“I thought somebody was chasing him with a knife or something,” Johnson said. “Yeah, I heard he was fast, but then I actually went and watched him.”
-Ohio State secondary coach Taver Johnson, via Austin Ward, Land of 10
It’s not really surprising to hear a football player is fast, but the visual you get from Taver Johnson’s quote in Ward’s article is certainly something. So, who is this player with outstanding speed? Cornerback Kendall Sheffield.
The junior spent his offseason competing for the men’s track & field team, and not only had a solid season on the way to a team Big Ten Championship, but also set a new school record for the 60-yard dash, at 6.63 seconds — besting a record that stood for 23 years. Despite training for track being a completely different monster than prepping for football, the dual-effort has already seemed to impress during spring practices, where he’s back in the cornerback room and making receivers pay.
“I definitely think he’s able to show how much of a freak athlete he is with the track times and then coming back and having a really good performance this spring,” fellow cornerback Jeffrey Okudah said, according to Ward’s article. “He’s had about 10 forced fumbles. When the receivers see him coming around, they all brace for impact.”
Sheffield seems like he’s always been a Buckeye, but he didn’t get to Columbus until after a short stint at Alabama and then a stop at the JUCO level. He took a bit to get into a rhythm during the 2017 season — his first as a Buckeye — but he could end up being the next Ohio State DB taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, if this spring is any indication of what he’ll bring to the field this fall.
“After Saturday’s result, the Buckeyes (5-5, 0-1 Big Ten) will look to put an end to their losing streak of four games and must now make their way to Baltimore to confront No. 5 Johns Hopkins (7-2, 1-0 Big Ten).”
-Joe Thompson, The Lantern
Ohio State men’s lacrosse opened Big Ten play last weekend against Penn State, and lost in an astounding 12-4 defeat. The Buckeyes are hoping to have more success Saturday against John’s Hopkins, when the team hits the road for their first Big Ten away game of the year.
After starting the season 5-4 in non-conference play, the Buckeyes need to bounce back quickly if they plan on making a run in the conference or to even get into the postseason. It’ll be a tough matchup for the Buckeyes, but if they are able to best the Blue Jays, the team should have a good amount of confidence and momentum to continue their conference run.
“I think we’ve always matched up well with Hopkins. We’ve always given each other trouble, I’d say,” redshirt senior midfielder John Kelly said, according to Thompson’s article in The Lantern. “I feel good about how we match up with them this year and we’re going to have to sit down and play good defense. We’re going to have to make sure we control the ball on offense, take good opportunities — not just any opportunities we see.”
Kelly also noted that the team would need to play tougher than they had been, and more specifically to give every play their total effort — a tough lesson learned in the eight-goal beating by the Nittany Lions. It certainly won’t be an easy win, but it’s a very important one as Ohio State gets into the meat of their schedule.
Ohio State vs. John’s Hopkins will get underway on Saturday, April 7 at Noon ET on ESPNU.
“Coming off a pair of Big Ten victories last weekend, No. 23/24 Ohio State is back on the road to face Rutgers in a three-game series at the RU Softball Complex...”
-Ohio State Athletics
After spending most of the early part of the season on the road, the Buckeyes are away from home again after claiming their first Big Ten series of the season last weekend against Wisconsin. The softball team has so far struggled in conference play, sitting at 2-4 as they get ready to face Rutgers, but continue to inch up the national rankings with their 21-8 overall record.
Ohio State is 11-1 all-time against Rutgers, and last season in particular really demolished the Scarlet Knights. Not only did the Buckeyes claim all three wins of the series, but each game was also called by run-rule — Ohio State outscored Rutgers, 32-3. (Yikes.) The Scarlet Knights haven’t quite elevated their game that much since last season, and currently hold a 17-16 record (2-2 in Big Ten play), but they did claim their series over Penn State last weekend, 2-1.
On the season, the Scarlet Knights are hitting .256 with 20 home runs and 25 doubles. The lead batter for Rutgers is Rebecca Hall, who currently holds a .385 batting average, along with 45 hits, 32 RBIs, 23 runs and six home runs. By comparison, the Buckeyes have a clear offensive advantage, ranking No. 2 in the Big Ten in home runs (33), No. 3 in earned run average (2.40), and No. 4 in slugging percentage (.446).
The Buckeyes shouldn’t have too much trouble coming out of this weekend’s slate of games 3-0 against the Scarlet Knights, but they’ll face Penn State shortly thereafter (Wednesday, April 11) which could be a bit more challenging.
“It’s not floating,” Schiano said with a smile. “That just kind of sounds like you just walk around. … I can go help whatever position is needed. I’m kind of the roamer. Whatever is needed, I’m kind of the spare.”
-Ohio State DC Greg Schiano, via Austin Ward, Land of 10
Things have been anything but quiet for Greg Schiano since the end of the 2017 season. From taking (then losing) a new head coaching gig, to passing on another shot on an NFL coaching staff, nothing really panned out and — thankfully for the Buckeyes — Schiano is staying in Columbus at least through 2018.
Players have listed a host of different benefits to working with Schiano, be it having a better understanding of what it takes to transition to the NFL, or adopting a better tackling technique. But another perk to Schiano being on staff is his versatility in being able to jump into different position group drills and help where he can.
“There are always repercussions that you don’t see, and the other thing it allows me to do is I get to jump around from meeting room to meeting room. I like to be able to see everything.”
As Ward notes in his article, the former NFL head coach didn’t want to be called a “floater” with the implication being that he’s just wandering around the facility, but rather be known as the “roamer”. Not that the title matters in any capacity, but Schiano being able to fill in certain pieces throughout Ohio State’s defense is one of the reasons that he was so highly coveted following last season — and why he’ll be another hot commodity on the coaching carousel next offseason.
STICK TO SPORTS
- In not-so-surprising news, getting on and off campus will be a little more complicated thanks to the gigantic construction project by the med center.
- Ohio State’s Board of Trustees has voted on a lot of measures over the past two days, and one of those is to revoke the honorary degree given to Bill Cosby.