“Meyer faces one of the most unique seasons of his coaching career, as he has a roster with 42 true and redshirt scholarship freshmen and just four recruited scholarship seniors.”
Thamel takes notice of the relatively quiet offseason that Ohio State has had following a very loud and hyped 2015 season. It didn’t end the way that they wanted, and the Buckeyes will be replacing 16 starters. But it’s not a huge deal, considering the Buckeyes have not only extremely talented young players ready to make their leap onto the Ohio Stadium field, but a large quantity of those types of players. Combine that with many positions up in the air and competition heavy, and you have a team that’s hungry to compete, starting in practice.
Thamel draws comparisons between this team, and the 2014 team that was able to make an unexpected run to the first College Football Playoff National Championship. That’s a pretty high expectation to put on this team, but at the same time, it’s not totally unrealistic based on the recruits they have brought in. For this, Thamel sees the Buckeyes having another 2-3 year stretch where they’re at the top of the college football world. If the 2017 recruiting class holds firm, it wouldn’t be so farfetched to see Urban Meyer develop a dynasty like what we’ve seen at Alabama under Nick Saban.
“New Orleans Saints: S Vonn Bell”
The Ringer’s Danny Kelly has put together his 32 x factors of the upcoming 2016 NFL season, and for the New Orleans Saints, Kelly has chosen none other than former Ohio State safety Vonn Bell. Kelly views these players as, “the guy who comes into the season with a wide range of possible outcomes — and whichever one he achieves will likely have an outsize impact upon his team’s fortunes.” That undoubtedly seems like Bell.
The Saints have notably had a bad defense for the past 2-3 seasons, and have desperately needed help on that side of the ball. The Saints defense will be led by coordinator Dennis Allen, who was the defensive coordinator for the 2011 Denver Broncos that largely led them to an 8-win season with horrendous quarterback play. With coaches like Allen and Sean Payton coaching the way, Bell has good leadership around him. Of Bell, Kelly said, “he can run step for step with receivers, has good ball skills, and most important, rarely gets beat deep .” That’s pretty good praise for the second-round pick. Hopefully Bell and fellow former Buckeye Michael Thomas can find great success with the black and gold.
Kirk Herbstreit's 2016 Herbie Awards and College Football Playoff picks
Kirk Herbstreit’s candidates and winners of his 2016 Herbie Awards are here, and there are some Buckeyes on the list. Because of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without them. For “Biggest Shoes to Fill,” Herbie has Ohio State running back Mike Weber as the winner. Herbie also has Ohio State taking the Big Ten title over Minnesota, and the Buckeyes also appearing as a College Football Playoff team.
Other nominees for the Herbie Awards were for J.T. Barrett, who was nominated for “Top 4,000/1,000 Threat”, and “Ultimate Herbie.” Mike Weber, who, aside from winning “Biggest Shoes to Fill,” was nominated for “Welcome to the Party.” And Sam Hubbard was nominated for “Breakout Star.” So if the Herbie Awards are any indication, the Buckeyes have some guys you should have on your radar heading into the season.
“And then the Green Bay Packers' third-year center tore his hamstring – twice – and the whole thing went to hell.”
Former Ohio State Buckeye Corey Linsley has had quite the offseason, and not in a good way. Linsley has torn his hamstring twice this offseason. The first time came in April during a workout, shortly after the Packers offseason program had begun. After thinking it had healed, he tore it again in July, right before training camp, and has been on the PUP list since. He also lost his starting job to JC Tretter as a result.
But for somebody who has had a pretty awful offseason, Linsley has an incredibly good mindset. He told Wilde that despite what you might think, it’s not so hard on him. “It would be if I wasn’t confident in what I can do,” Linsley replied. “I’m not talking about arrogance or anything. But true confidence. To rest assured that you know what you can do.” He added, “Whenever I get back, it’s just a matter of taking it from there. You control what you can control, and there’s not much else you can do.” That’s really the best mindset to take, but it’s much easier said than done.