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Buckeye Bits: Jordan Hancock teases Ohio State, Luke Farrell makes John Mackey Award watch list, more

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

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 CFP Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl - Clemson v Ohio State Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This is an actual photo of me trying to write an intro for today’s Buckeye Bits...

On the bright side, we’ve made it to yet another Friday. On the not-so-bright side, the country is continuing to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic and college football is teetering on the edge of cancellation. With that being said, hopefully everyone is continuing to follow social distancing guidelines whenever possible and wearing masks in public spaces. It is quite literally our only chance of seeing the Buckeyes this season.

Now that our daily housekeeping is out of the way, let’s get to today’s headlines.

From around Land-Grant Holy Land...

247Sports recently updated their rankings for the 2022 class, and Texas QB Quinn Ewers is the new No. 1 player in the country. Ohio State was one of the first programs to offer the five-star prospect, who now holds nearly 30 scholarship offers, and according to Ewers himself the Buckeyes are the school that is currently recruiting him the hardest.

Brett continued with our Leaders of the Room series on Friday, this time taking a look at the safety position. Jordan Fuller was seemingly here forever, but he is now a member of the Los Angeles Rams. Next in line is Josh Proctor, who struggled a bit in limited action last season but has been a highly-touted athlete since he first stepped foot on campus.

If anyone knows a thing or two about college football, it’s Urban Meyer. However, I'm not entirely sure how well-versed he is in infectious diseases, and so you have to take his opinion on matters like this with a grain of salt. Meyer thinks that the conference-only schedule in the Big Ten increases the chances of having a season in 2020, making it easier for teams to follow specific protocols while also limiting some travel.

ICYMI, yesterday’s Buckeye Bits focused on the latest Power 5 protocols that were announced on Thursday. The plan details some minimum standards for playing football this fall, including once a week testing, 10-day isolation for players and staff that test positive, and other stipulations that both make everything safer but also harder to take place.

From around the gridiron...

  • Continuing this week of national award watch lists, another Ohio State player found his name among some preseason contenders. The John Mackey Award, established in 2000 and given annually to college football’s top tight end, has never been won by a Buckeye. Luke Farrell will look to break that trend, as the senior was named to the 2020 watch list. Farrell caught just seven passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns last year.
  • This year’s Big Ten Championship rings are nothing short of spectacular. In addition to the now-annual Gold Pants the team receives for beating Michigan every time they play, this year’s title rings also feature the score of The Game as well. The rings also showcase a trio of B1G Championship trophies, signifying the three-straight seasons Ohio State has won the conference.

We heard all about Ohio State’s new ‘bullet’ position prior to the 2019 season, only for it to just mean a bit of an extended role for SAM linebacker Pete Werner. Enter Kourt Williams, who quite literally fits the exact bill for what the Buckeyes envisioned the bullet position to be having played a linebacker/safety hybrid in high school. Williams now joins the OSU defense with the willingness to do it all, hoping to fill a role something similar to that of Isaiah Simmons at Clemson.

  • Speaking of Clemson, Ohio State is still awaiting news regarding one of Dabo Swinney’s former commits. Four-star corner Jordan Hancock committed to the Tigers back in March, but decommitted earlier this week. All signs point to him ending up with the Buckeyes, as there are now a whopping 11 Crystal Balls on 247Sports all in favor of OSU. The talented DB teased Buckeye Nation on Twitter on Friday, with a new graphic featuring himself donning the Scarlet and Gray behind the Thorpe Award.
  • This was my favorite Michael Thomas play during his time at Ohio State (not including the trick play during the Sugar Bowl against Alabama, obviously). That corner he burned on that play? Just a guy named Kendall Fuller — the man who sealed the victory for Chiefs with his interception in Super Bowl LIV.

From everywhere else...

  • In significant Big Ten basketball news outside of Ohio State, Michigan’s Isaiah Livers has decided to withdraw from the 2020 NBA Draft and return to Ann Arbor. Livers was one of the team’s leading scorers last season, averaging 12.9 points per game.
  • These new Atlanta Hawks jerseys are absolute FIRE.
  • I don't know how many more experts need to say these things before people to decide to believe them over Facebook “scientists,” but here we are.
  • We’ll end today’s Buckeye Bits and send you off for the weekend with some wholesome Cardale Jones content.