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Buckeye Bits: Ohio State in the running for Michigan’s top recruit, Gene Smith supports athletes’ protesting, more

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

NCAA FOOTBALL: JAN 01 BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl - Notre Dame v Ohio State Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As a sports writer, it’s becoming more and more difficult to “stick to sports” lately. On one hand, sports are a great way to distract yourself from the horribleness that is our world right now. On the other hand, distracting yourself is a privilege that, for many, is not an option. Not to mention, distracting yourself does absolutely nothing to help drive change— something we so desperately need. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you need a mental health break from taking in all the violence happening in every city in the country, take one. Sports content is a great way to do that. After that, however, I think it’s important that you continue to educate yourself on what it means to be antiracist, sign petitions, donate to charities and proactive groups, vote in local elections, and read these incredibly well written articles:

Our Matt Tamanini’s latest on Seth Towns’ protests and what we can learn from him.

And this one by’s Doug Lesmerises.

Now, here’s what’s happening around the Ohio State beat and beyond.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Column: How “no fan” sporting events might affect home field advantage

Meredith Hein, LGHL

In Meredith’s latest column, she highlights the many other types of advantages that playing at home brings, even without fans in the stands.

Column: TBDBITL has always made me cry, but sometimes those tears are exactly what I need

Matt Tamanini, LGHL

Matt capped off “Sports Moments That Made You Cry” Week by describing, in detail, the sports moment that makes him cry every single time without fail: The Ohio State Marching Band’s entrance into the ‘Shoe.

This upcoming season will likely be the first one since I was five that I will not get to see TBDBITL perform inside the ‘Shoe, which made this column even more of a tearjerker.

Podcast: I Want to Go Back - Chic Harley and the unstoppable 1916 Buckeyes

Jim Baird, LGHL

Next up on his podcast series I Want to Go Back, Jim talks about one of Ohio State’s most legendary running backs, Chic Harley, and how he shifted the entirety of college football.

Ryan Day has changed the quarterback position at Ohio State

Gene Ross, LGHL

If, somehow, you are still not sold on Ryan Day, Gene pulled some receipts for you.

From around the gridiron...

Coombs continues strong bid to land No. 1 Michigan recruit

Bill Kurelic, Bucknuts

Ohio State is a strong contender for Michigan’s No. 1 2022 prospect/ the nation’s No. 4 cornerback, who, according to 247Sports is not even considering Harbaugh’s Wolverines as his future team, which, according to yours truly, is hilarious.

Ohio State’s 11 most experienced players entering the 2020 season

Dan Hope, Eleven Warriors

Hope took a look at the 11 most experienced Buckeyes heading into the season, ranked by the number of snaps each of them have played in their Ohio State careers. When Chris Olave is listed as the least experienced, you know you’ve got a pretty good list.

Arm strength helps make Justin Fields Heisman-ready quarterback

Spencer Holbrook, Lettermen Row

Justin Fields was near perfect last season with just three thrown interceptions, 41 touchdowns, and over 3,000 yards. What’s scary (for other teams) is that he’s piling on a whole second year of training with some of the best quarterback coaches in the country, including QB Whisperer Ryan Day and the rest of Ohio State’s offensive staff, meaning he’s just going to come back...more perfect.

Ohio State Buckeyes alternate helmet concepts

Brad Crawford, Bucknuts

Check out these alternate helmet options designed by IU_Customs on Instagram. Not gonna like, I like all of them.

Predicting Ohio State football’s 2020 sacks leader: Buckeye Talk Daily Pod’s ‘Mark It Down Monday’

Nathan Baird,

Now that Chase Young is off doing bigger and better things, who will be this season’s head quarterback terrorizer? Doug Lesmerises, Nathan Baird and Stephen Means of discuss their picks, as well as how many sacks they’ll tally up, in their latest podcast.

From around the hardwood...

Seth Towns continues to protest in downtown Columbus.

Towns is already becoming many Ohio State fans’ favorite player and he hasn’t even worn a scarlet and gray jersey yet. No matter what he does on the court, I could not be happier that Chris Holtmann snagged this guy from Harvard.

New TBT podcast

Lettermen Row’s Drive The Lane Podcast—hosted by former Ohio State men’s basketball captain, Joey Lane, and Andrew Zoldan— are teaming up with TBT to produce the official podcast for the tournament, Inside TBT, where they’ll provide TBT content all summer long.

From everywhere else...

Gene Smith supports Ohio State athletes’ right to protest, encourages them to participate in conversations about racial injustice

Dan Hope, Eleven Warriors

Gene Smith “wholeheartedly” supports Seth Towns’ and other Ohio State athletes’ right to protest, stating that “they have the ability to do what other generations haven’t done.” He also says it’s “extremely important” for head coaches to advocate for change, as well— something they have done, while other prominent head coaches have yet to do.

Hope has more on that, along with Smith’s personal thoughts on the matter.

Good news for music majors and performers!

Ohio State is getting a long overdue new music building, thanks to a $17 million gift from alum Ratmir Timashec and his family’s charity foundation. It will be named the “Timashev Family Music Building” in their honor, and will “be among the most acoustically and technologically advanced facilities in the nation upon its completion in 2022,” according to Ohio State.

Former Ohio State fullback Dionte Johnson’s downtown Columbus shoe store, Sole Classics, was damaged and looted during a protest on Friday night.

You can donate via a link he provided on his Instagram to help pay for damages and stolen inventory. He states that any donations that exceed the costs of said damages will be donated to neighboring minority-owned small businesses who also suffered damages.