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Buckeye Bits: Master Teague’s rehab, Kierstan Bell transfer, and more

All the latest Ohio State news from around the beat

Ohio State v Northwestern Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Generally when times get tough, we look to sports as a distraction from the real world. In an unprecedented time without any major sporting events, especially during a period which should feature some of the greatest sports weekends of them all with the NCAA Tournament, that has become increasingly difficult. Luckily, even without games being played, there is still a pretty steady flow of Ohio State news to at least try to keep our minds off things for a little bit.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Despite heavy restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio State has done a phenomenal job keeping the recruiting game going strong. Yesterday, they sent out new offers to a wide receiver and an offensive lineman. The Buckeyes 2021 class currently ranks No. 1 in the country with its 14 commits and average player rating of .9509.

There may not be an actual NCAA Tournament this year, but we can at least attempt to figure out how one would have looked. Via SB Nation’s FanPulse, votes are being tallied in a makeshift bracket to find the peoples’ champ of 2020. As a No. 5 seed, Ohio State defeated Yale rather handily in the first round, garnering 74 percent of the votes, and now has a matchup with No. 4 Seton Hall in round two.

Speaking of voting and brackets, make sure to cast your vote in LGHL’s own current ongoing tournament, where we look to find the best Ohio State play of the decade. We have already advanced to the Sweet 16, and you can vote now on the top plays in the quarterback and running back regions. Be on the lookout tomorrow for when the rest of the Sweet 16 is released.

You can never have enough Ohio State apparel in your closet — especially when it involves championship gear. The Buckeyes may not have gotten the chance to compete for an actual title this season, but if the Washington Post simulation says that OSU won it all, who am I to argue?

From around the gridiron...

Ryan Day hopped on a teleconference call to speak to the media for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak. Obviously there was a lot to discuss with the Ohio State head coach, but one of the big stories of the offseason has been Master Teague’s injury. Day said that the redshirt sophomore remained in Columbus to continue rehabbing is injured achilles, and that he is “hopeful” Teague will have a speedy recovery, but that they aren't rushing it.

One of Day’s biggest messages throughout his teleconference was accountability and making sure everyone is staying on schedule. Without spring practice, it can be hard for guys to keep on schedule and be ready for the start of the season. Day said he is in constant contact with his coaches and players, and that he feels everyone is handling the situation well. He also hopes the NCAA will allow for extra workouts in the summertime, like the NFL’s OTA model, if and when things return back to normal.

There’s already been rumblings that the college football season may be in jeopardy depending on how long this pandemic and the restrictions that come with it continue on. Day isn’t concerning himself with that notion, and is just moving forward controlling the things he can control. If Ryan Day isn't worried, I'm not worried.

Quickly becoming a crowd favorite through his enormous size and fun personality, the 6-foot-8, 360-pound offensive lineman has shown a ton of promise in limited playing time at Ohio State. Jones is a bit of a project player, already obviously possessing the physical tools to play the position but still a little raw in terms of talent. It will be an uphill battle for him to win the starting right tackle spot over a pair of five-stars in Nicholas Petit-Frere or Paris Johnson, but Jones’ time will come.

From around the hardwood...

The Ohio State women’s basketball team lost a huge piece on Wednesday, as the top-rated player in the Buckeyes’ 2019 class announced via Twitter she will be entering the transfer portal. A five-star recruit, Bell was one of the top high school players in Ohio history, affectionally earning her the nickname “She-Bron.” She was Ohio State’s second-leading scorer this past season, averaging 10.9 points per game.

The Ohio State’s men’s basketball roster will look a bit different next season. While Kaleb Wesson mulls over his decision of whether or not to go pro, the Bucks already know they will be without D.J. Carton, Alonzo Gaffney and Andre Wesson. They do however, have new additions coming in the form of transfers Justice Sueing and Seth Towns, as well as budding young stars like E.J. Liddell.

From everywhere else...

While the NCAA seems to rarely do anything in the interest of its players, there may be some good news coming soon. According to basketball analyst Jeff Goodman, the association will have a vote on March 30 on whether or not winter and spring sports will receive an extra year of eligibility in response to time lost because of COVID-19 cancellations. It seems incredibly likely spring sports will benefit from this, as they lost an entire season, but unlikely for winter sports as those seasons, like basketball, were nearly played in full — minus postseason tournaments.

Former Ohio State safety Vonn Bell is returning back to the Buckeye State, as he has signed a new three-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. Bell, part of Ohio State’s National Championship team in 2014, spent the first four years of his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, who took him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He has started 45 games in his professional career, racking up 14 pass breakups with seven forced fumbles and an interception.

One of the best college basketball players in the nation, Dayton’s Obi Toppin, is declaring for the NBA Draft. The sophomore was phenomenal for the Flyers all season long, averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting over 63 percent. It is a shame we didn’t get the chance to see him compete in this year’s big dance, as he had helped lead Dayton to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The AP National Player of the Year is projected to be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft.