Jeremy Birmingham/Landof10
Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson

Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson is a boss, Terrelle Pryor is going to get paid and more

Jeremy Birmingham

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Today is Friday, Feb. 15, 2017, and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.


Time to give Larry Johnson Sr. a raise

Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. makes somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 a year, give or take. That’s a nice chunk of change for anyone and there’s no doubt that Johnson isn’t going to complain about his income.

Nonetheless, it may not be enough. There are certainly not many coaches in America that have had the run of success the 33-year coaching veteran is enjoying.

Check this out:

That’s awfully impressive. Sure, Johnson has only been at Ohio State for three seasons but he played a major role in the success of Joey Bosa and of course, Tyquan Lewis, the 2016 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Johnson does all this without cussing at his players, too.

 The to-do list of new linebackers coach Billy Davis

When you’re a new coach at a big-time program such as Ohio State, the expectations that come with the title can slow down even the most capable fellow.

So enter Billy Davis, a near-20-year veteran of the NFL who is coming to Columbus as the Buckeyes’ new linebackers coach. He’s got a steep learning curve, big footprints to fill and a number of immediate — and pressing — tasks.

From Tony Gerdeman of The O-Zone.net:

  1. Find a middle linebacker.
  2. Find the next Jerome Baker.
  3. Figure out where the rest of the 2015 class is.
  4. Get positions and roles set.
  5. Determine if a rotation can happen.

I’m particularly interested in item No. 3.

While Baker has established himself as a star, he is not the lone third-year linebacker on this team. Justin Hilliard came in with more fanfare, and Nick Conner shined in his very first spring as a true freshman two years ago. Neither, however, has been able to find the proper footing to see the field during the regular season. Both have dealt with injuries, which has made things nearly impossible for them to establish what they can do. Will either of them even be available this spring? If so, Davis will want to see what they are able to do because you can never have enough productive veterans.

It’s not just the relative absence of the 2015 class in the Buckeyes linebackers room that has caught them a little off-guard. Their 2014 class, which consisted of Raekwon McMillan, Sam Hubbard, Kyle Berger and Dante Booker, has its fair share of talking points. Sure, McMillan was a spectacular team leader for three seasons, but Berger never played a down because of injuries, Hubbard changed positions almost immediately and Booker hasn’t been able to stay healthy yet.

Will Terrelle Pryor leave Cleveland for … Cincinnati?

It’s a weird time in the NFL. Teams like the Cleveland Browns are making roster moves in good faith with their best players. In Cleveland, one of those best players is — believe it or not — WR Terrelle Pryor, the former Ohio State quarterback. In 2016, Pryor caught 77 passes for 1007 yards and 4 touchdowns, completing his transition from a talented but raw quarterback to a talented and raw wide receiver.

Now he’s on the cusp of getting paid. The question is where will that happen? If it’s in Cleveland, it’s because Pryor decided to stay in Northeast Ohio.

I don’t know what Pryor feels about the Browns organization or Cleveland in general but I do know that they gave him a chance to prove himself as a big-time NFL talent. That should carry some weight in negotiations, but then again, continuing to play for the Cleveland Browns isn’t something that many people with a fully functioning brain choose to do.

(Come to Cincinnati, Terrelle.)

B1G Happenings

• James Franklin is recruiting like a mad man in a tough spot to recruit in 2017

• Kurt Warner’s son, Kade, will walk on at Nebraska

• Michigan is playing good basketball, beats Wisconsin in huge game

• Jim Harbaugh and Paul Finebaum continue to flirt with each other 

• Iowa’s newest coach brings recruiting savvy to Iowa City

• Walton continues to dominate for Michigan, sets record against Wisconsin

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