Tom Herman throws shade at Ohio State, Demetrius Knox emerging along the O-line, stop questioning J.T. Barrett, and more
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Today is Wednesday, March 15, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.
Hard Knox life
Though I suspect many of you have erased it from your memory, Ohio State turned to Demetrius Knox, a redshirt sophomore offensive guard, when starting guard Michael Jordan was injured against Clemson in the 2016 College Football Playoffs semifinal last New Year’s Eve. Knox, who missed nearly 10 weeks of the season with a broken foot, was the best option among a handful of less-than-ideal options for Urban Meyer and Greg Studrawa.
Knox played like an offensive lineman who hadn’t seen meaningful reps in three-plus years; a baptism by fire against the eventual national champions. In 2014, Ohio State’s Billy Price received a similar flaming bath when the Buckeyes were toasted by Virginia Tech in the second week of an eventual national championship season for the Buckeyes.
Price said last week that Knox has begun to really step up and looks the part of a real, honest-to-goodness, Slob.
Courtesy of The O-Zone.net and Tony Gerdeman:
One of the first players mentioned by Meyer last week in regards to the right guard position was redshirt junior Demetrius Knox, who got some time in a tough situation against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl last year. His baptism by fire did not go well as he struggled to keep up with the speed of the game.
“He did, he did,” Price said last week. “To that point I got mine against Virginia Tech (in 2014) so it always happens.”
There’s only ever been one or two offensive linemen in Ohio State history who have never had a couple of bad moments, so to judge Knox for those moments against a very talented Clemson defensive line would not be an accurate gauge of what he is capable of, especially now after another offseason of work.
“Demetrius Knox, the transformation you see, because he and I have been very close over the past three or four years that he’s been here, to see his transformation has been absolutely incredible,” Price said.
Knox was a major recruiting win for Ohio State in the summer of 2013. The former Texas commitment has not yet lived up his lofty ranking, but he’s going to get the chance to do that this fall for the Buckeyes.
Trevor Thompson is out the door for good (I think)
We mentioned on Monday that reports had Ohio State center Trevor Thompson ready to forgo his senior season of college basketball and, on Tuesday, that was confirmed.
The verbiage in the report (originally from ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman) doesn’t leave a lot of room for interpretation: Thompson is unlikely to come back to school no matter what happens with his NBA evaluation. Last offseason, Thompson made overtures toward a professional career but opted to return to Ohio State when evaluation had him going undrafted. The latest 2017 NBA Draft mocks have him going unselected this year as well, but after four years of college basketball, it may just be time for him to head to Europe and get paid to play overseas while he continues to craft his game.
Can’t hate the hustle, there, honestly. Go get that paper, Trevor.
The absurdity of doubting J.T. Barrett
Repeat after me, Buckeyes fans: getting J.T. Barrett back for a fifth year at Ohio State is a very good thing and you are excited about it.
Believe it or not, there are some of you, maybe even some reading this right now, who feel the Buckeyes would be better off without their (now) three-time captain and the holder of nearly every single Ohio State and Big Ten quarterback record.
This is a silly line of thinking and it needs to stop.
From Austin Ward of ESPN.com, who is a fine person and participates in a curling league on Friday nights in Columbus:
Yes, he has been around for a while.
And, no, he isn’t going away yet.
“We’re in a society now where people want the new and latest thing,” Barrett said. “I’ve been here for a minute. I read something the other day that was hilarious. It said, ‘J.T. Barrett has been at Ohio State longer than Bill Snyder has been a head coach.’
First of all, I love Bill Snyder. When Kansas State wanted to name a stadium named after him, he was all “You know what? Let’s name it after my family instead.” That earns him some serious points in my book. Second of all, it’s a darn good thing that Barrett is returning to the Ohio State offense because he’s proven to be the best option to run it in its two previous iterations. New offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, along with Meyer, are discovering he’ll be the best choice to run this next version, too.
With Kevin Wilson hired as the new offensive coordinator in the offseason, some change is certainly coming for the Buckeyes. Just don’t expect it to include a new quarterback.
“The first thing I have to do with J.T. is, No. 1, you’ve got one of the best players in the country, so every day you have to bring your best,” Wilson said. “Working with J.T. means you’ve got to bring it every day at a high end.
“To me, just from afar, the way he played as a freshman was uncanny. … I just have always loved his command and presence. Now that I’m here, you see more about him. What he does is he affects his position because he has a strong effect on Joe, strong effect on the young guys with Dwayne [Haskins] and Tate [Martell], has a strong effect on me. He’s got some great leadership skills. He’s a blessed kid, and I’m blessed to have a chance to coach him.”
Enjoy the time you have left with J.T. Barrett, Ohio State fans. You’re unlikely to see a player and leader of his ilk again anytime soon.
Tom Herman continues to rile up Buckeyes fans
If you’re one of those folks that have been hoping for Tom Herman to be a name considered as Meyer’s eventual predecessor at Ohio State, it may be time to start tabling that idea. Herman suggested that Tim Beck’s role in Ohio State’s disjointed offense was overblown (I agree with him, for what it’s worth) and on Monday the new Longhorns head coach took aim at Columbus, Ohio, and it’s fickle weather.
— Coach Tom Herman (@CoachTomHerman) March 13, 2017
Herman’s message is meant, obviously, as a recruiting tactic for Texas kids who may not be prepared for snow. Of course in March of 2014, Herman’s last March in Ohio, there were just 2 inches of snow in Columbus, so there may not really be a need for this “Tom” foolery anyway.
I think Ohio State’s pilfering of Texas in the 2017 recruiting cycle (thanks in large part to Beck) has more to do with Herman’s jab than does his displeasure toward a little snowfall.
• Nebraska’s pro day was a big success in Lincoln
• Fifth-year WR Matt Vandenberg won’t be ready for spring football at Iowa
• Jim Harbaugh ain’t come here to play school
• Badgers get a big commitment from a Michigan prep star
• Tom Izzo strikes back at Jim Boeheim