“He’s got a bad ankle sprain. He didn’t break his leg, but he’s got a real bad, serious ankle sprain. It’s a high ankle sprain plus. He’s hobbling around pretty good right now.”
It’s only one week into the NFL preseason, but it’s already been a rough one for the Seattle Seahawks offensive line. In addition to losing tackle Isaiah Battle in Thursday night’s preseason matchup, the Seahawks also lost Ohio State product Jamarco Jones to a high-ankle sprain. Jones was carted off of the field in the preseason opener, a 19-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Head coach Pete Carroll said that Jones is “day-to-day,” but could miss considerable time as he recovers from the sprain.
Jones, who was selected in the fifth round of this year’s NFL Draft, was expected to compete for the starting right tackle spot with incumbent Germain Ifedi, the Seahawks first-round pick in 2016. Ifedi, who was the most penalized player in the league last season with 20 calls against him, had been less than impressive throughout camp and preseason thus far, and Jones was able to step in early. Now, the competition for the starting role will be suspended until Jones can come back, according to Carroll.
Jones had been sitting as the No. 2 left tackle for most of preseason behind four-time Pro Bowler Duane Brown, but moved over to the right side last week after Ifedi continued to exhibit problems with penalties.
The Seahawks offensive line has a lot to improve on from last season. The unit will be breaking in Mike Solari, the new line coach, after Tom Cable was fired at the end of the 2017-18 season. Jones, who shined on a powerful offensive line during his 27-consecutive starts at left tackle at Ohio State, was a worthy addition to the Seahawks with the 168th overall pick in April’s draft. Jones was a two-time all-conference selection during his two seasons as a starter, and supported a line which allowed for a top-20 rushing offense in each of the last four seasons.
“Just coming from where I came from, playing running back, to be honest, I didn’t know how to run a route when I first got here. So I definitely think I’m becoming a more positive receiver, being able to run routes.”
Parris Campbell has come a long way in his role at H-back. He had shown flashes of greatness as a sophomore, but, as a former running back (the No. 14 back, in fact, in the 2014 recruiting class), he has had a lot to learn as a receiver in his four previous seasons at Ohio State. As he prepares to enter his fifth year with the program, the H-back has continued to fine-tune his performance.
Last season, this continuous improvement led Campbell to become the team’s leader in receiving yards with 584. The work ethic that Campbell exhibits was also likely a factor in his being named a captain last year— an honor which Campbell is expected to maintain in 2018. More impressive is the fact that Campbell, after moving to receiver upon his arrival at Ohio State, moved to H-back following the departure of Curtis Samuel for the NFL, demonstrating once again his flexibility on the field.
Beyond simply being a reliable receiver, Campbell brings an explosiveness which helps to open up the offense more than traditional routes might. This speed is not surprising, given that Campbell is also an indoor track star at Ohio State. Last season, the redshirt senior led his team with 18 plays of 20 or more yards, including breakout touchdowns against Indiana and Wisconsin. Campbell was also an asset on special teams, amassing 329 total yards on kickoff returns— a 36.6 yard average. This playmaking ability has caught national attention. Campbell was named to the Paul Hornung preseason watch list, an award which recognizes the most versatile player in college football. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley won the honor last season.
Yet, there is still room for improvement for Campbell, particularly, in catching the long ball. While J.T. Barrett threw to Campbell for most of the receiver’s career, Campbell may have more opportunities to develop that aspect of his game with Dwayne Haskins at quarterback.
What did you do this weekend?— Ohio State Buckeyes (@OhioStAthletics) August 12, 2018
If you’re @OhioStateMTEN’s JJ Wolf, you warmed up with @rogerfederer, received a wild card into @cincytennis AND upset the No. 85 player in the world! #GoBucks | #CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/gK06mveoXa
Ohio State tennis is making its mark on the international scene this summer. Rising junior J.J. Wolf, a native of Cincinnati, competed in the Western and Southern Open on a wildcard entry in his hometown over the weekend, defeating Jozef Kovalik, the No. 85 player in the world, 7-6, 7-6. His run came up short Sunday when he fell to No. 92 Marius Copil 6-4, 7-6.
It was an important win for Wolf, who has been playing on the professional circuit since the intercollegiate season ended in May. Since then, he has had six wins over top-500 ranked players in the world. The win at the Western and Southern was the biggest of his career on the professional circuit, since it was his first qualifying-match win at an ATP event.
Wolf has already made a name for himself in two seasons at Ohio State. In 2017, he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. This past season, he was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection, winning 25 of 34 singles matches. He was a major contributor to an Ohio State squad which finished the season as the NCAA runner-up, and is expected to continue his high level of play next season— especially given what he has accomplished this summer against elite competition.
The Western and Southern Open, dating back to 1899, is among the nation’s oldest tennis tournaments and features many of the top male and female players in the world, including Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, John Isner. As an ATP Masters 1000 tournament, the open is considered a tier below the world’s four major tournaments and is the last qualifier before the U.S. Open, which begins later this month. The level of talent at this tournament makes Wolf’s win even more impressive.