"Now, Meyer faces some big challenges next season as he looks to get back on top in the Big Ten. Yes, he will have some building blocks for his fifth squad, headed by QB J.T. Barrett. But questions loom."
Last offseason the biggest question for Urban Meyer coming off of Ohio State winning the College Football Playoff was who would start at quarterback for the Buckeyes in 2015. While Meyer won't have to deal with figuring out who his quarterback will be in 2016, he still will have plenty of other areas where he'll have to decide who deserves to start. With 12 players being drafted recently in the NFL Draft, there are plenty of positions up for grabs. The biggest area of concern for Meyer has to be in the defensive backfield, where Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, and Tyvis Powell all left for the NFL following the 2015 season. Gareon Conley is the lone returning starter among the defensive backs, and there have already been plenty of players trying to make their case to take over those three spots.
Along with the defensive backs, there are plenty of spots up for grabs among the wide receivers. Michael Thomas and Braxton Miller are gone, but Ohio State will have Noah Brown and Corey Smith back from injuries. The defensive line will also need a need a number of players to step up now that Joey Bosa, Adolphus Washington, and Tommy Schutt have moved on. Ohio State will also have to try and find a way to replace running back Ezekiel Elliott, but it likely won't happen with just one player. Bri'onte Dunn, Mike Weber, and Antonio Williams will all have their shot to try and fill the shoes of Elliott. At least Meyer has plenty of experience in dealing with questions like this, and he is an expert at bringing in quality talent to fill the departures.
"There's just a right way and a wrong way to do it. When you first leave a job it's not the right thing to do to go back and try to recruit players. That's a gentleman's agreement when you leave a place. That's no different than any job I've ever been at. Again, not everybody sees it that way, but that's the way I've operated."
Former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash took the Rutgers head coaching job in early December, and has quite a task ahead of him as he tries to turn around the football program of the Scarlet Knights. Even though Ash recruited some of the best players in the country for Urban Meyer's defense, he isn't trying to get those players to head to Piscataway with him. While there isn't any official "gentleman's agreement" between Meyer and Ash, the former Ohio State coordinator isn't trying to burn any bridges by targeting Ohio State commits.
While Ash says he isn't trying to recruit any commits that are solidly committed to Ohio State, the waters do become a bit murkier if there is an Ohio State commit who is contacting Ash and Rutgers and showing interest in the program. What makes things even tougher for Ash is that is his former boss is also in the Big Ten East Division with him. So far it seems like Ash and Meyer still have a great relationship, especially after the news was released that they'll hold at joint recruiting camp at Fairleigh Dickinson University the same day Michigan is holding one of their own at Paramus Catholic High School. Even though the two coaches may be on different sides now, they are still united in their desire to beat Michigan it seems.
"(Monday) night after the game, Butter came up to my locker with a big smirk on his face. I had no clue what he was smirking about. He said, 'Did you look in your helmet?' I said, 'What do you mean?' He said there was a Wolverine sticker in there."
Since he was born and raised in Washington Court House, Travis Shaw grew up as a huge Ohio State Buckeyes fan. Like any good Ohio State fan, Shaw can't stand anything Michigan. In his first season a full-time major leaguer, a practical joke by his third base coach might be responsible for Shaw's recent power surge for the Red Sox. Third base coach Brian Butterfield is a big Michigan supporter, so before Monday's game Butterfield put a Michigan sticker inside of Shaw's batting helmet. Shaw didn't notice until Butterfield told him about the sticker following the game, in which Shaw had three hits and scored three runs in the 14-7 Boston victory.
After his good night at the plate, Shaw decided to keep the sticker inside his helmet, hoping it would piss him off enough to get even more hits. So far the strategy has worked, with Shaw recording three hits, one of which was his fourth home run of the year, and five RBIs in Tuesday's 13-5 win over Oakland. Shaw added another hit and two more runs in last night's 13-3 Boston victory. The son of former MLB closer Jeff Shaw has been holding his own for the Red Sox, and the recent offensive outburst has moved his batting average to .323 so far this year.
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