“I think I’m more stressed about center (than quarterback).”
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer via Tim Bielik, Northeast Ohio Media Group
It’s easy to understand why Urban Meyer might be stressing so much about Ohio State’s center. The position has been an area Meyer hasn’t had to worry about much over the past two years, with Pat Elflein winning the Rimington Award as the nation’s best center in 2016, and Billy Price earning the honor last year.
Elflein and Price were both had previous experience starting on the offensive line before moving over to the center position, with both spending time at right guard before their senior seasons. Ohio State won’t have the same luxury this year. Fifth-year senior Brady Taylor is the favorite to win the job, but Josh Myers and Matthew Burrell will likely get some consideration to fill the hole left by Price.
If Ohio State isn’t able to find the right center early on, it could greatly affect the other quarterback they are trying to replace. With Ohio State running most of their plays from the shotgun, whoever ends up snapping the football to either Dwayne Haskins or Joe Burrow will have to find their rhythm early to ensure the Buckeyes get their 2018 season off to a strong start.
Nobody is expecting whoever ends up starting at center to win the Rimington like Elflein or Price, but they’ll need to adjust quickly to being a starter. If Ohio State isn’t able to find early stability at center, it could throw a wrench into what is looking like a very promising 2018 season.
“It’s really cool to finally be the guy. And just being in the front of the line every time and just being the example for everyone.”
Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa via Dave Biddle, Bucknuts
Nick Bosa has made a tremendous impact at defensive end during his first two years at Ohio State, but he has had to share some of the spotlight with Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis, and Jalyn Holmes. Even while splitting time with the others at defensive end, Bosa still racked up 8.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss in 2017, earning him Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year honors.
Bosa’s numbers in 2018 should be even higher, with Hubbard, Lewis, and Holmes moving on to the NFL. While Bosa will get more of the spotlight on him with increased snaps, he also will have to take on more of a leadership role on defense. As one of the elder statesmen on the defensive line, Bosa is still working on becoming more of a vocal leader, but it is a role he is excited to take on. And if worst came to worst, he could always call his brother Joey for some advice, since he might know a thing or two about how to be a leader on one of Urban Meyer’s teams.
“I want to be at a place ... where I can coach to my convictions; coach what I believe. Coaching to my convictions is probably most important.”
Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann via Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch
A lot of the success Chris Holtmann is enjoying as a college basketball head coach can be attributed to his upbringing. Growing up in the Lexington area in Kentucky, Holtmann was a key part of a team that was able to reach the Sweet 16 of the state tournament. Despite not being the star of the team, Holtmann became a bit of a local celebrity in Nicholasville because his contributions often were the reason his team was able to record so many victories.
Along with his hard work on the basketball court, Holtmann also learned a strong work ethic off the court in high school. Holtmann and his father not only had a paper route in the morning, but he also cleaned office buildings with his father up to four nights a week. To compliment his work schedule, Holtmann was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Holtmann’s faith is a big reason why he was hired at Gardner-Webb, which was his first Division I head coaching job. Despite having a strong background of faith, Holtmann doesn’t overwhelm his players with the message. Instead, Holtmann likes to weave his faith into lessons, much like his coach at Taylor University in Indiana did.
A big reason why Holtmann has found quick success at all three of his Division I head coaching jobs has been because of his faith and strong convictions. Holtmann was able to lead an Ohio State team to 24 wins this year in his first year in Columbus after the Buckeyes were projected to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten.
The strong values and the way Holtmann carries himself still resonates with people in his hometown, and they still hold him in high regard. At some point in the future, Holtmann will likely be inducted into the Nicholasville athletics hall of fame, The head coach is probably just hoping nobody will refer to him as “Bunny”, a nickname from school that he hates to this day.
“We all had one common goal. That was to win a national championship. Now that we’re here it feels real. We know we should be here, because we’ve worked our butts off this whole year.”
Ohio State forward Tatum Skaggs via Andrew Joseph, The Lantern
Ohio State’s women’s hockey team will be making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance on Saturday, when they take on Boston College. After a regular season where they posted a 23-10-4 record, the Buckeyes will head into Saturday’s game as the fifth seed. Ohio State’s record this year was the best in school history.
The Buckeyes will have their work cut out for them when they tangle with a Boston College squad that finished the year 30-4-3. The Eagles are averaging 4.19 goals per game, which is second-best in the NCAA. Ohio State will have to avoid penalties against a Boston College team that scores on 25.66 percent of their power plays.
As if emotions weren’t going to be high enough for Ohio State in this game, Buckeye head coach Nadine Muzerall will be matching wits with Boston College associate head coach Courtney Kennedy, who is one of Muzerall’s best friends and the godmother to her children. With a spot in the NCAA Frozen Four at stake, the friendship will be put on hold for a few hours on Saturday afternoon.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Short North’s Food Hall, which is Ohio’s first food hall, will open in two weeks.
- Women Who Brunch debuted at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing today, and a portion of sales will benefit the YWCA Columbus.
- After 38 years in the Short North, pm gallery is closing.
- Ohio State’s annual State of Research Address was given on Tuesday.
- A prequel movie for ‘The Sopranos’ is in the works.