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Why is this news?: Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford impressed with intensity

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Tony Alford has coached for Notre Dame and now Ohio State and is impressed by the Buckeyes intensity.
Tony Alford has coached for Notre Dame and now Ohio State and is impressed by the Buckeyes intensity.

"I would just say the intensity level of everything all the time, from the time you set foot in here till the time you walk out of here, and then some. That's probably the biggest thing."

- Tony Alford via Tim May, The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford has been with the Buckeyes since early February and has been doing his best to acclimate himself in Columbus and as a valued member of the coaching staff. Already known as a superb recruiter, Alford is also trying to help solidify the Buckeyes' rushing attack, led by Ezekiel Elliott. It also helps that Elliott enters the season as a potential Heisman candidate and that Alford has plenty of depth behind Elliott as well, in Curtis Samuel, Bri'onte Dunn, and Warren Ball.

When asked about a comparison of his current head coach, Urban Meyer, and his former head coach in Brian Kelly, Alford respectfully denied offering an edge to one or the other. Alford did mention, however, that there is a difference in their coaching styles and then gave the above quote. It seems like Alford is starting to fit in just fine.

"Meyer could at least get 10 of his former players. In fact, he could build a whole starting lineup, then some."

- Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group

Urban Meyer isn't going to the NFL any time soon, but with the teams he's coached, there's been plenty of professional talent on the field at his disposal. Doug Lesmerises of the Northeast Ohio Media Group went through all of Meyer's teams and former players, and produced a NFL-caliber list of starters. Including his teams at Florida and Utah, Meyer's former players NFL lineup would have Tim Tebow and Alex Smith at quarterback, Carlos Hyde at running back, Riley Cooper, Philly Brown, Percy Harvin, Evan Spencer, and Devin Smith at wide receiver.

On the defensive side of the ball, the notable players and positions are John Simon and Carlos Dunlap at defensive end, Johnathan Hankins and Shariff Floyd at defensive tackle, Ryan Shazier, Brandon Spikes and Jelani Jenkins at linebacker, and a tag-team of Joe Haden and Bradley Roby at cornerback. Quite a star-studded list.

"Stud CB Kendall Fuller is back, but both safety spots will go to newcomers to the position in '15, and they'll have to develop quickly. Foster's affinity for the blitz (see "How the Hokies Beat You") requires a secondary that holds up in coverage."

- Andrea Adelson, ESPN

ESPN's Big Ten blog has been breaking down some of the out-of-conference opponents that Big Ten teams are facing off against this season. One of those teams, Virginia Tech, will be playing Ohio State in a rematch as well as facing off against Purdue. The Hokies gave the Buckeyes their only loss in 2014, as they took advantage of a young J.T. Barrett, forcing bad throws and harassing Ohio State's offensive line all game to come away with an upset of the eventual national champions.

This season, the Buckeyes head to Blacksburg looking to return the favor and avenge the disappointing loss at home a season ago. With a much more experienced (and healthy) Ohio State team, the reigning champs will likely enter the game as heavy favorites, but will need to play focused and disciplined to showcase their improvement and get a win. The Buckeyes' gameplan could focus on a passing attack against Virginia Tech, considering the holes in the secondary that the Hokies have to replace.

"Last Five In: Ohio State, Kentucky, South Florida, Clemson, UC Irvine"

- Kendall Rogers, D1Baseball.com

The latest field of 64 projections for college baseball have been released, and the Buckeyes are currently slotted to make the NCAA tournament. Ohio State is projected to be one of the last five teams to make it into the tournament, along with the schools listed above. The Buckeyes still have some work left to do if they want to become a lock for the field of 64, and at least one win in the upcoming Big Ten tournament could do just that.

As of now, Ohio State appears to be headed to Los Angeles for the regional final. UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, Notre Dame, USC, UC Irvine, Bakersfield, and San Diego State join the Buckeyes in the Los Angeles regional as well. It's an exciting time for the baseball team as they try and prepare to make a run in the postseason.

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