Friends, I never know what to say in the intros for these Buckeye Bits articles. Chances are that you aren’t really reading them anyway. You’ve already skipped over this section and have gone straight to the links and stories, which is what you opened the article for in the first place. But, if for some illogical reason you are still reading this, would you indulge me as I ask you to be good to each other during these crazy times?
Whether it’s because we all have more time to be aggressively online these days, or because everyone’s nerves and stress levels are higher than normal, I’ve noticed a lot of people being extra condescending on the social meeds lately, and purposely going after others for either having a different opinion or for making an honest mistake in good faith. Please don’t be that person who looks to attack others as a first response. Sure, attack if it is absolutely necessary, but have a little grace and empathy for others, especially right now. I promise, it will make you feel better too.
Anyway, here’s the Ohio State news of the day. Enjoy!
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Tia Johnston, Land-Grant Holy Land
It is really difficult to wrap your head around just how dominate Ohio State’s position is in the world of football recruiting right now. Not only are they No. 1 with a bullet, but with an entire arsenal. They currently have 16 commits in the 2021 class (three five-stars, 11 four-stars, and two three-stars). Clemson is second nationally in the 247Sports rankings with one five-star and nine four-stars, but Wisconsin is in second in the Big Ten ratings with three four-stars and seven three-stars. Good luck to you, Bucky.
Me, Land-Grant Holy Land
This confirms it, ESPN hates Ohio State.
Still me, Land-Grant Holy Land
The voting is over, but you should sign up anyway, we’ve got a new question for you every week.
Brett Ludwiczak, Land-Grant Holy Land
I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy the games where Ohio State beats the ever-loving snot out of TTUN. I know that there are some that think M*ch*g*n needs to be better in order to make the rivalry more important, but girl, please. I lived through the Cooper years, I don’t like stressful rivalry games like the one in 2016 (other than the spot and the outcome, of course).
Give me a butt-kicking every single year, and I will die a happy Buckeye fan.
From around the gridiron...
Bill Landis, The Athletic
I don’t want to give away too much of this article, since The Athletic is subscriber-based, but the detail which Landis goes into for this piece is incredible, and it shows just how special Justin Fields is, and how much more room for improvement he has.
The concern — for both him personally and Buckeye Nation — is how much progress can he make on his own, without the watchful eyes of Ryan Day and Corey Dennis? Hopefully a lot, but I am sure that it won’t be as much as if he were on campus all spring, summer, and fall.
There is only one DBU, and it’s the BIA. And if you think it’s outside the 614, your brain is MIA.
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Due to a constant string of injuries at the defensive end position in 2019 (and the ludicrous Chase Young suspension), Zach Harrison got a lot of playing time as a true freshman, and generally looked pretty impressive doing it; he finished the season with 24 tackles, 5 for loss, and 3.5 sacks.
By comparison, during their freshman years, Nick Bosa’s stat line was 29/7/5 and Young’s was 18/5/3.5. If Harrison is able to continue to develop his body and technique, there is no reason to believe that he won’t continue the long line of OSU DEs taking the league by storm and becoming one of the best players in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Oh, and speaking of Chase Young, he is the best player in the draft, period.
Dan Hope, Eleven Warriors
First off, I would hope that Ryan Day would say that he was very impressed with Trey Sermon now that he is officially a Buckeye. But what is encouraging is that Day speaks so highly about what he learned during the unusual recruiting process about what kind of person Sermon is off of the field.
With J.K. Dobbins gone, Marcus Crowley coming off of an ACL injury from late in the 2019 season, and Master Teague suffering an Achilles injury on the first day of the abbreviated spring practice, OSU obviously needed some help at running back. But, to get an experienced, 2,000+ yard rusher who can bridge the gap and be a bit of a leader for the still very young running back room seems like a perfect fit. I’m excited to see what he can do whenever the next college football season kicks off.
Did you not hear me the first time? CHASE. YOUNG. IS. THE. BEST. PLAYER. IN. THE. DRAFT.
From around the hardwood...
Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors
It is probably better for my credibility that I did not have the opportunity to make my NCAA Tournament picks, because I likely would have had Ohio State going much further than the so-called experts recommended. But, the way that Chris Holtmann had his team rebounding following the disastrous month of January really showed just how much potential that version of the Ohio State men’s basketball team had.
