“Spooked by the fact that the Oakland Raiders could consider taking a quarterback at No. 4, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman acts aggressively to get within reach of Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins.”
The draft order is just about set, with the first 30 NFL teams claiming their respective spots in the lineup. While it is helpful to know that the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints are now locked in with the 29th and 30th-overall picks, respectively (the Green Bay Packers will pick up the Saints’ pick), the teams with the biggest needs were determined long, long ago. Now, their draft strategies are starting to take firmer shape as most eligible players planning on declaring for the draft have already done so.
A number of former Buckeyes are the key players among the top picks as teams jockey for position to fill their needs. It’s been apparent since last season that defensive end Nick Bosa would be a top-three pick in this year’s draft. Despite missing most of the season with a core muscle injury and subsequent surgery, mock drafts still have him going No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals. What makes that top-status particularly impressive is the fact that this year’s draft is absolutely loaded with defensive linemen. In fact, there could be around a dozen defensive linemen taken in the first round alone. Kentucky’s Josh Allen, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams and Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell could all be top-10 picks. Rashon Gary of Michigan, who sat out of the Wolverine’s bowl game, Ed Oliver of Houston, Montez Sweat from Mississippi State and Dexter Lawrence of Clemson are also highly rated and likely first round picks from the defensive line. From there, it gets even more exciting for Ohio State fans as Dre’Mont Jones, who anchored the line after the loss of Bosa this season, could go to the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 25.
While Bosa looks to be the top Ohio State player (and first overall player) taken in the draft, quarterback Dwayne Haskins seems to be solidifying his status as the top quarterback in the 2019 class—even with Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray entering the fray. With the Oakland Raiders potentially looking for a quarterback, the New York Giants could choose to trade up to the No. 3 spot to pick up Haskins.
“You’re a freshman, so you have to find your way and what’s going on. But I found big brothers.”
The recruiting process for five-star defensive end Zach Harrison was one of the more thorough engagements for any Ohio State prospect in recent years. One of these drivers was the fact that Harrison, an Olentangy Orange product from Lewis Center, was also being courted by Michigan. Another was the obvious fact that Harrison is the top-ranked defensive end in his recruiting class, and the No. 6-overall recruit in the nation. Harrison seems the obvious heir to the Ohio State defensive line, continuing the lineage of recent years of dominance in the position groups. With the departure of Nick Bosa and Dre’Mont Jones for the NFL, Harrison will likely get an early start in his role with the Buckeyes. And that is one he is already stepping into, earning the respect of his new teammates along the way.
The 6-foot-5 end enrolled at Ohio State earlier this month, and has been spending time under the tutelage of Chase Young and Jonathan Cooper—both highly recruited prospects themselves. The power of the defensive line seems to be supported not just by defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who has been churning out pro-caliber players in his time in Columbus, but also by a tightly-knit crew of senior linemen mentoring younger players. Young was Harrison’s host during the younger player’s recruiting process, and the elder prospect continued to build a relationship with Harrison in the months before he enrolled.
It’ll be a tough spring for Harrison, as it is for every new player coming to Ohio State, as he works through the intensive weight-training program to prep for spring and fall ball. But Harrison has a head start.
“In the latter stage of the Thad Matta era, the OSU men’s basketball program was basically a revolving door of players coming and going.”
Ohio State men’s basketball is currently on a rough skid, but there is little doubt that Chris Holtmann has quickly turned around a program that had been struggling in the final years of Thad Matta’s tenure. One of the more painful parts of that process is the clearing out of players from previous regimes who simply do not fit with where the team is headed. In Ohio State’s case, that problem was exacerbated by the fact that a number of recruits from Matta’s final recruiting classes departed during Matta’s tenure. In fact, no one from the 2015 recruiting class finished their college career in Columbus. All five players came to Columbus as four-star recruits. All left within two seasons.
Point guard JaQuan Lyle was the most recognizable member of the class, given that he stayed the longest with the program. In the summer before Chris Holtmann’s first season, Lyle surprisingly announced he would be transferring to New Mexico. At the time, it seemed like it would be a sharp blow. In two seasons under Matta, Lyle averaged 11.3 points per game on a team which struggled to find offense and which was already low in morale with the departure of the rest of the recruiting class. The rest is history for the Buckeyes, who emerged better and stronger last season even without Lyle. Lyle, meanwhile, sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules. Unfortunately for Lyle, he is missing a second-straight season after rupturing his Achilles in September.
Guard Austin Grandstaff, center Daniel Giddens, point guard A.J. Harris and forward Mickey Mitchell were the other members of the 2015 class who left Ohio State. Beyond the 2015 class, the Ohio State program experienced significant attrition from other surrounding classes, which led to the young roster on the court this season. Of those players who left, some have found success at their new landing spots. Others, meanwhile, have had multiple transfers or gotten out of the game entirely.
STICK TO SPORTS
Brutus is literally the best.
So is the rest of the dance team.
Sean McVay has to keep his cool.