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Jerome Baker is becoming even better on a talent rich Ohio State defense

Last season, Baker was lining up wrong at LB—and still managed to capture the second most tackles for the Buckeyes. This season, expect the junior to be one of OSU’s best.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

“Baker first gained notice in the 2016 spring game when he made a one-handed interception. During the season, he usually flashed to the point of attack, finishing second on the team in tackles.”

Tim May on Jerome Baker, whose extraordinary 2016 season for OSU came as he was lining up wrong at the linebacker position | The Columbus Dispatch

Defense wins championships, that much is known. That’s why it’ll be important for linebacker Jerome Baker and the rest of the Buckeye defense to come out swinging at full speed against Indiana.

Also important for Baker: lining up correctly at the LB position.

In an article written by Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch, Baker says that last season, a year where he collected 83 tackles, he lined up incorrectly “most of the time.” Was Baker like one of those guys you controlled in NCAA Football and had him sprinting circles in the secondary before the snap? No. In May’s article, the explanation is that Baker was a tad off on where he was supposed to be, whether the run or pass was coming.

Over the offseason, the coaching staff has worked on making Baker get to the right spot. Linebackers coach Bill Davis said in the article that Baker “has one of the highest football IQs” he’s been around.

With an offseason to get better, we’re less than two weeks away from seeing Baker and the Buckeyes back in action.

“As a wide receiver, Pryor runs much more in practice and in training than he had been accustomed to. That's OK, though, because running is what he always did best, even when he was a quarterback.”

Dan Pompei on the evolution to wide receiver of former OSU QB Terrelle Pryor | Bleacher Report

Terrelle Pryor has been a journeyman in the NFL since leaving Ohio State. He was a supplemental draft pick by the Oakland Raiders before bouncing around to the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals. For those latter three squads, Pryor was cut before the regular season began. When he went to the Cleveland Browns, he made the move from quarterback to wide receiver. A year removed from being a Brown, Pryor is part of the Washington Redskins as a WR.

Through this journey, the former Buckeye could be on the cusp of being a breakout threat on the receiving corps.

Dan Pompei of Bleacher Report wrote an in-depth piece on the evolution of Pryor, and how the highly touted recruit from Pennsylvania fizzled as QB in the league, before embarking on the grind to become a receiver.

Pompei recounts how Pryor went back to a former football coach not too far away from his hometown of Jeannette, Penn., in search of some WR drills. That meeting in the summer of 2015 led to Pryor working out hours each day to hone his skills at catching footballs. Fast forward to this summer, where he’s continuing the drills in order to be the guy on Washington’s receiving chart.

It’s a long read, but definitely a good read.

Ohio State fall sports TV schedule

Ohio State athletic department

On Thursday, the Big Ten Conference unveiled the television packages that have been picked up for their fall sports. For women’s volleyball, 31 games will show up on the Big Ten Network, with 5 being disseminated across the ESPN family of networks. For soccer, 40 games are being picked up, with 36 going to BTN and four going to ESPNU. Both men’s and women’s soccer tournaments are being picked up by BTN.

As of now, Ohio State will be featured 10 times on either BTN or the ESPN family of networks. The first of the games being a men’s soccer match against Penn State on Sept. 12.

OSU sports fall TV schedule

Date Sport Opponent TV Time (ET)
Date Sport Opponent TV Time (ET)
Sept. 12 Men's Soccer vs. Penn State BTN 6 p.m.
Sept. 17 Women's Soccer vs. Northwestern ESPNU 1 p.m.
Sept. 23 Women's Volleyball at Purdue BTN 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 24 Women's Soccer at Iowa BTN 2 p.n.
Sept. 29 Women's Volleyball at Michigan BTN 8 p.m.
Oct. 6 Field Hockey vs. Penn State BTN 3 p.m.
Oct. 8 Women's Soccer vs. Michigan BTN TBD
Oct. 13 Women's Volleyball at Illinois BTN 9 p.m.
Oct. 18 Women's Volleyball vs. Minnesota BTN 8 p.m.
Oct. 22 Women's Volleyball vs. Michigan ESPNU 1 p.m.

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