Youngstown State - Game Preview
August 30 2007 10:00 pm EST

The Penguins will be in town this weekend and they are not going to head out of here with 'Happy Feet'. Preview - Gregg    

Big Ten Network and Insight Sign Agreement
August 29, 2007 5:00 pm EST

The Big Ten Network and Insight Communications reached agreement today, allowing Insight cable subscribers to watch Ohio State's season-opening football game Saturday.  Ohio State opens the 2007 season against Youngstown State at noon in Ohio Stadium. The game is the first of possibly four Buckeyes games, including September 8th against Akron, that will be carried on the new network.  Insight is the second-largest of three cable providers in central Ohio. The other two, Time Warner and WOW, have not agreed to terms with the Big Ten Network.

Insight will carry the Big Ten Network as part of its "classic" service package when the network launches programming at 8:00 pm Thursday. In central Ohio, the network will be available on Channel 24 to subscribers without set-top converters and on Channel 26 to those with converters, Insight spokesman Bob Lau said.  The only other provider at this time in central Ohio is DirecTV.

"We are pleased that we have reached a reasonable agreement with the Big Ten Network," Michael Willner, Insight chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We know that our customers who are college sports fans will be very excited to watch their favorite teams."

2007 National Title Contenders?  Joe-S-U Says Yes
August 26 2007 10:00 pm EST

Does it seem possible that Ohio State fans would be thinking National Title this year?  Click here to read Joe-S-U's logic on why it may not be as far off a possibility as you might initially believe.  (of course 86% of our readership agree with Joe since the voted in our most recent fan poll that OSU would go 13-0) 

Game Week 1 : Youngstown State (0-0)
August 26 2007 9:30 pm EST

Can the start of the 2007 season be here already?  What seemed so far away after the Spring Game, us now upon us.  We know Coach Tressel will have the boys ready, but are you?

Captains Named for this Year's Team
August 24 2007 7:30 pm EST

Kirk Barton, Dionte Johnson and James Laurinaitis were elected as 2007 captains of the Ohio State football team, as announced by the school today. Because of close voting on the defense, a second defensive captain will be named for each game.

2007 Autograph Session a Huge Success
August 23 2007 10:30 pm EST

It was a little warm but by 5:45, the shadows had covered the field and every autograph seeker should have walked away pleased.  A very well managed event by OSU.  And Tressel was the first to arrive and the last to leave.

2007 Impact Freshman
August 19, 2007 1:00 pm EST

Though not all Buckeye fans were pleased with the team’s recent recruiting haul, there is a saying that it’s “quality, not quantity,” and that’s exactly the case with freshmen class of 2007. All of the players in the freshmen class, with the exception of wide receiver Devon Torrence, started in the summer quarter. Torrence did not as he was playing baseball with a minor league affiliate of the Houston Astros.

With 15 commitments – none them ranked as a five-star prospect – the Buckeyes got a small class that will be expected to play early and well. By now you’ve heard the names but the Buckeye 50 will take a look at the leading players expected to make the greatest impact. 

Cameron Heyward, DT/DE
Heyward has all the tools to be a star. At 6-5 and close to 275, Heyward has the size to play right away on the line and he’s not short on strength. But it is not Heyward’s size that makes him one of the top Buckeye freshmen expected to play this season. It is his athleticism. In high school, Heyward was a solid basketball player who would’ve gotten more looks from Division-I programs had he not been so good at football. At Peachtree Ridge, Heyward played as a forward who could score, rebound and play defense. This versatility is what coach Jim Tressel likes and allows him to put Heyward anywhere on the defensive line in any situation. Whether he’s used as a pass rusher or a run stopper, expect to see Heyward on the field and making good contributions this season.

Brandon Saine, HB
Saine could be considered the star of the class. An early commit, Buckeye fans got to know about his size and speed quickly and were anxious to get him in the Scarlet and Gray right away. Their wish has been granted. With little depth at the running back position, Saine will dodge the redshirt and should get some carries immediately despite being listed No. 3 on the depth chart behind Chris Wells and Maurice Wells. Saine, 6-0, 200, has incredible speed and isn’t afraid to take on defenders. One thing to watch will be Saine’s health. He was unable to participate in the 2007 OHSAA state track and field championships because of an injury.

Solomon Thomas, DE
Also expected to see time on the defensive line with Heyward will be Thomas. Thomas will need to gain some size to be effective against the stronger tackles, but has enough speed right now to be a good pass-rushing defensive end. Both Heyward and Thomas were praised by Lawrence Wilson in recent interviews and it’s clear that the two freshmen will figure prominently into the mix.

