"(I'm) a fiery guy, show passion and energy. I want to be the spark on the team and a playmaker."
- Former Ohio State safety Vonn Bell via Matthew Florjancic, WKYC
In just over a month Vonn Bell where find out where he'll be starting his NFL career, but he's already ready to make a name for himself. Not like he didn't do that during his time at Ohio State, defending 24 passes and grabbing nine interceptions in his three seasons in Columbus. Bell used saved his big plays for the big stage, with his first interception coming in the Orange Bowl loss to Clemson, and other picks against WIsconsin and Alabama in Ohio State's national championship season.
While there is no question Bell can make big plays in pass defense, there has been some concerns that he isn't as strong in run defense. Bell has seen some of his errors on tape when defending against the run, but knows they are issues that he can easily fix. That's likely while there will be plenty of NFL teams looking to take a chance on Bell early in the draft. Even with the problems against the run, it's hard to not want a playmaker like Bell on your team. The safety seems like he is always around the football and those kind of instincts and football awareness are something that can easily be taught.
"I am very confident. Darron and I competed for the spot. When I got in there, I made plays. It was just the greater scheme of things. The biggest thing for me is consistency. I haven't had all of the reps that Darron has had."
- Ohio State linebacker Chris Worley via Steve Helwagen, Bucknuts.com
Next month Darron Lee will be the selected in the NFL Draft. which has left Ohio State with a hole to fill at linebacker heading into the 2016 season. Chris Worley is hoping he'll be the one to fill that void. Before the 2014 season, Worley competed with Lee for the starting job, but Lee went on to earn the role. Even though he wasn't able to win the job over Lee, Worley is still confident in his abilities. The linebacker from Cleveland Glenville knows that coming to Ohio State means you'll have to compete for playing time against top quality talent.
The linebacking corps Ohio State will likely sport this year with Worley, Raekwon McMillan, and Dante Booker looks quite impressive. One underclassmen who could make some noise for playing time is Jerome Baker. Worley looks at the relationship he and Baker have a lot like the relationship he had with Darron Lee. With both players pushing each other to make plays for the Buckeyes. If Worley can make up on the field for the time he was sitting behind Lee the last two years, they'll be just fine on defense this season.
"I'm at a point where I'm just out here having fun. I don't care about rankings or where I'n at or contracts. I'm just out here having fun."
- Dallas Lauderdale via Zack Meisel, Cleveland.com
Nearly 10 years after committing to Ohio State, Dallas Lauderdale still has fond memories around this time of year. While he was with the Buckeyes, Lauderdale was not only part of the team that won the NIT Championship in 2008, but he was also a part of a couple Ohio State teams that made it to the NCAA Tournament. While former teammates Evan Turner and Jared Sullinger are playing in the NBA right now, Lauderdale is focusing on trying to earn a contract in the NBA.
Lauderdale had surgery on his right foot in November 2014, and is still working his way back to 100%. When he is fully recovered, Lauderdale hopes to play in the NBA Summer League this year, and gain the interest of some teams around the league. Even though Lauderdale is still hoping to get his shot at making in the NBA, he is looking forward to holding his DirectionUp basketball camp, which will return for its second year in June. And even if Lauderdale doesn't make it to the NBA Summer League, he can look forward to being reunited with teammates like Turner, Sullinger, David Lighty, and Jon Diebler, when they all get together in Columbus in the summer.
"Eighty-seven degrees and shorts and flip flops. I think the guys enjoyed their time down there and had kind of a bonding experience. Winning some games, with some nice weather, really went a long way for our team."
- Ohio State men's hockey head coach Steve Rohlik via Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State's men's hockey team didn't start the season anywhere close to the way they wanted to. The Buckeyes lost their first seven games, but a trip to Florida slowed their losing ways. In the Florida College Classic in Estero, Ohio State earned wins over Boston College in Cornell. With a lot of freshman, the trip might have worked as a way to allow the team to get a little more acclimated with each other.
Ohio State finished the regular season 13-17-4, and now will square off with Michigan State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ohio State comes in riding a wave of confidence, having registered points in their last seven contests. If Ohio State is able to Michigan State today, they'll play top-seeded Minnesota on Friday, with the championship game being on Saturday. The Buckeyes know they'll have to leave everything out on the ice, since only a win will secure them a bid to the NCAA Tournament. If the Buckeyes do find a way to win the Big Ten Tournament, it'll be quite a story, especially after how they started the season so poorly.
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