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Does the Ohio State football team lack depth?

Also, Buckeye alums fall short in The Basketball Tournament.

NCAA Football: Ohio State Spring Game Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“Urban Meyer, who's signed seven five-star prospects in the last three years and two top-five classes in 2016 and 2017, rejects the premise that Ohio State is a deep team.”

- Bill Landis, cleveland.com

LOL, ok, Urbz. Look, I get it. Meyer is a master at motivating his team; he does have a degree in psychology after all. However, for him to say that a team coming off back-to-back, top-five recruiting classes doesn’t have depth strains credulity. Are there positions that could use a few more talented bodies (cough, cough WR), as Meyer maintains? Of course. But, the number of players ready to contribute in significant ways on the field is as impressive as it has ever been during Meyer’s tenure in Columbus.

As Landis notes, “There is a difference between depth of experience and depth of talent.”

Clearly, as long as the coaching staff continues to recruit like they have been, there will always been plenty of the latter, but, in many ways, that positive begets the negative with the former.

If you always have talented options waiting in the wings, that is going to keep the window closed in most cases for younger players to get on the field early, but that doesn’t mean that there is no depth; ask Malik Hooker. After just one year of playing time at OSU, he was the Indianapolis Colts’ first-round draft-pick this year.

So, perhaps Meyer defines depth differently than I do, or maybe this is another motivational tactic in the “Next Man Up” mantra. Either way, while the coaching staff might have to rely on some players with minimal on-field experience, it is hard to imagine that a team with this much talent will ever truly be lacking in depth.

“There was minimal separation between the two teams throughout the contest... Both regulation and the first overtime included blown last-second opportunities, with Scarlet & Gray getting a shot near the rim that should have won it in regulation.”

- Tyler Conway, Bleacher Report

Last night, Scarlet & Gray, a team primarily consisting of former Ohio State basketball players, fell in heart-breaking fashion during the semifinals of the fourth-annual The Basketball Tournament. In a roller-coaster game, the OSU alums were edged out by Team Challenge ALS, 88-83 in double-overtime, ending their quest for TBT’s $2 million prize.

Back-and-forth all game, David Lighty missed a layup, on a seemingly broken play at the end of regulation, that would have given the former Buckeyes the victory. However, S&G had to play both overtime periods without its only true point-guard, Aaron Craft, who fouled out in the last few seconds on the second half, barely undercutting Team Challenge ALS’s Casper Ware while he was taking a three.

Ware led all scorers with 28 while Jared Sullinger was tops for the OSU alums. He went for 26 points and 10 rebounds, making a strong case throughout the tournament that he deserves another shot in the NBA.

Team Challenge ALS, which will donate $250,000 to Ice Bucket Challenge creator Pete Frates if they win, and will take on two-time defending champion Overseas Elite in Thursday’s championship game. The contest will be broadcast on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. ET.

“Pryor will have to prove that his 1,000-plus yard season wasn’t just a fluke, but rather a solid foundation from which to build. He’s got all the intangibles teams want to see: size, speed, and versatility. But can he replicate his production from 2016?”

- Alexis Chassen, SBNation

Nothing about Terrelle Pryor’s transition from quarterback to receiver makes sense. First, how does a player taken in the supplemental draft play quarterback for three seasons, bounce around to three other teams, and then decide that he is willing to make a positional change when signed by his fifth team in four years? That should be a recipe for failure.

However, in 2016, the former Ohio State quarterback put up 1,007 yards as a WR in his second season in Cleveland, driving up his contract demands. Pryor is now playing in Washington on a one-year, $6 million contract that includes additional incentives.

With all that in mind, as Chassen points out, one of biggest surprises about Pryor’s transformation into a reliable NFL receiver is that not one, but two coaching staffs have seen enough in him to be willing to invest time and money into a player that is still a work-in-progress.

NFL coaches and front offices are notoriously hesitant to do anything that might end up being a waste of time and money, and projects are usually reserved for late-round draft picks, not players in their third or fifth year in the league. However, TP’s blend of size and athleticism makes him the rare exception. And, if he is able to prove that his 2016 production was no fluke, then he’s in for an even bigger payday come season’s end.

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