"The Buckeyes have an established superstar in quarterback J.T. Barrett. But part of the excitement around Samuel is the mystery surrounding who he could be."
- Brian Bennett, ESPN.com
There are plenty of spots up for grabs on the offensive side of the football for Ohio State heading into this season, but the most exciting player on this year's offense might be someone who has already seen plenty of work in his first two seasons in Columbus. Curtis Samuel made a name for himself in 2014 during his freshman year by rushing for six touchdowns on just 69 touches for the Buckeyes. Last year saw a decrease in the involvement of Samuel in the offense, as he touched the ball just 39 times. A lot of the reasoning for Samuel seeing less activity was because of the reliance of Ezekiel Elliott in the run game, as well as the offense struggling to find their footing for most of the year.
With Elliott and H-back Braxton Miller having moved on to the NFL, it seems like all the cards are falling into place for Samuel to have a big impact this year. The question is how will Urban Meyer utilize Samuel. Not only can Samuel be used as a running back, where he is averaging 6.9 yards per carry through his first two seasons with the Buckeyes, but the junior could also take over at H-back. During the offseason, Samuel had surgery to repair a foot problem, but he should just fine for the season opener. After being on the field for a select number of plays during his first two seasons, it sounds like Meyer is ready to unleash Samuel this year.
"I think any time in football when you've worked with different people, there's relationships. But make no mistake about it, when you compete, you compete."
- Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Greg Schiano via Dan Duggan, NJ.com
After spending 11 seasons as the head coach at Rutgers, where he compiled a 68-67 record from 2001-11, Greg Schiano returned to New Jersey yesterday for the Tri-State Showcase recruiting camp. Schiano left Rutgers to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but now returns to the college coaching ranks as an assistant on Urban Meyer's staff. After guiding the Scarlet Knights to just three wins in his first two seasons in Piscataway, Schiano really started to make his mark on the program. Before Schiano took over as head coach, the only appearance Rutgers had made in a bowl game came all the way back in 1978. In six of the last seven years Schiano was in charge, he led his teams to six bowls games, notching at least eight wins in five of those years.
Now former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash is in charge of the football program in Piscataway. Ash knows that had it not been for the hard work that Schiano put in during his time at Rutgers, Ash might not be where he is today. While both Ash and Schiano had great things to say about each other at Wednesday's camp, which featured more than 1,000 high school players, things will be quite different on the first day of October. Then the Scarlet Knights will travel to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes. Even though Schiano and Ash will be facing their former programs, it will be all business for their squads.
"I think it's something that's overlooked, but this year we may get to see it. I like playing receiver. It's another opportunity to get out in space and get the ball in your hands."
- San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde via Joe Fann, 49ers.com
During his first two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Carlos Hyde has only hauled in 23 passes, but he is intrigued by the idea of Chip Kelly using him more as a receiving threat out of the backfield. Last year Hyde hauled in 11 passes, but had the former Buckeye played more than seven games that total might have been a lot higher. During the first two days of San Francisco's mandatory minicamp, Hyde has the 49ers first-year head coach with his hands. The growth of Hyde's receiving skills could make him an even bigger threat for the 49ers, after he started to make a name for himself last season before injuries shortened his sophomore campaign.
It's no secret that Kelly likes to get the football in the hands of his running backs out of the backfield through the air. In 2015, Philadelphia's running backs caught 128 passes, while San Francisco's running backs caught just 87 passes. The improvement of Hyde's hands certainly has him looking like a three-down back this coming season, which could allow for him to put together a true breakout season, which he looked to be on his way towards last year before the injuries hit. After tallying seven touchdowns in his first two seasons in the NFL, it seems like a safe bet that Hyde will at least double that number if he is able to stay healthy throughout the season.
"Former Ohio State football player Ray Griffin is one of four former college players who had lawsuits filed on their behalf Wednesday alleging they suffer from the effects of concussions suffered during their college careers."
- Tim May, The Columbus Dispatch
40 years after his time at Ohio State, Ray Griffin is one of four former college football players who have filed suit against the NCAA and Big Ten after alleging they suffer from the effects of concussions they suffered during their college careers. The other three players involved in the suit haven't been named, but were identified to have played for Tennessee, Michigan, and Duke. The suit seeks to be a class action lawsuit, representing "all individuals who participated in Ohio State's varsity football program between 1952 and 2010."
Griffin is the brother of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, and he went on to play in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals for seven seasons. Griffin might be best known during his time at Ohio State for intercepting a pass in the 1975 Ohio State-Michigan game, which setup a game-winning touchdown run by fullback Pete Johnson, which earned Ohio State a spot in the 1976 Rose Bowl. Griffin alleges that during his time at Ohio State he was subjected to repeated head impacts in practices and games, and suffered numerous concussions each year. Throughout the years Griffin has started to experience severe depression, short term memory loss, anxiety, impulse problems, anger issues, and other debilitating problems.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Condado will open their second Columbus location tomorrow.
- A northeast Ohio woman is being terrorized by a deer.
- This 82-year-old man crushes Drowning Pool's "Bodies".
- There are actually Kraft Mac & Cheese cocktails.