Welcome, friends, to The Wake-Up Call for Monday, Aug. 22.
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.
Buckeyes receive a first-place vote
With nine underclassmen departing early and 12 players being drafted, the Ohio State football team is more youthful than usual heading into the 2016 season. That apparently wasn’t a deterrent for AP Top 25 voters, who ranked Ohio State sixth in the preseason poll released Sunday.
The No. 6 spot was just a two-spot decline from the Buckeyes’ season-ending ranking of No. 4. The current roster is so highly regarded that one voter submitted his poll with Ohio State in the top spot. Although the poll was released Sunday, Jon Wilner’s explanation for his vote was posted Aug. 11.
From the San Jose Mercury News:
No. 1: Ohio State. Not ready? Too much attrition? Wait ’til 2017? Nah. Urban Meyer proved two years ago that he can make it work ahead of schedule. Yes, the Buckeyes were slammed by departures to the NFL, but they have experience where it matters most (QB J.T. Barrett), there are future draft picks everywhere, and motivation shouldn’t be an issue after last year’s disappointment. Get ’em early — that means you, Oklahoma! — or get the heck out of their way.
His reasoning is sound, and the Buckeyes are already drawing comparisons to the 2014 team that won the College Football Playoff. And while the Oklahoma game may seem like a deterrent to high expectations, Ohio State has already shown that early nonconference losses aren’t necessarily fatal to a team’s playoff hopes.
Younger Bosa has no problem with comparisons
The first clue that Nick Bosa doesn’t mind comparisons to his older brother Joey is that he wears the same jersey number. There’s also the fact that he chose the same school as his All-American sibling and also shares a Twitter handle (@nbsmallerbear) that is a play off his brother’s (@jbbigbear).
And while he welcomes those comparisons, he’s also secure in the knowledge that he and his brother have some differences and he’s his own unique person.
From the Columbus Dispatch:
If his brother had stayed for his senior season at Ohio State, Nick Bosa would have settled for the number 91 for a season, he said. “That’s what I wore when he was a senior in high school and I was a freshman.”
The comparisons are inevitable. Nick Bosa has been dealing with them most of his life.
“No problem,” he said. “I know everybody is going to look at me and hope that I’m him, but I’m just going to be my own person, my own player.”
How Zeke’s play sold Antonio Williams on OSU
Antonio Williams is already making a name for himself at Ohio State, drawing steady praise from running backs coach Tony Alford during spring practice as an early enrollee.
As it turns out, Ohio State had to work quite hard to bring Williams on board. It took five phone calls from Alford to convince William to give the Buckeyes a look. Once he did, though, it helped to have a running back like Ezekiel Elliott to point to.
Williams fell in love with what he saw on the field when he started paying closer attention to Ohio State, and that made him question Wisconsin.
“I just felt like at Wisconsin I wouldn’t reach my full potential for what I want to be overall,” Williams said. “I want to be that Ezekiel Elliott-type player. Zeke will catch it out of the backfield, he’ll block, he’ll line up at receiver and run routes, and he’ll obviously run the ball tremendously.
“At the same time, at Wisconsin, it’s more, ‘Here, take the ball and go.’ I looked further into that, and the psychology department, which was my major, and I saw at Ohio State it was ranked higher. I just put a lot of thought in and weighed the pros and cons for both situations, and it wouldn’t have made sense for me to go to Wisconsin.”
Williams will get a chance to visit — and potentially play in — Camp Randall Stadium nonetheless when the Buckeyes visit the Badgers this season.
Zach Smith mic’d up
Ohio State has been sharing video of all its assistant coaches at practice, and Sunday was wide receivers coach Zach Smith’s turn in the spotlight.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) August 21, 2016
Smith touches on a little bit of everything, from glove sizes to Parris Campbell’s dancing ability to what the receivers need to do in order to make quarterback J.T. Barrett’s life easier.
One voter’s case for making Michigan the No. 1 team in the country | Meet the Iowa safety with a fondness for poetry | Illinois basketball lands a 4-star commitment | Iowa linebacker arrested for drunk driving | Notes from Nebraska’s scrimmage this weekend | Get a closer look at Rutgers’ black uniforms