Public Practice Session Planned again this Year
July 29, 2008 10:30 pm EST

For the third straight year, the football team is planning to hold an open practice session.  This year, the planned date would be August 18th.  Tentative start time would be 7:30 pm but that is not firm yet.  Also, no word from the SID office as to whether or not there will be an autograph session prior to the practice like the past two years.  We will provide more details as they come in to us.

Worthington Arrested For OVI
July 28, 2008 2:00 pm EST

The Ohio State starting defensive has taken another hit this month as starting tackle Doug Worthington was arrested for allegedly operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, according to reports.  He was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. According to the Web site for the OSU campus police, the 20-year-old Buckeye was arrested for OVI at 3:13 am at the corner of Woody Hayes Drive and Cannon Drive.  He was a starter in 11 games last season. 

After he was arrested, Worthington, who will turn 21 on August 10, was transported to the OSU police department for processing and then released with a summons for court, according to the report.   Worthington met with OSU head coach Jim Tressel on Sunday evening but nothing final has been decided yet. Tressel is out of the office today, and a university spokesperson said there is no timetable for any actions moving forward. 

The future for Worthington remains uncertain. He could have a hearing in front of a faculty and student panel, which could decide whether or not he is suspended from school. This marks the first time Worthington, a native of New York, has been in trouble with the law in Columbus. He likely faces at worst a demotion on the depth chart, where senior Nader Abdallah is listed as his primary backup.  Earlier this month, defensive back Eugene Clifford was arrested in early July for allegedly punching two people at a bar and has since transferred to Tennessee State.

No Further Word on Washington's Status
July 26, 2008 9:00 am EST

During the media conference in Chicago this week, Coach Jim Tressel would not get into specifics on the immediate future of starting cornerback Donald Washington, though the rumblings persist that Washington might have to sit out the first two games of the season because of a breach of unspecified team rules in the spring.

Buckeyes Get a Clean Sweep in Chicago
July 24, 2008 4:00 pm EST

Ohio State started this year's media's conference in Chicago on a positive note.  The Buckeyes are picked to win the conference, by voting of the media. Wisconsin is picked second and Illinois third (the Big Ten no longer ranks its teams 1 through 11 in preseason)  And it did not stop there, linebacker James Laurinaitis is the preseason defensive player of the year for the second straight season, and running back Beanie Wells is the offensive player of the year.

In addition, Ohio State released it's 2008 Media Guide:  Here are the jersey numbers for incoming freshman :  

2 – Terrelle Pryor 
6 – Etienne Sabino 
7 – Lamaar Thomas 
8 – DeVier Posey 
11 – Jacob Stoneburner 
16 – Zach Domicone 
17 – Ben Buchanan 

Some sources say Curtis Terry will be the #1 FB, with Marcus Freeman sliding to the #1 SLB, and Homan becoming the #1 WLB.  Also, Ray Small not being listed in the two-deep for wide receiver is likely because the two-deep they list was developed when Small was in Tressel’s doghouse.  Is he still in it?  We will hear what all this means as the fall schedule begins.  Here is a preview to some of the 2-Deep Depth chart as published in the Media Guide.   

OFFENSE

WR: Brian Robiskie, Taurian Washington

LT: Alex Boone, Josh Kerr

LG: Steve Rehring, Kyle Mitchum

C: Jim Cordle, Andrew Moses

RG: Ben Person, Connor Smith

RT: Bryant Browning, Ryan Blankenship 

TE Rory Nicol, Jake Ballard

WR: Brian Hartline, Dane Sanzenbacher 

QB: Todd Boeckman, Joe Bauserman

RB: Chris Wells, Maurice Wells

FB: Ryan Lukens, Spencer Smith 

 














The Ray Small story will need to unfold soon as the media will question his appearance (or lack there of) in the media guide. He is not given an entire page in the guide, like the rest of the scholarship players. Instead, he's included on a page of other players, with no bio info. Included are walkons like K.C. Christian and Joe Gantz, along with Eugene Clifford, whose arrest this month has led to the end of his OSU career.  But we knew Small was in trouble in the spring, when his number was switched from No. 4 to No. 82. 

Clifford Released From Team 
July 24, 2008 5:45 am EST

Sources close to the football program have confirmed the team has released Eugene Clifford.  This comes as little surprise based on his problems off the field.  After coming in with the recruiting  class of 2006 as a top prospect, he was suspended from the team prior to the Championship game and did not make the trip to New Orleans.  Most recently, on July 4th weekend he was arrested in Cincinnati after allegedly punching two employees of a sports bar who were trying to break up a fight.  During the 2006 season Clifford played some on special teams.

