same, decommitting from PSU and opting to be Buckeyes. Taylor Decker, an OL from Ohio, was committed to Notre Dame and switched his pledge once Meyer and staff showed interest. The last poach came on National Signing Day in February when then-Wisconsin commit and Ohio native OL Kyle Dodson made the switch at the last minute in amazing fashion.
Catch up on everything you need to know ahead of the season kickoff.
11W 2012 Season Preview
Besides poaching recruits from other schools, Meyer was able to win them over naturally. LB and ATH David Perkins, who was thought to be a Notre Dame lock, fell in love with Ohio State and would also succumb to the Meyer persuasion. DE Noah Spence, arguably the top player in the 2012 class, chose Ohio State over favorite Penn State. Colorado OL Joey O' Connor would also choose Ohio State, helping to add to the thin Buckeye O-line.
Despite drawing in new commits, Meyer had to work hard to maintain those players who were loyal to Tressel and Fickell.
When the NCAA handed Ohio State a one-year bowl ban, much more uncertainty began to rise out of the now stellar recruiting class.
In particular, Bri'onte Dunn seemed to be becoming more and more tied to Michigan. Many thought Dunn would follow the Kyle Kalis path and end up at Michigan with his cousin and '13 commit Dymonte Thomas. His relationship was later squashed and he would reaffirm his commitment to Ohio State. De'van Bogard was rumored to be in favor ($) of switching his commitment to USC, which was halted.
When it was all said and done with the Letters of Intent all confirmed, Meyer and staff ended up with a top-5 class, a class the many thought would not crack the top-25 before the hiring. Meyer recruits with a purpose. He wants to recruit players that are ready to play at the next level and that's exactly what they'll do.
Unlike in past years when upperclassmen got playing time almost by default, under the Meyer system, the best players will play. That means that a freshman can easily beat out a three-year letter winner, if he's better.
This season, plenty of freshman will contribute significantly to Ohio State.
With Jordan Hall's injury, it can be expected that Bri'onte Dunn will get several carries per game, Noah Spence is slotted to play a significant amount of passing downs at the LEO position, and Taylor Decker will most likely see significant time at right tackle (unless the Reid Fragel experiment holds up well).
Adolphus Washington is learning from John Hankins on how to be a great DT and should see significant time; DB De'van Bogard was the first freshman to lose his “black stripe” and could help add depth to the thin slate of defensive backs (at the STAR); WR Mike Thomas was the star of the spring game and will immediately help a thin WR core; and the staff is in love with David Perkins and the athlete should be an immediate contributor wherever they play him.
In addition, LB Jamal Marcus could be that first guy off the bench to fill in at linebacker, while ATH Najee Murray could potentially be the slot wideout and compete for snaps at defensive back as well. Not to mention, Se'Von Pittman, Armani Reeves, Camren Williams, Tommy Schutt and others are pushing the current starters to be even better players.
As we all can tell, Meyer recruits guys that are ready to make an immediate impact and play. He didn't fail to bring in those players in the 2012 class.
Just wait until the 2013 class closes and the 2014 commitments start raining in. It'll be another domino effect, so get ready.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
CJ Reavis was on Ohio State's campus for the first time when he made the trip to Columbus for Friday Night Lights a few weeks ago.
The rising star, a junior defensive back from Chester (VA) Thomas Dale, enjoyed the trip and has stated many times that he has strong interest in the Buckeyes. Those statements were only affirmed after his FNL visit, where not only did he soak in the electric atmosphere, but he brought his parents with him too so that they could also see what Urban Meyer has to offer their son.
CJ Reavis stood out at FNL (Photo: JWinslow.com)
With the Buckeyes lacking depth in the secondary, defensive backs very well could be a position recruited with strong emphasis in the class of 2014.
On today's current roster, there are only a couple of proven cornerbacks in Bradley Roby and Travis Howard (though some would argue if he is proven), and both could be gone after this year, with Roby going to the NFL and Howard graduating.
At safety, CJ Barnett and Christian Bryant are holding things down, but both players have two years remaining and will be gone by the time the class of 2014 steps on campus, meaning talent will certainly need to be brought in.
Meyer and his staff got a look at some of that potential talent at Friday Night Lights, where Reavis was one of a few star defensive backs in attendance.
We caught up with CJ to find out how his experience at FNL went, what the coaches have told him, what is going on with his recruitment, and more. Keep reading to hear the latest on one of the top defensive back prospects in the class of 2014, CJ Reavis.
How was your Friday Night Lights experience at Ohio State?
It went very well. It's the best camp I've been to. The vibe from the fans was pretty sweet as well.
What did you think of your overall performance at the camp?
I thought I did excellent. The coaching staff agreed. They said they liked my hips and my ability to backpedal. Coach Meyer went out of his way to tell me he was excited about my performance. I think I still need to refine my technique.
Who do you think put up the strongest competition against you?
Artavis Scott and Shelton Gibson were definitely the toughest to cover. They were quick.
Were you able to strike up a relationship with any of the other recruits in attendance?
Oh I definitely did. I got to know Darius West and Raekwon McMillan real well. I talked to McMillan before the camp had started. Darius West and I talked quite a bit. We have been texting back and forth and staying in touch now. We talked about the possibility of playing together at the next level.
