"Leadership is something you can't teach. I feel like I've been blessed to have that trait. Whatever it is, I feel like I'm trying to lead. It could be anything, I feel like I'm going to step up to the plate and be, ‘Alright guys, this is what we need to do.' If I'm in an office with Obama and George Bush, or if I'm with Thad Matta and Coach K, I still feel like I have the edge to step up, ‘This is what we need to do.' I don't know what it is."
- D'Angelo Russell, via Mike DeCourcy, Sporting News
D'Angelo Russell is in the midst of an impressive freshman season with Ohio State, as the freshman continues to lead the Buckeyes on their way to the Big Ten tournament and NCAA tournament in March. Ohio State (16-5) is still in contention for a Big Ten championship, trailing first-place Wisconsin by a game and a half. The Buckeyes won't face the Badgers until March 8, in the regular season finale, but still have some stiff competition in front of them, including No. 16 Maryland this Thursday.
Russell leads Ohio State with averages of 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. His scoring prowess has helped his teammates follow his lead and head coach Thad Matta has spoken highly of Russell's leadership to his fellow classmates. With his role on the team, Russell is up to the task and will try to help propel Ohio State in contention for a Big Ten title.
"Both Dixon and Clark have dealt with injuries but have great potential. Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell and Jeff Greene are also options, and watch to see if Marshall can become an outside receiver, meaning he and Wilson could play at the same time."
- Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group
An early breakdown of what the depth chart may look like next season has been looked at and to fill in the missing pieces that are lost to graduation are players that should seem familiar. With Curtis Grant graduating, Raekwon McMillian steps up into the middle linebacker spot after earning plenty of reps as a true freshman. Meanwhile, Nick Vannett will take over the tight end duties for Jeff Heuerman, as Vannett has been a more than capable backup when Heuerman was dealing with nagging injuries on and off during the 2014 season.
The loss of wide receivers Devin Smith and Evan Spencer might be the two most interesting losses, but with the depth Ohio State has, it shouldn't be too much of a problem in the long run. For now, the breakdown gives the nod to Johnnie Dixon and Michael Thomas (though Thomas essentially started over Devin Smith in many cases as an every-down receiver). Dixon, however, is favored over the more experienced Corey Smith and will have to compete with some other talented wideouts by the time spring practices roll around.
"Do yourself a favor, and find a Miller highlight package on YouTube to remind yourself what kind of player we're talking about here, because too many OSU fans seem to have forgotten what the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year was like on the field."
- Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group
Doug Lesmerises of the Northeast Ohio Media Group took a look at Braxton Miller's situation at Ohio State and listed five potential options for the senior quarterback. With the second shoulder injury and surgery, Miller's options depend heavily on how his recovery progresses. The options in the article that have him staying at Ohio State are listed as remaining at Ohio State and fighting for the starting quarterback job, remaining at Ohio State and switching positions, remaining at Ohio State but primarily focus on preparing for the NFL.
As for the two other options (which involve Braxton Miller leaving), they are listed as transferring to another college football power to be the quarterback or transferring somewhere he has relationships and people know him (think Tom Herman at Houston). While I don't see the latter two happening, anything is possible. I still remain firm in my belief that Braxton Miller will be back for next season at Ohio State and will (if healthy) compete for the starting quarterback job.
"ESPNU will be the home for National Signing Day, its 10th consecutive year covering the start of the college football season"
- Derek Volner, ESPN Media Zone
Recruiting fans, National Signing Day 2015 is just over a week away. On Wednesday of next week, recruits and commits will be signing and sending in their letters of intent and become official members of their respective college football teams. You'll be able to catch all of the national action on ESPNU for the 10th consecutive year starting at 8 a.m. all the way until 7 p.m. on Feb. 4.
More than 15 top recruits are scheduled to make their college announcements, some of which may be considering Ohio State in their final decisions. Regardless, Land-Grant Holy Land will be working tirelessly to ensure you have the latest news and signings on National Signing Day, so be sure to join us next Wednesday as well, as we give you live updates on who has signed with the Buckeyes.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- The Breaking Madden series finishes the season with the Super Bowl.
- Ikea has plans of opening a store in Polaris for summer 2017.
- Cleveland's Public Square overhaul could begin as early as February.
- Snowed in from the blizzard that hit the Northeast? Here are 17 great Netflix movies to keep you busy.