Daniel Herron, HB
It will be interesting to see if Tressel decides to redshirt Herron (5-10, 200) or get him early playing time on a team short on running backs. Right now, Herron figures to be fourth on the depth chart but has the chain-moving kind of power that will fit like a glove into the Buckeyes offense this season. He is a between-the-tackles runner who is can protect the ball well. So far, Tressel has been impressed by Saine, Herron and walk-on Bo Delande from Hilliard Davidson, but the opener against Youngstown State will be the tell-all. If Herron gets in the game, you can expect to see him throughout 2007.

Brian Rolle and Jermale Hines, LB
With the depth at linebacker, it’s hard to believe that Tressel wouldn’t redshirt Rolle and Hines. But according to defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, not only will Rolle and Hines most likely avoid the redshirt, they could play early and often. Out of high school, both were considered undersized weighing in at just over 200 lbs. But the duo has impressed in the first few weeks of practices and they should get some playing time at linebacker and a lot of time on special teams. Additionally, Rolle and Hines have a chip on their shoulders in that neither one received a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes until very late in the process and will want to prove themselves early.

James Scott, CB
Between Eugene Clifford, Nate Oliver and Donnie Evege, Scott’s signing flew under the radar. Scott (5-10, 170) comes to Ohio State as a cover corner. He is a guy with good speed who is exceptional at changing directions and breaking off routes. Though he may considered a bit trim, Scott also can play the run well and was a good at returning kicks in high school. Additionally, Scott is an even-keeled guy who shares a trait with the best cornerbacks that the previous play will not affect the next one. He could see early time in the Buckeyes nickel and dime packages and Tressel has shown that he’s not afraid to rotate cornerbacks. - Michael Bradford

Beanie Wells Sits Out
August 19, 2007 1:00 pm EST

Running back Chris "Beanie" Wells was held out of the jersey scrimmage because of an ankle injury that Tressel didn't seem too concerned about. Receiver Ray Small continues to sit out because of an ankle injury, and Tressel said he might miss the opener September 1st against Youngstown State.
OSU is #11 in Preseason Media Poll
August 18, 2007 10:00 pm EST

OSU will start 2007 in 11th place in the AP poll.  In contrast, Playboy magazine has the Buckeyes 3rd in their preseason poll. - Gregg

Amos May Be Done For the Season
August 14, 2007 11:30 pm EST

Reports indicate 3rd-year Sophomore  Andre Amos is probably done for the year now.  This will likely mean that Chimdi Chekwa or Shaun Lane may be the nickelback, or a couple of those true freshman may get some playing time early.

Small Limps off Field - But at Least it was not like Minnesota
August 12, 2007 9:30 pm EST

Ray Small limped off during practice with what sources said appeared to be an ankle sprain. He did not continue, and it was not clear last night how serious the injury was. No official word from OSU.  Small played sparingly last year before suffering a concussion in the Minnesota game.  Here at Buckeye 50, we have him listed as a starter on our Depth Chart.  Also competing for the position is junior Albert Dukes and freshman Taurian Washington, both of whom are having a strong camp.

Random Thoughts: Injury Update - Depth Chart - Betting Line
August 7, 2007 2:00 pm EST

Coach Tressel mentioned yesterday that Jon Skinner, Kyle Mitchum and Andre Amos would be available "before the year is out" according to Tuesday's Columbus Dispatch.  It was reported in the spring that Amos had torn his ACL, while Mitchum and Skinner missed much of the spring nursing injuries.  Mitchum probably wouldn't play much if he was healthy, but Jon Skinner was likely going to be called upon to be the 6th man and multi-position sub on this year's O-line.  If Skinner is going to miss a good deal of the season, this potentially leaves the Buckeyes with some serious depth problems on the O-line.  The first two guys that will be called upon off the bench will likely be redshirt freshmen Bryant Browning and Conner Smith.   

Speaking of Bryant Browning, the big lineman from Cleveland Glenville lined up with the first team yesterday, in Steve Rehring's LG spot.  There is some speculation that the coaches may be sending a message to Rehring, so this is probably just a temporary thing.  Rehring is listed as the #1 LG on the new depth chart and if healthy will likely be in there for the first snap in the opener. 

