“I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity. I think it’s right on the cusp of being in the NFL. It’s very competitive. People are hungry and focused. And they’ve been through the process and trying to get back there.”
The Alliance of American Football, a new, eight-team league sprouted in March, completed its second week of play over the weekend, ans a number of former Ohio State stars made their marks for their respective teams.
The AAF was designed to fill the void between the conclusion of the Super Bowl and the start of the preseason while supporting up-and-coming pro-level talent. In many cases, the league is offering a second chance for players whose NFL careers did not quite pan out the way they’d planned, like running back Trent Richardson.
One of these players is former Ohio State standout Jalin Marshall, who played for the New York Jets from 2016-17 after going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft. Marshall had 14 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns in his time with the Jets. However, a torn labrum during his rookie season and a four-game suspension heading into his second year contributed to cutting his NFL career short. Marshall was picked up by the Orlando Apollos and is already making a name for himself, having scored the first AAF touchdown ever. Marshall continued in this vein yesterday, reeling in another touchdown pass from quarterback Garrett Gilbert. In just two games, Marshall has accumulated 135 receiving yards.
Defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle, meanwhile, was picked up by the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft, but was eventually waived. Sprinkle was taken by the Atlanta Legends of the AAF, and has proven to be a pass-rushing force, earning a sack for an 11-yard loss yesterday against the San Diego Fleet.
Three other former Buckeyes have seen a resurgence in this new league as well. Offensive lineman Chase Farris (Atlanta), tight end Marcus Baugh (San Diego) and cornerback Doran Grant (Atlanta) also made AAF rosters this season.
After a rough outing against the top-ranked Penn State wrestling team last weekend, the Ohio State wrestling bounced back with two dominant wins over Big Ten foes in dual matches over the weekend. First, Friday, the Buckeyes overcame Purdue 34-2 in West Lafayette. Then, Sunday, Ohio State returned home for a 21-12 win over Nebraska.
The latter win over the Huskers was especially sweet, as it took place on Senior Day and the last home match of the season. The four-man senior class featured the likes of Te’Shan Campbell (165-pounds), Joey McKenna (141-pounds), Micah Jordan (149-pounds) and Myles Martin (184-pounds). Martin is the top-rated wrestler at his weight class, while McKenna and Jordan are both the third-ranked wrestlers at their respective classes.
The Buckeyes have one more dual match in the queue versus Cornell before the start of the Big Ten Tournament, scheduled for March 9-10 in Minnesota.
“Last year was heartbreaking, we came up just short. We have worked so hard to get back here to have this opportunity. The match is just another opportunity for us to represent our unbelievable university.”
Congrats to Ohio State tennis!
The Ohio State men’s tennis team earned its revenge over Wake Forest in the ITA National Indoor Team Championships Monday, taking the title 4-2. Last season, the Buckeyes fell to the Demon Deacons 4-2 in the NCAA title match, but Ohio State dominated from the start this year, capping a perfect 13-0 record on the year.
The Buckeyes began by taking the doubles point, taking two of three matches on the afternoon. Then, Ohio State’s J.J. Wolf, the second-ranked singles player nationally, led the way with a singles point from the first singles court. Martin Joyce followed up with the second clutch win, with Alex Kobelt sealing the win for the Buckeyes.
The second-ranked Buckeyes entered the match having defeated No. 4 Texas 4-0 Sunday in the semifinals. After taking the contested doubles point, Ohio State swept singles play -- all in two sets. Wolf led the way with a 6-4, 6-1 win. Hunter Tubert followed with a 6-2, 7-6 win in a tiebreaker. No. 62 John McNally capped things of for the Buckeyes 7-5, 6-3. On the road to the semifinals, Ohio State also earned wins over No. 19 Tulane and No. 13 Virginia.
Then, on Monday, the Buckeyes got their revenge against Wake Forest in the final.