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Buckeye Bits: Ohio State players eager to get back to work, Justin Fields draws high praise, Trey Sermon looking healthy, more

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

Big Ten Football Championship - Ohio State v Wisconsin Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

While Fridays in quarantine life haven't meant much more than your typical day, this one feels a little bit more special. It’s Memorial Day Weekend, so hopefully we get some nice weather to enjoy the sun (at a safe distance from others) and enjoy the time off from the weird and confusing work-from-home grind.

Just try not to overdo it.

With the holiday weekend on the horizon, let’s kick things off with our Ohio State news roundup to keep you up to date before you pack away your laptop for the next few days.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

On the recruiting side of things, you can be assured that Ohio State will not be taking the weekend off. On Thursday the team offered another standout from the prestigious IMG Academy in Florida, a school Ryan Day has begun building quite the pipeline through. The 2021 class is shaping up to be one for the record books, and the staff is making sure they continue that success in 2022.

It’s easy to get caught up in the bad news these days — and boy does there seem to be a lot of it. Instead of tuning into your local news channel and being upset with everything going on, Tia and Meredith are here to save the day and provide you with some of the positives and silver linings of the current times. Plus, football season seems to have an increased likelihood of happening with each passing day, so thats always good!

Continuing on with the theme of Underdog Week, Brett breaks down one of Ohio State’s greatest victories as underdogs of all time: The Buckeyes defeat of the Hurricanes in the BCS National Championship game. So much had to happen for that upset to occur, not only in the game itself but in the season leading up to it. Brett takes a look back at the road for each team and how the game ultimately went down.

While Ohio State is having its student athletes return to campus as soon as June 8, that is not a universal sentiment across the college football landscape. Each conference has its own set of rules and regulations it must follow, and Tia took a look a what each of the Power-5 conferences are doing in regards to having its student athletes back at school.

From around the gridiron...

It isn’t just the fans that are excited about Ohio State’s players returning to campus and what that means for the probability of playing games this season, but the players themselves are pretty hyped about it as well. Obviously things aren’t in full swing just yet, as no more than 10 players will be allowed in the facility at one time, but anything resembling some form of normalcy is a welcomed change. Guys like Josh Myers are thrilled to be able to get back in a real weight room and see some of their teammates again after the long time away.

  • You think Ohio State is ready to use new proposed NIL capabilities to their advantage in the recruiting game? I’m sure these types of tweets are not a coincidence, but I am here for it. (Just FYI, since this post Justin Fields has gained A TON of followers on both Twitter and Instagram.)

Baron Browning was great in 2019, but he did not get to unleash his full potential as he split time at middle linebacker with Tuf Borland. Now, as the most likely suitor to fill the empty OLB spot left by Malik Harrison’s NFL departure, Ohio State may finally get to see the full extent of the former five-star recruit’s abilities. Besides his skillset as a hard-hitting, sure tackler in space, Browning really excels in the pass rush. As the returning player on defense with the most sacks from last season (five), it’s time to turn the 6-foot-3, 240 pound athlete loose.

If you haven't heard by now, that Justin Fields fella is pretty darn good at the whole quarterback thing. After taking the world by storm in his first year as a starter at the collegiate level, the junior now enters 2020 as the Heisman favorite. The hype continues to grow around Fields, as on Thursday private QB coach Quincy Avery called the OSU signal caller “the most talented quarterback I've ever come in contact with.” Avery, whose been training Fields during the quarantine, has also worked with guys such as former Buckeye QB Dwayne Haskins and two-time NFL Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson.

  • Oklahoma transfer RB Trey Sermon is coming off a torn ACL, but he looks pretty healthy right now as he works out during the offseason.

From around the hardwood...

The NCAA was getting prepared to vote on changes to the transfer rules, which would have allowed one-time transfers to be immediately eligible at their new school upon arrival. With that ruling being moved back to January, it now closes the door on any chance that Bucknell transfer Jimmy Sotos could have suited up for Ohio State this upcoming season. Sotos was planning to sit out until the 2021-22 season anyway, when the Buckeyes will need a point guard, and it now appears he would have not had any other options anyway.

Speaking of transfers in college basketball, it may have seemed at points like the sky was falling at Ohio State with all of the players they lost to the portal these past few seasons. However, it is clearly nothing out of the ordinary, as the total list of players transferring to new schools in 2020 has now reached a whopping 813 total names, with over 165 grad transfers. The Buckeyes themselves had three guys exit via the portal, with D.J. Carton, Luther Muhammad and Alonzo Gaffney all seeking opportunities elsewhere.

From everywhere else...

  • The Big Ten will not be holding their usual media days in July as originally scheduled.
  • Ohio State baseball is filling the sport’s void by replaying its Big Ten tournament victory over Michigan State in 2016.
  • The Onion usually finds ways to find the lighter side of almost any situation, which means not even floods in the state of Michigan are safe from an Ohio State joke.
  • Carlos Hyde is on the move yet again, this time to the Seattle Seahawks. It becomes the fifth different team the former Ohio State RB has joined since entering the NFL in 2014, previously playing for San Francisco, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Houston.