“I’m glad I did that. To hear it from me, to make sure I can set the record straight. I control the narrative and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be fine. I can show you everything you want to see. It’s not as significant as everyone is making it to be.’”
- Billy Price via Alexis Chassen, SB Nation
Former Ohio State center Billy Price is out on a mission to let NFL teams know that the injury he suffered during the NFL Combine isn’t going to keep him out any longer than planned. Price’s timetable for a return to health is in June, which leaves plenty of time to be ready for the season’s start. The question now is whether or not the injury will cause Price to fall some in the draft. Originally looked at as a first-round pick after switching from guard to center last season, Price might have to set new expectations depending on how the draft goes.
The good news for him is he could end up in a better situation than before, and that might help his growth in the long run as he becomes a professional. Right now, Price is expected to drop into the middle of the second round, or even further, depending on what teams decide to do. All of the doctors he’s checked with have him coming back on time but it will be up to teams to have faith in Price.
“And, just for the record, Brian Snead and touted H-back Jaelen Gill aren’t even on campus. It also doesn’t account for Demario McCall, who figures to be involved in the running game in some capacity despite primarily looking like more of a slot receiver at this point. So, if any unit qualifies as having an embarrassment of riches, Ohio State’s collection of tailbacks has to be on the short list.”
Ohio State has a bit of a problem. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. The Buckeyes have one of the deepest positions in the country at running back. For starters, you have J.K. Dobbins, coming of a Big Ten Freshman of the Year candidate performance, and Mike Weber, who has rushed for over 1,000 yards himself. From there, you have Antonio Williams who has shown marked improvement over his spring and throw in Master Teague - an early enrollee - and just those four are enough to make any football program jealous. The real problem is that there’s only one ball to give and not nearly enough minutes for all of them over the course of the game.
Add to it that the Buckeyes are also expecting Jaelen Gill later in the year and as mentioned above, Brian Snead is not expected to be a slouch either. There’s no way you can really take carries away from Dobbins or Weber so it’s going to be a tough assignment for the coaching staff in action, but running backs coach Tony Alford has done a great job in the past of making sure his players get the time.
“I think Jeremy Ruckert might be the best tight end prospect that I’ve ever seen and recruited. His skill set is ridiculous. Now it’s a question of getting him ready to play.”
- Urban Meyer via Ryan Ginn, Land of 10
There are five incoming freshmen that aren’t with Ohio State this spring that could still make an impact this fall, and Ryan Ginn of Land of 10 has them all listed. Offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere, running back/H-back Jaelen Gill, defensive end Tyreke Smith, safety Josh Proctor, and tight end Jeremy Ruckert all have the potential to see the field in 2018 and in expanded roles depending on how their fall camp goes.
Ruckert, especially, to me seems like he has a chance to stand out. With Marcus Baugh moving on, the spot is somewhat up for grabs but the competition has been fierce this spring.
Luke Farrell, Rashod Berry, and Jake Hausmann have been working all offseason for the starting job, so Ruckert will definitely have his work cut out for him. But if he’s as good as Meyer thinks he is, then he could be competing for that starting spot when it’s all said and done. And obviously, with all of the offensive line shifting, Petit-Frere could have an excellent chance at seeing some playing time as well.
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