Hopefully you all enjoyed your holiday weekend. It felt very odd to have a Memorial Day with no baseball games or big family barbecues, but that’s just the world we live in these days. Either way, the additional day off provided some extra time for rest and relaxation, and I'll take it any way I can get it.
But now, it’s back to work. Restrictions are slowly being lifted around the country as we continue to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and the major sports leagues move forward attempting to make plans for a safe return. College athletics are still very much up in the air, but it seems like our chances to have sports in the fall in some capacity get better by the day. With that being said, let’s dive into all the goings-on surrounding Ohio State.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Ohio State heavily targeting five-star center
(Dan Hessler, LGHL)
Ohio State’s football recruiting has been the talk of the town for most of this quarantine period, but don't think the basketball staff has just been sitting around. Chris Holtmann and the gang continue to power through the virtual recruiting world as they look to restock the talent in Columbus, and that effort continued with a virtual visit with one of the nation’s top prospects this past weekend.
Just how important is Trey Sermon to Ohio State’s plans this season?
(Gene Ross, LGHL)
The Buckeyes are certainly going to miss the presence of J.K. Dobbins in the backfield, but the 2020 offense is built to overcome it. An injured position group this offseason has made the running back room a huge question mark, but the addition of Trey Sermon via the transfer portal should be the perfect compliment to a somehow even more improved passing attack.
Why do sports make us cry?
(Tia Johnston, LGHL)
It’s a new themed week here at SB Nation, and this time around the theme is Sports Moments That Made You Cry. When your team wins, it feels like you personally can take on the world, but when they lose it can feel like life has lost all meaning. Tia breaks down why sports have such profound effects on us, and asks the question: When was the last sports moment that made you cry?
Yesterday’s Buckeye Bits
(Tia Johnston, LGHL)
ICYMI, catch yourself up on any Ohio State news you may have missed from over the holiday weekend, including the impact of the latest commitment in the 2021 class, Harry Miller’s musical talents, and much more.
From around the gridiron...
- Early season college football start times and broadcast schedules are usually determined on June 1, but that will not be the case this year. As the NCAA continues to look at all options in regards to playing a normal-ish season in 2020, the major conferences and TV networks have decided to delay the announcement until a later date.
Collectively, the conferences and television networks have agreed to an extension for determining college football’s early season game times beyond the standard June 1 deadline.— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) May 26, 2020
Special skillset makes Jeremy Ruckert weapon for Buckeyes
(Spencer Holbrook, Lettermen Row)
As a Long Island native who spent his college years in the Midwest myself, it’s very apparent how much more seriously high school football is taken outside of NY. That’s what makes it all that more impressive when someone from my home region, like tight end Jeremy Ruckert, gets recruited by a massive program like Ohio State. The Buckeyes aren’t known for utilizing their TEs all that much, but Ruckert’s special skillset may help increase his role.
Could 2021 QB Kyle McCord win a National Championship as a true freshman?
(Stephen Means, Cleveland.com)
Ryan Day is a quarterbacks coach at heart, and he has shown his expertise in the position early in his tenure at Ohio State. After snagging Justin Fields in the transfer portal, he has been able to haul in some big fish in recruiting in these upcoming classes, including five-star 2021 QB Kyle McCord. Just the third five-star QB to commit to OSU since 2000, the previous two have both started as true freshmen. Does McCord have what it take to lead the Buckeyes to a title in 2021 as Fields’ successor?
- Every time I see a new Ohio State statistic on twitter, it leads me to the same conclusion: I think the Buckeyes are pretty good at this whole football thing.
CFB's winningest programs the past 50 Seasons— CFB Home (@CFBHome) May 26, 2020
#1. Ohio State .790
#2. Oklahoma .765
#3. Alabama .761
#4. Nebraska .742
#5. Penn State .735
#6. Michigan .729
#7. Boise State .716
#8. USC .713
#9. FSU .701
#10. UGA .699 pic.twitter.com/zionOQvuXg
Conference-only schedule gaining traction for season
(Austin Ward, Lettermen Row)
With all the money that college football provides to programs, and with said programs already having lost a ton of revenue with the cancellation of March Madness, you can bet that the powers that be will look to have a season in 2020 in any way they can. While decisions regarding the schedule don't have to be made just yet, the idea of playing only conference games is gaining momentum. As Ward explains, both familiarity in terms of travel within the Big Ten and having every school on the schedule under the same governing body makes it an enticing solution should changes have to be made.
From around the hardwood...
While the NBA continue to try and figure out how to make its return, the TBT looks to provide us with some much needed summer basketball. For the fourth year in a row, Carmens Crew — a team of Buckeye alumni — will be competing in the tournament, and they added another new member on Tuesday in former OSU shooting guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.
The TBT is a 64-team, $2 million winner-take-all, single elimination, and fans of Ohio State will recognize a ton of names around the tourney. There are 15 total Buckeyes across three different teams in this year’s bracket. Our own Connor Lemons gives you the full breakdown:
• Andre Wesson (Big X)— Connor Lemons (@therealc_lemons) May 26, 2020
• Andrew Dakich (Big X)
• CJ Jackson (Big X)
• Keyshawn Woods (Big X)
• Kam Williams (Great Lakes Elite)
• Marc Loving (Great Lakes Elite)
Ohio State basketball signee Zed Key could be in mix at center
(Steve Helwagen, Bucknuts)
The OSU mens basketball roster has seen a ton of turnover this offseason, and outside of all the transfers in and out, Chris Holtmann will be welcoming two new freshman to the roster in guard Eugene Brown III and forward Zed Key. With the exit of Kaleb Wesson, the 6-foot-8 Key could play a pivotal role in his very first season in Columbus as one of a few big men on the team.
- The Ohio State hoops Twitter account has created a bracket of the most clutch shots in the team's history, and the competition is fierce.
From everywhere else...
- Buckeye Nation is an incredibly strong and tight-knit community. Ohio State continues to try and give back in times of need, providing some athletic equipment to 250 families to help get through the quarantine.
Where are all the anti fake crowd noise people? This is so much better than silence.— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) May 26, 2020
- If you watched today’s Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, you will have noticed that the stands were empty, but fake crowd noice was being pumped into the broadcast. Some people are seemingly against this, but in my opinion it was non-intrusive and made the game seem much more normal in a time where not much else is normal.
- Rarely do I like to praise anything the SEC has to offer, but I love this response and mindset.
Breaking: The NHL announced Tuesday it will abandon the rest of the regular season and go straight into the playoffs with 24 teams instead of 16, if it is able to resume play. pic.twitter.com/mjEru1N8Sf— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 26, 2020
- In other news, the NHL announced what it will look like should it be able to return, which includes a 24-team playoff bracket. The remainder of the regular season has been cancelled. In this scenario, the Columbus Blue Jackets will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, however there is still no clear return date for the league — if it happens at all.