“They said the bullet position is more like a bigger safety. I’m probably one of the big safeties that we have so that type of position is why they picked that for me.”
In his third year at Ohio State, Brendon White will be lining up at his third different position for the Buckeyes. After practicing with the linebackers in his freshman year on campus, followed by hitting the field as a safety last year, White will be taking on Ohio State’s new “bullet” position.
The change for White shouldn’t be a major one though, as the “bullet” position is a combination of linebacker and safety. New co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and linebackers coach Al Washington used the position the last few years at Michigan. Jabrill Peppers and Khaleke Hudson are a couple notable Wolverines who were tasked with playing the position.
White made a name for himself in the latter part of 2018 at safety, and even bigger things are expected from him this year. With his size, White should be able to cover bigger tight ends, as well as helping out in run defense. After a couple years of searching for the right position, the “bullet” seems like it is perfectly tailored for White. With two years of eligibility remaining with the Buckeyes, White can set the tone in terms of what is expected for those tasked with playing the “bullet” position in the future.
“We’re running a little bit more zone. It’s a good mix this year. Last year, we played a lot of man.”
Last year the Ohio State secondary was a mess in coverage. The Buckeyes had prided themselves on a press, man-to-man coverage, but it wasn’t nearly as effective last year as it was in years past. Along with a stubbornness to adjust their coverage, Ohio State defensive backs struggled with ball awareness, only allowing them to intercept 11 pass last season.
With an overhauled defensive coaching staff, Ohio State is working on using more zone coverage this year. Head coach Ryan Day put new co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley in charge of the secondary. Hafley spent much of this decade as a secondary coach in the NFL, where zone coverage is used more, so it only makes sense that the Buckeyes will try use more zone this year. With the use of more zone coverage, it should allow the defensive backs to see the football better, and hit their goal of 15 interceptions this season.
With talent like Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade patrolling the secondary, it shouldn’t take Ohio State long to see an improvement in the secondary this season. With a mixture of man-to-man and zone coverage, expect opponents to have a harder time moving the football through the air against the Buckeyes. The communication between the new defensive coaching staff and secondary has been better as well, which should allow the defensive back to play with more confidence, which should worry opponents on Ohio State’s 2019 schedule.
In his 12th year in the NBA, Mike Conley became the Memphis Grizzlies’ all-time leading scorer. Conley was the fourth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and has spent his whole career in Memphis. Ohio State had two of the first four picks in that year’s NBA Draft, with Greg Oden being selected by the Portland Trailblazers with the first pick. While Oden’s career didn’t pan out as planned due to injuries, Conley has turned into one of the most consistent point guards in the NBA. The former Buckeye is one of just three NBA players to hold franchise records for points, assists, steals, three-pointers, and games played, joining LeBron James and Reggie Miller on the prestigious list.
Even though the Grizzlies are struggling this year, Conley is putting together the best season of his career. Conley is currently averaging a career-high 20.9 points per game and is dishing out 6.4 assists per game. There were rumors that Conley was going to be moved to a playoff contender at the trade deadline, but a trade never materialized. Memphis did trade Marc Gasol at the trade deadline, allowing Conley to move up to the top of the franchise’s all-time scoring list quicker.
Now that Conley has become the all-time leading scorer in Memphis, there are only a couple things hopefully left on the horizon for the point guard before his career comes to an end. Shockingly, Conley has never been selected to an All-Star Game despite averaging at least 15 points in each of the last six seasons. Also, Conley is still looking for an NBA title, which is something that will likely have to come outside of Memphis, as the Grizzlies are in rebuilding mode. Even if Conley doesn’t reach either of those goals, he’ll still be remembered as one of the best Ohio State Buckeyes to play in the NBA.
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