At this time, it is rumored that he may end up at Louisville or any number of FCS schools that have shown interest.  According the the Columbus Dispatch Clifford seems most interested in Tennessee State.  

Fox Working to Negotiate Contract Extension With the BCS 
July 23, 2008 6:30 pm EST

Reports are out that Fox and the BCS are in serious negotiations to extend their current television contract.  The present one ends in 2010 but they are looking to extend it another four years.  If this happens, you can be sure that we will not see a playoff until at least 2013.  Why is this?  Because the Rose Bowl still has it's contract with ABC.  Until they can all get together, don't bet on putting together your office pool for football.

To assist the BCS coordinator (ACC Commissioner John Swofford) in negotiations, the BCS has hired IMG Sports Media as the agent and advisor. This is a reasonable and necessary thing in negotiations where hundreds of millions of dollars are in play. You bring in a team that has a history of advising in big TV contracts for groups such as the International Olympic Committee, the NBA, Wimbledon, the Premier League, the Triple Crown and others.  Of course IMG works on commission, so expect the deal to be for a very lucrative contract. Fox will have a 30 day exclusive negotiating window, to get a deal done before opening the negotiations to other parties. 

The National Media's Opinion of Ohio State?  Respect or Lack Thereof? 
July 17, 2008 6:45 am EST

This topic seems to be a topic of discussion at the water cooler at work these days.  Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com college football writer, says that he has "...talked to several (Harris poll) voters who would contemplate putting a two-loss SEC team ahead of Ohio State if its one-loss scenario came to fruition."  The Harris poll is the only human poll that is part of the current BCS formula.  On the other hand, Phil Steele, who has the most been the most accurate college football prognosticator (in terms of preseason college football magazines over the past 9 years), thinks highly of Ohio State's chances in 2008.  And six of the so called "experts" at CollegeFootballNews.com seem to like the Buckeyes chances as well. 

Bottom line, as these articles show, there appears to be ample evidence to support both sides of argument. 

Links: 

From Athens, Georgia - Athens Banner Herald

From Phil Steele - #1 Prediction Magazine the past nine years

From Scout.com

From the Bleacher Report

There is no question that nationally, there is a negative opinion of Ohio State due to the two loses the past two seasons in the Championship Games.  But can you really keep them out with a loss to USC and favor a two loss SEC team?  THERE ONE LOSS WOULD BE TO USC!  In the past 3 years they have 5 loses, three of those losses were to the National Champions of the past three years, the other two were to BCS bowl teams.  The have won their conference outright for two straight years.  No other team can say this.  

The one good thing is simply this, if WE take care of our own business, we will be in Miami in January.  It will not matter what the 'experts' feelings are toward the Buckeyes.

Eugene Clifford Arrested Once Again
July 7, 2008 9:30 pm EST

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, which cited police reports, defensive back Eugene Clifford on Friday punched two employees of the Holy Grail sports bar in the face while the employees were trying to break up a fight.  Clifford will be arraigned this morning in Hamilton County Municipal Court on two misdemeanor assault charges, court records show.  Court records show Clifford was arrested, posted $248 bond and was released later Friday. The charges are both first-degree misdemeanors, each punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.  A July 29th court date has been set.

This is not the first time Clifford has been in trouble. He was cited for marijuana possession in March 2007, while still at Cincinnati Colerain High School, and paid a $105 fine.  In December, he was suspended from the National Title game against LSU for violating an unspecified team rule. He also was one of several players who coach Jim Tressel held out of practice during spring drills for unknown reasons.

Clifford, a Parade All-American in high school, played in four games last season and made eight tackles but was awarded a medical redshirt.  Most of his time was spent on special teams.  

Big Ten Network Set for Two OSU Games   ....  So Far
July 2, 2008 6:45 pm EST

Just like 2007, the Big Ten Network gets the Buckeyes' season opener, against Youngstown State on August 30th. That will be a noon kickoff.  The other Big Ten Network game is the September 20th game against Troy, also a noon kick. The BTN likely will televise one of Ohio State's conference games, as well, to be announced later in the season.

In between the two BTN games, Ohio State will face Ohio University on Sept. 6. That was announced today as a noon kick, to be shown on ESPN or ESPN2. Previously, it was announced that the Ohio State game Sept. 13 at Southern California will be an 8:00 pm start nationally on ABC.  Last year the Big Ten Network televised four Buckeyes games: Youngstown State, Akron, Kent State and Wisconsin.

Comcast and Big Ten Network Reach Deal
June 19, 2008 1:30 pm EST

The Big Ten Network and Comcast have reached a sweeping agreement for Comcast to carry the Big Ten Network in time for the 2008 college football season. 

