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Buckeye Bits: Drake on football’s future, OSU’s next superstars, more

All the latest Ohio State news from around the beat and beyond.

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NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Ohio State vs Clemson Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

Ok, it’s our daily check-in. How are you doing? Are you getting enough fresh air? Do you have some sort of mask to wear when you go to the liquor grocery store? Also, call your mother.

There is always something to talk about when it comes to Ohio State, even when there is nobody left on campus and the athletics department is more or less at a standstill. We here at LGHL are committed to compiling all of the recent Buckeye headlines from around the beat for your viewing pleasure between the fifth and sixth time you walk your dog today out of boredom.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Ohio State makes the cut for the nation’s No. 1 corner
Tia Johnston, Land-Grant Holy Land

Kerry Coombs is doing his thing, and I absolutely love it. How’s this for a new nickname for the recruiting superstar? Bring Him Home Coombs. No? Not feeling it? Ok, I’ll keep workshopping it.

Opinion: Ohio State deserves better than Value City Arena
Brett Ludwiczak, Land-Grant Holy Land

Everyone knows that the Value City Arena wasn’t built for basketball. It was designed to host concerts and other events that could add to the athletic department’s bottom line, and I ain’t mad about that. But, if you want the Ohio State basketball teams to ever be considered with the elites in the country, you have to have an environment to match, and that will never happen at The Schott.

Save on LGHL’s ‘New Day,’ ‘Undisputed Champs*’ t-shirts in BreakingT warehouse sale

These are great shirts, in my opinion, and not just because I designed them. They are on sale now, so buy them. What else do you have to do?

From around the gridiron...

Coronavirus I Ohio State’s Michael Drake says football season will be impacted (Paywall)
Joey Kaufman, The Columbus Dispatch

No matter what you believe about the shelter-in-place orders that various states, counties, cities, and municipalities have issued in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, there is no doubt that they are going to have an incalculable impact on the college football season.

Not only will each individual municipality have to sign off on large, public gatherings before games can start (with or without fans), but schools are likely going to be very wary of allowing the public to congregate on their campus when there is still the chance of the virus being spread. Colleges don’t want to be held liable for people getting sick, and if people are too afraid to congregate in public, holding the events would cost the schools a lot of money.

While I do believe that there will be a college football season at some point during the 2020-21 academic year, I am not super confident that it will be in the fall — when the virus’ second wave is expected to hit. I imagine high-level government and university officials would far prefer to wait until there is a vaccine for COVID-19 before allowing large assemblies to resume. But, experts don’t believe that a vaccine will be ready for about another year.

So, if we’re going to get college football this academic year, we’re going to have to expect and accept that it probably ain’t gonna look like we are used to it looking.

Searching for which Ohio State Players Will Reach Superstar Status in 2020
Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors

There is no doubt that Ohio State’s roster is full of talented players, but there is a difference between a talented, future NFL player and a superstar — especially at OSU where the bar has been set so high.

Despite being a Heisman finalist in 2019, I wouldn’t put Justin Fields in the superstar category just yet, but he most certainly is on the precipice. Other high-level returning players like Chris Olave and Shaun Wade are most likely the next superstars — as Hass-Hill notes — but I’d be willing to put Zach Harrison and Taron Vincent in this mix as well.

Speaking of superstars, Chase Young is the best player in the draft. Oh, and look at that nice percentage chance for Chase Young to be selected second over all.

Could Ohio State football’s 2021 recruiting class be the nation’s highest-rated class of all time?
Stephen Means,

Ohio State currently has 10 percent of the top 100 players in the country committed to their 2021 recruiting class. That is bonkers when you consider that they haven’t had a commitment since the end of March, and many of those pledges came while all in-person recruiting was shut down.

Ryan Day is reportedly an excellent closer when it comes to recruiting, but the bulk of the credit, imho, goes to the incredible group of assistant coaches that he has assembled. This group of players also appears to be very committed to helping the recruiting process for other players as well, which will hopefully help them down the stretch when it comes to landing and retaining the top-line talent.

