Good morning, Buckeyes. It’s Friday, August 12 and this is your Ohio State Wake-Up Call.
With six preseason NFL games now in the books, it can no longer be disputed that it’s football season.
On Thursday, Ohio State was back on the practice field — this time at historic Coffey Field on campus — and there was some opportunity for the media to chat it up with a few Buckeyes. Here’s a brief recap of Thursday.
- Video: Tim Beck, Greg Schiano, J.T. Barrett and Joe Burrow
- Damon Webb ready to step into starting role at Ohio State after rough 2015
- Ohio State wants J.T. Barrett to be the best quarterback in the country — every day
- Video: Ohio State’s intense circle drill from Tuesday’s practice
- Former Buckeye Cam Heyward remembers his father, Ironhead
What else is happening around the Ohio State University? Let’s take a closer look.
Buckeyes make their mark in NFL debuts
Ohio State had 12 players selected in April’s NFL Draft — including five first-round selections — and a number of those players kicked off their NFL career on Thursday night and did so in eye-opening fashion.
Wide receivers Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints) and Jalin Marshall (New York Jets) were not among the first-round picks — Marshall went undrafted — but both drew rave reviews in their debut. Why? Maybe these clips will help shed some light on that.
Here’s Thomas, a second-round pick, with an almost Sugar Bowl-against-Alabama-toe-tapping catch on the sideline against the New England Patriots.
— Saints Gameday (@SaintsGameday) August 12, 2016
Thomas wasn’t done. Just another day at the office for one of the founders of Zone Six.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 12, 2016
The Saints rookie finished his first NFL contest with four catches for 67 yards, leading the Saints in both categories.
Not wanting to be outdone, Marshall showed Jets fans — and Buckeyes fans who have not been entirely kind toward him after his decision to leave early for the NFL — that he’s got the skills to play despite being a free agent signee and not a draft pick.
Jets' starting offense remains in the game for the second series, with Jalin Marshall out there as the fourth wide receiver.
— Darryl Slater (@DarrylSlater) August 12, 2016
Marshall had just one catch for 10 yards but his ability to contribute to the Jets is more likely to be felt in the…wait…what’s that?
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 12, 2016
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Jalin is more likely than not going to be making a team because of his ability on special teams.
For good measure, fellow Jet and former Buckeyes linebacker Darron Lee was also very impressive against the Jaguars. The New Albany, Ohio, native had three tackles, including two for loss, and one sack against the Jaguars.
— Matt Barbato (@RealMattBarbato) August 12, 2016
There was a whole heck of a lot of talent on the Buckeyes roster last year.
The Impressionist Era
There’s this funny thing that happens when a college assistant coach gets a chance to be “the man” with his own program. Despite all the insistence that they are going to run their new program their way, it seems they always take pieces – in some cases a lot of pieces – from the head coach they felt best prepared for them for their new venture.
Take, for example, Tom Herman. If you recall, Herman was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State from 2012-2014, and he helped Ohio State win a national championship. Tom’s an innovative guy who co-authored some of the most prolific offenses in Buckeyes history, so it’s not as though he’s lacking any creative energy of his own. Still, when you’ve had a chance to work for Urban Meyer — who’s won three national titles and is widely considered one of the two best college coaches in America — why not borrow some of the things that worked?
ESPN.com’s Jared Shanker broke down how Herman and Houston — it’s also happening in Piscataway, N.J. with new Rutgers coach Chris Ash — have adopted the Urban Meyer
blueprint game plan. What have the Cougars adopted from the Buckeyes?
- Break entitlement issues on the roster
- Change practice habits
- Proper alignment on your coaching staff
- Develop a quarterback
- Family atmosphere inside the program
- Motivate and avoid complacency in Year 2
That “Year 2” piece is important, especially so if you’re winning big like Meyer always has — and Herman did —in the first year. When you’ve started a turnaround, it’s sometimes harder to maintain it than it was to create it in the first place. It requires a different brand of motivation, according to Herman. What was Urban Meyer’s advice about celebrating last year’s success while preparing for this year’s new challenges?
“That ‘It’s absolutely OK to celebrate the examples and the process, but you certainly never want to dwell on the result,’ ” Herman said. “You don’t want to sit there and gloat about how fun it was to stand on the stage in the Georgia Dome or out here in our stadium when we won the conference championship.”
Maybe — hopefully for a lot of Buckeyes fans — one day Tom Herman will be taking over Urban Meyer’s program at Ohio State? That should make the transition a bit easier, you’d think.
Joe Burrow’s preparing like a starter
We all know that, barring a disaster, J.T. Barrett will be Ohio State’s starting quarterback when they take the field on Sept. 3 against Bowling Green. For the first time since 2013, who the Buckeyes starting quarterback will be isn’t the question, but who Barrett’s backup will be hasn’t quite been answered yet.
The smart money is on Joe Burrow, the redshirt freshman from Athens High School, being that guy and the 6-foot-3, 218-pound quarterback is preparing not just to be the backup, but the starter.
Just in case.
No one expected J.T. Barrett to lead Ohio State to the playoffs in 2014, or for Cardale Jones to win them three playoff games to nab the national title, either. Burrow isn’t taking anything for granted and he’s not going to stop working like he always has, like the guy no one thinks can do it.
From Marcus Hartman of the Dayton Daily News:
“I was from Athens, Ohio. Where is that? That’s kind of how I’ve played my entire career. I’ve played with a chip on my shoulder about where I’m from, how I was recruited. I wasn’t highly recruited but I ended up here. And I’ve kind of always just played that way.
“It’s a backup’s job to be ready, and if I’m not ready, then I’m not doing my job,” he said. “I’m not ready yet. I’ve still gotta get better.”
Just in case.
Chase Hounshell’s circuitous route to Urban Meyer’s program
One player on Ohio State’s roster you may not have heard much about has had a very interesting path to being in Urban Meyer’s offense.
In fact, the last game that Chase Hounshell, a Kirtland, Ohio, product out of Mentor’s Lake Catholic High School, was a part of, he was on the field opposite of the Buckeyes as a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Though he only played in three games in 2015 — along the defensive line no less – the 6-foot-5, 255-pound Hounshell made the move to Ohio State as a graduate transfer this spring and provides depth and a veteran know-how for Ed Warinner’s young tight ends group.
After missing most of the 2013 season and all of the 2014 season at Notre Dame with injuries, Hounshell will finally get to cap his college career the way he believed he’d be starting it, playing for Urban Meyer.
— Chase Hounshell (@chasehounshell) August 11, 2016
Almost a Gator, Hounshell instead became one of four 2011 Florida commitments that decided to enroll elsewhere when Urban Meyer briefly retired. Now he’ll be the second of those four to suit up for the Buckeyes. The other? Linebacker Ryan Shazier.
Life’s pretty cool, ain’t it?
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