Henton Likely to Transfer to Georgia Southern
June 19, 2008 7:00 am EST

Most preseason polls have OSU and Georgia on top with a chance play at the end of the season in Miami.  Antonio Henton may be starting the season against the Bulldogs. Henton is expected to transfer to Georgia Southern soon, according to several sources close to the team. Georgia Southern competes in the Football Championship Subdivision, and open 2008 in Athens against Georgia.

Coach Tressel is not commenting at this time.

Henton would be the second OSU quarterback to leave the program since January, when Rob Schoenhoft transferred to Delaware.  Rumors circulated then for Henton as well but there appears to be more behind those rumors.  He has reportedly told his Buckeye teammates he’s headed for GSU.

Henton, a Fort Valley native, already has Georgia Southern ties—Eagle offensive coordinator Rance Gillespie was Henton’s high school head coach at Peach County.  Henton was the 2005 Georgia Offensive Player of the Year as a senior when he helped his team to the Class AAA state title.  He threw for 2,117 yards and 30 touchdowns his senior year and was touted as one of the best multi-threat quarterback prospects in the country coming out of high school

The move would leave the Buckeyes very inexperienced at quarterback. The job of backing up fifth-year senior Todd Boeckman would fall to redshirt freshman Joe Bauserman and true freshman Terrelle Pryor.

National Football Foundation Honors OSU AD Gene Smith
June 6, 2008 8:30 pm EST

As reported by the Columbus Dispatch, the National Football Foundation has honored Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith with its John L. Toner Award, given annually to an athletic director, "who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football."

The NFF cited the fact that Smith oversees the nation's largest Division I-A program and that Ohio State was recently awarded the NCAA's Diversity in Athletics Awards. That was based on achievement in the areas of diversity strategy, gender and racial diversity of departmental employees, minority graduation rates and more.  This announcement comes just two days after Ohio State issued a release stating that athletic director Gene Smith has no intention of pursuing the same job at his alma mater, Notre Dame.  Smith have been considered a candidate since the AD position opened up in South Bend.

Smith will be honored at a banquet December 9th in New York. At the same banquet, former Buckeyes football coach John Cooper will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Jim Tressel Book Signings
May 28, 2008 3:30 pm EST

We have had a link to buy Coach Tressel's soon-to-be-released book on our home page for a while.  Today a schedule for some of his book signings was released.  If you have any interest and are available, go meet Coach Tressel.  At this time, he is scheduled to participate in eight book-signings for The Winners Manual: For the Game of Life.  The book is scheduled to be released July 15.

The book-signing schedule as it stands right now:

July 15, 7 - 9 pm 
BookEnds
232 East Ridgewood Ave.
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

July 16, 11 am – 1 pm 
Kroger
1375 Chambers Rd.
Columbus

July 16, 3 – 5 pm 
Columbus North LifeWay Christian Store
8735 Lyra Dr.
Columbus

July 16, 7 – 9 pm 
Ohio State University Bookstore (Barnes & Noble)
1598 N. High St.
Columbus

July 17, 10 am - 12 pm 
Barnes & Noble
381 Boardman-Poland Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44512

July 17, 3 - 5 pm 
Berean Christian Stores
143 Rothrock Rd., Suite A
Copley, OH 44321

July 17, 7 - 9 pm 
Borders
Promenade of Westlake
30121 Detroit Rd.
Westlake, OH 44145

July 19, 9 am - 12 pm  
Barnes & Noble
Hunters Run Centre
1738 North Hill Rd.
Pickerington

Do People Really Hate the Buckeyes?
May 1, 2008 9:00 pm EST

First, let me say I do not care too much for Sports Illustrated.  I never really feel they give Buckeye football a genuine, honest viewpoint.  I know that some of our readers and even staff members have similar thoughts about ESPN and ESPN the magazine.  But for me, my negatives feelings are directed toward SI.  And I certainly would not want to give them any extra publicity, but I heard about their top five list and I had to check it out.  Apparently it is a regular feature for SI.com to provide a Top Five on a subject of their choice.  Their most recent topic was "Five Sports Franchises We Love to Hate'.  I can see the Boston connection (#1), and I can understand the Yankees (#2) and even see the Lakers (#3), although I can't image that many people truly hating the Lakers.  I have no idea why they would include Chelsea (#5), my guess is most readers don't really know who that is.  

They put 'THE' Ohio State University as #4.  No mention of Notre Dame, no mention of Duke Basketball or even ACC Basketball.  And they not only insult the university but that insult the fans.  I know there are some poor OSU fans out their, but that is a very small percentage of the total Buckeye fan base.  Besides every team has their share of bad apples.  If you choose, you can form your own opinion of the article.  Click here to see the article and read comments form other readers.