Did you get to talk to any of the coaches while at Ohio State?
My family and I were able to sit down and talk to Coach Withers and Coach Smith for a while. Coach Smith is the recruiter for my area. He and Coach Withers said that they were impressed with me and wanted to get to know me better before extending an offer.
What offers do you have right now?
I have offers from Virginia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Boston College, Virginia, and Maryland.
With the summer winding down, have you made any plans regarding fall visits?
I don't have any plans set as of right now, but I do know that I want to make it to Columbus to see Ohio State play Michigan.
Have any schools separated themselves from the pack early in the process for your services?
Right now out of the schools that offered me, my favorites are Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Ohio State will be right there once they offer. I've also talked to Michigan a little bit, and I think they may be close to offering.
CLICK FOR HIGHLIGHTS
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
Your Friday 11W Digest catches you up on the content you might have missed or need to read again for your own good.
This Week in Skull Sessions
Saturday: The opening day of Camp Meyer, Kenny Hayes leaves the program, the Paterno family appeals, Tom Crean is still creepy and Nick Mangold heads to London to root for Holly. (Jason)
Sunday: The Tank at ADIDAS Nations camp, along with some Buckeye targets, the Montee Ball story takes a twist, James Quick won't decide anytime soon and PSU announces whiteout against OSU. (David)
Monday: Camp Meyer schedule for the week, year of the Tank, a UCF preview, get ready for some lousy bowls, Joey Galloway gets the callup and Sarah rocks her new 11W position. (Jason)
Tuesday: Early good news coming from camp, B1G players would like to play for UFM, Florida fans are still bitter, Samuel Jackson loves him some Olympics and Duron Carter hasn't changed. (Chad)
Wednesday: Michael Thomas continues to impress, Fickell seems content, over/under wins for college football, Inside the Game series and the college hoops player coaches would most like to add. (Sarah)
Thursday: Anticipated Thursday post-practice interviews, OSU vs. UM position breakdown continues, Jersey continues to fight for sports gambling, seven sentences on Buckeye hoops and ranking B1G helmets. (Chris)
Friday: What opening ceremonies in Columbus would look like, installing goal line cameras for reviews, SI looks at roster holes for the 2012 favorites, David Lighty signs with a French team and Notre Dame/Navy in Ireland might have some snags. (Johnny)
BAM! Three weeks until kickoff eve.
This Week in Editorials
Hyde Seeks Redemption: Looking to put last year's roller coaster behind him. (Kyle)
Next in Line: Bradley Roby looks to carry on the CB tradition at OSU. (Chris)
The New Midwestern Stoics: Braxton displays some good ol' fashioned Midwestern stoicism. (Johnny)
Camp Meyer: Predictions and Divinations: Predicting the next few weeks using IIDLMS. (Chad)
Hall Pass: Rooting for the Hoosier football team is guilt free this year. (Ramzy)
The Next Beanie: Remembering Beanie on his 24th birthday. (David)
Wide Open Spaces: The top four receivers are starting to emerge. (Kyle)
Time To Bring Two-Way Back: Looking at potential Chris Gamble-type players. (Alex)
Boren to Be Wild: There is never enough fluff on Zach Boren. (Kyle)
Total Recall: Outlining the genius of Tom Herman. (Kyle)
You Can't Sanction the End Zone: Even with a postseason ban, Ohio State has something to play for. (Elika)
Confessions of a Big Ten Coach: Get the truth behind each conference team. (Sarah)
This Week in Recruiting
Catching up with Donovan Munger: Friday Night Lights. (Derek)
Catching up with Jamarco Jones: Friday Night Lights. (Miles)
11W Recruiting Staff Roundtable: The first ever edition from our recruiting department. (Alex)
Best of the Rest
Camp Meyer: Monday Observations: Day two news and notes. (Kyle)
Offense Finally Clicking: Looks like some work was done over the summer, along with some other practice tidbits. (Kyle)
Camp Meyer: Tuesday Observations: Day three news and notes. (Kyle)
The First Pick: Your summer history lesson continues with a look at Tom Cousineau. (Joe)
A Jilted Lover: A letter from Quality Football to that program up north. (Jeff)
Attorneys for Storm Klein File for Dismissal: The saga continues. (Kyle)
Seven Things Every OSU Fan Needs to Know About Urban Meyer's Offense: Read and continue to impress your friends. (Ross)
Camp Meyer: Friday Roundup: The first full week of practice is over. (Kyle)
Buckshot: The Bengals Like Their Coffee Hot.
Buckshot: Southern Exceptionalism Down Here.
Buckshot: Wright Thompson's Urban Meyer Piece for ESPN the Magazine.
Buckshot: Curse the SEC!
Buckshot: Wisconsin's Alternate Uniforms for Nebraska Game Revelaed.
Buckshot: Sentreal Henderson is AWOL
Buckshot: Sanzenbacher Running with Bears' First Team.
THE PEOPLE'S CHAMP for the WEEK of AUGUST 4 – 10, 2012: Most Unlikable Fans: Penn State or Michigan by J.Mo. Which fanbase do you dislike more?
