Happy Fourth of July weekend, everybody. If you got off work today, hopefully you enjoyed a relaxing day off. If not, at least you probably made time and a half for the observance of the holiday, right? Either way, the Ohio State news cycle never stops, and so with that being said let’s just jump right into today’s headlines as we look ahead to Saturday’s festivities (at an acceptable social distance, of course).
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Should the Buckeyes worry about where they stand with the nation’s top receiver?
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)
Nothing is a sure thing in the recruiting world. Two weeks ago we saw five-star offensive tackle JC Latham commit to Alabama after many saw him as an Ohio State lean pretty much throughout the process. The Buckeyes have long been the favorite for the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver Emeka Egbuka, but with a new Crystal Ball coming in favor of Oklahoma, does OSU have to worry about losing another one of their top remaining targets?
TBT viewing guide: First-round games to watch
(Connor Lemons, LGHL)
Sports are officially back! Saturday marks day one of The Basketball Tournament, with 16 teams in action over the weekend to tip off the festivities. The 24-team tourney taking place entirely at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH features many guys you’ll remember from their heydays in college basketball, with a few NBA retirees in the mix as well. Ohio State has a pair of teams with alumni on their roster, one of which being Big X, who will play in the tournament’s opening game. Connor breaks down some of the best games from this weekend’s slate, and be sure to follow along with us here at LGHL for more TBT coverage.
Ohio State and Penn State have taken it to the next level
(Brett Ludwiczak, LGHL)
If you subscribe to the notion that teams can only have one true rival, then Michigan will never be unseated as Ohio State’s mortal enemy. However, I'm of the camp that rivalries are good for sports, and just because a team already has a rival over history doesn’t mean they can’t add another. Nobody has tested the Buckeyes better and more consistently over the last few years than Penn State, and history aside have actually been a far better rival than the Wolverines of late.
Yesterday’s Buckeye Bits
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
ICYMI, check out all of the headlines from around the Ohio State beat on Thursday, including Chase Young and Joey Bosa being named to the BTN All-Decade team (duh), Kyle McCord’s Elite 11 experience, expert picks on who will make the TBT Final Four, and much more!
From around the gridiron...
- Ho-hum. Another day, another former Buckeye named to the BTN All-Decade team. This list hasn’t exactly been perfect, and the committee in charge of the selections has definitely missed in some key areas — call me a homer all you want, Ezekiel Elliott is a First Team RB — but J.T. Barrett is the obvious choice for the BTN All-Decade QB. Everyone has their criticisms of Barrett’s abilities, myself included, but the man won B1G QB of the year three times, went undefeated against Michigan, and helped lead Ohio State to the natty.
#BTNAllDecade QB ALERT— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) July 3, 2020
✅ 3x B1G QB of the Year
✅ Only QB to go 4-0 in The Game
✅ National champion
Take a bow, @OhioStateFB great J.T. Barrett (@JT_theQB4th).
More: https://t.co/tJBP1RNQRm pic.twitter.com/7OT9WshpXU
- Now I know what you may be thinking. “But Gene, didn’t Braxton Miller also play in this decade? Shouldn’t he have been a legitimate competitor to Barrett for the spot?” You would be correct, and to that I present you Big Ten Network’s loophole: naming Miller the All-Decade All-Purpose Offensive Player for his efforts both as a QB and a wide receiver.
- Ohio State’s accolades didn’t end there, as another incredibly obvious choice entered the mix. Urban Meyer was named the BTN All-Decade Coach for his efforts both on the field and in the recruiting game. Going an outstanding 83-9 as the Buckeyes’ headman, Meyer helped build Ohio State into the powerhouse program it has become, while also improving the national perception of the Big Ten Conference as a whole.
- And the list just keeps on going...
Nine Ohio State players on BTN's All-Decade second team: Dwayne Haskins, Ezekiel Elliott, Taylor Decker, Pat Elflein, Nick Bosa, Ryan Shazier, Jeff Okudah, Vonn Bell and Cameron Johnston. https://t.co/d1PobIQgGh— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) July 3, 2020
Five bold predictions for invaluable Buckeyes tight ends
(Lettermen Row Staff)
As they’ve been doing each week, the guys over at Lettermen Row once again gave their bold predictions for a particular position group during the 2020 season. This time it was the tight ends, a unit that seemingly every year is ready for a resurgence within the offense only to become more or less an afterthought. The staff is very high on Ohio State’s tight ends this year, with predictions of a 10-touchdown season for Jeremy Ruckert and a first-team All-Big Ten selection for Luke Farrell, among others.
- Your daily reminder that Wyatt Davis is really freakin’ good.
Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis in 2019:— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 3, 2020
Pass-block snaps: 459
QB sacks allowed: 0 pic.twitter.com/eJNLsu3rVC
From around the hardwood...
- One of the nation’s top basketball prospects in 2021 released his Top 10 schools on Twitter on Friday afternoon, and Ohio State was among those that made the cut. Five-star center Charles Bediako, the No. 20 overall player in the class and the No. 3 player in the country at his position, dropped his short list which included schools like Alabama, Duke, Maryland, Michigan, and of course the Buckeyes among others. At 6-foot-11, Bediako is a massive recruit with good mobility and very high upside out of Canada who will play his senior season at IMG Academy.
Thank you to all the coaches that have recruited me, but these will be the top ten I’ll be focusing on. Top ‼️ pic.twitter.com/1lCmaaZhWz— Charles A. Bediako (@CBediako) July 3, 2020
- I’m excited! Are you excited!?
24 HOURS AWAY FROM BASKETBALL— TBT (@thetournament) July 3, 2020
- Speaking of five-star centers, one made history on Friday morning. Makur Maker, the nation’s No. 17 overall prospect out of Hillcrest Prep, became the highest-ranked recruit ever to commit to an HBCU (since ESPN began tracking recruiting in 2007) when he chose to play his college ball at Howard. Maker, who most had expected to go play professionally overseas, wants to inspire others to to follow in his footsteps and start a trend that will bring HBCUs into the national spotlight.
I was the 1st to announce my visit to Howard & other started to dream “what if”. I need to make the HBCU movement real so that others will follow. I hope I inspire guys like Mikey Williams to join me on this journey. I am committing to Howard U & coach Kenny Blakeney #MakerMob— Makur Maker (@MakurMaker) July 3, 2020
From everywhere else...
- A change that has been a long time coming, the Washington Redskins finally look like they will be finding a new name for the franchise. Following a strong prod from FedEx, who holds the naming rights of the stadium, as well as Nike pulling Redskins gear off their online store has led to a statement from the team on Friday that the name would be going under a thorough review. There’s no way that the current slur toward Native Americans survives its way through any sort of review, and so it appears as though the football team in Washington will look a little different moving forward.
- I, for one, am all for the Washington Sentinels, as former (fictional) Ohio State All-American Keanu Reeves would likely agree:
- Finally, listen to Vaughn — just wear the mask so we have a football season, please.
A minor inconvenience is every time I have to walk through smokers' gauntlets outside of buildings, get beer spilled on me during games, walk in a bathroom after someone died, drive behind your slow arse in the fast lane, etc., is it that hard wear a mask? pic.twitter.com/8aRicNd28k— Vaughn Broadnax (@vaughnbroadnax) July 3, 2020
Enjoy your weekend responsibly!