They were still dealing with a injuries, one player out for mental health reasons, and another out for never-completely-confirmed reasons, but the way that they were playing at the end of the regular season was just so exciting that I probably would have gone all-in on them making at least the Elite Eight, maybe the Final Four, depending on the match-ups.
Chris Lauderback, Eleven Warriors
Two of these inclusions are really important to my OSU basketball loving history. The first is Jay Burson’s 1988-89 season. The injury that Burson suffered was shocking and confusing to my seven-year-old mind. Seeing this player that I loved forced to wear a halo-neck brace really instilled in me a ton of respect for athletes and the sacrifices that they make.
Then there is Brent Darby’s 2002-03 season, which was my senior year at Ohio State. The team was pretty bad that year, but I have so many fond memories of watching that team. Check out the article and learn something, you whipper-snappers.
From everywhere else...
It’s time for the NCAA to get their collective butts in gear and figure out a way to allow athletes to be fairly compensated. If they don’t, the NCAA will be dramatically undercutting its ability to make money, according to this study. Sure, there will always be an appetite for college football, but if the best of the best find ways to make money and get themselves ready for the NFL outside of the college football structure, things could become very bad for the NCAA.
Need proof? We have a case study in process right now in college basketball. On Thursday, five-star prospect Jalen Green announced that — like five-star prospect Isaiah Todd earlier in the week — he would be opting to head to the NBA G League instead of playing college basketball.
The reasoning is that he can make up to $1 million in the one year that he would otherwise be forced to go to college, and the G League’s new structure guarantees that athletes that skip school to go through their process will have their college tuition taken care of when they eventually decide to pursue an education.
Obviously the G League process isn’t easily replicated for football, but if the NFL someday gives players the opportunity to go through a training and exhibition schedule in what otherwise would be their junior year? I could see some big time players going that route eventually. And if they are successful, more will undoubtedly follow suit, causing big time problems for the NCAA and its member institutions.
Is this the end of college sports as we know it? Of course not. But, it is foolish to think that the ever changing economics of the world that we live in won’t eventually catch up with the out-dated, reductive rules of the NCAA.
What’s the over/under on when ish has to be shut down again because Ohioans don’t “live up to the challenge of doing things differently”?
I am an optimist and am confident that Ohioans will also live up to the challenge of doing things differently as we open back up beginning on May 1st.— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) April 16, 2020
When this was announced this morning, I didn’t think that there was really any chance that the Memorial would actually happen in July, but based on DeWine’s statement, maybe it will.
If it does happen, it certainly won’t be like the tournament that we have been used to for decades, as there will undoubtedly have to be public health concessions made to accommodate the gathering. But, if it can be done safely for the players, workers, and fans (if fans are allowed), then bring on the golf, baby. And who knows, maybe playing it in July will mean that it won’t rain the entire tournament.
When the @PGATOUR needed to revamp its schedule, the @MemorialGolf Tournament quickly supported the idea of moving to a new date. And now, we appreciate the TOUR giving the Memorial the opportunity to fill a void in the schedule and to bring golf to Central Ohio from July 13-19. pic.twitter.com/UEljv6yyCI— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) April 16, 2020
I’m gonna need a phonetic spelling of this dude’s name, stat.
Crew president Tim Bezbatchenko says the team has shipped equipment to every one of their players, so they can workout wherever they're at. "The hardest thing is not knowing when you're going to start up again." pic.twitter.com/XuvKi9FQmh— Lori Schmidt (@LoriSchmidt) April 16, 2020
And now for something completely different...
As Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman," Brian Dennehy was able to make one man’s inner darkness uncannily visible https://t.co/G6VKfXBhcS— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) April 16, 2020
One of the greatest actors of our (or any) time has passed away. Brian Dennehy was one of the best to ever do it, and was one of the most beloved, generous people in the business. Now, if you will allow me to momentarily make his passing about me, I interviewed him more than four years ago, and was more nervous than I normally am for phoners.
But, his warmth and intelligence immediately put my mind at ease and led to a really interesting conversation about acting, his love of the theatre, and life in general. I will forever cherish the opportunity that I had to speak with him, and to enjoy his work on both stage and screen for so many years.
Godspeed, Mr. Dennehy.