Navy added to Schedule for 2009 & 2014
April 23, 2008 7:30 pm EST

Ohio State and the U.S. Naval Academy today announced a two-game series in football that will begin in 2009.  The Buckeyes will host the Midshipmen in the 2009 opener on September 5th in Ohio Stadium. The return game will be August 30th, 2014, in the Annapolis, Maryland area.

“What a thrill it will be for the Ohio State community to host the proud tradition of the United State Naval Academy,” Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. “It will be a special memory for our coaches and players to compete against the nation’s finest.”

Ohio State and Navy have met three times in football. OSU won 27-0 at Navy in 1930 and 20-0 in Columbus in 1931. The teams most recently met in 1981, a 31-28 Ohio State victory in the Liberty Bowl.

Scarlet Overtakes Gray 20-7
April 19, 2008 5:00 pm EST

It rained from start to finish, but 76,346 fans were on hand anyway as the Scarlet defeated the Gray team 20-7.  Todd Boeckman led the quarterbacks with 142 yards passing but also had 2 interceptions, including one that led to the Gray Team's only score.  Terrelle Pryor was on hand for the game, anyone think he was ready to suit up?

OSU Will Have at Least Two Night Games in 2008
April 16, 2008 4:30 pm EST

Ohio State will play two of its Big Ten games at night on prime-time television this fall, according to a schedule released today by the conference.  It is likely, although not official yet that the USC game will be at night as well.  On Oct. 4, the Buckeyes will play at Wisconsin at 8:00 pm Eastern time on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.  Their October 25th home game against Penn State also will be at 8:00 pm on one of of those channels.  The Big Ten said the two OSU games will be among five conference games to be televised during prime time this season. Four of the games involve Penn State.

Anyone else think that the Big Ten believes this season will be a farewell tour for Coach Paterno?

Gibson is First Selected for Spring Game Draft
April 16, 2007 6:30 pm EST

Defensive end Thaddeus Gibson was the first overall pick in the Spring Game draft the Ohio State football team conducted today according to the report from the Columbus Dispatch.  All seniors are split up among the Scarlet and Gray squads beforehand, so players like James Laurinaitis, Alex Boone, Todd Boeckman and Malcolm Jenkins were not drafted.  Also, once a team drafts a player at a position, all other players at the position must be drafted before another position is opened.

Starting tailback Beanie Wells will sit out the game while recovering from wrist surgery, so Brandon Saine was the first tailback drafted (by Gray). Boom Herron will run for Scarlet.  At quarterback, Boeckman was assigned to Scarlet, but he will play only the first half. Scarlet drafted Antonio Henton, who will play the first quarter for Gray and the final two quarters for Scarlet.  Joe Bauserman then went to Gray, where he will play the final three quarters.

Boone captained the Scarlet draft, and Marcus Freeman was the Gray captain. The draft featured plenty of (mostly) good-natured shouting back and forth, and Boone steadfastly refused to trade any players immediately afterward.

The game is set to begin Saturday at about 1:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium. Tickets are $5 and available on game day at the north end of the stadium (cash only). 

Brent Baver Jersey Scrimmage Review
April 12, 2007 7:15 pm EST

I had the pleasure of observing yesterday's jersey scrimmage in the 'Shoe.  Here is a position breakdown and some of my thoughts:

--QB's: Todd Boeckman looked worlds better than both Antonio Henton and Joe Bauserman.  I was excited to get a chance to see Bauserman play after hearing many positive things about him this spring.  But I must say that I was disappointed.  I saw neither the strong arm, nor the accuracy others have talked about.  Boeckman looked polished.  His TD pass to Brian Hartline in the corner of the end zone was a thing of beauty.  Todd did have one ill-advised pass that could have been picked and taken for six the other way, but regardless, there's no debate who the #1 QB this spring.  Bauserman was the first QB to take reps with the twos, but I'm not sure who is considered the #2 behind Boeckman right now.  Henton showed good mobility, as he usually does, but struggled on his throws. 

--RB's: Beanie Wells did not play, but he was running off to the side.  I don't think Beanie will get a whole lot of contact before the opener.  There is just no reason to take many chances with a talent like Beanie.  Mo Wells looked like Mo Wells.  Some runs he still seemed to dilly dally too long instead of hitting the hole quickly.  But, on other plays, like one of the swing passes they ran, you could see what Mo brings to the table.  I believe when the ones took the field for the first time, Mo was on the field as the only RB.  Brandon Saine was impressive.  His 22 yard TD against the first team defense was one of the nicer runs I've seen in awhile.  You saw Saine's power/speed combo at its finest.  He also had a nice catch on fourth down just past the first down marker to keep a drive alive.  And it was nice to finally see Boom Herron in action.  I can now see why some many people have talked highly of him.  He was impressive between the tackles.  On one serious starting from their own two yard line, Boom ran the ball three straight times giving the offense a first down comfortably out past the danger zone.   Curtis Terry repped at fullback and did double duty at times playing the Leo position on the defensive side of the ball.