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
Spence might be the top frosh in '12 (JWinslow.com)
In the last year, our recruiting coverage here at Eleven Warriors has vastly improved.
Not only did I do everything I could to help bring you all the latest happenings on the trail, but we were also fortunate enough to bring on Dave to help with both football and basketball, as well as our two new young guns in Miles and Derek, who I'm convinced don't sleep after working with them over the last couple of months.
While we continue to plan to bring you bigger and better things on the recruiting front in the coming months, we figured we might as well use the assets we have, thus the first ever 11W Recruiting Staff Roundtable.
In this edition of the roundtable, we'll talk about our thoughts on the current state of the class of 2013, how we expect the class to finish, what 2014 players you all should keep an eye on, which 2014 quarterback we prefer in the early going, and which 2012 signees we think will have the biggest impact this fall.
Join us after the jump to hear more from Dave, Miles, Derek, and myself on all of these topics, and be sure to chime in with your opinions or inquiries in the comments section below so that we can answer any questions you may have as the summer recruiting season comes to a close.
Currently sitting at 16 commits, how do you feel right now about the recruiting class of 2013? Who are the commits you are most excited about and are there any current verbals that left you questioning the staff's decisions?
Dave: The 2013 recruiting class has been everything I expected to this point. Yes, it can be frustrating to see Michigan with a higher-rated class right now, but in reality, who cares? Urban has locked down some legitimate athletes that will undoubtedly be household names by they time they leave Columbus and a few commitments have been major surprises (i.e. Marcus Baugh and Michael Hill).
I am most excited for Jalin Marshall. He is that type of super athlete that Urban has been wanting and he will not disappoint. I expect him to have 5+ receptions, 5+ carries, and a few big special teams plays per game by the time he's an upperclassman.
I am not in the least bit tentative about any offer. The staff knows what they need and they know the abilities of these players and the team's needs more than any expert can analyze. If Urban is extending an offer, I believe in the prospect.
Miles: I'm very happy with where the class is at right now. Most people forget Urban has had much less time than other coaches to get to know prospects and has still been able to assemble a top 10 class.
On the offensive side of the ball, I'm most excited to see Jalin Marshall and Ezekiel Elliott. Defensively, I'm most excited to see Joey Bosa, the nephew of former Buckeye great, Eric Kumerow. In addition to Bosa, I'm excited to see Cameron Burrows, the first commit of the 2013 class, as well as Eli Woodard.
Derek: It seems standard protocol to applaud the job Meyer has done with recruiting but I truly think the new head coach and the Buckeye staff have done a great job so far with the 2013 class.
The spots that needed to be addressed heading into the class were an elite quarterback, one to two more offensive tackles, a linebacker or two, playmakers at the wide receiver position, and to add more depth in the secondary. They got the elite quarterback they needed in JT Barrett, Evan Lisle is a highly touted prospect at offensive tackle, and the secondary class that includes Eli Woodard, Cam Burrows, Jayme Thompson, and possibly Darron Lee is one of the nation's best groups. At linebacker, Ohio State is in position to possibly land Tyquan Lewis and Mike Mitchell, and perhaps Christopher Worley, with Florida commit Daniel McMillian taking a look as well.
The only question mark with this class right now would be the lack of playmakers at the wide receiver position outside of Jalin Marshall. Help could be on the way, though, with the possibilities of Devon Allen, James Quick, Shelton Gibson, and others.
Alex: Right now I feel pretty good about the class, especially considering the sanctions, but the finish will be very important. I think a lot of us thought Urban Meyer was going to come in and basically pick and choose who he wanted in this class. That was not the case for 2013, as the recruiting cycle starts earlier these days and the staff didn't get to partake in that full cycle with this class. Urban won't get to pick and choose for 2014 either, but I think it will be an even stronger class, which is scary considering this will be a top 10 group.
Who am I to ever really question the staff's evaluation of a player? That is the truth, but with it being said, there are times where coaches “take chances” with certain players who may be considered projects. The one everyone is talking about there is Timothy Gardner. I haven't seen enough of Gardner to judge him, but he will need to cut more weight to play at the level OSU wants him at.
Another player who is extremely talented but there are question marks around is Darron Lee. I'm glad we took him for his talent, but I would love to know what position the coaches see him fitting in at. I love him at safety or star, but if he can grow into an outside linebacker and play with punch at the position, he can be a scary athlete to have in the arsenal for the Silver Bullets.
With this class expected to number somewhere from 20-22 players, what positions do you feel are the biggest need for the remaining spots to fill? What players do you expect to take these spots and finish off the class?
James Quick is a top talent at a position of need
Dave: It has to be expected that the staff will take more receivers. I still think James Quick will commit to Ohio State when it's all said and done and Shelton Gibson will do the same. The other open spots are up in the air, but the focus should be on offensive line depth and defensive backs.
Miles: The class is definitely lacking playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. I expect Marshall and Elliott to be great players, but they simply aren't enough.
On offense, I expect the Buckeyes to close out the class with Louisville (KY) Trinity WR James Quick, who is favoring the Buckeyes and hometown Louisville right now. In addition to Quick, I feel Cleveland Heights (OH) WR Shelton Gibson will be a member of this class when/if he takes care of his academics.
