“I’m going to be straight up and down with you. Basketball was the most fun for me when the spotlight, cameras, media wasn’t important.”
Whether she likes it or not, there is going to be plenty of attention on Kelsey Mitchell in the games she has left for Ohio State. Currently Mitchell sits third all-time in women’s Division I history with 3,363 career points, which is 30 points behind Jackie Stiles for second place, and Kelsey Plum by 164 points.
Mitchell and Ohio State will open up what they hope is a lengthy NCAA Tournament run on Saturday against George Washington. Mitchell has accomplished nearly everything during her time at Ohio State, but the one thing that has eluded her has been a trip to the Final Four, and this year is her last chance to accomplish that feat. It would be even more fitting if Mitchell and Ohio State made the Final Four this year with it being held in Columbus.
Mitchell is in her comfort zone when it is just basketball and doesn’t involve all the media attention. Even though Mitchell says she hates the spotlight and having to deal with the media, she is learning to tolerate it. Mitchell prefers to let her play on the basketball court do the talking, and she certainly says a lot with it.
“I think he’s the greatest college wrestler of all time.”
This weekend, Kyle Snyder will close out his college career at the NCAA championships in Cleveland. Snyder will be looking to add a third consecutive NCAA title to his amazing list of accomplishments. To win another heavyweight national championship, Snyder will likely have to beat Michigan’s Adam Coon, who he just defeated in the Big Ten Tournament after losing to Coon earlier in the year.
Snyder called head coach Tom Ryan to commit to the Buckeyes on New Year’s Day in 2013, starting the coach’s year off right. Ryan’s coaching ability and relationship with Snyder didn’t hurt Ohio State’s chances at landing the future Olympian, but the big reason for Snyder coming to Ohio State was because of the RTC in Columbus. If Snyder wanted to be the best, he had to train with the best.
Snyder hasn’t disappointed so far, winning numerous world championships, and becoming the youngest American wrestler to win a gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016. A national title in Cleveland this weekend would be the capper of an amazing Ohio State career, and set the table for even more success in the future for Snyder.
With the attention that is paid to the football and basketball teams, sometimes stars from other sports at Ohio State don’t get quite as much attention as they deserve. Not only does Bill Rabinowitz take a deep look at Snyder, but the photography from Kyle Robertson is also outstanding. After taking in everything written about him here, it’s impossible not to be rooting for him to close out his Buckeye career in style this weekend.
“I’m looking like, ‘We’re missing people.’ I’m like, ‘Where’s Tyquan (Lewis)? Where’s Jalyn (Holmes)? Where’s Sam (Hubbard)?’ It hit me like, they’re gone. Like, that’s your role now.”
How quickly things can change in college football. Just a few months ago, Robert Landers was lining up with defensive linemen like Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, and Sam Hubbard. Now those three have moved on to the NFL, and Landers’ role on the Ohio State defensive line has expanded.
After spending his time so far at Ohio State as a backup and rotational player, plenty more is expected now of the defensive tackle. Not only will Landers likely be seeing more reps in more of a starter’s role, but he is also being looked at as more of a mentor for some of the younger Buckeye defensive tackles like Taron Vincent, Haskell Garrett, and Jashon Cornell.
It took Landers a bit of time to grasp just how much things were about to change with the exodus of Ohio State defensive linemen to the NFL, but the redshirt junior is embracing his new role. Landers has spent time getting in better shape to handle the extra reps he’ll see, and helping the younger Buckeyes grow on the football field. The combination of Landers and Dre’Mont Jones will give Ohio State one of the best interior defensive line duos in the Big Ten.
“We’re going to see who gets that spot. But I’m going to give my all, play my hardest and try to go out there and start.”
One of the competitions to keep an eye on during spring and preseason practices is the battle for the safety position. With the departures of Damon Webb and Erick Smith, there is a slot to fill in the defensive backfield. One of the Buckeyes who will be in the thick of the safety battle is safety Isaiah Pryor.
Pryor set the bar pretty high early on after becoming the second Buckeye to lose his black stripe last year. As a freshman, Pryor continued to progress, earning strong reviews from defensive coordinator and safeties coach Greg Schiano before the Cotton Bowl. The positive assessment from Schiano also helped to set the table for increased expectations in 2018.
While it isn’t set in stone yet, it is likely Pryor will be starting at safety when Ohio State opens the 2018 season against Oregon State. Pryor has his feet under him after his freshman year in Columbus, and now it is time to take the next step. If the performance on the field matches some of the rave reviews Pryor has been receiving, in a few years he could join the list of Ohio State defensive backs taken in the first round of the NFL Draft.
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