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Buckeye Bits: Big Ten extends suspension of organized team activities, surprising recruiting rankings, more

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

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Happy May 4th.

If you live on the east coast, you probably had a wonderful weekend spent outdoors— picnicking, bike riding, yard working, patio drinking, etc. If you live elsewhere, I have no idea what your weather was like because I don’t check it. So, hopefully you had a nice weekend, too.

Now we’re back to the ole grind, which means I’m spending my Monday afternoon typing up all the Ohio State news and updates you may have missed over the weekend or over the last five hours. Check it out below.

From Land-Grant Holy Land...

Outside the Shoe podcast: Why is Ohio State so good at tennis?

Meredith Hein, LGHL

On LGHL’s Outside the Shoe podcast, Meredith discusses the happenings of Ohio State athletics that happen outside the confines of the Horseshoe. In her most recent episode, she talks about Ohio State’s tennis teams’ dominance in the Big Ten for the last two decades, how they became so good, and how they continue to recruit at such high levels.

Ohio State deals out a handful of new 2022 offers

Charles Doss, LGHL

Not only did Ohio State land a verbal pledge from four-star 2022 athlete CJ Hicks over the weekend. Four elite prospects in the 2022 class landed an offer from Ohio State over the weekend, as well. Charles broke down the deets on each prospect in Monday morning’s State Secrets.

Column: Why we maybe put too much stock in the NFL Combine

Meredith Hein, LGHL

In her latest column, Meredith argues that the whole NFL Combine concept...doesn’t always make sense. This column could also be titled “Why J.K. Dobbins should have gone higher” or “Of all 32 teams, why did J.K. Dobbins have to end up with the Ravens? Whhhhyyy?”

Could Justin Fields be QB1 in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Gene Ross, LGHL

Honestly, the only thing standing in Field’s way (besides a successful season and...actually having a season) is Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence who, before Fields entered the scene, has been projected by just about every expert to be the first QB off the board in next year’s draft. Gene compares the two QBs, their history of competing, and why Fields could very well be QB1 in the 2021 NFL Draft.

From around the gridiron...

North Carolina Tar Heels: 2022 ACC Champs?

Anything goes during a pandemic, I guess.

Looking at the college football title contenders and the difficulty of their paths to the 2020 playoff

David Regimbal, Eleven Warriors

Per usual, Ohio State, Clemson, LSU and Alabama are favorited to make it to the 2020 college football playoff. However, each team has to win its own set of battles before they get there. David breaks down what each team will have to overcome if they want the highly coveted CFP spot for the second year in a row.

They grow up so fast.

Impressive linebacker depth gives Al Washington, Buckeyes options

Spencer Holbrook, Lettermen Row

Ohio State returns three of its top four linebackers from last season, and as Spencer points out, the depth chart isn’t hard to figure out...on paper.

However, with no spring practice, conditioning, in-person workouts, etc., Washington now has a room full of talent with no real way to tell who deserves to take the field in Game 1.

A good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.

“I do know this: The younger guys, the guys like Teradja [Mitchell] who are growing up, Dallas Gant, K’Vaughan Pope, those guys are going to be critical to our success,” Washington said. “They’ll get a lot of playing time and they make an impact, but I couldn’t give you much more than that.”

Social Distance: Urban Meyer on coaching career, CFB’s future

Patrick Murphy, Bucknuts

The former Ohio State coach sat down with 247Sports’ Josh Pate to talk about:

  • Handling the coronavirus pandemic as a head coach
  • Sustaining a program’s success
  • His unique perspective on the new name, image, and likeness rules
  • Expanding the playoff
  • Whether or not coaches pay attention to recruiting rankings
  • Why Ryan Day was chosen to succeed him
  • Ohio State’s continued recruiting success after he left

And more. Josh hit all the bases, no?

I can’t stop laughing.

More depth chart speculations/updates:

Paris Johnson Jr. could still win Ohio State’s starting right tackle job as true freshman despite lack of spring practices

Dan Hope, Eleven Warriors

Healthy Taron Vincent ready for expanded role at Ohio State

Spencer Holbrook, Lettermen Row

Alford tired of talking past RB recruiting, excited for Williams

Patrick Murphy, Bucknuts

From around the hardwood...

The improbable journey of Abel Porter from Utah State to Ohio State

Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors

“The ambiguity surrounding when he and Presley will be able to get settled as a budding family is a more pressing issue. Not only did they get married one year ago, she’s pregnant with an Aug. 1 due date. As they inch closer to becoming parents, they remain without any answers about where they’ll be in a couple of months.

Nothing has ever come particularly easy for Porter.”

Colin beautifully captures Ohio State guard Abel Porter’s journey to becoming a Buckeye. Highly recommend this read.

From everywhere else...

Big Ten extends suspension of organized team activities

Patrick Murphy, Bucknuts

What was previously a May 4 deadline, the Big Ten announced it is extending its suspension of all organized team activities through June 1. They will reevaluate from there.

On the bright side, Ryan Day believes that his team needs to be in the facility for workouts for at least six weeks before the football season begins on Sept. 5, meaning as long as the Big Ten doesn’t delay team activities past July 25, then we’re good, right? Right?!

And now for some good news from the conference...

May being Mental Health Awareness Month and all, The Big Ten Conference announced on Monday that they have formed a Mental Health and Wellness Cabinet, which includes representatives from all 14 schools, as well as members from John Hopkins and Notre Dame. The cabinet will work to promote optimal mental health for student-athletes by establishing mental health programs, while also providing counsel, advice and expertise.

The conference also announced that all Big Ten student-athletes, coaches, full-time members of university athletic departments and conference staff members will receive free, unlimited access to Calm— “the No. 1 mental fitness app for helping individuals experience lower stress, less anxiety, improved focus and more restful sleep.”

According to the announcement, “Calm’s two most popular content offerings are its Daily Calm (new daily 10-minute meditation) and its Sleep Stories (bedtime stories for grown-ups).”

Kudos to the Big Ten.

According to Spotrac, the fifth-year option would have been worth $6.7 million in 2021, but Hooker will now enter free agency following the 2020 season.

Redskins, you up?


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