Welcome, friends, to The Wake-Up Call for Thursday, Aug. 25.
We hope you’ll start your day with us here at the Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything that you need to know – six days a week – around the world of Ohio State sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, wrestling, hockey, baseball or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.
Let’s get started.
‘Grab some popcorn and Google the roster’
One of the more fascinating aspects of this upcoming season is whether Ohio State’s talent will be able to overcome the lack of experience.
At Ohio State’s practice Monday, Sports Illustrated writer Pete Thamel got the sense that Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and his assistants are much more relaxed than their northern neighbors in Ann Arbor. While casual college football fans might not recognize the names on the Ohio State depth chart, the Buckeyes coaching staff has faith that the younger, less-heralded players will still produce results.
From Sports Illustrated:
Outside of veteran quarterback J.T. Barrett and marauding linebacker Raekwon McMillan, there’s a host of unknowns that need to sort themselves out with the Buckeyes. But it became clear wandering the practice field Monday that there aren’t a lot of butterflies in the coaching staff to accompany all the question marks. This is a distinctly faster Ohio State team, teeming with the potential to live up to the standard Meyer has set here by going 50–4 since 2012. Ohio State coaches see the defensive line as the deepest since they arrived, the secondary as the most talented and an offensive line that’s in the conversation with the Buckeyes’ best.
The stars don’t shine as bright as tailback Ezekiel Elliott, end Joey Bosa and linebacker Darron Lee, but the overall talent remains in a similar solar system. “There’s quantity,” co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell says, “more than the big-time quality guys.”
Bosa fights back
The contract negotiations between former Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa and the San Diego Chargers heated up on Wednesday when the team went public with its side of the story.
Statement from the San Diego Chargers on defensive end Joey Bosa. pic.twitter.com/BayBGeN22x
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) August 24, 2016
Of course, that wasn’t the whole truth, given that the team is refusing to offer offset language that’s long been common practice with top five picks.
Left unsaid is SD is trying to stick Bosa with a set of contractual terms no top 5 pick has agreed to post CBA https://t.co/Jgi2MdwPHB
— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) August 24, 2016
In response to the statement from the Chargers, the Bosa camp put out its own statement on the negotiation.
It is unfortunate the San Diego Chargers have decided to manipulate facts and negotiate in the media. The team surely is not strengthening its relationship with Joey Bosa by taking this stance and making their position public.
We have decided that we will not engage in public negotiations or discuss numbers and/or terms in this negotiation.
We will say, that it is ironic that the team now takes issue with the timing of Joey’s arrival, since the Chargers unilaterally decided to remain silent for the first 14 days of training camp instead of replying in a timely fashion to the proposal we made on the eve of training camp on July 28th.
At this point, all we can do is continue to fight for a fair contract on behalf of our client, as we do for all of our clients. The Chargers can focus on trying to sway public opinion, but our focus will remain on our client and securing a contract for him that is fair and consistent with his draft position.
Who knows where this goes from here, but it probably won’t be pretty.
Is this the year of the H-back?
Three straight years of dominant performances from Ohio State running backs have diminished the impact of the H-back position for the Buckeyes, but that might be about to change.
With two veteran H-backs in senior Dontre Wilson and junior Curtis Samuel and an inexperienced redshirt freshman at running back in Mike Weber, the hybrid spot might be in a better position to produce this season.
After three seasons of a dominant tailback, Meyer may have to mix it up. Carlos Hyde and Elliott averaged 1,742 yards per season and 134 yards per game as the lead back from 2013 to 2015.
It’s not fair or realistic to expect redshirt freshman Mike Weber, who has never played a down of college football, to step in and do the same. That means the Buckeyes should reacquaint their H-backs — the smaller slot receivers who can also come in motion, or slip into the backfield at times — with the run game.
In Curtis Samuel, Dontre Wilson and K.J. Hill, the Buckeyes have three options to expand their repertoire.
Aussie Aussie Aussie
If the Ohio State equipment managers ever need to spice up the OSU helmet, punter Cameron Johnston has them covered. The Australia native retweeted a photo of North Carolina’s flag stickers for international students and appeared to approve.
Need the flag on my helmet! https://t.co/VY3Bzvb4FQ
— Cameron Johnston (@Cam_Johnston) August 24, 2016
— Jason Freeman (@UNCEquipment) August 23, 2016
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