-WR's: Out with injuries were Brian Robiskie, Taurean Washington, and Jake Stoneburner.  Brian Hartline and Dane Sanzenbacher played with the ones.  Ray Small was worked in as the scrimmage continued.  Small injured his ankle later in the scrimmage.  Don't know how bad it is.  Hartline looked like he has cranked his game up to a higher level.  His touchdown in the corner of the end zone was extremely impressive.  I don't believe I saw Sanzenbacher catch a pass, but I did see him drop one he should have had.  Grant Schwartz was the other scholarship WR that saw action.  There were few passes to the TE's. Go figure.   Devon Torrence was dressed and had a black jersey that signified that he could see action on offense or defense.  But I did not see Torrence in action.

--OL: Because of injuries and players being held out for precautionary reasons, many walk-ons played extensively.  Out were starting guards Steve Rehring and Ben Person and the three true frosh (Mike Adams, Mike Brewster and JB Shugarts were out as well.   Two other backups Jon Skinner and Josh Kerr were out nursing injuries as well.  That's half of the scholarship O-linemen.  The ones were (L to R): Alex Boone, Kyle Mitchum, Jimmy Cordle, Conner Smith, and Bryant Browning.  I thought the ones held their own pretty well.  Not sure if the glass is half full or half empty, when you look at the matchup between the first team interior O-line against the first team interior D-line.  I think Cordle, Mitchum and Smith did an adequate job.  Is that because they've made some strides or because our interior D-line continues to be maybe the biggest weak spot on defense?  I’m not sure I can answer that question right now.  I thought Browning showed some promise and Boone looked good, as expected.  Boone looked to be in good shape.  I am guessing he is in the 315 lb range, which is probably where the coaches want him to be.  Steve Rehring, on the other hand, looked to be in the 340+ range standing on the sidelines.  Kerr looked very out of shape as well.  I thought all the other scholarship linemen looked to be in pretty good physical condition.  The other scholarship O-linemen that played were converted TE Andrew Miller who is now wearing number 55 and played LT with the twos, an redshirt freshman Evan Blankenship who played RG with the twos.  I’m trying to remember if I saw Rory Nicol at TE.  Can’t remember if I did or not.  Jake Ballard I believe played with the ones.  Brandon Smith saw action with the twos and/or threes.

DL: Robert Rose is out for the spring, but all other scholarship D-linemen played in Saturdays' scrimmage.  Cameron Heyward and Lawrence Wilson played with the ones at DE and it looked like Nader Abdallah, Doug Worthington, Todd Denlinger, and Dexter Larrimore may have split time with the ones at DT.  Heyward and Wilson both looked good and Heyward appeared to be providing good pressure on the QB consistently.  Doug Worthington probably made the most plays of the DT's, but he still looks much too light to be playing DT.  Thaddeus Gibson looked as good as advertised, playing with the twos at DE.  Gibson sure can run, but probably needs to add another 15+ lbs.  My guess is that we'll see some good things out of Gibson this year, but I think he may still be a year away from being a big-time player.  Mark Johnson played DE as well and looked better that what I was expecting.  Solomon Thomas did not make many plays when he was in there. 

LB's: James Laurinaitis, Marcus Freeman, and Ross Homan were on the field with the ones the first time the ones took the field.  I believe it was Freeman at strong side and Homan on the weak side.  Curtis Terry was repping mostly on offense and when he was on defense, he was playing the Leo position with a hand on the ground.  Laurinaitis made a number of tackles, as he usually does.  Homan seemed quiet early on, but seemed to play better as the scrimmage went on.  Tyler Moeller played on the strong side with the ones on occasion with Freeman sliding back to his normal weak side position.  Moeller looked pretty impressive.  Kid has a nose for the ball.  Jermale Hines played on the strong side with the threes and the twos.  Hines can run and looked like a kid that will press for major playing time after Freeman, Laurinaitis and Terry move on.  The linebacker that probably turned the most heads was true freshman Etienne Sabino who repped with the threes at MLB.  Sabino made several plays and seemed to be around the ball frequently.  True frosh Andrew Sweat also played with the threes and made some plays.  Other scholarship LB's that played were Austin Spitler, playing MLB with the twos and Brian Rolle who is getting worked back into action after missing much of the spring after minor knee surgery. 

