"Jared Sullinger, another former Buckeye, committed to attending the Feb. 16 halftime ceremony as soon as he discovered the plans to honor [Evan] Turner's memorable three-year career."
- Jay King, MassLive
Jared Sullinger will be in attendance as Evan Turner's No. 21 goes into the rafters at Value City Arena on February 16, and it should really come as no surprise when you learn of the bond that the two have. They're currently teammates with the Boston Celtics in the NBA, but it goes back further than that, and even further than Ohio State. Sullinger and his family "took him in like a brother" when he first came to Columbus.
Turner made friends with Jared and his brother J.J. when Turner would go to Jared's high school games when he was a top recruit. Jared would workout with the Buckeye players before he even became a Buckeye. Turner has also become great friends with Jared's 12-year-old nephew Jalen, and sometimes forgets he's 12, showing up to the house late to just spend time with him. But between all of the time spent together, the bond seemed to grow quick. It's nice to see a great pair of former Buckeyes who have each other's backs the way these two do. February 16 should be a special day.
"Who better than a Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver to help former Ohio State star Braxton Miller's transition to the position?"
- Chase Goodbread, NFL.com
Braxton Miller's journey on his position change has been well documented, and has received even more attention and praise in recent times, as he had a great display at the 2016 Senior Bowl practices and game. But he's got an especially good mentor now in helping him make the next step into the NFL with the help of former Buckeye and NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter. Miller posted a photo of himself and Carter Tuesday implying that Carter was helping Miller.
Carter is one of the greatest wide receivers to play in the NFL. He had eight straight 1,000-yard seasons with the Vikings form 1993-2000, so he knows a thing or two about playing the position. Miller made the switch in the summer of 2015, and has progressively gotten better, in a change that many players simply couldn't make. Miller also has his eyes on running for the 40-yard dash record at the NFL Combine. If he's able to do so, along with the help of Carter, Miller should be in pretty good shape heading into the league.
"Would the Buckeyes really have 44 players with freshmen eligibility in 2016, on a roster with 85 scholarships?"
- Doug Lesmerises, Northeast Ohio Media Group
The 2016 season is going to look much different than the 2015 season. The Buckeyes were filled with experience on both sides of the ball, but now the Buckeyes have 44 players with freshmen eligibility in 2016. The roster has a total of 85 scholarships. While you might think this is a red flag at first, because the team is young, inexperienced, and we really don't know how their game will translate at the college level, Urban Meyer knows what it takes.
He told Lesmerises that more kids would have played in 2015 to get that experience, but says that he knows they're a good team. The Buckeyes have had really good draft classes the past two seasons, so although the inexperience is there, the talent is as well. When talent is coached up, learning experiences come faster, and you have much improvement. That will be the goal for Urban Meyer and his coaching staff heading into next season. The environment will also be competitive, which is never a bad thing. Although with this amount of freshmen, we can perhaps expect the 2017 class to be a little bit more limited.
With the NFL Scouting Combine beginning on Feb. 23, Mike Mayock unveils the first of his position-by-position rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft.
It's that time of the year, when we see numerous mock drafts and draft rankings. Mike Mayock released his first position-by-position rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft, and as expected, contained plenty of Buckeyes. At running back, Mayock had Ezekiel Elliott atop the running backs, ahead of Alabama's Derrick Henry and Utah's Devontae Booker. At wide receiver, he placed Michael Thomas third behind Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell and Baylor's Corey Coleman. Nick Vannett was listed as the fourth tight end.
At offensive tackle, Mayock had Taylor Decker ranked fourth. His top edge rusher was (of course) Joey Bosa, who was followed at No. 2 by former Buckeye Noah Spence. Darron Lee was fourth among linebackers, and Eli Apple fourth among cornerbacks. Vonn Bell was his second ranked safety behind Karl Joseph of West Virginia. The NFL Draft isn't always a special event for those that might not follow the NFL so closely, but seeing the dominance Ohio State could display, it will definitely be worth a watch this year.
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