Today should be a day in which we are celebrating the start of the NCAA Tournament. The COVID-19 has put not on sports on hold, but most of the world on hold. While the country and the world have come to a halt, Ohio State has been churning out content, with the latest masterpiece being their version of “One Shining Moment”.
The other day the Washington Post ran a simulated NCAA Tournament, which saw Ohio State crowned as champions. Even though we’ll never know exactly how the 2020 NCAA Tournament will play out, at least Ohio State fans have some fun until things get back to normal by claiming a national championship, but they can at least relive a crazy 2019-20 season with a compilation highlighting some of the best moments from the Buckeyes this year.
“He is one of the Top 5 toughest dudes we ever coached.”
Ohio State men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann on Andre Wesson via The Ohio State Athletic Department
Ohio State’s men’s basketball team should either have already played their NCAA Tournament first round game today, or preparing to play tonight or tomorrow. Instead, the world is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cancelled this year’s NCAA Tournament.
The loss of not only the Big Ten Tournament, but also the NCAA Tournament kept Andre Wesson from fully completing his college career. Even though Wesson was at least able to be honored on March 5th prior to the game against Illinois on Senior Night, Wesson’s college career didn’t get the finish it deserved.
The Westerville product originally signed with Ohio State when Thad Matta was head coach of the Buckeyes. Wesson’s college career got off to a slow start, as he averaged just 11 minutes per game and 2.3 points per game in his freshman season, which ended with Ohio State failing to qualify for postseason play after posting just a 17-15 season.
Chris Holtmann took over for Matta after Wesson’s freshman season and since then Wesson has seen his role expand with the Buckeyes throughout his career. To say Wesson put his body and health on the line for Ohio State would be an understatement, as not only did Wesson lose a pair of teeth in a game in 2018, but he also suffered a fractured eye socket in the season opener this year.
While Wesson might not have put up huge stats during his time at Ohio State, he was an important piece of Holtmann’s first three years in Columbus. Wesson gave his all on both ends of the court, and his leadership was paramount over the last few years, as Ohio State has worked to become a national power on the hardwood. There’s no doubt that the Buckeyes will be hard-pressed to replace the heart and determination that Wesson played the game with.
“Now that I’m here I don’t pay attention to the stars or anything about that because we’re all one team and we work together so I don’t pay attention to my ranking. I love the challenge actually.”
With the Ohio State roster littered with four and five-star recruits, sometimes it can be a little intimidating for those ranked a little lower when they come to Columbus. Offensive lineman Trey Leroux isn’t one of those who is intimidated by the challenge, but then again not much can intimidate someone who is 6-foot-8 and over 300 pounds.
Leroux was one of the early arrivals on campus, joining the Ohio State football team in January. In less than a month, Leroux went from 360 pounds to 330 pounds after working with strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti. The work that Marotti has been doing with Leroux could help to turn him into one of the most underrated recruits of Ohio State’s 2020 recruiting class.
With four starters returning on the offensive line, Ohio State won’t need Leroux to make an impact immediately. Since the pressure is off Leroux initially, the offensive lineman from Norwalk can adjust to what the coaching staff is expecting from him. With his size and the work Marotti is doing to get Leroux’s body to where Ohio State wants it, it’s likely that Leroux will be a factor for the Buckeyes in the future. The thoughts of an Ohio State line with monsters like Dawand Jones and Leroux should be enough to scare any team in the country.
The #Giants are bringing in a familiar face for coach Joe Judge, as former #Patriots special teams ace Nate Ebner is set to join NYG, source said. The ex-rugby star had been with New England since 2012.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 19, 2020
After Malcolm Jenkins and Eli Apple announced where they would be heading in NFL free agency, the latest former Buckeye on the move is Nate Ebner, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. During his time with the Patriots, Ebner was a part of three Super Bowl winning teams, and in 2016 was named Second Team All-Pro. The move makes a lot of sense considering the New York Giants hired New England’s special teams coordinator Joe Judge as their head coach.
When Ebner enrolled at Ohio State he was playing on the United States U-19 and U-20 national rugby teams, but he decided to walk-on to the Ohio State football team prior to his junior season. In his two years with the Buckeyes, Ebner not only won the Bo Rein Award as the team’s most inspirational player, but he also earned the Ike Kelley Award as the team’s best special team player.
Not only is Ebner a three-time Super Bowl champion, but he also was a part of the United States rugby sevens team that qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The United States team failed to win a game at the games in Rio de Janeiro, but he was able to register a couple tries during the competition, which was the first time rugby sevens was played at the Olympics.
Ebner is now the lone former Buckeye currently on the roster of the New York Giants. Ebner will provide some leadership to a New York Giants team that not only has a new head coach, but who are also preparing to play without the face of their franchise, as quarterback Eli Manning decided to retire in the offseason. New head coach Joe Judge will likely lean heavily on Ebner, who is very familiar with what Judge will expect from players.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Giant Eagle will be opening an hour early on select days to accommodate those shoppers at least 60 years old or who have compromised immune systems.
- COTA has announced they are suspending fares during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
- A t-shirt has been released for sale with 100% of the proceeds going to help the employees of Ohio State campus area bars.
- Daniel Dae Kim is the latest celebrity to announce that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
- ESPN8: The Ocho will be returning to ESPN2 on Sunday March 22nd.