“Last season was definitely frustrating from me. Just injury-wise, who doesn’t want to be on the field? And my injury was holding me back from being who I really was, so I definitely was frustrated.”
As if the Ohio State backfield wasn’t scary enough with J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber at running back, the Buckeyes will head into the 2018 season with a healthy Demario McCall. Even though it is unlikely McCall is going to wrestle many carries away from Dobbins and Weber, he could make a big impact for the Buckeyes at H-back, a position he moved to during the offseason.
After spending most of last season on the shelf with a hernia injury, McCall is already doing his best to make up for lost time. In the spring game, McCall made his presence known with 165 yards and two touchdowns. If McCall is able to carry that momentum over to the 2018 season, Ohio State’s offense could be even tougher for defenses to handle.
The benefit of having a healthy McCall isn’t just limited to the offense, as he could make plenty of noise in the return game. The speed and elusiveness that McCall possesses could set Ohio State up with great field position and put defenses on their heels. Every little bit of an advantage McCall can give Ohio State will help, especially with the pressure that will be placed on new starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
“Of the 26 scholarship players that Ohio State brought in as part of its recruiting class of 2015, only 13 of those players remain with the Buckeyes.”
On Tuesday, quarterback Joe Burrow announced his intentions to transfer out of the program, leaving just half of the recruiting class of 2015 still on the Ohio State roster. While to some, the high number of players already having left the school might seem high, it is about in line with previous recruiting classes under head coach Urban Meyer.
Since 2012, which was Meyer’s first year recruiting as head coach with the school, Ohio State has seen 10-plus players from each recruiting class leave the program for either the NFL or to transfer before suiting up for their fourth year. The 2012 recruiting class saw 13 of the 25 recruits leave before the 2015 season, which tied this year as the high-mark under Meyer. The recruiting class that saw the least amount of players leave before their fourth-year was the 2014 recruiting class, where 10 of 23 recruits left before the 2017 season.
One of the reasons for the high number of departures from Ohio State before their fourth-season with the program is because of the amount of players the Buckeyes are able to put in the NFL. While this year only saw Denzel Ward and Jerome Baker leave the program early — not including Sam Hubbard, who despite having eligibility left, did graduate —, the 2014 class saw five of the 10 early departures move on to the professional level.
Another reason for the high number of players leaving for the NFL or transferring from the program is the amount of talent Ohio State brings in on a yearly basis. With the battle for playing time in Columbus being a constant challenge, sometimes players don’t see the amount of playing time they expected to see, and feel it is better to move on to other schools where they might get some more exposure and a better shot at realizing their dreams of playing at the professional level.
On the surface, the high turnover of Ohio State players might be a cause for concern, but any school is going to have at least some turnover. With the high expectations that have been set at Ohio State by Meyer and his coaching staff, there are going to be some players who decide it is in their best interest to leave Columbus. Have no fear though, there will be plenty of talented players waiting to hopefully make a name for themselves with the Buckeyes.
“It’s everything. We talk about it all the time, since the day I got here. Especially for Ty, it’s been a dream of his since he got into coaching. This year, maybe more than the other few years I’ve been on the team, we really have a chance.”
After going 29-2 during the regular season, the third-ranked Ohio State’s men’s tennis team will open up the NCAA Tournament at home on Friday against East Tennessee State, with the winner moving on to play either Kentucky or Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Buckeyes will be looking to exercise some demons, as they have gone 24-0 at home in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament over the last 12 years, but only have one indoor title to show for their work.
If Ohio State is able to move on to the Round of 16 in Winston-Salem, one of the concerns for the Buckeyes could be the weather, since the weather in Columbus so far this spring has been less than ideal. If the weather in North Carolina is warm, it could pose a problem for the Buckeyes, who haven’t had much experience playing outdoors in the heat this year. One of Ohio State’s two losses this year came at Georgia in March, with the Buckeyes getting shutout 4-0.
After making the NCAA singles final two years ago, Mikael Torpegaard is hoping he can not only lead Ohio State to their first team title, but also help head coach Ty Tucker win his first NCAA team title with the Buckeyes. Despite having so much success as head coach without an NCAA team title, Tucker is cherishing the time he has left with the seniors on the team, and he is hoping there are a few more weekends of play left for them.
After finishing fourth in the NCAA Regional in Wisconsin, the Ohio State’s women’s golf team will participate in the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma next week. The NCAA Championships will be held from May 18-23 in Stillwater. This marks the sixth time in the last eight years that the Buckeyes have earned a spot in the NCAA Championships, and the 22nd time in school history.
The Top 6 teams in the NCAA Regional earned spots in the NCAA Championship, with Ohio State tying Arizona State at 1-under for fourth place. The performance by the Buckeyes was even more impressive, considering the final round was affected by weather, which resulted in a shotgun start.
After earning medalist honors at the Big Ten Championships Jaclyn Lee was a standout for Ohio State in the NCAA Regional, with the junior finishing in second place at 8-under par. The next best Buckeye in the NCAA Regional was Niki Schroder, who tied for 17th place with her even-par performance after three rounds of golf.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Columbus Craft Beer Week kicks off tomorrow.
- The lineup for the Breakaway Music Festival at MAPFRE Stadium in August has been announced.
- Nine Inch Nails have announced a new tour, but tickets will only be on-sale in-person.
- There is still time this week for teachers to get a BOGO deal at Piada with a valid faculty ID.
- You probably didn’t need to be told that last month was the coldest April in 20 years.