Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10
Former Ohio State center Pat Elflein is expected to be picked on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Pat Elflein meets a Big Ten legend, Ohio State basketball hosts a visitor, Buckeyes volleyball gets a No. 1 seed and more

Ben Axelrod

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Today is Monday, April 24, and it’s time to Wake Up Sloopy.


Pat Elflein meets a B1G legend

With the NFL draft coming up later this week, Pat Elflein is a few days away from finding out where he’ll begin his pro career. During the weekend, however, the former Ohio State center met a future opponent (or future teammate) in Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas.

Like Elflein, Thomas is one of the most accomplished offensive linemen in Big Ten history, having enjoyed a four-year career at Wisconsin (2003-06). During his time with the Badgers, Thomas twice earned All-America honors and won the 2006 Outland Trophy.

Considered one of the top — if not, the top — interior linemen in the upcoming draft, Elflein is coming off a senior season in which he earned unanimous All-America honors and won the Rimington Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s top center. Per Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, the Pickerington, Ohio, native projects as a third-round pick.

While their college careers were similar in terms of accolades, Thomas has set quite a standard to live up to at the next level. In each of his 10 years with the Browns, Thomas has been selected to play in the Pro Bowl.

Could Elflein be in line for another meeting with Thomas at the NFL’s version of the All-Star Game sometime down the line? Stay tuned.

Ohio State shows Mark Smith around

With Trevor Thompson’s future uncertain and David Bell recently transferring, the Ohio State men’s basketball program appears hopeful to add another member to its roster before the start of the summer.

The Buckeyes’ quest to do just that continued last weekend, when Ohio State hosted guard Mark Smith, one of the top still-unsigned prospects of the 2017 class.

A native of Edwardsville, Ill., Smith ranks as a 4-star prospect and the No. 74 overall player in the 2017 class. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound player projects as a shooting guard at the next level and also holds offers from Illinois and Michigan State.

Formerly committed to play baseball at Missouri, Smith opted for a future on the hardwood after a coaching change on the Tigers staff. That’s one of the reasons his recruitment has carried out as long as it has, according to Bill Landis of Cleveland.com.

Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com first reported news of Smith’s visit to Columbus. Basketball’s regular signing period, which began in November, ends on May 17.

Buckeyes volleyball earns a No. 1 seed

On Saturday, the second-ranked Ohio State men’s volleyball team clinched an NCAA Tournament bid, sweeping No. 14 Grand Canyon in the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tournament Championship Game. On Sunday, the Buckeyes found out their seeding.

Chosen as the six-team tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, defending national champion Ohio State will host the winner of the May 2 match between No. 4 Hawaii and No. 5 Penn State on Thursday, May 4. With St. John Arena serving as the host site this year, the Buckeyes will possess a home-court advantage throughout their national-title defense.

With a 30-2 record, Ohio State has built on the momentum of its national championship season in 2016. On Sunday afternoon, Buckeyes football coach Urban Meyer took to Twitter to congratulate the tournament’s top team.

Tickets to the NCAA Tournament can be found here.

B1G happenings

• Jack and Jim Harbaugh explain American football at a refugee camp.

Backup QB Tommy Stevens wins offensive MVP honors at Penn State spring game.

Nebraska is adding to its 2018 class.

Ex-Michigan State DE Auston Robertson taken into police custody.

• Iowa football: Ferentz not surprised by spring struggles.

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