Interesting: Kiper says if Cardale Jones had declared, he'd have slotted him as a second rounder.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) March 26, 2015
As the NFL Draft inches closer, it seems as if Cardale Jones' stock is shooting up, despite the quarterback's decision to return to Ohio State. When Jones initially announced his decision to return to the Buckeyes, there was talk he could have been picked anywhere between the second to fifth round. Mel Kiper Jr. seems to be particularly enamored with Jones, saying he would've projected the Glenville product to be drafted in the second round of this year's draft. While the tape on Jones is limited, it isn't surprising to see the intrigue with a quarterback with the physical traits that Jones possesses. With some of the uncertainty at quarterback for teams like the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and a number of others, it wouldn't have been crazy to see a team take an early flyer on a quarterback with tremendous upside.
Sam Thompson said he has not changed mind, will not participate in dunk contest at Final Four next week. #buckbk— Bob Baptist (@BBaptistHoops) March 26, 2015
Bad news for Ohio State fans hoping to get one last glimpse of Sam Thompson dunking in a Buckeye uniform, as Thompson has reaffirmed his decision to not participate in the college dunk contest held next Thursday. Instead Thompson has decided to stay in Columbus to focus on training for the upcoming pro workouts to try and improve his stock heading into June's NBA Draft. Had Thompson entered the dunk contest he likely would've been one of the favorites competing, and with good reason. Even though Thompson won't be competing next week, at least Buckeye fans were still lucky enough to have plenty of highlight-reel dunks thrown down by Thompson during his four years in Columbus to look back on.
"They [Ohio State] are talking seriously about moving Curtis to H. They're saying he's just too talented to only be the back-up to Ezekiel. They think he can be a Heisman candidate one day."
- Source to Bucknuts.com
Not only will there be a trio of candidates vying for the quarterback position this offseason, but it looks as if the Buckeyes will have a trio of athletes competing to earn snaps at H-back. The good news for Ohio State is it is a lot easier to utilize Dontre' Wilson, Jalin Marshall, and Curtis Samuel in the offense than the three quarterbacks. While Samuel didn't get a ton of carries during his freshman year in Columbus, he made the most of them, scoring six touchdowns on the 58 carries he had. By comparison, Ezekiel Elliott only received 30 carries during his freshman season, so the future is bright for Samuel. It has to be quite a luxury for the Buckeyes to be able to have possible offensive sets where both Samuel and Elliott are on the field at the same time.
The usage of Samuel at H-back today wasn't the only news from practice today, as Bucknuts.com's Dave Biddle provided a recap of what he saw at the open media session this morning. Braxton Miller wasn't throwing at all today, but did do some work on the side. A number of starters on both sides of the line got some rest today, giving others a chance at getting some reps. On the offensive line, Jamarco Jones, Marcelys Jones, and Evan Lisle were able to get some work in with the first-team. On the defensive side, Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington didn't practice, with Darius Slade and Tracy Sprinkle seeing first-team reps.
"I have personal goals, and I don't want to draw any attention to them because that's kind of selfish. But I do have have personal goals that I think, if I achieve them, will help this team. If I achieve those the NFL will be there after my senior year."
- Taylor Decker, Ohio State offensive tackle
With the potential to be picked on either the first or second day of this year's NFL Draft, nobody would've blamed Taylor Decker if he had declared himself eligible following Ohio State's championship season this year. Luckily for Buckeye fans, Decker decided to return to Columbus for his senior season. The thought of declaring did cross Decker's mind after hearing some of the projections on where he might be drafted, but after speaking with his parents he decided to come back to Ohio State to finish out his career.
A big reason for Decker's return was the bond his teammates on the offensive lineman, or "The Slobs" as they call themselves, have formed. Decker has been described as a more athletic version of Jack Mewhort, who was taken in the second round of last year's NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. So far in his young NFL career, Mewhort has found success, as he started every game for the Colts, who reached the AFC Championship Game. Still the personal goals Decker has set for himself, were enough to entice Decker to return, and Decker knows if he plays as well as he knows he can play, the NFL will still be there for him next year.
"We can surprisingly hear them even when we're under the water. It's definitely an energy boost."
- Katie Spada, Ohio State women's synchronized swimming team captain
So far 2015 has been the year of championships for Ohio State, and the women's synchronized swimming team is hoping to add to the the titles this weekend when they host the U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Championships this weekend. The championships began today at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion and run through Saturday. The hosts are hoping that Buckeye fans will show up in large numbers to give them a boost as they look to add to the strong performances they've had in the championships over the years.
In 2012 the Buckeyes took home the title, while in 2013 and 2014 they fell just short, finishing as runner-up to Stanford in 2013 and Lindenwood, of St. Louis, in 2014. Ohio State is looking to earn their 29th national title in the sport since they started competing in synchronized swimming in 1976. The sport might not get as much press as football or basketball, but what the swimmers have to do during their routines is truly unbelievable. There are times during a four-minute routine when the swimmers are underwater for a total of two minutes or more. Add in having to be synched up with all of their teammates in the pool and it is quite a sight to see.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Looking for the best of the best in Columbus? Here's the results of Columbus Alive's Best of Columbus 2015 poll.
- With Ohio State not opening their 2015 season until Labor Day night in Blacksburg, the Fashion Meets Music Festival has been announced for Labor Day weekend in the Arena District.
- Timofey Mozgov's commercial for Cleveland's Brew Garden is something special.
- After losing 15 games last year, Cubs fans might be hoping Edwin Jackson gets lost more on days he is scheduled to start.
- Even after his death, Dean Smith is still all class.