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Buckeye Bits: Ryan Day ‘already one of the best’, Ohio State’s ideal style of QB, Jared Sullinger named to BTN All-Decade team, 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

Welcome back to Buckeye Bits, your daily news roundup of all things Ohio State. We’ve officially hit the summertime, which means that even though quarantine life continues on, at least we’re able to enjoy the nice weather as we do our best to social distance. Today’s motivation comes to you from OSU’s Student Life Twitter account:

I don’t know about you, but something about photos of Ohio Stadium with the sunset in the backdrop just immediately brings me back to better times. Hopefully we are able to get back to nights like those in the near future. With that being said, let’s get to today’s headlines.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

Catching you up on all the latest Ohio State recruiting news, on Monday it appeared as though the Buckeyes had sent out an official offer to one of the top in-state basketball prospects in 2022. However, it was later clarified that while the team is actively recruiting the four-star guard, a scholarship offer has not yet been extended. In addition, Ohio State’s football recruits in both 2021 and 2022 are doing their best to help out the coaching staff on the recruiting trail.

Ryan Day and his staff are tasked with replacing a ton of talent from last year’s roster, and that is no more true than on the defensive side of the ball. All but one member of the 2019 secondary — Shaun Wade — is now gone, and those around him have yet to prove themselves in any significant role. Can guys like Josh Proctor, Sevyn Banks and the other highly-touted but inexperienced defensive backs create a national championship-level pass defense for Ohio State this season?

Yesterday I took a look into Ohio State’s upcoming schedule to find some potential bumps in the road. While the matchups with Oregon, Penn State, and Michigan will obviously provide their own set of challenges, so too could an underdog opponent if the Buckeyes are not sufficiently prepared. Ryan Day’s team did not overlook any inferior opponents in 2019, and they will have to put together a repeat performance this season to avoid an upset.

ICYMI, Monday’s Buckeye Bits was choc full of information from around the OSU beat yesterday, including some concern from college football players in regards to the safety of the 2020 season, potential breakout talents along the defensive line, the latest Ohio State alumni to join the TBT, and much more!

From around the gridiron...

Hold your breath — Paul Finebaum has something nice to say about the Buckeyes. Ryan Day has only been at the helm for one year at Ohio State, but he has already impressed many in the college football world. Joining ESPN 850 Cleveland on Tuesday, Finebaum said of Day, “...he’s just a cool guy that really understands today’s modern player. I had my problems with Urban — that was well known — but I always respected him as a coach. I think Ryan Day is a more complete coach ... Anybody that can humiliate Jim Harbaugh on that last Saturday in November is my friend.”

There is no denying what Dwayne Haskins accomplished in one year as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. His passing prowess shattered the program’s record books in nearly category, and he did all of it despite not being the dual-threat QB the Buckeyes had grown accustomed to. In comes Justin Fields, who IS exactly that kind of guy. Both of them were excellent in their own regard, but which style of QB is better for Ohio State? The guys over at Eleven Warriors debate the pros and cons of each side.

A four-star center in the 2020 class, Wypler had dreams of playing college football at Boston College. However, while the Eagles had offered the talented offensive lineman, they showed little interest once his recruitment began to heat up. Instead, it was Ohio State coming in strong with their pursuit, and eventually winning Wypler over. It didn’t take long for the freshman to fall in love with the Buckeyes, and his versatility will make him an important piece for what has become his new dream school.

Ohio State switched to a single-high safety as it’s base defense in 2019, and things went incredibly well with Jordan Fuller in the backfield. Now, Fuller is off to the NFL as a member of the Los Angeles Rams, and in his place stands a highly-touted but unproven defensive back in Josh Proctor. Entering his third year with the program, we have seen glimpses of the incredibly high ceiling for the play-making safety, but we have also seen the mistakes that come with inexperience when he was flung into action against Clemson. If the former top-100 recruit in the 2018 class can have a breakout year for the Buckeyes, it could be the deciding factor in securing a national title.

Whether it be by otherworldly future NFL talent ahead of him, poor defensive coaching — cough cough Taver Johnson and Greg Schiano cough — or injury, Marcus Williamson has just not been able to get on the field at Ohio State. A bit undersized at 5-foot-10, he could certainly find himself in the rotation as a slot corner. Now a senior, the former four-star recruit will hope that his reunion with Kerry Coombs, the man who originally recruited him, will help him breakout in his final season on campus.

From around the hardwood...

  • This week, Big Ten Network is putting together it’s Big Ten All-Decade Team. A 24-person panel has chosen the best men’s basketball players from throughout the 2010s, and will be announcing their selections over the coming days. On Monday, Aaron Craft was announced as a member of the third team, and on Tuesday the second team was announced with yet another Buckeye: Jared Sullinger.

As part of a webinar series on name, image and likeness changes in college athletics, Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann and former Buckeye hooper Clark Kellog both spoke in favor of student-athlete NIL rights. “When you look at the general economy of college athletics in this day and age, I think it certainly warrants this opportunity for players to benefit off their name, image and likeness. I think it’s going to have a significant impact (on our sport),” Holtmann said.

“I think this is clearly the right direction to go in consideration of the landscape we’re in with the economy of college athletics, to give the student-athlete an opportunity to do what any student would have the chance to do if in fact he or she had some marketability or some name, image and likeness potential. It shouldn’t be a hindrance because you’re on scholarship. That shouldn’t be something that’s taken away from you as a student,” Kellogg said.

From everywhere else...

  • In honor of Olympic and Paralympic Day, the Buckeyes are honoring 2016 Paralympian Lauryn DeLuca, a student-athlete at Ohio State and the only Paralympian fencer in the entire NCAA. DeLuca has not let cerebral palsy get in her way, and hopes to represent Team USA in future Paralympics.
  • Doubling back to NIL rights in college athletics, friend of the program Matt Brown talked about some of the latest happenings in the nation in regards to a proposed NIL bill in his latest Extra Points piece. Matt breaks down the current dynamic between the federal government and the NCAA and why this proposed bill is actually not very good. He is much more knowledgable on the topic than I am, so go give it a read.
  • It looks as though baseball will be back this season, although it will not look quite the same as usual. Expected to be a 60-game season beginning in late July, the shortened year will also potentially feature a few rule changes, including a DH in both the NL and AL as well as starting extra innings with a runner on second base — both ideas which I personally hate.
  • Growing up in Long Island, NY, I did not have have the luxury of Raising Canes in my life until I stepped foot on Ohio State’s campus. Obviously, I instantly fell in love with that sauce and the Texas toast. It’s good to know that not only is the food good, but the people responsible for the fried chicken food chain are pretty darn good themselves.