Defensively, I feel the Buckeyes will add a linebacker, a viper (DE/LB hybrid), and a star (LB/S combo).
I feel Plano (TX) Prestonwood Christian Academy LB Mike Mitchell will fill the 'backer spot. The Buckeyes currently hold the lead for Mitchell, although Florida State and Texas A&M are still in the running for his services.
I feel Tarboro (NC) DE/LB Tyquan Lewis will fill the viper spot. Lewis has visited twice this summer, most recently for the Friday Night Lights camp, and appears to be down to Ohio State and his home state school, North Carolina. The Tar Heels may even be full along the defensive line, which would make Lewis a near Buckeye lock.
Lastly, I believe Glenville (OH) LB/S (star) Christopher Worley will round out the class on the defensive side of the ball. Securing the commitment on Worley would keep the Glenville-Ohio State pipeline flowing.
Derek: Linebackers and wide receivers are crucial in filling out the remainder of the class.
At linebacker, the light at the end of the tunnel is a little brighter because a strong chance exists that Tyquan Lewis, Mike Mitchell, and/or Chris Worley will be Buckeyes.
At the wide receiver position, things are a bit more grim. Shelton Gibson is the one that OSU has best chance at, but outside concerns have prevented it from being a “sure thing”.
If there are six spots left, I see Donovan Munger, Christopher Worley, Shelton Gibson, Tyquan Lewis, and Mike Mitchell as five players to definitely be Buckeyes. Gibson would be, pending that everything off the field works out. A sixth spot would likely be saved for a talent like Vonn Bell or James Quick.
Alex: Looking at remaining spots, I would like to see two wide receivers, one offensive lineman, two linebackers, and another defensive back. I think adding a linebacker and another receiver should be the biggest priorities.
As for filling out the class, that is a tough one to answer. Right now I would say Donovan Munger, Tyquan Lewis, Mike Mitchell, and Shelton Gibson are four players I see in. I will go out on a bit of a limb and predict Vonn Bell will be in as well. If there are one or two more spots left in the class, all of the names mentioned above could be in, as well as guys like Dorian Johnson, Daniel McMillian, Dennis Finley, Devon Allen, Ryan Timmons, and many others still on the board.
Looking forward to the class of 2014, who are four or five players that fans need to know about right now? Who do you think will be the first player in the class to commit to Ohio State?
Dave: Da'Shawn Hand, William Crest, Drew Barker, Raekwon McMillan, and Thaddeus Snodgrass. I would love Hand to commit early (#1 player in the class) so the class could be built around the best player in the nation. But realistically, I could see a more tied to Ohio State player like Snodgrass committing early, as Meyer definitely will sell every receiver and athlete on his success with Percy Harvin, and that sell will reel in several top prospects.
Miles: Offensively, fans need to keep an eye on ATH Jalen Hurd from Tennessee. At 6-3/200, Hurd is one of the best playmakers in the 2014 class and currently has Alabama in the lead, followed by OSU. He has expressed interest in playing running back in college and the Buckeyes are offering him that opportunity.
Another player to keep an eye on is Springfield (OH) WR Thaddeus Snodgrass, who in my opinion is the top offensive player in Ohio for the class of 2014. It's shaping up to be a battle between the Buckeyes, Michigan State, and Notre Dame for Snodgrass' services.
Defensively, two players jump off the page. The first being Woodbridge (VA) DE Da'Shawn Hand, the number one player in the class of 2014. The only schools Hand has visited thus far are Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech, but he is expected to make a trip to Columbus this fall. Hand isn't expected to make a decision until after his senior season, so there is a long way to go on this one.
The second 2014 player Buckeye fans need to know about is LB Raekwon McMillan out of Georgia. McMillan recently visited Ohio State for the second time this summer and enjoyed himself. He is the top linebacker target in the 2014 class and has the Bucks and Georgia out in front.
It's tough to forecast the first commit, but if I had to guess, I would go with Cleveland (OH) St. Ignatius OL Jimmy Byrne. It's still really early though and things can easily change.
Derek: It's difficult to narrow it down to only four or five as I think the 2014 class has the capability to be better than the 2013 class. I'll go with five out of state prospects and five in the state of Ohio, as there are just too many to choose.
Outside of state borders, names to know are going to be QB Drew Barker, OL Demetrius Knox, OL Orlando Brown Jr., LB Clifton Garrett, and LB Raekwon McMillan.
The five 2014 recruits inside Ohio to know would be WR Thaddeus Snodgrass, OL Kyle Trout, OL Jimmy Byrne, LB Dante Booker Jr., and DB Darius West.
I think the first player to commit to Ohio State in the class of 2014 will be Dante Booker. Other possibilities would be Jimmy Byrne or, pending an offer and how soon, Darius West.
Alex: Another tough one as there are just so many talented players in this class. Like Derek, I will also go with a list of Ohioans and a list of out-of-staters.
In Ohio be on the lookout for WR Thaddeus Snodgrass, QB DeShone Kizer, OT Jimmy Byrne, LB Dante Booker Jr., DB Darius West, RB Ashton Jackson, LB Davonte James, and ATH Dareian Watkins.
