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Buckeye Bits: Maurice Clarett’s turnaround, Haskins vs. Burrow, more

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

Maurice Clarett carries the ball Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Welcome back to Buckeye Bits, our daily collection of Ohio State news and notes from all corners of the internet. Today is Tuesday, in case you have lost track of all semblance of time as I certainly have. I don't have any particularly funny quips or quarantine related jokes for you today, so let’s just get right into the action.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

As I'm sure you're well aware of, Ohio State’s 2021 class is shaping up to be one for the record books. Tony Grimes, the nation’s top corner, is set to release his top three schools later this month. If I were a betting man, I'd say the Buckeyes have a good chance to make the cut (likely alongside Georgia and Virginia Tech).

Clarett’s physical style of play led him to more than a few injuries in his freshman campaign, forcing him to miss some time and ultimately leave him out of the Heisman race. But, what would have happened if Clarett had played a full healthy season in 2002? Matt dives into the stats and compares him to the other Heisman finalists at the time to determine the possible outcome.

It’s “What If” week at SB Nation, which gives us a chance to look back at some hypotheticals in Ohio State history. Yesterday, I dipped into what I think was a big missed opportunity in the 2017 Big Ten title game. Would the Buckeyes loss to Iowa been too much to overcome even with a blowout win over No. 4 Wisconsin to end the season? Maybe, but we’ll never know for sure.

Have you ever been sitting there watching a Big Ten basketball game and thought to yourself, “man, that coach reminds me of a Marvel hero/villain, but I can’t figure out which one!” Well, wonder no more, as Connor — armed with many hours of quarantine movie watching — has broken down each coach in the B1G and found their Marvel counterpart. Find out why Chris Holtmann is Nick Fury, and much much more.


From around the gridiron...

Clarett put on one of the greatest freshman campaigns from the running back position in Buckeye history in 2002, helping lead Ohio State to the National Championship that year. But then, he got himself into trouble, being dismissed from the team after receiving improper benefits and later serving jail time for an armed robbery. Now, he has turned his life around, giving back to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio and telling his story to help college athletes avoid the same mistakes he made.

Ohio State lost its top linebacker to the NFL Draft this offseason in Malik Harrison, but the group returns a ton of depth in 2020, including the under-the-radar K’Vaughan Pope. The rising junior picked off a pair of passes last season in a reserve role, and has shown flashes of play-making ability for the Buckeyes in limited playing time. Boren, a former OSU LB himself, breaks down the film on Pope and discusses what makes him such an intriguing piece of the defense moving forward.

  • That Wyatt Davis fella? Yea, he’s pretty good...

Ohio State fans generally have a lot to look forward to on Sundays as well, as so many former Buckeyes find themselves on NFL rosters these days. However, this year’s schedule will provide an added treat for fans of the Scarlet and Gray. In Week 11, the Washington Redskins host the Cincinnati Bengals, pitting Dwayne Haskins and Joe Burrow against one another for the first time since spring camp in 2018.

  • On Tuesday, Bill Myles, a former assistant football coach and associate athletic director at Ohio State, passed away at age 83. Myles had been battling lung issues, and was in the hospital for several weeks prior to his passing. Serving under Woody Hayes as OSU’s O-line coach in 1977, he remained on the staff under Earle Bruce until 1984, where he then began a 22-year stretch as an administrator before retiring in 2008.
  • I would argue this past year was Garrett Wilson’s beginning of his breakout, but with an increased role in 2020, the sophomore wideout is going to absolutely dominate.

From around the hardwood...

  • After releasing the numbers for the latest additions via the transfer portal on Monday, the Ohio State hoops Twitter account put out the numbers for its two freshman additions on Tuesday. Eugene Brown III, a four-star shooting guard from Decatur, GA, will wear No. 3. Zed Key, a three-star center from New York, will wear No. 23.

The Big Ten Conference announced on Monday all of the student-athletes in winter sports that earned Academic All-Big Ten accreditation, with 94 Buckeyes making the cut. The list included four members of the Ohio State mens basketball team, with Harrison Hookfin, Danny Hummer, Musa Jallow and Kyle Young all earring the distinction for their hard work in the classroom as well as on the court.

On the women’s side of the hardwood, another trio of Buckeyes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. Savitha Jayaraman, Dorka Juhasz and Aaliyah Patty all fulfilled the requirements for the distinction, which includes maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher. For the senior Jayaraman, it is her third time earning the honor, while it is the first time for the two sophomores.


From everywhere else...

  • Anavia Battle, a member of Ohio State’s women’s track and field team, was chosen as the 2019-20 Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year by the Big Ten coaches. The 2018 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Battle took home three B1G titles as a sophomore, including the 100m dash, 200m dash, and the 4x100m relay.
  • Ohio State will be well represented at the NORCECA U21 Pan American Cup, as men’s volleyball head coach Kevin Burch has been selected to lead the 2020 U.S. Men’s Junior National Training Team. He’s bringing one of his own along with him, as Buckeye signee Jacob Pasteur is a member of the team’s 20-man roster.
  • If you’re around my age, and grew up with your video game heyday occurring in the late 90s/early 2000s, then you likely dabbled in some Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. I remember fondly loading up my Playstation as a kid and playing those games for hours before heading outside and poorly trying to replicate the moves on my skateboard. Well, its back people!