"Urban needed to announce that Jamarco Jones is the starting LT about as much as he needs to announce that JT Barrett is the starting QB"
If you've been following spring practice at all, you probably already knew that Jamarco Jones was the overwhelming favorite to get the starting nod at left tackle. It probably didn't even need to be said at all. But in his press availability today, Urban Meyer confirmed that Jones did, in fact, win the starting left tackle job, further solidifying Ohio State's line next year.
Jones, a junior, was a high four-star prospect from the class of 2014, who picked Ohio State over basically everybody. We now know that Pat Elfein will be at center, and Billy Price will be the left guard. The rest of the offensive line, and the two deep, remains to be seen.
"It's different today. It's different. It's a winner/loser day at Ohio State. This is job vs. no job. This is live. Let the dog eat."
Breer goes into great depth about the developing NFL talent pipeline, and the role that Ohio State, and specifically Urban Meyer has played in that. It's well documented that the Buckeyes are expected to own the draft. They'll attempt to break their own record for players selected from a school in one year (14), and will try to break Miami's record six first-round picks in a single draft. Meyer's approach is compared to that of John Calipari of Kentucky men's basketball by Breer, having a focus on getting from "Point A" (high school) to "Point B" (the NFL). But Breer documents just how Meyer keeps his players going, and Meyer and linebacker Darron Lee bring up Winner/Loser Day. While some of the players (such as Lee) come to Ohio State without a position, they are kept competing throughout, essentially putting a scoreboard on everything.
"There's no such thing as doing a drill here -- we keep score," Meyer told Breer. Meyer also told Breer that when things are over, "someone gets Gatorade, and the other guy runs gassers and is drinking out of a hose." That has clearly been working for Meyer. No matter where he has coached, he's produced NFL talent. It has certainly been more abundant at Florida and Ohio State (and understandably so), but it appears Meyer just gets better and better as the years go by. Meyer also makes sure the program does what they can to help kids graduate in three years, so they also head to the league as graduates, basically making sure each athlete is taken care of in every aspect possible. After reading, it's no wonder why the Buckeyes have been so great under Meyer.
"[Eli] Apple wanted to be on that wall. He needed to be on that wall."
Bender talks about Eli Apple going through Ohio State facilities, seeing pictures of Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield, and other Buckeye cornerback greats on the walls when he was just in middle school. He knew then that he wanted to be on that wall, featured with other players of immense talent that went on to make big impacts in the NFL. It seemed he did his part in his three years at Ohio State, playing a big part in their 2014 national championship team, and is expected to be the ninth cornerback from Columbus to be taken in the first round in the past 25 years.
That's led to the discussion of Ohio State being Cornerback U, something our Ian Hartitz similarly discussed back in November. It's hard to make a case against Ohio State, and other universities certainly have their arguments to make, but there's no denying Ohio State's resume is pretty darn impressive. To see how well Apple does at the next level will help further determine where Ohio State stands in the realm of schools who claim Cornerback U status. Bender also appropriately points out the impact that Kerry Coombs has played in the development of Buckeye corners in more recent times.
Former Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee followed in the footsteps of former quarterback and wide receiver Braxton Miller, and threw out the first pitch for the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday afternoon prior to their game against the Colorado Rockies. Lee might have brought the team better luck though, as the Reds pulled out the 6-5 win over the Rockies. On the night of Miller's first pitch, the Reds took a 5-1 loss at the hands of the same Rockies team.
Lee is expected to be a first round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft slated for April 28, and it doesn't seem like he'd be too disappointed if he stayed close to home and ended up on the Cincinnati Bengals. But he does want you to know that he threw out a good first pitch:
Got it over the plate— Darron Lee (@DLeeMG8) April 20, 2016
Good work, Darron.