We’ve made it to Friday once again, but this is not just any Friday. Today is June 19, also known as Juneteenth — a holiday celebrating the liberation of slaves in the United States. In the current climate of the country, today holds an even deeper meaning. If you are unaware of the significance of the date, Ohio State has put together some resources to help further educate yourself:
Today on #Juneteenth, we celebrate Black culture, history and activism while reflecting on the history of emancipation and the ongoing fight toward racial equality.— Ohio State (@OhioState) June 19, 2020
Join the celebration by partaking in these events and resources compiled by our Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
With school’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion helping touch on the larger and more important topics of the day, let us at LGHL now jump in to some of the latest headlines on the athletics side of things.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Buckeyes offer big time DE, keeping 2021 prospects locked in
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)
In what I like to think is just really early preparation for their matchup a ways down the road, Ohio State is trying to dig into the talent-rich south and steal a player out of Alabama’s own backyard. The Buckeyes just recently sent out an offer to one of the state’s top prospects in 2022, and there have already been talks about him spurning the SEC in favor of the B1G power.
Twitter roundup: Ohio State staff and athletes celebrate Juneteenth
(Tia Johnston, LGHL)
As previously mentioned, Juneteenth is a very important holiday to people of color, and should really be a more well known and celebrated day in this country overall. Ohio State’s players and staff have been very vocal during this time of protest and search for change, and many of them took to social media on Friday to voice their thoughts on this special occasion.
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)
Some bowl game sponsors are just simply ridiculous — I, personally, am a huge fan of the Gasparilla Bad Boy Mowers Bowl. However, a new challenger has entered the ring in form of the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, which is the successor of the game formerly known as the Belk Bowl. Brett takes a look at some of the wackiest bowl game sponsors of the past and why they are so absurd.
Yesterday’s Buckeye Bits
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
Check out yesterday’s news roundup in case you missed any of Thursday’s top headlines, including reactions to Ohio States future matchup with Alabama, the long and winding road of wide receiver Kamryn Babb, Chris Holtmann raising money for COVID-19 relief, and much more!
From around the gridiron...
- Quarterback recruiting has really taken off in the short time under Ryan Day, and that includes the commitment of five-star QB Kyle McCord in 2021. The No. 3 pro-style QB in the country in the 247Sports Composite and the No. 24 recruit in the class overall, McCord will be one of 20 quarterbacks who will be competing in this year’s Elite 11 Finals. The event is scheduled to begin on June 29, and will be hosted in Nashville, TN.
Denzel Ward’s father passed down a name, and a gift
(Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland.com)
Moving from future Ohio State players to former Ohio State players, Doug Lesmerises — one of my personal favorites on the beat — put together a phenomenal piece detailing the life of former Buckeye corner Denzel Ward. The now Cleveland Browns DB lost his father in May of 2016, but the values he was able to instill in Ward before his passing have been a major driving factor in the young football player’s life. It’s a long read, but one I highly recommend you take the time to go through.
Ryan Day making OSU’s 2021 recruiting class proud with ability to read the room
(Stephen Means, Cleveland.com)
Ryan Day has accomplished a ton in his very early tenure as Ohio State’s head coach, but what he’s been able to do off the field is almost more impressive. In a time where it’s been difficult for some to speak out on tough issues, Day has not been shy to stick up for his players and fight alongside them for racial equality. It’s one thing to be a good football coach, but it’s more important to be a good person, and the Buckeyes’ current football commits have certainly taken notice of Day’s actions.
- If anyone was wondering, Cardale Jones still knows what’s up.
Clearly! Everyone knows what a trash can looks like. https://t.co/ezTzmZRheg— Cardale Jones (@CJ1two) June 19, 2020
Five bold predictions for game-breaking Ohio State wide receivers
(Lettermen Row Staff)
As they’ve been doing for each position group these past few weeks, this time out the guys over at Lettermen Row have made some bold predictions in regards to Ohio State’s ridiculously stacked wide receiver room. These prognostications vary, including the thought that the Buckeyes could have two 1,000-yard receivers in 2020, the potential for Chris Olave to break Ohio State’s single-season TD record, Jameson Williams’ breakout, and some C.J. Saunders love.
- It’s a simple formula: PFF tweets out something about Ohio State being really good at something, and I post it here with the caption, “Is that good?”
Ohio State Buckeyes: Only team in college football to have 90.0+ grades in both team pass-rush and coverage pic.twitter.com/T0Y8vQcnbM— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 19, 2020
From around the hardwood...
- We usually save these types of things for our recruiting section State Secrets, but since that’s a Monday-Friday morning thing I figured I'd drop this latest piece of information in here. On Friday afternoon, Ohio State hoops sent out a new offer to Gabe Wiznitzer, a four-star center from Virginia. The No. 4 player from his home state and the No. 123 player in the 2021 class, Wiznitzer currently holds at least 19 official offers, including the likes of Clemson, Iowa, Louisville, Penn State, West Virginia and now OSU.
OSU basketball verbal commit Meechie Johnson returning to court this weekend
(Steve Helwagen, Bucknuts)
Ohio State hoops commit Meechie Johnson has not played in a game in over 15 months after suffering a knee injury prior to a tournament game in March of 2019. After spending the last year rehabbing, he has been finally getting back to playing in some five-on-five pickup games in open gyms the last few months. On Saturday, Johnson will suit up for the Indy Heat at the Gym Rats Summer Tune-Up, where he will compete alongside fellow Buckeye commit Kalen Etzler.
From everywhere else...
- As previously mentioned, Ryan Day is at the forefront of head coaches speaking out for change in the fight for racial equality. Tia included this in her Twitter roundup, but it’s worth posting here again. He continues to make Buckeye Nation proud.
- The NCAA is taking a stand against the Confederate flag. The association released a statement on Friday that no NCAA Championships are to be played in states where the symbol has a prominent presence. Michael V. Drake, the chair of the board and current OSU President, says, “There is no place in college athletics or the world for symbols or acts of discrimination and oppression.”
- While it certainly doesn’t sound good in terms of starting baseball back up, I can’t help but feel like this is just another move by the owners to try and delay the season and make their absurd 50-60 game mark look less ridiculous. In a league with hundreds if not thousands of employees, there is obviously a risk of someone contracting a disease during a global pandemic. That can't mean we shut down the entire sport for it, because if that’s the case things may not come back for years until there is a vaccine — if ever!