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Ohio State makes new football coaching roles official

Also, Kelsey Mitchell continues to be one of the greatest athletes to ever play for Ohio State.

NCAA Football: Ohio State Spring Game Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

“Grinch was officially named the Buckeyes’ co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach on Tuesday. He takes over as safeties coach for Greg Schiano, who remains the defensive coordinator and associate head coach.”

-Tim Bielik,

With the reveal of Ohio State’s spring football practice schedule, the Buckeyes also made official a number of coaching assignments which had been anticipated, but not yet confirmed.

First and foremost, Alex Grinch, who joined the staff from Washington State, is now officially the co-defensive coordinator, and will be taking over the safeties from Greg Schiano. Fellow new hire Taver Johnson will handle the cornerbacks, and like his predecessor in that role, Kerry Coombs, he will also coordinate the special teams.

Grich’s assignment shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. He was a defensive coordinator at a Pac-12 school on the rise, and when it was announced earlier this month that he would be making $800,000 per year, one would have had to assume that he would be a coordinator of some sort.

The interesting aspect of this will be how he and Schiano will work together. Schiano clearly had opportunities to go elsewhere this off-season, and almost did. If he had, Grinch could have been the sole d-cor, or undoubtedly at least the main one. Perhaps he was even brought onto the staff with those expectations.

How these two are able to blend their philosophies and mold the next batch of Buckeye defensive talent will, at least in part, tell the story of the 2018 season. With players like Denzel Ward, Sam Hubbard, and more departing for the NFL, you have to wonder if eventually there will be a hiccup in the “Next Man Up” mantra that has kept the Buckeyes on top of the Big Ten since Urban Meyer got to town.

“A day after the Ohio State women’s basketball team clinched the outright Big Ten title with a win against Penn State, the Big Ten honored the main reason for its success the past four seasons. The conference’s coaches selected Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell as the Big Ten Player of the Year for the third time in four years. ”

-Colin Hass-Hill, The Lantern

With all of the success that Chris Holtmann’s men’s basketball team has garnered this year, it has been unfortunately easy to overlook the incredible season that Kelsey Mitchell has had, yet again, for the women’s team.

After deciding to return to Columbus for her senior season, foregoing the chance to enter the WNBA Draft, Mitchell led her team to a second-consecutive Big Ten regular season championship, and will look to win her first Big Ten Tournament title as well.

On the season, she finished second in the conference averaging 24.4 points per game. She also averaged 4.1 assists per game— good for 11th in the league—, while leading the Big Ten in three pointers made per game (3.7).

The honor was her third Big Ten Player of the Year award, having won in 2015 and 2017 as well. This season, however, she had to share the honor with Iowa’s Megan Gustafson, whom the conference media selected as the PoY. Gustafson was the only B1G player to average more points per game than Mitchell with 25.3.

The Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament kicks off tomorrow at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The Buckeyes hold the No. 1 seed, and the Hawkeyes are seeded fifth. So, there could potentially be a PoY matchup in the tourney’s semifinal.

Maryland, who won the 2017 tournament, is the second seed. In their only matchup of the season, the Terrapins destroyed the Bucks 99-69 in College Park, Md. Certainly Mitchell and company will have plenty of motivation should the teams meet in the tournament’s final.

“With the cornerbacks this year, teams will closely be watching Ohio State’s Denzel Ward. The junior is the draft’s top corner, and by some margin. The main question, however, is about his size.”

-Dan Kader, SBNation

Does size really matter? Depends on who you ask. For years we’ve been hearing that NFL quarterbacks had to be at least 6’0 to succeed, and then we get Drew Brees and Russell Wilson to name a few. Then, it’s you have to be 6’2 to be an NFL wide receiver, and we get Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Wes Welker, and the seemingly endless succession of short, white receivers coming out of New England.

So, if you’re going to tell me that Denzel Ward’s draft stock is going to be significantly hampered if his combine height does not match what’s in the Ohio State media guide, I’m going to tell you take a hike.

There is no doubt that Ward is the best corner in the draft, and if some NFL GM decides to pass on him because he is 5’9 instead of 5’10, dude should be looking for a new line of work. Obviously the best of the best are lining up at wide receiver in the NFL, especially on the outside, and that pertains to both their talent and their physical size and gifts. But, it’s not like Ward has been playing also-rans while at Ohio State.

Ward has proven his ability to cover— and shut down— the best, and if an inch or two prevents a team from taking him, it will ultimately be their loss.