Out of state, there are so many talented stars, but I'll list a ton and go with all of the quarterbacks (Allen, Barker, Henderson, Crest, Watson), RB Derrell Scott, RB Donte Williams, RB Mikale Wilbon, WR Mark Andrews, WR Braxton Berrios, WR Tyre Brady, WR Johnnie Dixon, WR Artavious Scott, TE Jeb Blazevich, OT Mason Cole, OT Denzel Ward, OT Damian Prince, OT Orlando Brown Jr., OT Demetrius Knox, OT Jamarco Jones, OT Braden Smith, OT KC McDermott, DL Da'Shawn Hand, DL Andrew Brown, DL Malik McDowell, LB Clifton Garrett, LB Raekwon McMillan, DB Nick Glass, DB Tony Brown, DB Montae Nicholson, DB Quincy Wilson, DB Quin Blanding, DB Jabrill Peppers, DB Damon Webb, DB Edward Paris, and others [loses breath].
As for the first commit, I will go with Dante Booker Jr. out of Akron (OH) St. Vincent-St. Mary.
There has been a lot of talk so far about the quarterbacks in the class of 2014. Right now the staff has said they plan on taking just one player for the position, although speculation is that could end up being two players. If you had to choose just one of the quarterback prospects in the class to take today, who would it be? If you could take two, who would be your second pick?
Will Drew Barker be Meyer's first choice at QB?
Dave: If I'm head coach, I'm taking William Crest. Crest fits the mold of a Braxton Miller or JT Barrett, who are both perfect for the spread. If I could take two, I would take Drew Barker and Crest. One dual-threat and one pro-style quarterback, giving my team the ability to match-up against any defense and show opponents different offensive looks and schemes. Refer to: 2006 Florida Gators with Leak and Tebow.
Miles: If I could only take one quarterback in the 2014 class, I would take Burke (VA) Lake Braddock QB Caleb Henderson. In my opinion, Henderson was the most impressive quarterback at Friday Night Lights in a group that included him, Drew Barker, DeShone Kizer, and Joey Duckworth. He clearly had the best arm and he was a lot faster than I thought he was based on watching his film.
If I could take another quarterback to go with Henderson, it would be Toledo (OH) Central Catholic QB DeShone Kizer. Kizer has great speed but needs to work on his throwing mechanics if he wants to succeed at the next level. With that said, Kizer has the most upside of all the class of 2014 signal callers that OSU is recruiting.
Just a note, Drew Barker is the second-best quarterback the Buckeyes are recruiting in my opinion, but I think he's very similar to Henderson, so I'd rather go with a much different player in Kizer.
Derek: I've been very adamant about it, but I think Drew Barker fits Meyer's offense like a glove. He is growing in size, has good mobility, possesses a great arm, improved over the camps he attended, and loves to compete. His consistency and improvement in accuracy at the Friday Night Lights camp in Columbus is what sold me on him being my guy.
Caleb Henderson would be my second choice, but it would be hard to bring in two top 10 players in one class at the position. A second option would suit players that may fall through the cracks, like Kyle Allen or Joey Duckworth.
Alex: Right now I have Caleb Henderson and Drew Barker on the top of my big board and like Derek and Miles said, I can't see both in this class. If I had to choose one I would pick Barker right now, as I think he moves a bit better and has displayed some intangibles of leadership you want in a quarterback. I'd like to see both in a game first before I make that call though.
As a second quarterback, I would take more of a raw passer/athlete with DeShone Kizer being my first choice. Don't sleep on a guy like Chris Durkin or Joey Duckworth, both of whom aren't the prototypical spread quarterback, but both of whom have shined in the camp setting this summer.
Looking back at the class of 2012, they are now all on campus and are taking part in their first camp. Who is one offensive player and one defensive player in the class that you expect to make an immediate impact?
Dave: Offensively, Bri'onte Dunn is obviously the clear-cut favorite to be the most productive freshman, if he can put the legal troubles behind him. He will most likely get a ton of carries early on, especially with Jordan Hall sidelined.
Defensively, everyone likes to talk about former five-star defensive ends Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington, but I want to say Najee Murray. Murray is a super athlete with a high football IQ who is not afraid to lay the wood when necessary. There has already been discussion that Murray could play in the slot on offense, but I definitely think he will see the field in certain situations on defense and definitely on special teams. I can foresee Murray being that guy who blocks punts and forces fumbles on the kickoff team.
Miles: An offensive player I think will have an immediate impact is OT Taylor Decker. Decker enrolled early back in January and is already second on the depth chart, splitting some first team reps at right tackle behind tight end turned offensive lineman Reid Fragel. I think Decker will be starting by the third week of the season.
On the defensive side of the ball, I'll go with DE Noah Spence, the Buckeyes' top rated recruit in the 2012 class. I think Spence will make an immediate impact as a situational pass rusher and play his way into more field time if he performs well.
Derek: One 2012 offensive recruit that could have an immediate impact is Michael Thomas. He showed great ability during the spring game and has a favorable depth chart at the position. Taylor Decker is on the minds of many, but if Reid Fragel wins over the right tackle position, the no-huddle offense could limit his ability to substitute and get on the field at times.