Virus measures set back Ohio State football recruiting
Joey Kaufman, The Columbus Dispatch

Obviously the NCAA’s limitations on in-person recruiting have significantly derailed the normal recruiting calendar, but judging by the Ohio State football team’s recent run on top-level talent, there is probably no one better to be handling this ever-evolving landscape than Mark Pantoni. The only problem is that I don’t want him giving away too many of his secrets in articles like this.

Athletic directors favor playoff expansion, survey shows
Sam Marsdale, 247Sports

Eight teams. All Power 5 champions. Three at-larges. Quarterfinals at the home stadium of the higher seed. No conference title games. All conferences must play nine league games. Done. You’re welcome. Moving on.

From around the hardwood...

“We’re playing basketball.”

Folks, we’re going to have live “sports” this weekend. Former Buckeye great Mike Conley Jr. will be taking on four-time Olympic Gold medalist, former WNBA MVP, and recent Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Tamika Catchings.

How Ohio State’s attrition stacks up in the Big Ten (Paywall)
Adam Jardy, Columbus Dispatch

Earlier this week, our Connor Lemons dove head first into all of the roster changes happening for Chris Holtmann’s men’s basketball team. In the article above, Jardy compared the four players that OSU has lost from the 2018 and ‘19 recruiting classes with those of the other Big Ten schools. Those numbers are interesting, and puts the OSU attrition in some much needed context.

But, for me, what’s the most interesting thing in this article is what comes at the very end. Because of the in-coming transfers of Seth Towns, Justice Sueing, and Jimmy Sotos, the near future of Holtmann’s teams will be veteran-heavy, meaning a smaller recruiting class. Holtmann has spoken in the past about wanting to have veteran-led teams, and while this might not have been the way that he wanted to get them, it looks like he has managed to do just that by hook or by crook.


I love The Basketball Tournament. It is one of the highlights of the summer to me. Just as we are (normally) gearing up for fall football camps to start, we get this sudden, entertaining, nostalgic burst of competitive basketball. I hope that Carmen’s Crew has a chance to chase their second straight $2 million prize this summer.

Seth Davis’ early top 25: Gonzaga, Baylor and Villanova are on top right now
Seth Davis, The Athletic

Ohio State comes in at No. 24 on this list, but even though they are only losing one scholarship senior (Andre Wesson), it’s going to be very interesting to see who will be the starters and contributors to the squad whenever they end up taking the court.

Who now?

I’m apparently Kevin Huerter and Trevion Williams. Um... ok. How did some of these randos (no offense... ok, some offense) end up on the list?

The is going live tomorrow. Tune in on The Athletic!

From everywhere else...

While Ohio State athletics guarantees scholarships for spring seniors, Wisconsin says ‘move on’
Nathan Baird,

What an absolutely garbage move by Wisconsin. The Badgers are the first Power 5 school to decide not to honor the scholarships of spring sport seniors who were given an extra year of eligibility after their seasons were cancelled in part or full.

I understand that there is a financial aspect of providing another year of a scholarship to these athletes, but nearly no spring sport athlete receives a full athletic scholarship. The NCAA scholarship limits for these sports is less than what you need to field a team, meaning that most athletes only get some of their financial aid through the athletic department. The rest is either academic, Pell Grant, student loans, their parents, or other sources.

So, the move for Wisconsin to turn its back on these athletes is an embarrassment to the institution, and athletic director Barry Alvarez should be ashamed that this is the official stance of his department, “What we tried to do was encourage our seniors to go ahead and, if you’re going to graduate, graduate and move on with your life.”

“If you can’t complete, you can’t yell ‘Yeet’.” ~ Johnnie Cochran, I think

Statement from The Ohio State University regarding completion of Jeffrey Epstein review
The Ohio State University

Do Les Wexner next.

2, 4, 8.

We’re done here. Have a nice day. Wash your hands. Take care of yourselves. Be nice to each other. And stay the hell at home.