"Coming out of that workout, [Mickey] Marotti will have a better idea of which players are making the most progress."
- Bill Landis, Northeast Ohio Media Group
The Ohio State Buckeyes have been working with strength coach Mickey Marotti since the season ended and they returned to Columbus. With a young team, there's more development to be done than in the past couple of seasons, and Marotti is getting a better look at what's what, and who is making the most progress. The team had a high-intensity workout this past Friday, and Landis gives us a rundown of Marotti's evaluation.
Landis notes that Marotti attempted to name off all the seniors in terms of players that have stood out, but also said that Bri'onte Dunn has had a great offseason. He's also a fan of the lineman both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, like Jamarco Jones and Sam Hubbard, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise when you consider how highly touted some of these guys are. Perhaps the most encouraging news is how Marotti is high on the running backs, and Dontre Wilson, who has dealt with too many injuries for our liking in the past. Hopefully he can get right this upcoming season.
"Judging by the firestorm on Twitter, add Tuesday night's television broadcast of the Michigan-Ohio State basketball game to the list of all-time flops."
- David Briggs, The Blade
In case you missed it, the "innovative" camera angle for the Michigan-Ohio State game last night wasn't so great. The angle was supposed to be representative of yourself having floor seats to the game, but it was just downright terrible. You would be hard-pressed to not have seen the behind of a player on either team taking up the majority of your screen. Not to mention the heads of players and/or referees blocking the basket, so you couldn't tell whether or not a shot went it. It just didn't go well.
Per Briggs, an ESPN spokesperson said that the network is reviewing the response. I'm almost certain that the response won't be so hot. "The ‘floor seat' camera angle during the Super Tuesday Michigan-Ohio State game was a new and creative way to show the athleticism and speed of the talented players of the Big Ten Conference by giving viewers different access to the game," the spokesperson said via The Blade. "We will review all feedback after the game and continue to learn and provide fans with the best possible viewing experience. ESPN was built on trying new things and taking risks, and [this] is just another example of that." To me, it could all seem like a cover up for cameras in their normal position that just stopped working, and the network had to improvise.
"Welcome to the land of the wolves."
- J.T. Barrett, via Dave Biddle, 247Sports
Ohio State is no longer the clear cut team atop the college football pecking order, thus the team taking on the mantra of a wolf pack. Strength coach Mickey Marotti showed the team a video of wolves, and it stuck with them from there. Now, it's a year of development, and the Buckeyes are fine with that. They know that they are still immensely talented, and have a group that with the right effort, can be great in their own way.
Marotti told Biddle, "I think two words come to mind for our young guys this offseason is hungry and eager. And we see that. So, we just kind of wanted to build on that." Which makes a ton of sense. The Buckeyes had been the only preseason unanimous No. 1 team in the history of the AP poll, and for a good reason. They just couldn't finish the mission. It became even more disappointing as they finished the season looking like one of the best teams in the nation. The Buckeyes have a lot of guys coming off of injury, like Noah Brown and Corey Smith, Them, along with guys that are ready to take the next step and fill the voids should make for quite the hungry group, and that should be pretty fun to watch.
"Sixteen starters from last season 12-1 team are gone, and the competition for those jobs is already well underway."
- Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch
Yes, 16 starters out of 22 are gone. That's never an ideal situation, but we saw flashes of greatness from guys who will look to become starters this season, and have heard great things from the freshmen who didn't see the field in 2015. Pat Elflein told Rabinowitz, "Every day you're evaluated on everything. If you're not on your game, someone behind you wants to take your spot."
That seemed to be something that motivated the 2014 Buckeyes, the need to achieve more, to aim higher, to make people believe. Nearly every person on the roster will be fighting that fight this year. Elflein, along with J.T. Barrett should provide good leadership for the young guns on offense. On the defensive side, look for Tyquan Lewis and Raekwon McMillan to provide a great anchor. Gareon Conley is coming back, and we'll be seeing a lot more of Sam Hubbard in 2016, and if he can improve off of his 2015 campaign in which he saw limited time, he could really be a special player.
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