DB's: There was a shakeup with the units, with three players apparently being disciplined for breaking team rules.  Two players that were supposedly having big springs, Jamario O'Neal and Eugene Clifford, were in uniform but did not play.  These two likely would have played with the twos at safety.  The third player, Donald Washington, was moved from first team to third team.  So the units looked like this: Ones - Malcolm Jenkins and Chimde Chekwa at the corners with Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell at the safety spots; Twos - Andre Amos and Sean Lane at the corners with Nick Patterson and Aaron Gant at the safety spots; and Threes - Washington and James Scott at the corners with Rocco Pentello and Nate Oliver at safety.  Jenkins uncharacteristically got burned on Brian Hartline's first TD, letting Hartline get a good 15 yards behind him.  Hartline was so wide open, I could have probably hit him for a TD.  But with the amount of WR's that are currently hurt, it's hard to judge how the DB's did overall against the pass.  I thought Chekwa looked in peak form and I can see why there are high hopes for Andre Amos.  Rocco Pentello appears to have a long way to go.  There were a span of back to back plays where he missed tackles, getting run over on the first play and making a feeble attempt at a tackle on the second play. - Brent Baver

Spring Football, Recruiting and Other Miscellaneous Thoughts
April 10, 2007 6:00 pm EST

Brent gives us some updates of the state of Buckeye football this spring: 

