"I think I learned a lot from osmosis...I grinded. I got my hands on every drill tape I could. I went to clinics. Every brain I could pick, I picked. And I wasn't too proud to ask the kids."
-Former Ohio State OC Tom Herman, via Teddy Mitrosilis (Fox Sports)
There's no way to overstate Tom Herman's importance to Ohio State's 2014 title run. Herman, now the head coach at Houston, was the architect of one of the nation's most dangerous (and efficient) offenses last year. That would be impressive enough by itself, but when you factor in the loss of two starting QBs over the course of the year, it's mind-boggling. It's crazy to think about just how effective Herman was with his quarterbacks, given that he never played QB himself, and has only had 10 years working with signal callers.
You could do worse than Urban Meyer, as mentors go, and Mitrosilis points out that Herman has learned a few tricks from his old boss. Consider Bowman Sells, a three-star QB who just spurned an offer from the Buckeyes to go play for Herman at Houston. Meyer and his staff have a reputation for being among the best recruiters in college football, refusing to believe players are out of reach even after they've committed to other programs. Herman is no slouch as a recruiter, either. It's not hard to imagine the Cougars making some noise in the college football landscape this season under his leadership.
"Barrett completed 64.7 percent of his passes...take away the Virginia Tech game, in which he barely had time to breathe, and that number goes up to 68 percent."
It's been a good week for Ohio State QBs over at ESPN's Big Ten blog. The site profiled the best quarterbacks in the conference across multiple dimensions, and it should come as no surprise that J.T. Barrett, Braxton Miller, and Cardale Jones featured prominently. Quarterbacks were rated across five categories: accuracy, intangibles/mental makeup, durability, height/weight/speed, and production. There was at least one Buckeye in the top three for each of those five areas.
Barrett was rated as the most accurate in the conference, coming in ahead of MSU's Connor Cook and Illinois' Wes Lunt. Described by our own Luke Zimmermann as "so precise that I'd let him give me an appendectomy," Barrett was ridiculously efficient as a starter in 2014. He was rated the second-best in the B1G in terms of intangibles/mental makeup, just behind Cook. That's not surprising either, given his preternatural feel for the game as a redshirt freshman on short notice. Barrett was also rated as third in overall production (which is far too low, IMO).
Cardale Jones got the nod as the best quarterback in terms of height/weight/speed ratio. Jones isn't a graceful runner, but he's a bulldozer, and occasionally hurdles defenders instead of mowing them down, just for a change of pace. He rates as the third-most durable, though if Penn State's offensive line plays like it did last year, Christian Hackenberg will likely be forced to lose his crown there. Braxton Miller, meanwhile, gets the nod as the most productive QB in the conference. We've said it before and we'll say it again: this boon of top-tier QBs is a good problem to have.
"They've got three great wins. You could argue that their three wins are better than any three wins that we have."
-John Danowski, Duke men's lacrosse head coach, via Seth Johnson (DukeChronicle.com)
This weekend, a tough-as-nails Ohio State men's lacrosse team will take on Duke, one of the sport's most successful programs. Though the Buckeyes were felled by Johns Hopkins in last week's inaugural Big Ten championship game, they earned a berth in the playoffs, where they drew a terrifying Blue Devils team. Duke is led by Myles Jones, a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award -- the honor given to the most valuable player in college lacrosse.
Despite being unseeded in the NCAA tournament, the Buckeyes have strung together plenty of quality wins in 2015, including four against top-20 foes. They've taken down powerhouse programs like Denver, Maryland, and Johns Hopkins (in an earlier tilt) over the course of the season, and have plenty of talent on the roster. The Buckeyes are led by senior midfielder Jesse King, who leads Ohio State in goals and assists this year (37 and 27, respectively).
The game will be played at Duke's Koskinen Stadium, with faceoff happening at 7:30 ET on Saturday. The Blue Devils are two-time defending national champs, which should add some extra drama to the proceedings.
"He said you have to understand, if they love you and you love them, there's not a better match. The same thing for him at Syracuse is how it was for me at Ohio State."
-Micah Potter, Ohio State commit, via Bill Landis (NE Ohio Media Group)
What's the opposite of a Pyrrhic victory? Ohio State basketball lost one recruiting battle, but who knows -- they may have won the war in the process. Thad Matta initially took a lot of flak for losing out on Matthew Moyer, an Ohio native who opted to play for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse rather than staying in-state to play for the Buckeyes. But in doing so, the door was opened for Micah Potter to earn an OSU offer, and the coaching staff is happy with the guy they got to complete the 2016 class.
Potter is a 6'10, 245-pound C/PF who should give the Buckeyes some much-needed depth down low. Given how much the Ohio State frontcourt has struggled in the last few years, that's something to look forward to. Potter was offered eight months after Matta offered Moyer, and although Potter wasn't planning on committing when he visited Columbus for the football team's spring game this year, he realized during that trip that he didn't want that offer going to anyone but him. He committed two days later.
STICK TO SPORTS
- We already know Cardale Jones is beefing with Joakim Noah. Here's a list of the next 5 people that King Cardale should "give the hands to."
- An Ohio State professor is using satellite imaging to aid the earthquake relief effort in Nepal.
- Yoshimitsu, the best character from the Tekken franchise, has gotten a pretty serious makeover.
- The world of Game of Thrones...as a Google map.
- An Army veteran is biking around America -- 11,000 miles -- to raise money for charity.