"I'm appealing to our fans to come out and support us, for a lot of reasons. There's nothing like performing in front of 100,000 people. It's supposed to be great weather so I'm hoping we get 100,000 people."
- Urban Meyer via Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland.com
Ohio State's spring game breaking attendance records isn't anything new in Columbus, but the Buckeyes are shooting for over 100,000 to be in attendance for Saturday's spring game. Ohio State set a record in 2009 with 95,722 fans on hand and then broke the record last spring as 99,391 fans piled into the Horseshoe to witness Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones, and J.T. Barrett all participate in the side events - as well as the game itself. Now, head coach Urban Meyer is confident that the Buckeyes can top that, and with the weather forecasts predicting a gorgeous day on Saturday, it's not a lofty goal at all. In fact, Ohio State has already sold 67,400 tickets and that's around 20,000 more tickets than last season at the same time.
It makes sense that Meyer is confident about fans showing up. He's a got a young but talented team in Columbus and with plenty of position battles and new faces appearing on the field, there's going to be plenty of chances for fans to get a glimpse of what the Buckeyes may look like heading into the fall. Any time you include good weather, you're going to get a good turnout regardless and with a handful of story lines to follow, it should be an exciting affair for the fans to enjoy.
"Surprise Big Ten breakout players of the spring: Ohio State WR Austin Mack"
- Josh Moyer and Austin Ward, ESPN
The Big Ten writers at ESPN took a look at some of the new faces in the conference that emerged as potential breakout players following spring practices this year. For Ohio State, freshman wide receiver Austin Mack was a great choice. Both the coaching staff and his teammates have raved about Mack's playmaking ability and with his position being so critical for the Buckeyes to balance their attack this season, it's impressive that a freshman has been able to make waves this early. It's also a position that Ohio State needs to have prepared for the season, with the losses of Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall, and Braxton Miller to the depth chart.
With playing time up for grabs, Mack has made an impression that will surely see the coaching staff give him some time on the field once the season comes around. While he may or may not push for a starting spot this season, to get valuable time competing for the position will be critical for future seasons and could end up being a top threat for the Buckeyes in the near future. His competition will be stiff too, though, as other receivers such as Noah Brown and James Clark may have the inside track at starting. Mack also is going toe-to-toe with guys like Corey Smith, Johnnie Dixon, Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell, and K.J. Hill.
"The most versatile player on each top 25 team: 10. Torrance Gibson, Ohio State"
- Mark Schlabach, ESPN
In order of his way-too-early Top 25 for the 2016 season, Mark Schlabach broke down the most versatile player from each of his top 25 teams, and for Ohio State, Schlabach chose wide receiver Torrance Gibson. The quarterback-turned-wide receiver made the transition somewhat early on in the 2015 season and although didn't play (and redshirted) he still enters this season as a redshirt freshman. What makes Gibson intriguing is the potential with his speed and his 6'4 frame. When he was being recruited, he fought against going somewhere where he would only play wide receiver, but the coaching staff must have convinced him that he could have a future at wideout. Now he'll start to get the chance to prove it this season.
On top of his receiving duties, Gibson could also see time at special teams, and could even end up throwing the ball in a Wildcat-type of formation. While that style never came to fruition with Braxton Miller, that also was eventually proven to be because Miller revealed he couldn't ever throw the ball as far as he used to after his second shoulder surgery. Gibson, on the other hand, can still throw the ball and actually has a decent deep ball when he's on his game. It's something to look forward to for fans to see how Urban Meyer and the staff will get Gibson involved this season and in the future.
STICK TO SPORTS:
- Here are 13 of the best former rides at Cedar Point.
- Want to relive the original Star Wars trilogy in theaters? You'll get your chance this summer.
- This outdoor festival will include a variety of art from the Ohio State community.