On defense, I like Noah Spence. Ohio State is limited on outside speed rushers, so I think he has the best chance at playing time.
Alex: On offense, I am going to go with Mike Thomas. Right now he is behind Devin Smith, Philly Brown, and Evan Spencer on the depth chart, but I think OSU will go to a lot of four wide receiver sets and I think Thomas could even work his way past one of those players above him. He has good hands, great size, and a tremendous work ethic. Unlike with Taurian Washington or Bam Childress, I don't think Thomas's spring performance was a fluke. Do I expect him to get 12 catches every game? Absolutely not, but 4-5 would be nice and would make for a great freshman year.
On defense, I will also go with Noah Spence. With Nathan Williams coming off his injury and the need to get John Simon down the line and out of the LEO spot, I think Spence will flourish if he shows early he can make things happen when rushing the passer. I expect Simon/Williams to handle the primary duties at that end spot, but expect Spence to get early opportunities in passing situations to show his skills. Like with Ryan Shazier last year, the more Spence plays and gets comfortable with play recognition and what is going on around him, I think the more he sees the field and I expect a nice year from the nation's top player (according to Max Preps).
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
Happy 8/8, everyone…well, except for those who suffer from octophobia. This is probably a stressful day for you1.
Besides the fact that I just mentioned today is August 8th, another clue that football season has yet to arrive is the amount of attention given to new uniforms this week. Yes, Wisconsin's Adidas jerseys for the Nebraska game are laughable, and I guess anything Penn State does these days is news, but when the topic du jour is “OMG, Penn State is adding the players' names to the back of their jerseys!”, then it's time for football to get here.
To be fair, the Nittany Lions will also wear blue ribbons on their uniforms to bring awareness to victims of child abuse.
However, the idea that players will suddenly forget that there's no “I” in team and turn into raging narcissists when they see their name stitched on the back of their jerseys is ridiculous. I mean, they're 18- to 22-year-old college football players. Chances are, there's at least a little bit of narcissism already present.
Personally, I don't care for the nameless look. How would the folks at home tell—avert your eyes, octophobes—#8 Noah Spence apart from #8 Ricquan Southward? Sure, one's a 240-pound defensive lineman and the other is 185-pound wide receiver, but they both wear the same number, so they're practically twins.
Aaaand, I just wrote several paragraphs on the subject of uniforms. Nope, it's not football season yet.
LIKE MIKE. During the spring game, Ohio State fans witnessed something they had seen very little of the previous season: a wide receiver catching multiple passes for a good chunk of yards. As we all remember, because it was only a few months ago and we're not Leonard Shelby, that WR was freshman Michael Thomas, who hauled in 12 passes for 131 yards.
Doug Harris believes Thomas will be one of the Big Ten's top newcomers this year, and Urban Meyer seems to agree, comparing the freshman to his beloved John Simon. According to the coach, “He's an above-and-beyond guy. I love that about him, and you can see his improvement.”
That has apparently been the case during the first few days of practice. As Kyle informed us yesterday, Thomas has impressed onlookers, especially when he snagged an under-thrown pass from Braxton Miller. But it also appears that the entire receiving corps is making strides:
The starting WRs for OSU (3-wide set) are Devin Smith, Philly Brown & Evan Spencer. But look for Michael Thomas to play a lot. #Buckeyes
— Dave Biddle (@davebiddle) August 8, 2012
There's a clear “top four” at WR. And OSU will run some four-wide sets with all of them on the field together.
— Dave Biddle (@davebiddle) August 8, 2012
Then it will be like last season never happened, right?2
FICKELL BACK. Speaking of people who would rather forget the 2011 season, Luke Fickell seems content now that's he back in his role as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Even though most expect that he will one day take another head coaching gig, Fox Sports Ohio's Zac Jackson wrote that for now, Fickell is focused on helping the Buckeyes return to their winning ways.
And everyone, including Fickell, is pumped:
“There's a different feel, different perspective I guess,” Fickell said. “All the years have been exciting, all the years have been fun. Different challenges at different times but this is definitely an exciting time for Ohio State and I think you can see it and in our players' eyes.”
For someone who took a “demotion”, it's the right kind of attitude to have. Though the players have bought into Urban Meyer's system, they also feel a sense of loyalty to Fickell, and it's easy to understand why.
What are the odds that Ohio State wins more than 9 games?
THE ODDS ARE THERE TO BEAT. Yesterday, Bovada released the odds they set for over/under wins this season in college football. Three teams have an over/under of 10 1/2: Alabama, Oregon, and USC. First-place LSU, at least according to the all-important preseason coaches' poll, is sitting at 10, as are Florida State and Oklahoma.
In the Big Ten, Wisconsin leads the way (9.5), followed by Ohio State and Michigan, who both have an over/under of 9. Michigan State and Nebraska are next (8.5).
I certainly want the Buckeyes to keep aiming for 12-0, but that sounds about right to me3.
ACROSS STATE LINES. ESPN's Arnold Michael Rothstein and Austin Ward continued their “Inside the Game” series that compares position groups between Ohio State and Michigan. For this episode, they looked at who has the better defensive line, and can that even be debated?
