BBN Ohio State Spring Game Preview: Offensive Line

Written April 20th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

To get Buckeye Nation ready for the first Spring Game in Urban Meyer’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeye Bloggers Network wanted to take an in-depth look at each position following spring practice.  Be sure to check out all of the coverage!

Thank you to all the writers who are participating in this, and a HUGE thank you to Grant from Buckeye House Call for creating our graphics!

The easy comment on the offensive line, be it at Ohio State or nationwide, is that the season will hinge on their performance.

Again, that’s the standard answer, but I have to believe that this year it bodes more true than ever in Columbus.  There are playmakers elsewhere on Offense, and the Defense (while thin in places) has the potential to be terrifying for opposing offensive coordinators.

But the Buckeye Offensive Line is a mystery at this point; which was evidenced merely looking at Coach Meyer’s emphases on the recruiting trail beginning last season. It’s not enough that they are replacing both tackles and their four year starter at center. It’s not enough that they are now “loaded” with talent amassed by James “Meh, one guard a year is all we need” Bollman, who annually defined the word “reach” with the recruiting offers he seemed to facilitate.

Nope, in addition to those obvious concerns comes this- the team’s offensive identity is taking a major shift. Gone are the days of “Dave, Dave, Draw, Punt”; we now have an offensive scheme that requires linemen to a) be in top cardiovascular shape and b) pass block as effectively as run block. In other words, there’s some coachin’ to do.

So, if you’re like me (my condolences), you’re incredibly interested in seeing how the anchor of the team’s successes will look on Saturday. Will Braxton’s runs in the fall be designed or out of necessity?  Will long runs be due to Jordan and Carlos and Rod and Brionte’s talent, or due to the gaping holes that are waiting for them? Will my summer be spent in quiet confidence or wondering instead how what the record for most “three and outs” by a Buckeye team might be?

Saturday gives us our first clue.  Onward.

What will be most different this year than last?

We’ve talked about the tempo and scheme being gently called “the polar opposite of Tresselball”, let’s take a look at the new faces in the new places. First, the team lineups: Read More

Silver Bullet Points From Ohio State Spring Practice

Written April 1st, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Moving Forward

Before Buckeye Nation turned it’s eyes to shootyhoops on Saturday, the 2012 football team took to the field for it’s first full-pad practice of the spring. Here’s some of the things we’ve learned after three days under Coach Meyer:

  • Saturday was a chance for the media to meet with the linebackers, and you can find some great footage from Sabino and Shazier after the jump. Coach Meyer has been pretty vocal about Grant needing to fulfill a major role in the defense moving forward, and with Klein dinged up, it’s definitely been his time to shine. Today, in pads, it sounds as if the lights are coming on- some big hits, involved all over the field, and even a pick at one point. For Ohio State to use it’s speed on the outside (Shazier/Sabino), they’ve got to have a runstopper at Mike; Grant looks to be ready to fill that role.
  • Still a lot of questions about the receivers; is there a “playmaker” in this group? While that question is being sorted out, though, it’s great to hear that TY Williams has gotten past his problem with the drops and is catching everything that comes his way. With his size, he could definitely be a great weapon in the passing game. Read More

Taylor Decker is a Buckeye!

Written January 15th, 2012 by Jim

Hello, Mr. Decker

Ohio offensive tackle Taylor Decker has decided to become the 20th member of Ohio State’s 2012 recruiting class, filling a major position of need on the team in the coming years.

Decker had been committed to Notre Dame since March of ’11, making this somewhat of a surprise.

However, Decker’s decision to officially visit Columbus came shortly after his position coach (Ed Warinner) and primary recruiter (Tim Hinton) at Notre Dame were announced as the final members of Urban Meyer’s offensive coaching staff. The relationship he established with his coaches was clearly important and the driving factor in his decision to be a Buckeye.

At 6’8″ and 300 lbs. (give or take) Decker has prototypical size for a tackle. His athleticism on the basketball court (where he also excels) is an indication that he has the footwork necessary to pass block on the edge. All of these things mean that he likely projects at LT- and that is a very, very good thing for the Buckeyes.

Highlights after the jump.

Read More

Taylor Decker to visit Ohio State this Weekend

Written January 13th, 2012 by Jim

Ready to follow his coaches?

Big news on the recruiting front.

Ohio offensive tackle and current Notre Dame verbal commit Taylor Decker will be visiting Ohio State this weekend.

Considering that his position coach and primary recruiter at Notre Dame were just officially announced and introduced as a part of Ohio State’s coaching staff, the writing seems to be on the wall for this one.

Given the need at tackle, Decker switching his commitment to the Buckeyes would obviously be a huge development for the 2012 class and for the team moving forward.

With the uncertainty surrounding Jordan Diamond (both in terms of where he will sign and if he projects at LT) and the recent news that Joey O’Conner is being recruited as an interior linemen, it can’t be overstated what big news this is and the impact it could have on the 2012 class.

A duo of Decker and Dodson at tackle would be an amazing finish, particularly when you consider how bleak things have looked at the position throughout this recruiting cycle.

Fingers crossed.
Read More

Recruiting Update: 9/21/10

Written September 21st, 2010 by Jim

Kyle Kalis (Photo via the Plain Dealer)

Joe also contributed to this post.

With the excitement of fall camp and the start of the season, recruiting has been on the back burner for weeks.

Since my last update, Ohio State received the commitment of local Columbus running back Warren Ball and Cleveland offensive lineman Kyle Kalis, the second and third commitments in the 2012 class.

With those two commitments and the recent addition of several new in-state offers (one of which was Kalis), the 2012 class is starting to gain some momentum.

As far as the 2011 class is concerned, outside of Doran Grant, Aundrey Walker, and Shane Wynn eventually becoming Buckeyes, everything else is up in the air.

The area of most confusion in 2011 is at linebacker. Ohio State clearly would like to take at least one linebacker in the class… the problem is figuring out who that will be.

Join me after the jump for a look at how the 2011 class might wind down and an early look at the extremely talented 2012 class. Read More

Recruiting Update: Kicking off the ’12 Class

Written July 20th, 2010 by Jim

Ohio State has plenty of options at RB in 2012.

I already took a brief look at the ’12 class at the end of June. Since then, Ohio State landed ’12  LB/TE/DE/whatever  prospect Josh Perry, officially making it not too early to start talking about the rest of the class.

Another factor that makes it worth looking ahead is that the ’11 class is all but finished.

Even though official written offers aren’t allowed to be sent out until September 1st, Ohio State’s staff has identified quite a few ’12 players at camp this summer to extend verbal offers to.

Extremely early/rough estimates for the ’12 class indicate that it will be very small, possibly less than 15 spots small, pending transfers, people coming back (Duron Carter) and early departures to the NFL.

The limited scholarships plus the early verbal offers mean that the class could (and most likely will) fill up quickly.

When everything is said and done, the 2011 and 2012 recruiting classes will be extremely talented and building blocks for the future, similar to what the 2008 and 2009 classes are on the team right now. Read More