"He loves football, he loves his family. He's a good kid. It's a tough road. We just wish him the best. We hope he heals up fine, but more importantly, in the big picture, it's not about his knee, it's about having a good life and getting a good education."
Just try and imagine not only suffering three ACL injuries, but having those injuries come in three straight years near the same weekend. The last three seasons that Devan Bogard has played in Ohio State's "pink game", where the Buckeyes wear pink accessories in support of breast cancer awareness, Bogard has suffered a season-ending ACL injury. This year Bogard was a starter on special teams, and had just been named special teams player of the week the previous game before he was hit and went down with a torn left ACL against Rutgers in the "pink game".
Even with all of the knee injuries, Bogard is planning on rehabbing so he can join the Ohio State team again next season. Bogard wants to be out there for the people around him and his teammates that have supported him through not only his knee injuries, but also when he had just arrived on campus in June 2012 to find out that his brother had passed away at only 18 years old due to bone cancer. The field is where Bogard says is his sanctuary and where the butterflies go away. Hopefully his senior season will give him a full year season of being out there excelling for the special teams unit of the Buckeyes.
"I didn't really play a lot of defense in high school. It allowed me to learn the game, and get bigger and faster, and I think it's paid off tremendously."
If you're looking for a key to some of the success that Ohio State has been having this year, look no farther than some of the redshirt freshman that have been contributing. Everybody knows about redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, who was forced into starting when Braxton Miller went down due to a second shoulder surgery. In Barrett's case he was redshirted not only due to Ohio State having Miller, as well as Kenny Guiton, but also because of the torn ACL he suffered in high school. But Barrett isn't the only one who has made a name for himself after sitting out last season.
Eli Apple and Jalin Marshall were redshirted because they just weren't quite ready to see the field for the Buckeyes. While it might have been a surprise to see Apple redshirted because he was such a highly heralded recruit, he says he wouldn't be contributing quite as much as he is now if he wasn't redshirted. In Marshall's case he says it was because of injury and immaturity, but he also had to go from playing quarterback in high school to the h-back at Ohio State. Billy Price was moved from defensive line to the offensive line, and Darron Lee went from quarterback to linebacker. The impact all of these players have made so far has shown that it was the right choice, and will only help their progression as they continue their career with the Buckeyes.
"If the goal is to put the best teams into the playoff, Ohio State's case is sound. In fact, there may not be a team in the country playing better football right now than the Buckeyes."
There may still be a couple weeks to go before the participants in the first College Football Playoff are determined, but there is no team in the country that is trending upward faster right now than Ohio State. The Buckeyes may have had the ugly loss to Virginia Tech to deal with, but since then they have been doing whatever they can to overcome what happened on September 6th in Columbus. Quarterback J.T. Barrett was still trying to find his legs in only his second start as a Buckeye, and the offensive line did him no favors against the Hokies. But in the grand scheme of things how bad is that loss really after the Buckeyes have responded like they have?
Since the loss to the Hokies, Ohio State has won all eight of their games, by an average of 28 points per game, which is the best among the Power-5 conference teams. The Buckeye offense has been clicking on all cylinders, scoring 49 points or more six times. With how much flack the Big Ten gets for being weak, the opponents winning percentage for the Buckeyes is better than Oregon, Florida State, Mississippi State, and TCU, all of whom are ranked ahead of the Buckeyes. With the emergence of Barrett as a Heisman contender, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Buckeyes in the playoff, but they just might need a little more chaos to help them get inside the top-four.
"I'd say I picked the wrong people who led me down the wrong path. I've got people in place who are going to fix everything now. It's something I should have done a long time ago."
The sad part of this story is those people that Jack Johnson is talking about that "led him down the wrong path" were his own parents. As a professional athlete who has made $18 million dollars in his nine-year career, and is scheduled to be paid $5 million by Columbus this year, it is hard to believe that at just 27 years old Jack Johnson is nearly broke. When Johnson parted ways with his agent in 2008, he turned over his financial control to people who he thought he could trust. His parents. Now the defenseman has debts in the $10 to $15 million dollar range.
What has put Johnson in such a hole financially is that his mother borrowed at least $15 million in her son's name in future earnings, in high-interest loans. The parents bought a house in Manhattan Beach, California without his knowledge, which they also spent $800,000 to renovate, and each purchased a car. Johnson asked questions as to where his parents were getting so much money, but was often brushed off and told to just focus on playing. Ahead of a January bankruptcy hearing in Los Angeles, Johnson has a team of financial advisors, and has cut off all contact with his parents. This is just the latest case of those close to a professional athlete taking advantage of their wealth, but might be one of the more disturbing because it was the parents of the athlete that felt they were entitled to do so.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- There are big changes being proposed to help improve the flow of car, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic on Ohio State's campus.
- A new gourmet hot dog restaurant is opening up near OSU South Campus tomorrow.
- In the latest edition of "Florida or Ohio?": Florida man arrested after he was denied 4th Meal at Taco Bell, takes saddest mugshot ever.
- This groundhog in New Hampshire was ready to start some problems.
- The photos from the Buffalo lake effect snowstorm are absolutely terrifying.