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Ohio State announces start time for the 2020 spring game

The Buckeyes will close out their spring practices with their annual spring game on Saturday April 11 at Ohio Stadium

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NCAA Football: Ohio State Spring Game Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today it was announced that the Ohio State football spring game will start at noon on Saturday, April 11. The annual scrimmage is the culmination of spring practices, which are scheduled to begin the week of March 2. To get ready for the upcoming season, Ohio State will have a total of 15 practices before breaking for a couple months ahead of preseason practices in the summer.

This will be Ryan Day’s second spring game as head coach. Last year’s spring game saw 61,102 fans in attendance, a number that was lower than some of the previous years because of offseason renovations to Ohio State. Ohio State holds the national record for spring game attendance after drawing 100,189 fans in 2016. The 2016 attendance total was slightly more than the 2015 figure, which saw 99,391 fans in attendance.

Tickets for the spring game went on-sale earlier today. General admission tickets for the spring game are $5, with a limited number of reserved club seats costing $15. Ohio State students with a valid BuckID will be able to get into the game for free. Parking for the spring game will be free.

“Coming here now, I’m not rated anything. I don’t have any stars. I’m a freshman at Ohio State looking to earn a position.”

Ohio State wide receiver Julian Fleming via Tim May, Letterman Row

Even though Julian Fleming is downplaying his recruiting rankings in high school, there’s no doubt expectations are high for the incoming wide receiver. Fleming was a five-star recruit coming out of Pennsylvania, and ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect by 247Sports and the top prospect in the ESPN300. Even with all those accolades, Fleming knows the slate has been wiped clean now that he has enrolled at Ohio State, and he’ll earn time on the field.

While Fleming might have been the biggest fish in a small pond in high school in Pennsylvania, now that he is at Ohio State, the wide receiver knows there are plenty of big fish at wide receiver in Columbus who will be competing against him for playing time. Last year Garrett Wilson was in a similar position as Fleming, coming to Ohio State as a highly-touted recruit. Wilson showed glimpses of why there was so much hype surrounding him, grabbing 30 passes and five touchdowns.

Even though guys like Wilson will be competing with Fleming for playing time, that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to make each other better. Wilson and C.J. Saunders have been working with Fleming during his first month on-campus, giving him the lay of the land and letting him know what the expectations are. Having a performance coordinator like Mickey Marotti and a wide receivers coach like Brian Hartline will also help Fleming adjust quicker to the college game by not only challenging him physically, but also mentally.

Expect to see Fleming make an impact similar to what Wilson made last year, especially since the Buckeyes will be looking to replace seniors K.J. Hill, Austin Mack, and Binjimen Victor. Ohio State has three other talented freshmen wide receivers coming into the fold this year, but with Fleming’s pedigree, expect him to be one of the first to start making a name for himself in Columbus this year.

“I can’t wait, I can’t wait. Spring’s going to be a big factor in my college career. So I’m doing everything I can to prepare for that moment.”

Ohio State defensive tackle Jaden McKenzie via Tony Gerdeman, The Ozone

Jaden McKenzie knew that his first season at Ohio State was going to be more about learning than seeing time on the field. After committing to the Buckeyes in the early December signing period, McKenzie didn’t end up enrolling at Ohio State until the summer, which caused him to miss spring practices last year. While the extra practices could have helped McKenzie, the depth chart ahead of him was loaded with veteran talent like Robert Landers, DaVon Hamilton, and Jashon Cornell.

The trio of seniors at defensive tackle are now gone, leaving the opportunity for players like McKenzie to step up and fill the void. McKenzie still doesn’t have a true position at defensive tackle, which makes the upcoming spring practices even more important for him. Even though the coaching staff doesn’t know exactly how McKenzie will fit into the defensive line, the answer will eventually be found as McKenzie continues to work with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who has turned countless players into NFL prospects during his college coaching career.

What McKenzie knows right now is that all he can do is to continue to work hard and growing as a player. The defensive tackle has been able to soak up the knowledge and teachings from Johnson and those ahead of him on the depth chart, and now is the time to start putting it together on the field. If there was a relatively unknown player on the Ohio State roster to keep an eye on to make big strides during spring practices, McKenzie would be that guy.

“We’re definitely looking to achieve more this year. We have our eyes set on bigger prizes. There’s definitely a different mindset to this team.”

Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler via Kevin Lapka, The Lantern

Ohio State baseball opens up their 2020 season this weekend in Florida, taking on St. Joseph’s on Friday, followed by matchups with Pitt and Indiana State to close out the weekend. The first 14 games of Ohio State’s season will be on the road in the south, with the first game for the Buckeyes in Columbus coming a month from today.

Expectations will be high for Buckeye baseball this year, as they return six position players and three starting pitchers from a team that went 36-27 last year and made it to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years. Even more of a reason for optimism for Ohio State the next few years is of their 38 players, 23 are underclassmen.

The ace of Ohio State’s pitching staff this year will be redshirt sophomore Seth Lonsway, who led the Big Ten in strikeouts in his freshman season. Lonsway will have Baseball America’s 2020 Big Ten Player of the Year Dillon Dingler behind the plate at catcher. Dingler received second team All-Big Ten honors a year ago.

A few more notable names for Ohio State heading into this season will also be in the infield for the Buckeyes. Leading the way will be seniors Matt Carpenter and Noah West, who missed the final 44 games of the 2019 season. To compliment the leadership of Carpenter and West will be Zach Dezenzo, who was named a freshman All-American last season.

Where the questions lie for Ohio State will be in the outfield, where the Buckeyes will have to replace All-American Dominic Canzone and Brady Cherry. Even with the holes in the outfield, the Buckeyes have enough experience in the infield and in the pitching staff to allow them to make a lot of noise in the Big Ten this year, and hopefully an even deeper run in the NCAA Tournament.

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