  • Ex-Michigan O-lineman and Pickerington, Ohio native Justin Boren took in a Buckeye practice earlier this week.  Sounds like he is heading OSU's way with two years of eligibility starting in '09.  Ohio State loses five scholarship O-linemen after the 2008 season, so Boren would be a nice addition to the 2009 team.  Ohio State has recently extended a 2009 scholarship offer to Justin's younger brother Zach Boren, a fullback.  Justin cannot accept a scholarship from Ohio State, being a transfer from another Big Ten school.  Some think the offer to Boren may be a type of package deal, to further entice Justin to become a Buckeye.  Justin may have been a first team All-Big Ten member on this the 2008 Michigan team, had he stayed.  Zach on the other hand is not considered to be a top 40 prospect in Ohio for 2009.  I should note, however, that it's pretty hard to question Tressel's recruiting strategy when you see the results over the last five or six years. 
  • We're told that the current DB starters are currently identical to last year, but in the nickel package, Michael Jenkins may not be sliding to safety like he did last year with Chimde Chekwa coming in at his corner spot, and Anderson Russell covering the slot receiver.  Sources say Jenkins will remain at corner in the nickel package and Chimde Chekwa and Jamario O'Neal are currently battling for the 5th spot, the one that will cover the slot receiver.  With Jamario, supposedly the light bulb has gone on.  If you see photos of him, he looks like a physical freak.  He looks like he is 220+ pounds, although I'm not certain of his true weight. 
  • Curtis Terry is getting some reps at fullback, but is still the #1 strong side linebacker on the current Buckeye depth chart.  Behind Terry, there appears to be a battle between Tyler Moeller and Jermale Hines.  Many are raving about both Moeller and Hines, but unfortunately there's nowhere for these two to play right now.  Marcus Freeman may also play so SLB to make room for Ross Homan at WLB at times. 
  • Although I don't necessarily think it will happen, Beanie Wells has made recent comments (basically) stating that it is all but certain that he will be back for his senior year.  Wells said his goal is to win two National Championships and two Heismans.  Still, I would think the odds of Beanie coming back for his senior year are less than 50%.  Hope I'm wrong. 
  • One of the most talked about names this spring is Eugene Clifford, who has moved from a crowded cornerback spot to safety.  He is currently practicing with the twos and may push the incumbents for PT or maybe for a starting job.  Clifford needs to keep his nose clean after a suspension cost him a chance to play in the past BCS title game.  If he can do that, the sky is the limit for this extremely gifted kid. 
  • Devon Torrence is getting a few reps at corner, much like the way Chris Gamble got his feet wet at CB in 2002.  But look for Devon to remain a WR unless he really turns some heads at corner.  As mentioned above, there is some real talent at corner, so it is going to be tough for anyone to upstage the current top four corners (Jenkins, Washington, Chekwa and Amos).  Andre Amos, by the way, is supposedly turning heads this spring.  He is said to be 100% recovered from a knee injury he suffered last spring. 
  • Grant Schwartz moved from safety to WR in 2007 and now appears to be settling in at his new spot.  He could be in line for some PT in the fall, but I think there are too many bodies that will be ahead of him.  However, look for Schwartz (who is now wearing #6) to make an impact on special teams. 
  • Word on the street says Mike Adams was making an immediate impact this spring before his untimely shoulder injury.  Unfortunately, Adams may not be able to participate in contact drills until September, so a redshirt is not out of the question.  Although, immediately after his injury, sources said that Adams would be having surgery the following week.  We're told this surgery has yet to happen.  If Adams doesn't undergo surgery, then you no longer have a 5 month (or so) recovery time.  
  • Multiple sources have commented that JB Shugarts is impressing everyone this spring.  Some, myself included, thought Shugarts would be a likely redshirt this year, as he learned the ropes of pass blocking, something he did little of in high school.  But it now appears Shugarts, despite a minor injury, may be in the rotation this fall. 
  • Our sources say Etienne Sabino and Andrew Sweat, the two LB's of the 2008 recruiting coup, have been impressive so far.  Sweat is said to be a monster run stuffer and has drawn comparisons to Ross Homan.  But, with the abundance of talent at LB, I wouldn't expect much from Sabino and Sweat this year.  2009 will be another story. 
  • Building on the LB talent, the Bucks may lose three starters after 2008, but add Sabino and Sweat this year, and will add, at a minimum, two more top 100 overall prospects in Jordan Whiting and Storm Klein in 2009.  And now it appears OSU has a decent shot at landing Dorian Bell, a LB from PA that is considered by some to be the top LB prospect in the nation for '09.   
  • Boom Herron is now wearing #1 and sources say Terrelle Pryor will wear #2 this fall.  Herron supposedly looks good so far, but has not drawn as much praise from insiders as Brandon Saine has. Saine is supposedly back to full speed and up from 224 lbs to 230 lbs.  He is lining up as a pony back at times with Beanie at tail.  The coaches apparently want to play Beanie and Saine in the same backfield at times this fall.  Walk-on converted LB Ryan Lukens is currently the #1 FB. 
  • Ray Small's jersey number has apparently been changed, at least temporarily from #4 to #82.  It also has been reported that Small has been doing physical workout exercises on the side, as the rest of the team participates in actual football drills.  It has not been reported that Small is hurt, so the reports have some of us wondering what is exactly going on.     
  • Aaron Petty is supposedly 100% and may challenge Ryan Pretorius for the FG kicking duties this fall. 
  • Ben Person and Steve Rehring are sitting out spring drills with injuries but should be good to go come August.  Person is said to be the vocal leader of this O-line group and played through some real pain in 2007.  So, for those who thought he may be pushed this fall, I would not count on anyone unseating Person for the starting RG spot.   
  • Multiple sources have said that speed coach Butch Reynolds' recent departure from the team had much to do with philosophical differences with OSU Director of Football Performance (i.e. Strength and Conditioning coach) Eric Lichter. 
  • Sources say there were several (minor) scraps in the hoot and holler drill.  I wouldn't read this as a bad thing, as I think the coaches actually somewhat encourage this kind of thing during that drill. 
  • Many sources are saying that incoming freshman Jake Stoneburner has been extremely impressive this fall.  Stoneburner is a WR in tight end's body, but don't look for a move to TE for Stoney.  He will likely be in the WR mix this fall and will created some matchup nightmares for average sized DB's.   
  • Our people tell us QB Joe Bauserman has had a great camp so far.  Bauserman has a big-time arm and may be more accurate than current second teamer Antonio Henton.  He may not have the mobility Henton has, but Bauserman can run.  But, the prevailing thought is that both Henton and Bauserman are going to sit back and watch Terrelle Pryor spell Todd Boeckman this fall.  That's what I'm putting my money on.   
  • Bryant Browning appears to have seized the starting RT spot, at least for now, and sources say he has looked very good.  Look for Browning to start at RT this fall, with JB Shugarts spelling him.  A healthy Mike Adams could push for time there as well. 
  • Kyle Mitchum and Conner Smith are playing with the ones at the guard spots with both starting guards out during the spring.  Mitchum supposedly looks surprisingly serviceable.  Jon Skinner's bad knee has flared up again and he again is not practicing.  The hope that Skinner will one day contribute on the O-line is fading fast. 
  • Last and surely not least, Thaddeus Gibson continues to be the name we hear the most this spring.  Gibson, now wearing #90, looks like he is going to play a lot at DE, after moving down from LB.  His workout habits have apparently made quite an impression on the coaches.  Gibson, like Eugene Clifford, has about as much pure talent as anyone on the team.  If the light bulb has indeed gone on, this could be bad news for opposing Big Ten offenses.
Jersey Scrimmage is Won by Offense
April 12, 2008 3:00 pm EST

The Ohio State offense held on to the prized scarlet practice jerseys with a 55-44 win over the defense today in the spring jersey scrimmage.  Boeckman, the returning starter at QB, tossed touchdown passes of 53 and 25 yards to Hartline. Both throws were against the No.1 defense, which blew a coverage on the first one, allowing Hartline to streak up the field. On the second, Hartline beat Kurt Coleman on a post-corner route to the right and made a diving catch just over the goal line.

