“I want to be the best center in the country. That’s my goal — every time I approach the field, approach the weight room, come into the building. That’s how I approach my life. I want to be the best.”
It has been quite a busy offseason so far for senior Pat Elflein. Not only is Elflein switching from guard to center, but he was also named a team captain soon after Ohio State’s win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. At one point during the offseason though, Elflein was wondering if he was even going to get the chance to play at all. There was a time where Elflein wasn’t even able to use his left shoulder, not able to even lift two pounds. Elflein says his shoulder didn’t hurt at all, he just wasn’t able to use it.
After being examined by doctors the problem was found to be a cyst that was pressing on a nerve. Doctors went in and removed the cyst in late May, which allowed the nerve to start to fire again. So far during training camp, Elflein had been doing mostly individual drills, but Wednesday marked the first time during training camp in which Elflein was a part of full-go reps. Ohio State coaches felt like Elflein was already 100 percent, but they were just bringing him along slowly. The positive that came from Elflein recovering from the surgery was it forced offensive linemen Billy Price and Jamarco Jones to step up and take more of a leadership role. Now with Elflein back in the fold, the offensive line can focus on paving holes in the season opener against Bowling Green for Mike Weber and the rest of Ohio State’s offense.
“He’s got time. We’re not in a hurry to pull it off. It’ll come off. He’s done a great job. The fact that he has low reps, that’s what we’re trying to do, just make sure we can get him through the process and get him to the gate. That’s the most important thing right now.”
Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson on Nick Bosa’s black stripe via Ari Wasserman, Cleveland.com
The Bosa family has to be wondering if this is the offseason that will ever end, not only for Joey, but also for Nick as well. While Joey Bosa is still entrenched in a holdout after being taken with the third pick by the San Diego Chargers in late April, Nick has yet to lose his black stripe in his first year at Ohio State. So far 19 freshman have already lost their black stripe, so to some it may seem a little surprising that the five-star recruit has yet to lose his.
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson shed a little bit of light onto why Bosa has yet to lose his black stripe and it isn’t because of his talent and performance so far. Bosa is coming of a major knee injury that he suffered in high school, which hasn’t allowed him to be a part of as many reps as some of his teammates. What the coaches have been looking for from Bosa before removing his black stripe is more reps on the field, which for him is taking a little longer since he is getting quite as many because he is coming off the knee injury. With still over a week before the season opener it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bosa lose his black stripe between now and then, and soon enough the younger Bosa will be making noise on the field just like his brother did.
“Close. I’m getting closer [to 100 percent]. It’s tough. I don’t like watching. I haven’t really done that too much. I was just in there rehabbing hard trying to get back out there.”
Eli Apple’s first training camp as a professional hasn’t exactly gotten off to the start he was imagining after being the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The former Ohio State cornerback injured his knee in the New York Giants’ preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins. Apple didn’t play last week in New York’s second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills but he looks to be working his way towards playing in Saturday night’s contest against the New York Jets.
The good news is that Apple did return to practice this week for the Giants, but hasn’t quite been going full speed yet, as he tries not to aggravate the injury. Even though he hasn’t been going full speed, Apple has been able to hold his own, most notably intercepting one of Ryan Nassib’s passes in Wednesday’s practice. While Apple was injured he focused on studying film and getting a better handle on the playbook. After Saturday night’s game the Giants will wrap up their preseason on September 1st against the Patriots before opening up their 2016 regular season on September 11th against the Dallas Cowboys.
“You’re not only playing for yourself; you’re not only playing for Ohio State; you’re playing for Fikayo.”
After an offseason in which they had to deal with the loss of one of their teammates, Ohio State’s men’s soccer team is eager to get back on the field. Tomorrow night will see the Buckeyes take on Virginia Tech in the 11th annual Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Classic, followed by a matchup with UC Santa-Barbara on Sunday evening. Ohio State will be looking to build on their performance last season, where they went 13-7-3. The 13 wins were the second-most in school history, and the 10 home wins and eight-game winning streak were school records. The Buckeyes beat Michigan in the Big Ten final, which marked their first conference title since 2009.
Ohio State will have a little extra to play for this year, as they will be playing to honor Fikayo Idowu who drowned while swimming with teammates in Apple Valley in late June. All this season Ohio State will be wearing “FI14” patches, to honor their teammate. Senior forward Marcus McCrary will be wearing Idowu’s number 14 all this season to honor his fallen friend and teammate. Expectations are high for Ohio State heading into this season, and playing to honor their fallen teammate will give the Buckeyes even more inspiration throughout the year.