"Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Alabama's Nick Saban will be paired together in the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl Challenge."
Urban Meyer and Nick Saban are very familiar with each other on the football field, having met four times. The two have split the meetings, each with two wins and two losses, with Meyer evening the series in the Sugar Bowl last season. The No. 4 Buckeyes upset top-seeded Alabama, securing a spot in the national championship game. But now the two elite college coaches meet on a different stage: the golf course.
Competing in the annual Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge - a charity golf event that includes some of the top college football coaches in the country - coach Meyer and coach Saban will look to gain some bragging rights as they are paired together in the 18-hole challenge. Meyer will be partnered with former Ohio State running back Jeff Logan, while Saban will have former Crimson Tide running back Mark Ingram. At last year's event, Saban and Ingram finished sixth at -7, several spots ahead of Meyer and Logan, who finished 11th overall at -4.
"I kind of scratched my head and said, 'Uh, oh, he does things we haven't talked about yet.'"
Does Urban Meyer have it easier compared to Thad Matta? With D'Angelo Russell declaring for the NBA draft on Wednesday, Matta joked about his dream of Russell signing a three-year extension to stay at Ohio State rather than turn pro. Though he might have been joking, there's always some truth in jest. Can you blame him? Russell was a phenomenal freshman star point guard, who led the Buckeyes to a No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament and even propelled Ohio State to a second-round game against Arizona.
The nice thing for Urban Meyer is that he has his players for a minimum of three seasons before they can become eligble for the NFL draft. It's a hotly debated topic, whether or not the NCAA should make college basketball players stay longer than one season. In an era where Kentucky is churning out one-and-done's left and right, it's a serious concern.
"He's going to be good; he's going to be good. He's tough ... he's raw, and to have the kind of guys he has in his unit (to bring him along), things are going to get good for him."
One of the highlight performers in Ohio State's spring game last Saturday was freshman linebacker Nick Conner. The Ohio-native grew up wanting to be a Buckeye from the start and has earned the right to wear the scarlet and gray. Now, he's setting himself for success with the way he played in the spring game. Conner was all over the field, racking up 7 total tackles, forcing a fumble, and intercepting a pass from Stephen Collier.
Though Raekwon McMillan is the starter at middle linebacker, Conner can make a name for himself early in the season by playing on special teams. Coach Meyer spoke highly of Conner's play, and while he has things to work on and improve, Conner can grow and learn from incredible talent in front of him. Based on his performance, we should be hearing about Conner for quite some time.
"I want to hang his jersey in the rafters someday because I think he's one of the greatest to ever play the game here at Ohio State and he's only here for eight months."
It wasn't a secret that D'Angelo Russell was headed for the NBA after a freshman season in which he scored 675 total points and made 95 three-pointers, which are the most by any Ohio State freshman. He also dished 175 assists, good enough for third all-time among first-year players with the Buckeyes. Russell came into the season with expectations from fans that he was a talented, but raw, prospect that would be in the scarlet and gray for at least two years. Early on, it became quite evident that wasn't going to be the case.
Instead, Russell will enter the draft and likely become a top five pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Blake Williams of BuckeyeSports.com took a look at some of the greatest basketball Buckeyes who went one-and-done, and listed Russell as the third-best player of all-time who played one season for Ohio State. The only two listed above him were Greg Oden and Mike Conley, but Williams mentions that Russell isn't far off of Conley, in his mind.