"Eight new members will be enshrined in the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall. The Class of 2016, which includes athletes from eight sports, will be inducted Sept. 9 at a dinner and introduced to the public at halftime of the Ohio State home football game vs. Tulsa."
Ohio State announced their 2016 class of inductees to the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame earlier today, with the most notable member of the class being Evan Turner. The Chicago native compiled quite the list of accolades during his time in Columbus. Turner's best year for the Buckeyes came in 2010, when he was named Big Ten Player of the Year, National Player of the Year, and was a first team consensus All-American. Earlier this year, Turner had his No. 21 jersey retired by the school at halftime of the February 16th game against Michigan.
Joining Turner in this year's class is Jantel Lavender, who is one of the most decorated women's basketball players in school history. Lavender became the first Ohio State basketball player, male or female, to win the Big Ten Player of the Year award four times, and the only women's basketball player in a Power Five conference to do so. Lavender is Ohio State's all-time leading scorer with 2,818 points, and the Big Ten's all-time leading rebounder, grabbing 1,422 rebounds in her four years with the Buckeyes.
Along with Turner and Lavender, there are six other inductees into this year's class. Men's tennis player Justin Kronauge has won more singles and doubles matches than anyone else in school history. Diver Randall Larson was a national champion and All-American. John Machado was the first three-time first team All-Big Ten baseball player in school history. Samantha Marder is the only three-time All-American softball player in school history. Track and field athlete Dan Taylor was a seven-time Big Ten champion, and a two-time national champion. Paul Zelenak rounds out the class, as he won numerous individual and team national championships.
"There is a Heisman Trophy candidate running the offense and a future first-round pick quarterbacking the defense at middle linebacker, but it's Ohio State's other captain it likely wouldn't be able to live without for long -- particularly early in the season."
At first glance it may look like quarterback J.T. Barrett is Ohio State's most indispensable player, but Austin Ward of ESPN thinks otherwise. In Ward's opinion, the player who Barrett will be taking the snaps from, center Pat Elflein, is Ohio State's most indispensable player. After lining up at right guard last year, Elflein will slide over to center for his senior season, replacing Jacoby Boren. Urban Meyer and company have been planning for this for a while, giving Elflein practice reps at center over the past couple seasons, and Elflein has seen some limited game action there when he has been needed.
With Elflein being a potential Rimington Trophy candidate, his play on the field makes him very important to the Ohio State offense, but what makes him so indispensable to the Buckeyes is the leadership he brings. Ohio State has to replace three starters on the offensive line heading into this season, so a strong presence from Elflein is definitely needed. The unit will be called on to keep J.T. Barrett clean, as unlike last year, this isn't nearly as much depth this season behind Barrett at quarterback. Elflein's senior leadership will be called on early in the season, when the Buckeyes make the trip to Norman for a tough road matchup with Oklahoma in the third week of the season.
"(I'm) 10 times (better than last year). I look at the film and it amazes me, and I give that to (receivers coach Al) Saunders, because just sitting there and doing the extra meeting time with him and him really breaking down certain routes to me and how he wants them run, it's awesome."
The 2015 season for former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor didn't go exactly as he planned as he was trying to transition from quarterback to wide receiver. Pryor made the 53-man roster for the Browns out of training camp, but was released by the team just a few days later. After Josh McCown was ruled out for the season in early December, Pryor was resigned, and in the regular season finale recorded his only catch of the season, a 42-yard reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now with a new coaching staff in place, Pryor is hoping a full offseason with the team will help him to become more comfortable at the wide receiver position.
With the Browns drafting Corey Coleman, Ricardo Louis, Jordan Payton, and Rashad Higgins in last month's NFL Draft, Pryor knows that he'll have to make a name for himself with the new coaching staff quickly. The good news for Pryor is his new head coach Hue Jackson is already familiar with him, after drafting Pryor as a quarterback in Oakland, as well as coaching Pryor during his short stint last year in Cincinnati. Pryor has credited his work so far with wide receivers coach Al Saunders to his growth already this offseason, and he feels like a strong season could be in front of him. The former quarterback feels had he stayed healthy last year he'd be even farther ahead of where he has grown this offseason. With a new coaching staff, and quarterback to work with, this could be the season in which Pryor breaks out at his new position.
STICK TO SPORTS
- This event on June 23rd will showcase some of the best barbecue in Columbus.
- Starting May 31st, COTA will have daily routes to the Columbus Zoo, Zoombezi Bay.
- After reading this, you'll probably never want to use the bathroom again.
- True Detective may be dead, but season 1 will live with us forever.
- Have some unwanted foliage? In Northeast Ohio you can rent goats to take care of the problem.