Antonio Henton, who is battling Joe Bauserman for the backup quarterback spot before No.1 recruit Terrelle Pryor arrives in June, also threw a TD pass. Henton hooked up with walk-on Ricky Crawford on a 12-yard crossing route. The other TD came on a 22-yard run around left end by Brandon Saine. With an initial block from Alex Boone helping clear the way, Saine accelerated around defensive end Lawrence Wilson, then burst up the sideline and into the endzone.

Chris Wells, who set a school sophomore record with 1,609 yards rushing last year, is being held out of any contact scrimmages this spring. That’s to protect his left wrist and hand, which were surgically repaired after the loss to LSU in the national championship game.  Also held out of the scrimmage were safeties Jamario O’Neal and Eugene Clifford, while cornerback Donald Washington, a starting cornerback last season, ran with the backups. Jim Tressel indicated all three are being disciplined,but would not say why, and he would not confirm that any or all might have to sit out games in the fall.

Freshman Standout Standing on the Sidelines
April 5, 2008 9:00 pm EST

OSU Freshman Mike Adams will be sidelined due to a shoulder injury suffered during spring practice.  Coach Bollman compared the injury to one that former tackle Shane Olivea played through in the second half of the 2002 season. Olivea had surgery after the Buckeyes won the national championship.  Bollman said Adams was looking good in the first five or six practices and had been playing some with the second team and some with the third-stringers.

Third-year sophomore Bryant Browning has been the clear-cut starting right tackle, which is the only open spot on the line.  Adams, 6 foot 8, 310 pounds, was a Parade All-American last season and was rated the nation's No. 3 overall prospect by Rivals.com.  Bollman said he can't predict when Adams might return. Fellow freshman J.B. Shugarts and converted tight end Andrew Miller now will be the top backup tackles behind starters Browning and Alex Boone

Early Roster For 2008 Buckeyes
April 4, 2008 9:00 pm EST

Here is a numerical roster with the spring players as well as the freshmen that will be coming in this fall.  We have listed numbers for some of the freshmen that are not yet here, based on what we have heard, so some of the numbers are not "official".  The incoming frosh that we have no numbers for are listed at the end of the list.  And all freshman (scholarship players) are in red font.  We will provided further updates as the number assignments become more official.  This roster also includes all the number changes that are known at this time. 2008 Roster

Spring Practice Resumes Today
April 1, 2008 5:00 pm EST

After a few days off, the Buckeyes have their 4th practice of the spring session.  They will have a total of 15, finishing with the annual Spring game held April 19th.  Coach Tressel continues to say this year's plan for the spring will be more mental than physical.  With 20 of 24 starters back from last year's team, it will be a different set of questions to answers.  The players that may have the most to prove will be the quarterbacks.  I realize Boeckman will be returning but Pryor is as good as advertised, there will be some serious contention for snaps in the fall when he joins the squad.

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What is YOUR reaction to the article?SI.com had a lot of teams to choose from and including OSU was a fair evaluation
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18 – Travis Howard 
19 – Orhian Johnson 
39 – Nathan Williams 
41 – Jermil Martin 
42 – Andrew Sweat 
50 – Michael Brewster 
53 – Garrett Goebel 
74 – Mike Adams 
76 – JB Shugarts 
81 – Nic DiLillo 
91 – Shawntell Rowell 
94 – Keith Wells 
96 – Willie Mobley 
DEFENSE

DE: Lawrence Wilson, Thaddeus Gibson 

LT: Todd Denlinger, Dexter Larimore

RT: Doug Worthington, Nader Abdallah

DE: Cameron Heyward, Tom Ingham

WLB Marcus Freeman, Ross Homan 

MLB James Laurinaitis, Austin Spitler 

SLB Curtis Terry, Tyler Moeller 

FS Anderson Russell, Aaron Gant 

SS Kurt Coleman, Jamario O'Neal 

CB Chimdi Chekwa, Donald Washington 

CB Malcolm Jenkins, Eugene Clifford 
SPECIALISTS

Kicker: Ryan Pretorius, Aaron Pettrey 

Punter: AJ Trapasso, Jon Thoma

Long Snapper: Jake McQuaide

Punt Returner: Brian Robiskie, Ray Small

Kick Returner: Maurice Wells, Ray Small

Holder: Jon Thoma, AJ Trapasso