Welcome back to Buckeye Bits— your daily round up of all the happenings from around the Ohio State beat and elsewhere. Well, at least all the happenings we at LGHL deem worthy of your attention.
Anyone else have big plans for this year, or at the very least this summer, that were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question. Of course you did. Whether it was something small like a weekend getaway, or something a little more heartbreaking like a wedding or graduation, I feel for you. It sucks. And I don’t really have any advice on how to look at the bright side. But, I do have this meme:
Why is it still too soon?
From Land-Grant Holy Land...
Gene Ross, LGHL
A few days ago, we looked at Ohio State’s success as underdogs in recent years. Now we’re taking a look at the team’s current underdogs— the under the radar talents who are loaded with untapped potential. A prime example of an underdog turned superstar? How about the Buckeyes No. 1 wide receiver, Chris Olave?
The recruiting news mill is beginning to really heat up—we’ll get to that later—however one of the biggest story lines from yesterday was Ryan Day and his staff’s latest scholarship offer to a 2022 defensive end, Ernest “RJ” Cooper.
I took a look back at my personal favorite underdog story: 2018 Ohio State vs. Michigan. Remember that one? Michigan had its fun little Revenge Tour, they were supposed to “beat ‘Bama” that year, etc. All they had to do was beat Ohio State. All the odds were, literally, in their favor. And yet...
Meredith Hein, LGHL
If you leave this column feeling offended, or if you’re offended just from reading the title, then congratulations! You are the target audience for said column!
From around the gridiron...
More cryptic tweets!
Best defensive line in OSU history...— (@TunmiseAdeleye) May 19, 2020
Ohio State’s top 2021 commits are tweeting steaks and cryptic messages again. I haven’t the slightest idea of what’s happening, what they’re referring to, what the hell those steaks mean, and yet, this is me:
Dave Biddle, Bucknuts
Then I read this headline and, well, me again:
First reported by Biddle, Ohio State’s football players will report back to campus on Monday, June 8— something athletic director Gene Smith said is the safer option because players can be monitored by professionals. While this is good news, and should certainly make you nothing but optimistic about the future of football, there are still quite a few disclaimers. This Twitter thread by Austin Ward of Lettermen Row sums it up nicely:
.@davebiddle is reporting Buckeyes will be back on June 8, and I don't question his reporting at all.— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) May 20, 2020
But I'll add what @LettermenRow has heard for a couple key points, starting with the fact B1G/NCAA votes have to take place first. Ban on activities could still be extended.
So, while the players will be “on campus,” that does not equate to full-blown mandatory football practices and workouts taking place. It just means... they’re welcome to return to OSU if they’d like.
Austin Ward, Lettermen Row
In fact, Ward himself wrote more on how Ohio State actually plans to bring players back to the facility. He writes that the athletic department is taking the necessary precautions, sanitizing the entire Woody Hayes facility, putting together a list of rules for using the weight room and indoor field, preventing hands-on activities (good thing football isn’t a contact sport), and more.
More on that.
Smith said that they would have to come up with strategies with each group that comes to games (parents, donors, students, etc.). Smith mentioned about 20,000 to 22,000 fans in the stadium with some of the discussions they have had. He said that it is still ongoing.— Lantern Sports (@LanternSports) May 20, 2020
In a teleconference on Wednesday afternoon, Smith addressed the new “June 8” agenda, including a statement about possibly allowing up to 22,000 fans in the stands for games, however that is still an ongoing conversation.
Among other things, Smith also said he believes the season can go on if one school out of the Big Ten was unable to play, schedule decisions would need to be made by early July, players wearing masks is unrealistic, and he “just wants to play.”
Check out The Lantern’s twitter thread for more of Smith’s comments.
Another day, another top/highest graded/No. 1 ranked something or other for Ohio State
Highest graded Big Ten DTs in 2019:— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 19, 2020
1. Jashon Cornell, Ohio State
2. Robert Landers, Ohio State
3. Davon Hamilton, Ohio State pic.twitter.com/xH43XqPzCl
Can someone then tell me how an NFL team has yet to scoop up Robert Landers???
Bill Kurelic, Bucknuts
The latest 2021 Top247 recruiting rankings are out and Ohio State defensive tackle commit Mike Hall received the biggest bump of any of the Buckeyes’ 18 commitments. Hall jumped from the nation’s No. 121 overall prospect to No. 59, and his rating went from 93 to 94.
Hall isn’t the only Buckeye to see their ratings increase. Out of the 14 commits who were listed in the updated Top247, eight saw their ranking rise.
He makes our life easy.
I don't really even have a joke for this. Jimmy kind of handled that all on his own. https://t.co/lXBuyx6IFy— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) May 20, 2020
Jim, you’ve had so. many. chances!
From around the hardwood...
Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors
Now that the Buckeyes’ former starting center, Kaleb Wesson, has his eyes on the NBA, Ohio State has to make quite a few adjustments. As Hass-Hill writes, its not really about finding Wesson’s replacement at the position, but rather adjusting their entire approach. One idea Holtmann offered was building a lineup without a traditional center— something a lot of teams are already doing.
From everywhere else...
Cal and UCLA will have open campuses in the fall. https://t.co/VNpS9ybKUi— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) May 20, 2020
Still, this is chock-full of disclaimers and rules and exceptions, but it’s another step in the right direction! The right direction being football happening and the Pac-12 being a part of it.
More good news!
Sources: The NCAA Division I Council voted to approve voluntary athletic activities in football, MBB and WBB to start June 1st and go through June 30th. There had been a moratorium on that through May 31st. Other sports will be acted on on a later date.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) May 20, 2020
I wonder how Ohio State’s head coaches will interpret the word “voluntary”....
Today is an extremely important day.
Leave. Dog. Photos. In. Comments. Now. Please.
Take my money!