As it turns out, no. Although Michigan's DL isn't particularly experienced, “potential” was the word Rothstein used repeatedly to describe the group. Still, he conceded fairly quickly after Ward mentioned the names Simon and Hankins. Ward also brought up that OSU should “be able to go 9-10 deep, which is a hallmark of an Urban Meyer team and what he wants to do on that defensive front.”
Highly-touted freshmen like Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence are turning heads at practice, and they're only with the third unit (except for yesterday, when Adam Bellamy's absence allowed Washington to move up).
So yeah, spoiler alert: Ohio State's defensive line is stacked.
HOOSIER PICK. CBSSports.com talked to many different coaches to ask them various questions about college basketball, such as finding out which player they would most want to add to their team. Aaron Craft came in third with 9 percent of the vote, with one coach saying, ”I'd rather go to four Elite Eights with Aaron Craft than one title game with Nerlens Noel, because the headaches that come with the top players isn't worth it.”
Matt Norlander seemed puzzled by anyone choosing Craft over Noel, but Craft has proven himself on the court as both a leader and a hard worker, while Noel has yet to play one minute of college hoops.
Trey Burke (5 percent) was also listed, though it was another Big Ten player, Cody Zeller, who was the top vote-getter (35 percent). In other Indiana news, Trey Lyles, a class of 2014 commit, reopened his recruitment4. Based on the fact that Lyles is a highly-rated power forward, I'm going to guess that Matta will be calling. Tom Crean will be so pleased.
LINKING FERTILIZER. Dorian Johnson decommitted from Penn State… Mike Adams will start tomorrow night for the Steelers… Toledo's Erik Kynard wins the silver medal in the high jump… The U.S. women's water polo coach imitates Chris Webber… Gymnast not found… Breaking the seal: science!… Arrested Development has started production on season four… Breaking Development.
1 Also, do you find Dick Van Patten terrifying?
2 Remember Sammy Jankis.
3 I also know nothing about gambling, except that you never count your money when you're sittin' at the table, so don't listen to me.
4 Maybe he realized that Indiana isn't allowed 20 players on their roster.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
BuckeyeNation has more coverage of Ohio State:
Austin Ward writes: Freshmen are just learning how to practice right now, but Urban Meyer fully expects that a few members of his most recent recruiting class will be playing in the opener.
Ward and WolverineNation’s Michael Rothstein write: Joint series between BuckeyeNation and WolverineNation and the Big Ten bloggers continues with a debate about the linebackers for the Buckeyes and Wolverines, and a surprising verdict.
Continue reading at ESPN.com – Big Ten Blog
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — If Doc Holliday was furrowing a brow, it was concealed by his dark Nike sunglasses. He couldnt, however, mask the displeasure in his words. The third-year Marshall football coach is none too pleased by any insinuation that A.J. Leg…
Continue Reading: Marshall football: Top recruit Leggett, newcomers debut at first day of practice
Jones (far right) attended FNL with his Core 6 training group
Ohio State scored commitments from two offensive linemen in the 2013 class when Centerville (OH) star Evan Lisle committed back in February and Lawrence Central's Timothy Gardner committed to the Buckeyes a couple of weeks ago.
With the staff likely to take only one, if any, more offensive lineman for this year's class, they are starting to turn their full attention to prospects at the position in the class of 2014.
One of the top rising junior targets the coaches are looking at is Chicago (IL) De La Salle Institute OT Jamarco Jones. Standing at 6-5/290, Jones is considered by many to be the top player at his position not only in the state of Illinois, but also across the entire Midwest region.
The mammoth lineman made his first trip to Columbus back on June 10, when he earned an offer from the Buckeyes following his camp performance. Jones had good things to say following that trip and made a return visit to OSU with his training group, Core 6, for Friday Night Lights.
We caught up with Jamarco to learn about his FNL experience, his overall interest level in Ohio State, what his timetable is to make a decision, and more. Keep reading to find out more about rising 2014 offensive tackle, Jamarco Jones.
You were at Ohio State for Friday Night Lights. How did it go?
It went well. There were a lot of former players there. I got to work with Orlando Pace and Coach Warinner more.
How did you like working with Orlando Pace?
It was great learning from one of the best tackles to ever come out of Ohio State and a guy that was a great NFL player. It was a great experience.
What did the coaches tell you while you were on campus?
They were just giving me advice about my game and telling me they wanted me to be a Buckeye.
Who is your primary recruiter?
Coach Vrabel. He talks to me about my high school team and also gives me tips on ways to improve my game.
Are any schools standing out at this point?
Not now. I'm keeping all my options open.
Do you have a timetable to make a decision?
I don't have a set timetable. I'll decide when the time is right and when there's a clear cut leader out of all the schools that have offered.
Is it likely you'll stay in the Midwest to play college ball?
It's definitely a possibility. It wouldn't bother me going away. It's just whichever school is best for me.
Which schools are expressing the most interest right now?
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa, and Toledo have all offered. Florida and Oregon are showing interest as well.
What will be the biggest factors in making your decision?
First off, academics is key because there's life after football. I want to go to a school where I can earn a good degree. My relationship with the coaching staff will also be important.