Although Larry Grant is penciled in as the #1 SLB on the initial depth chart, expect that position to be shared by Grant and Curtis Terry.  Terry plays the run about as well as anyone on the Buckeye defense and Grant will see more action on passing downs. 

There will probably be no (betting) line on the YSU game, but Penn State smashed the Penguins 37-3 last year and Ohio State will likely be somewhere around a 31-point favorite over Akron.  Don't be surprised to see all three (of the scholarship) QB's in both of these games.  Coach Tressel likes to get a look at his young QB's in these early games against lesser opponent's.  Now, if YSU and/or Akron hangs around like many Ohio teams have against OSU in the past 15 years, maybe we only see Todd Boeckman.  But seeing Rob Schoenhoft under center in the second quarter against YSU would not be a shocker. 

Army Retreats from OSU Schedule
August 4, 2007 9:30 am EST

The Buckeyes lost their two-game series with Army scheduled for 2009 and 2010 after the Black Knights pulled out of the deal.  OSU spokesman Steve Snapp (everyone notice he is not the SID anymore?, we have a new one from WVU now) said a coaching change probably had something to do with Army's decision. Stan Brock took over for Bobby Ross this past offseason.  The schools had not signed a contract but simply had an agreement. Army was to play in Columbus on Sept. 5, 2009, and the schools were tentatively going to play in the Meadowlands on Sept. 18, 2010.

Meanwhile, Ohio State filled an open date in 2010. Eastern Michigan will play in Ohio Stadium on Oct. 30.  This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Where Are They Now: Steve Bellasari
August 3, 2007 11:00 pm EST

The Ohio Dominican University football team announced former Ohio State quarterback Steve Bellisari has joined the coaching staff as the coach of the linebackers for the 2007 season.  Bellisari currently is a quarterback for the New Orleans VooDoo of the Arena Football League. He led the VooDoo in the 2006-07 season with 47 touchdown passes and a quarterback rating of 107.5. Prior to joining New Orleans, Bellisari played for the Manchester Wolves of the arenafootball2 league and the now defunct Dayton Warbirds of the National Indoor Football League. 

Bellisari was a safety and quarterback on the Ohio State football team in 1998 under head coach John Cooper and saw most of his action on special teams. In the second game of the season versus Toledo, Bellisari became the first true freshman in Ohio State record to play on offense, defense, and special teams in one game. He earned the job of starting quarterback in the second game of the 1999 season versus UCLA and went on to start each game he participated in through the 2001 season. During his OSU career, Bellisari threw for 5,878 yards and 35 touchdowns and also ran for 825 yards and five touchdowns. He ranks third in Buckeye history with 6,496 yards of total offense, trailing only Art Schlichter (8,850) and Bobby Hoying (7,151). Chosen by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Bellisari spent two years with the team as a safety. 

Bellisari holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from The Ohio State University. He resides in Columbus. 

‘We are excited to have someone with Steve’s experience join our staff,” Ohio Dominican head coach Dale Carlson said. “His knowledge and love of the game of football will provide our players with motivation to achieve our goal of earning a spot in the postseason.”

OSU #10 in Pre-season Coaches Poll
August 3, 2007 10:00 pm EST

Ohio State is 10th in the USA Today preseason poll, voted on by a panel of 60 Division I-A coaches.  Southern California was a runaway No. 1, with 45 first-place votes. The Trojans are followed by LSU, Texas, Florida and Michigan.  Wisconsin is No. 7, and the Buckeyes gave the Big Ten its third top-10 team. The only other conference team ranked is Penn State at 18th.  OSU plays Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan in a four-week span to end its regular season.  No other Buckeyes opponent even got a vote, including Washington, its toughest nonconference foe.

Numbers Game
August 1, 2007 8:00 pm EST

When we were growing up, we always knew the uniform number of our favorite players.  But since we love all our football Buckeyes, this time of the year we want to know what numbers have been assigned to the incoming freshman class.  Buckeye 50 is proud to bring you the early information on this, and next week at the Media Day activity, we will be sure to let you know of any changes.

The following uniform number assignments have been made : Boom Herron - 2, Brandon Saine - 3
Jermale Hines - 7 (as an LB), Devon Torrence - 10, James Scott - 11, Nate Oliver - 14, Rocco Pentello - 16,
Taurian Washington - 19, Donnie Evege - 30, Eugene Clifford - 32, Bo Delande - 35, Brian Rolle - 36
Evan Blankenship - 68, Cameron Heyward - 97, Solomon Thomas - 98 

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