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Why is this news?: How a loss against Virginia Tech helped Ohio State pull a top recruit

All the big Ohio State news in one helpful place.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

"I didn't care," said Burrell, who eventually signed with Ohio State in February, (Virginia Tech) acted way too entitled. Any team, you would win with class, which I would think, but it just showed me where I wanted to be."

-Ari Wasserman, Northeast Ohio Media Group

I felt dejected after the loss to Virginia Tech back in September, an emotion I'm sure I shared with many Buckeyes.  After witnessing the Buckeyes look down right awful against an average Virginia Tech squad, a shot at the conference title, let alone a spot in the college football playoff, seemed unreachable.  Needless to say I'm glad the season worked out the way it did.  The team, coaches included, clearly grew from the experience and went on a tear through the rest of the season, culminating in a national championship.  Without the loss against Tech I don't think Ohio State finishes the season where they did.

Apart from the wake-up call it sent the program, it seems the loss contained another positive for the Buckeyes. Ohio State made the Tech game their showcase recruiting game of the season, and many top prospects were in attendance to witness the Buckeyes lose; including offensive lineman Matt Burrell. Instead of being impressed with the home-state Hokies after they upset Ohio State however, Burrell came away more impacted by how Ohio State's players and coaches handled the loss. While the loss was crushing, it allowed the Buckeyes a chance to show Burrell and other top recruits how they deal with adversity.

"Included among the 200 players and coaches on the 2016 ballot for induction into the College Hall of Fame are three former Ohio State All-Americans: running back Keith Byars, linebacker Tom Cousineau and running back Jim Otis."


All three former Buckeyes are deserving in my book. Then again, my book is biased.

You would think that Byars stands a good chance. The should've been Heisman Trophy winner had a monster year in 1984, leading the nation in rushing, all-purpose yards, and scoring.  He was a unanimous first team All-American and the Big Ten MVP. Cousineau and Otis may have a more difficult time getting elected, but both still boast impressive resumes. Cousineau ranks second all time in tackles for Ohio State, while Otis was a member of the 1968 national championship team and three times led the Buckeyes in rushing during his career.

The 2016 class will be announced January 8, 2016.

"Ohio State's roster is absolutely loaded with NFL talent."

-David Regimbal, Bleacher Report

News flash: Ohio State has some good football players. Regimbal takes a look at each position group for the Buckeyes, but stops short of making any predictions on who will win the remaining position battles.  It is a good refresher if you have not perused the Buckeye roster in a few months.

The most fascinating position group this season will obviously be the quarterback group; and as Braxton continues to heal and simultaneously maintain that he will be a Buckeye come the fall, what a battle it will be. In the nearly five months since Ohio State won the national title I have at one time or another been firmly in the camp of all three guys.  I've gone through my Cardale phase, my J.T. phase, and most recently my Braxton phase. Each guy has pros and each has cons, but what an embarrassment of riches the Buckeyes posses. Whoever wins the battle and receives the most snaps at quarterback will have earned it.  And then some.

"The secondary's bend-don't-break performance was good enough for Ohio State in the postseason since the offense was firing on all cylinders. However, while the Buckeye offense was progressing week to week in the regular season, the defensive backfield was quietly holding down the fort."

-Brooks Hooley, Rant Sports

Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott stole the postseason headlines, but the Buckeye defense also stepped up in a big way during the college football playoff.  The defensive secondary played a big role in the defensive clampdown; and though they conceded some yards to some high-powered offenses, they also limited big plays and made a fair amount of their own big plays.  The departure of Doran Grant to the NFL certainly won't help the secondary, but what it does do is allow younger players a shot at more playing time.  Gareon Conley has the inside track for replacing Grant after fighting off Damon Webb during spring ball, though he will continue to be pushed by both Webb and Marshon Lattimore throughout summer and fall camp.  Conley didn't see much playing time during 2015, and when he did he struggled; remember the Michigan State game?  I would hope that a full off-season followed by fall camp as the starter will be enough to get him ready.

The rest of the starting secondary returns from 2015.  Vonn Bell, Tyvis Powell, and Eli Apple are three very solid players.  It will be interesting to see how much playing time underclassmen such as Erick Smith, Cam Burrows, and Malik Hooker receive during the year.  It would be nice to see these players and others see time in blowouts during the fall.