Have you and your teammate, Mikale Wilbon (stand out 2014 running back), talked about going to the same college?
We've talked about it. We have a lot of the same schools looking at us and are looking for the same things in a school. It could happen.
Do you have any other planned visits?
I want to try to visit a few schools before the season starts. I also want to go to games at Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, and other teams close by. So, basically Big Ten schools and Notre Dame.
What goals do you have for your junior season?
I want my team to win our conference and win a state championship.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.
Just because fall camp has opened doesn’t mean the Notre Dame coaching staff has stopped recruiting. News broke early Sunday that the Irish welcomed the 19th pledge to their 2013 recruiting class, accepting the commitment of Philadelphia wide receiver Will Fuller. Fuller, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound wide receiver, is rated the second best wide receiver in…
Hello fans and welcome to your Sunday Skull Session.
Isn't it sad to see the summer wind down? Not if you're a college football junkie. Today is a Sunday which marks another week down and another week closer to crisp fall Saturdays and Ohio State football.
While summer brings exciting news with camps, combines and Friday Night Lights, let's be honest, it's just filler.
Three more meaningless Saturdays to go.
ADIDAS NATIONS. Deshaun Thomas has had the pleasure to serve as a coach and a counselor at the ADIDAS Nations event this weekend. Several international teams of prospects are fielded in a tournament in Las Vegas.
Although no box score was kept, the counselor game seemed to go very well for Thomas:
Baylor's Isaiah Austin had 20 pts 8 rebs. Indiana's Will Sheehey 16 pts 5 rebs. Ohio State's DeShaun Thomas had 21 pts today.
— N.D. Kendrick (@NDkendrick) August 4, 2012
Along with the counselors, a handful of Ohio State targets participated for Team USA. '13 PF Karviar Shepherd, '13 SG Jordan Mickey, and '13 SG Allerik Freeman all played extremely well together. Let's hope they all talked about the wonderful things they could do together on the court at Ohio State.
Many top 2014 prospects are also participating in the event.
The two top OSU big man targets for 2014, Jahlil Okafor of Chicago's Whitney Young and Noah Vonleh of Haverhill, MA, are playing for Team USA-Blue and Team USA-Red, respectively.
Vonleh, a 6-9/220 power forward, is a consensus top-5 player and could very well be the MVP of the tournament when it's all said and done. Vonleh had 23 points and 12 boards against team Europe on Friday.
Okafor is also a consensus top-5 forward that has offers from nearly every top school in the nation.
THE MONTEE BALL STORY TAKES ANOTHER TWIST. Not long after Wisconsin running back Montee Ball was attacked on campus, TMZ reported that Ball and several teammates were involved in a fight at a home off-campus ”roughly one week before Ball was jumped off campus.”
Ball responded to that report on Twitter:
The report that I was involved in a fight is totally false.
— Montee Ball (@M_Ball28) August 2, 2012
Not so fast, Montee:
Madison police, “through information developed by detectives, have determined that there was a fight that occurred Friday night (July 27th-28th) which involved UW students, members of the UW football team, and other individuals that were not affiliated with the University of Wisconsin's Athletics Department,” said the report, issued by officer Howard Payne. “We have also determined that Montee Ball was present at the location of that fight, but we have no information that leads us to believe that he had any involvement in that particular event.
“There was one individual that did sustain an injury during the fight, and was subsequently treated at a local hospital for that injury,” the statement said. “There is a potential for charges to be pursued, related to the investigated fight, but no charges have been filed. As this investigation is ongoing, specific details outlining the identities of either victims or involved parties are not being released.”
More to come.
NOT SO QUICK TO DECIDE. 2013 Louisville, KY wide receiver James Quick, who was once down to just Ohio State and Louisville on his list, has stated that he now has five teams that are his finalists.
Will do James Quick story after UofL practice. A few nuggets…his final five schools Louisville, Ohio State, Oregon, Cincinnati and Kentucky.
— Jody Demling (@jdemling) August 4, 2012
Quick also told Demling (Louisville-Courier):
“I am not making my decision anytime soon.” and about teammates decisions “I’m my own person and I have to do what’s best for me.”
Quick is definitely one of Urban's top wide-out targets and his decision process seems to have taken a step backwards. There is still plenty of time for him to make the right decision.
YEAH… Well, apparently this game will have some extra meaning to Penn State fans.
The October 28 game against Ohio State has been officially declared the “White Out” for the 2012 season. onward.st/PsgOqd
— Onward State (@OnwardState) August 3, 2012
Seems like Penn State really wants to knock Ohio State off in Happy Valley and keep the Buckeyes out of BCS Title contention. Oh wait.
LINK'IN LOGS. Meyer is not scurred to put the heat on Braxton… Former Buckeye Roger Espinoza scores a goal to put his Honduras squad, down one man, up over Brazil. More Olympics: Buckeye rifle guru Amanda Furrer just missed the Olympic finals… Matta continues to dish out the offers for '13 and '14… We need commits. If you haven't seen this yet, here's a good read on PSU's scandal punishment negotiations… Here's what Kentucky and Louisville fans do to their warehouses… Jordan Hall is on the road to recovery.
© 2012 Eleven Warriors.