"I want to show that I can be an every-down Mike, not just rotate in. Joshua (Perry), he might not be as flashy as guys think, just makes a lot of tackles and is one of our morale guys. Darron (Lee) on the other hand is more of a hype guy, always making big plays. So we get the best of both worlds, and I have to be the stable guy in the middle."
With Curtis Grant using up his eligibility at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have a spot to fill at middle linebacker. Both outside linebacker spots are still rock solid with Joshua Perry and sophomore Darron Lee having very solid outings last season en route to Ohio State's first national championship of the Urban Meyer era. Now, rising sophomore Raekwon McMillan enters the mix as the next in line for the Buckeyes. McMillan showed flashes of what he could bring to the field last season as a true freshman, especially when defending against the rushing attack.
McMillan racked up 49 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks in 14 games last season and showed why he was one of the top recruits in the country just two years ago. With Perry and Lee on the outside providing excellent coverage and tackling, all McMillan has to do is be solid for the linebackers to have success. But with the high potential the sophomore has, the coaching staff is understandably excited about McMillan manning the middle for the next couple of seasons.
"The bar has been set extremely high by all three guys. I don't think it's ever been done in the history of collegiate sports where three guys have been this dominant in this short of a time span. It's very unique, I think we've got the right guy to make the decision and I'm glad I don't have to."
Troy Smith knows a couple of things about being a great quarterback at the college level. A former Heisman trophy winner for Ohio State, Smith also knows what it's like to fight for a starting job against other talented quarterbacks. Having played in the NFL and CFL (with the Montreal Alouettes before being released at the end of the season), Smith has plenty of experience with quarterback battles. As for the one at Ohio State between Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones? Smith doesn't want to get too involved in that conversation.
Acknowledging the tough decision that Urban Meyer has to make before the season starts, Smith is happy he isn't a part of the process. Having to choose between three Heisman candidates for one spot is not an easy task, but Smith offered some insight into what it might be like for these quarterbacks to be fighting for that starting job:
"Definitely have to be razor-sharp. And when I say razor-sharp I mean your confidence level, your approach to the game, the everyday know-how that you go through has to be razor-sharp. There's no portion of the football game that you can take for granted if you want to be that guy."
"I liked his grit, his toughness, his attitude in terms of doing whatever he had to do to win. He's one of the best I've seen at getting inside the paint and making guys around him better. He's so quick, so strong that he gets in there and he's a very good decision maker."
When you talk about the class of 2015 for Ohio State basketball, point guard A.J. Harris is probably not the first person people will bring up. But he may end up being one of the most important. A 5'9 guard from Dayton, Ohio, Harris has the sort of heart that will make Buckeye fans fall in love quickly with his demeanor and play. He may even end up being the leader that a team with an enormous amount of talent needs.
Thad Matta constantly points to Mike Conley when talking to Harris, and though he doesn't the compare the two, Harris takes it as a sign of what Matta believes he is capable of. His will to win is inspirational, to say the least, as Matta began to think he should offer him after watching Harris miss two free throws in an AAU game that his team ended up losing. The simple act of getting that upset over a game that didn't mean very much in the grand scheme of things seemed important to Matta. And now Harris will do his best to take his game to the Big Ten.
OSU freshman Kelsey Mitchell named to AP All-America 2nd Team— Matt Barnes (@Matt_NBC4) March 31, 2015
Ohio State women's basketball freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell has been named a second-team All American by the Associated Press. Mitchell certainly deserves the honor, as she led the country in scoring with 24.9 points per game in her first season with the Buckeyes. She led Ohio State to a NCAA tournament appearance, making it to the second round as a No. 5 seed, after they defeated James Madison. The Buckeyes would just miss out on making the Sweet 16, as they fell to North Carolina on a last-second game-winner from the Tar Heels.
Still, Mitchell's season was a spectacular one, as she scored a Big Ten and Ohio State single-season record 873 points and became the first freshman to ever lead the NCAA in scoring for a season. She also made an NCAA single-season record 127 three-point field goals. Congratulations to Mitchell, who also was named Big Ten co-Player of the Year.