The Wake-Up Call: Ohio State kicks off the 2016 season, Orlando Pace lands in Canton, How to watch Buckeyes in the Olympics
Welcome friends, to The Wake-Up Call.
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 and we look forward to sharing it all with you.
Let’s get started.
This one time, at football camp
Football season is here…kind of.
On Saturday, Ohio State’s 2016 football team checked into the Hyatt Place hotel in Grandview Heights and got themselves locked and loaded for the fall’s first practice.
Early this morning, in the shadows of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the Buckeyes 2016 football signing class will lace up their cleats and strap on their helmets for the first official practice of the 2016 football season. Ohio State enters the new year pretty healthy and in good spirits, though there’s a chance that running back Mike Weber got less than a great night of sleep thanks to freshman running back Antonio Williams sawing some logs in their shared room.
Why do I get the roommate that snores the loudest on the team every year ..I need answers @CoachTonyAlford
— Mike Weber (@mikeweberjr) August 7, 2016
The Buckeyes enter fall camp with high expectations – they’re ranked as the No. 5 team in the country according to the AP’s first preseason poll – and a lot of questions as they look to replace 16 starters from last year’s Fiesta Bowl winning, 12-1 team.
What should you be looking for on Sunday? Here’s the schedule on campus.
- (8:25 a.m.) Freshmen practice
- (3:25 p.m.) Full team practice
- (5:35 p.m.) Urban Meyer meets with the media
- (5:50 p.m.) J.T. Barrett meets with the media
Landof10.com will have photos, news and notes and more from the first day of Ohio State’s 2016 football season all day long, so keep checking back.
Welcome to Canton, Orlando Pace
If I was forced to pick one player that I’d consider the single best Buckeyes football player of all-time, I’d pick Orlando Pace.
A 6-foot-7, 330-pound mountain of a man, Orlando Pace redefined what it meant to be a “big” athlete. I will never forget watching him run down the sideline against Michigan State in 1995, blocking anyone who dared get near Eddie George as the pair of freaks galloped for a long touchdown.
Pace is definitely in the conversation as the greatest Buckeye of all-time and on Saturday – with his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame – that argument got a little bit stronger. The Sandusky, Ohio native accepted his honor in Canton, being introduced by his oldest son, Justin.
In his typical, humble fashion, the 1996 Outland Trophy winner focused on the fulfillment of his lifelong football goals and how football helped make him into the man he is today.
“From high school, through college, to the final game of my career,” Pace said. “My goal never wavered. It has always been to be the very best I can be. Hear what I am saying: the very best I can be. Not simply in football, but in life. Throughout, the Hall of Fame was the pinnacle, my Matterhorn, which I strived to ascend. I never spoke to anybody about my goals, but it fueled the fire inside me, that I unleashed in every game I played.”
You can watch Pace’s entire speech here, courtesy of the NFL.
Buckeyes begin Olympic competition
If you’re watching the Olympics this weekend you may notice that there are a number of current and former Ohio State athletes slated to perform in Brazil. In fact, 11 total Buckeyes will be on hand for the games, including two-time NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion Kyle Snyder, though he doesn’t suit up until the final day of the games on August 21.
Four Buckeyes took part in Saturday’s action, highlighted by Nichelle Prince’s Olympic debut in Canada’s 3-1 win against Zimbabwe in women’s soccer.
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) August 6, 2016
Women’s rower Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino teamed up with Helene Lefebvre to take third place for France in the opening heat of double sculls, advancing to the Aug. 9 semifinals.
Two others also competed but failed to advance past the preliminary rounds of their respective events. Bahamas swimmer Dustin Tynes came in 44th in the 100 breaststroke, touching the wall in 1:03.71, while New Zealand men’s gymnast Misha Koudinov posted an all-around score of 80.899 in qualifying that was good enough for 29th.
Sunday’s action will feature two more Ohio State rowers. Aina Cid Centelles will compete for Spain in women’s pair at 9:30 a.m. ET and Ilse Paulis will row for the Netherlands in women’s lightweight double sculls at 9:50 a.m. ET. Paulis and her teammate Maaike Head were picked to medal in the event by both the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated. You can watch them race live by clicking here.
Terrelle Pryor returns to Ohio Stadium
You may recall that former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was banned – for five years – from any activities that involved Buckeyes football. That penalty, levied as punishment for his role in the “Tattoogate” scandal that eventually led to the dismissal of Jim Tressel from his position as the head coach of the Buckeyes, is now over.
On Saturday, Pryor – now a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns – was back in Ohio Stadium as a member of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns scrimmaged at the Horseshoe for the second straight year (Pryor sat out last year’s iteration with an injury) and the one-time No. 1-ranked recruit (2008) seemed happy to be back on the field where he once led the Buckeyes and it appears that Ohio State fans weren’t holding a grudge, either.
— Todd Jones (@Todd_Jones) August 6, 2016
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound wideout caught six passes and scored two touchdowns, including a scrimmage-ended 75-yard score that he capped off with a celebration that is familiar to Ohio State fans.
Terrelle Pryor's 75-yd TD catch from today. pic.twitter.com/UifpnCHMJl
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) August 6, 2016
During the day, the Jeannette (Pa.) native ran into Luke Fickell – who became the interim head coach at Ohio State in 2011 when Tressel was dismissed – and the two reportedly chatted it up for a bit at Pryor’s old stomping grounds.
“He came into the locker room, gave me a little dap and it was great to see him,” Pryor said. “I talked to him for a while.”
Welcome back, Terrelle.
NFL Draft success not new for Ohio State, it’s the standard
If you pay attention to college football – or you’re preparing for your fantasy football draft – you know that the Buckeyes had a pretty great 2016 NFL Draft; five 1st-round picks and 12 total players selected is hard to ignore after all.
What you may not know is that this success isn’t just a byproduct of Urban Meyer’s ferocious recruiting machine. Ohio State has been dominating the draft for a while now: 21 years to be exact.
11 CFB teams have produced at least 100 NFL Draft picks since seven round format began in 1994 pic.twitter.com/cVH9FZ6G8z
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) August 5, 2016
The reality is, that with a program like the Buckeyes have, it doesn’t matter if your head coach is Jon Cooper, Jim Tressel, Luke Fickell, or Urban Meyer, if you handle your business on and off the field, you’re in a great position to play at the next level.
Longsnapper wins most creative T-shirt award
As mentioned, the Buckeyes checked in for 2016’s fall camp on Saturday and while the idea that a gaggle of media were there to take pictures of guys walking into a hotel is ludicrous, there’s no reason to not have some fun with it, right? When it comes to fun, there are no members of the Ohio State football team more qualified than the special teams players and redshirt freshman longsnapper Liam McCullough certainly won the impromptu “Best T-shirt Contest” that check-in day has turned into.
McCullough showed up wearing a picture of himself – taken at least year’s camp check-in – on his shirt.
He told Landof10.com that there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be wearing a shirt next year that has a picture of him from this year wearing a shirt from last year.
McCullough’s got a lot of personality obviously, but now he’s got to show that he can adequately replace old reliable: four-year starter at longsnapper Bryce Haynes.
Iowa’s Desmond King is ready to chase All-American honors again | Nebraska counting on sophomore linebacker Dedrick Young | Penn State’s 2018 class added a 4-star wide receiver | Frog-chasing linebacker at Wisconsin turns into a tackling machine | Jabrill Peppers is working on his hands