“Much can be said about Ward’s coverage skills as he has slid into the starting role in Columbus this season, but his run stopping skills have also been a bright spot for the Buckeyes defense.”
-Cam Mellor, ProFootball Focus
With Ohio State pumping out first-round NFL talent at the CB position year-after-year, you’d figure that they’d have to run out of it at some point, right? Wrong. The Buckeyes have a seemingly endless amount of starting corners waiting in the wings, even if they got off to a little bit of a slow start this season.
According to PFF, Denzel Ward has a 4.9 run stop percentage and has made five stops in run defense so far in 2017. These stats are enough for him to tie for ninth among all Power-5 CBs (PFF defines a ‘stop’ as a ‘win’ for the defense).
The Buckeye’s nine passes defended ranks him No. 1 in all of college football through Week 5. Ward is also just one solo tackle away from tying his career-high (12) from 2016. He’s also claimed 2.0 tackles for loss and one interception thus far this season.
The position group as a whole for the Buckeyes has been a little inferior to last year’s, but as Ward gains more confidence as the team’s No. 1 corner, he should finish the 2017 season with career-high stats across the board — and probably snag himself a top ranking among NFL prospects, too.
“According to a team spokesman, former Ohio State quarterback Torrance Gibson ‘is no longer on the team.’ The quarterback is still enrolled in classes, however, he said.”
-Patrick Ochs, Sun Herald
Less then a year after former QB turned receiver Torrance Gibson left the Ohio State program, amidst rumors that he’d be following Luke Fickell to Cincinnati, he enrolled at the JUCO level instead, at Gulf Coast. Gibson’s original plan was to play for the Bulldogs for one season and then make the jump back into Division I ball.
Instead, it looks like Gibson won’t be finishing out the 2017 season in any capacity. In five games, the former Buckeye was having success both through the air (542 yards and four TDs) and on the ground (321 rushing yards and four TDs), so his departure was a bit of a surprise.
Gibson made his feelings known earlier this season about the Buckeyes switching him to receiver, and gave some insight into why it wasn’t successful.
“When I play receiver, it’s like I was just out there. I wasn’t enjoying the game. At quarterback, I enjoy the game and love the game. This is all I know and what I do.”
No more information has been released about why Gibson is no longer on the Gulf Coast team, but this might be his final chance to keep his dream of playing football — both in college and beyond -- alive.
“Special delivery for Urban Meyer: Your recruiting push into Tennessee is paying off.”
Since Urban Meyer took over at Ohio State, the recruiting trail has been extended throughout SEC country and even into the great state of Texas. As Meyer and staff continued planting flags across states like Georgia and Virginia, they’ve also slowly started to create a pipeline from Tennessee.
Ohio State already has commitments from 4-star Max Wray (2018 OT) and his younger brother Jake (2020 OL), who is also a top prospect at his position, as well as RB Master Teague. The Buckeyes hosted three other 4-star players from the state at their annual Friday Night Lights camp in July: DEs Joseph Anderson and Ani Izuchukwu and WR Lance Wilhoite for the 2019 class.
The coaches weren’t willing to openly admit it in Landis’ piece, but part of Ohio State’s success down south can certainly be attributed to the University of Tennessee not exactly being a big draw to local recruits as of late (Helloooo Butch Jones). Regardless, the Buckeyes are finding success after casting a wider recruiting net thus far in the Meyer era.
STICK TO SPORTS
- This 7yo girl had the best response to Cam Newton’s comments.
- This evening is the Mac ‘n Cheese festival at Easton, supporting the adolescent and young adult cancer program at the OSUCCC – James.
- There won’t be embarrassing AIM screennames for the next generation, but our friends at SBNation took one last stroll down memory lane.
- Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda released a new benefit song, “Almost Like Praying,” to support those recovering and rebuilding in Puerto Rico.