Welcome to Buckeye Bits, our daily news roundup of all things Ohio State. We’ve made it to the end of yet another week in pandemic world, and as much as I'd like to say things are looking up, that isn’t quite the current state of affairs. As is usually the case, I implore you to continue wearing a mask in public, and social distance whenever possible so that the Buckeyes can play football this fall.
If the players can wear masks while practicing in 90 degree heat, you can wear a mask to the grocery store, Karen.
With that out of the way, let’s get to all of today’s headlines.
From around Land-Grant Holy Land...
Buckeyes on the verge of adding another elite prospect to their 2022 class?
(Caleb Houser, LGHL)
One of Ohio State’s biggest needs in the 2022 class is linebacker. They are off to an incredibly hot start in that department so far, as they already hauled in four-star OLB C.J. Hicks, and could be adding another big name soon. In addition to the guy Caleb talks about in State Secrets, the Buckeyes seem to be in excellent standing with Ohio’s top prospect Gabe Powers, who just yesterday got his Crystal Ball prediction to OSU upgraded to a confidence of 10 by Steve Wiltfong.
In the final edition of what was an eight-part series here at LGHL, today I took a look back through the history books at Ohio State’s phenomenal list of former defensive linemen. As we did with each of the other position groups, we gave you the option to bring back one former Buckeye to add to this year’s unit. My choice was obvious, as I couldn’t imagine not bringing back Chase Young for one final season, but there are clearly a ton of good options.
Yesterday’s Buckeye Bits
(Matt Tamanini, LGHL)
In case you missed yesterday’s Buckeye Bits, there was some big news out of the South on Thursday as the SEC is officially moving to a conference-only schedule. The league plans to begin its season on Sept. 26, with the conference championship game being held on Dec. 19. There was other Ohio State-specific news on Thursday as well, including Justin Fields making the Manning Award watch list, so check it out!
From around the gridiron...
- The big news (no pun intended) on Friday was Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren’s letter sent to all 14 athletic directors of the conference’s member institutions. In it, Warren gave an update on all the preparations the B1G is making in order to try and move forward with a football season this fall, including health and safety protocols, scholarship protection, and fluid scheduling.
In regards to the start of the 2020 season, Warren says they anticipate making a decision within the next five days as to whether or not preseason camp will begin as originally scheduled. That should give us a good indication as to when the conference plans to get things rolling. Reports yesterday had the Big Ten season starting on Sept. 5, but that is obviously subject to change.
The entirety of Warren’s letter can be read below.
Here is that letter from Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren: pic.twitter.com/ER2SjlqTtS— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) July 31, 2020
Scouting Wyatt Davis: Ohio State guard similar to David DeCastro
(Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com)
The praise for Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis is seemingly never-ending. On Friday, NFL media analyst Daniel Jeremiah went back to look through the consensus All-American’s film to get a feel for his potential at the next level. Jeremiah liked what he saw from Davis a lot, lauding his strength, balance and ability to easily absorb power rushers. He even went as far as to compare him to David DeCastro, a first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and a five-time Pro Bowler in the NFL.
Could Justin Fields be a candidate to opt out of the CFB season?
(Sam Marsdale, 247Sports)
On Wednesday, we saw Virginia Tech corner Caleb Farley opt out of the CFB season. A projected first-round pick, he is the first big name to remove himself from competition, but likely not the last. Justin Fields has proven just about anything he could possibly prove on a football field in his one season at the helm at Ohio State, so is there any real reason for him to risk his health in the midst of a pandemic this year? While we assume the star QB will return for the Buckeyes in 2020, that would almost certainly not be the case should the season be moved to the spring.
- On Friday, the Ohio High School Athletics Association announced that fall sports seasons will be moving forward as planned, with official practices slated to begin this Saturday, Aug. 1. While this means that high school football practices could go on as scheduled this weekend, the OHSAA will still need the state’s approval for contact sports competition. If it is not approved by Aug. 4, contact sports will be postponed.
Five bold predictions for game-changing Buckeyes specialists
(Lettermen Row Staff)
It has been special teams week over at Lettermen Row, and as they have done with each of the different position groups, they conclude the week with some bold predictions for the unit in 2020. Ohio State has long used its special teams unit as a vehicle for guys to earn themselves additional playing time, which in turn made it into an area of strength for the program. The predictions this week are especially bold, including Dawand Jones blocking three field goals this season and Garrett Wilson having a pair of TDs in the return game.
- Former Ohio State offensive tackle Isaiah Prince is opting out of the 2020 NFL season. Prince, a sixth-round selection by the Miami Dolphins in last year’s NFL Draft and subsequent waiver pick-up by the Cincinnati Bengals in December, is one of many NFL players to opt out in the past few days over concerns about the coronavirus.
Roster Update: We've placed OT Isaiah Prince on the Reserve/Opt-Out list.— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) July 31, 2020
From everywhere else...
- I’m pretty indifferent to Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit in college football primetime. I think they do a fine job in the booth, but I don't really understand why you would have college experts do an NFL game. But hey, literally anyone is better than Booger McFarland.
- I’m sure we will see a bunch of different new football helmet designs this season with some sort of shielding around the mouth area to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but this one doesn’t look all that promising. I can’t imagine this wouldn’t fog up and be difficult to breathe through — especially in the Texas heat.
- The MLB restart is continuing to go about as poorly as anyone could have anticipated.
As @JonHeyman reported, Brewers’ home opener vs. Cardinals postponed because an unknown number of Cardinals players tested positive for COVID-19. Cardinals played in Minnesota on Wednesday.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2020
- But on a positive note, the NBA bubble appears to be working, and LeBron James is still doing LeBron James things.