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Quarterback won’t be the most important position for Ohio State’s success this fall

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Also, KBD goes down during media availability in Utah.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“Returning production, though, is where things get interesting. Oh, Ohio State has 20 starters coming back? That sounds like an awfully high number. It is on paper, but returning production gives you a much better gauge of what the Buckeyes have coming back.”

-Bill Landis, cleveland.com

In this article, Landis breaks down what production the Buckeyes have coming back this fall, and — via the brilliant analytics from SBNation’s Bill Connelly— what that actually means for the future success of the team.

The most obviously concerning number for OSU is that they are going to return just 15.3 percent of their passing yards from last season. With J.T. Barrett and Joe Burrow taking their individual shares of last year’s totals to Louisiana, the Buckeyes’ only returning passing yards belong to Dwayne Haskins. He also has the sole returning completions (40, 13.9%) and attempts (57, 12.9%).

Now obviously these stats aren’t going to be a surprise to anyone who is paying attention to OSU football. When a quarterback as successful as Barrett departs a team, very rarely does anyone else have substantial stats to fall back on, since only one QB (theoretically) plays at a time. But, for as much as we preach that the quarterback is the most important position in sports, according to Connelly’s S&P+ formula, returning QB production is not the most accurate indicator of a team’s success the following season.

Instead— believe it or not— that distinction goes to returning receiving yards. That’s very good news for the Buckeyes, because even though none of their pass-catchers last season made nearly the impact of Barrett or J.K. Dobbins, having 90.5 percent of last year’s receiving yards coming back sure seems like it’s a good thing according to Connelly.

Tight end Marcus Baugh is the only one of OSU’s top six receivers from last year who is not back this season, as he signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent last month. In fact, only three players that caught a pass for Ohio State last year are no longer with the team (Baugh and transfers Antonio Williams and Trevon Grimes).

In part because of how vital that fact is to his system, Connelly currently has the Buckeyes on top of his 2018 S&P+ rankings, tied with Alabama.

The question will be if any of the returning receivers can make a substantive enough impact beyond simply compiling receptions. With Urban Meyer and company breaking in a new quarterback, it is likely that we will see a heaping helping of Dobbins and Mike Weber early in the season. However, as the pass-catchers gain more in-game experience with the new pass-thrower, if they can develop into more consistent offensive weapons, it should go a long way to reaching Connelly’s lofty expectations for the team.


“Staff members from the Ohio State football program spent time on Tuesday evening paying forward to youth coaches by inviting them to a free safe tackling clinic inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.”

-Ohio State Athletics

On the eve of the NFL announcing new rules designed to make kickoffs safer, and a little more than a month since the NCAA did something similar, the Ohio State football program held a clinic last night to help youth coaches better teach safe tackling technique.

The Buckeyes’ new co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Alex Grinch ran the clinic, which was attended by about 170 coaches. The goal of the evening was to reinforce proper tackling technique via demonstrations and videos, as well as highlighting the safest equipment for players of all ages. In addition to Grinch, Executive Director for Football Relations Tim Hinton, and athletic equipment manager Kevin Ries were on hand to provide insight as well.

According to 105.7 The Zone’s Lori Schmidt, this clinic was very important to head coach Urban Meyer. So much so that he told Grinch that it would be one of his new responsibilities when he was hired in January.

Grinch, who’s 8-year-old son is beginning to take an interest in playing football, wants to allow his son to play the game with a “good conscience.” He also reportedly made it a point to correct one of the coaches in attendance that mothers are not the only ones concerned with player safety.

Much has been made about the future of football, as concerns about safety and head trauma become more and more pronounced, so it is great to see the Buckeye coaching staff proactively taking some steps to keep up-and-coming players as safe as possible.


Apparently things took an unexpected turn following Keita Bates-Diop’s pre-NBA Draft workout for the Utah Jazz today. According to Andy Larsen of KSL.com, as KBD was giving interviews following his on-court session, he had to stop mid-answer and lie down on the floor in fairly substantial pain.

The Jazz’s trainers helped the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year up off of the floor and attended to him in the training room. Reports are that it was some leg cramping and back spasms, but that shortly thereafter the forward is fine.

SBNation’s Ricky O’Donnell currently has KBD going 22nd to the Bulls in his latest mock draft, however, that was done before last week’s Draft Lottery. We wish Bates-Diop a speedy recovery, but, KBD, remember to hydrate. These are the biggest interviews of your life. Can’t be cramping up all the time!


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