Removing The Lock From Locker Room?

Ohio State men’s basketball plays Nebraska tomorrow. Poor Nebraska, ruled by petty tyrant (or–if you prefer–Petteway tyrant) Tim Miles, who has stripped the team of locker room privileges until their performance meets expectations.

To these children of the corn, the Buckeyes offer sanctuary.

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Buckeyes At The Combine

Jeff Heuerman
6’5″ 254 pounds

  • 26 reps on the bench press
  • second best performance on the bench of this year’s tight ends
  • did not participate in other testing (40-yard dash, three-cone, etc.) as he’s recovering from an ankle injury
  • suggests the Browns have a real need at tight end that Heuerman could fill

Devin Smith
6’0″, 196 pounds

  • 4.42 seconds on the 40-yard dash
  • 10 reps on the bench press
  • 39.0″ vertical jump
  • 122.0″ broad jump
  • 4.15 second 20-yard shuttle
  • compared him to DeSean Jackson
  • reporters who cover the Bengals, Browns, Chargers, Bears, and 49ers have all written about Smith in conjunction with their teams

Michael Bennett
6’2″, 293 pounds

  • did not participate in testing because he’s still recovering from a groin injury
  • was widely cited as one of the most impressive at the podium during media interviews
  • the Detroit Lions seemed especially interested in the defensive lineman

Doran Grant
5’10”, 200 pounds

  • 4.44 seconds on the 40-yard dash
  • tied for third best time on the 40-yard dash of this year’s corners
  • 21 reps on the bench press
  • second best performance on the bench of this year’s corners
  • 33.0″ vertical jump
  • 116.0″ broad jump
  • 4.33 second 20-yard shuttle
  • teams linked to Grant have included the Patriots, Broncos, Steelers, and we know he interviewed with the 49ers

Ohio State’s Pro Day is March 13th.

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Hey, Pumpkin. Watch This!

Lettuce take a moment to enjoy the high-fiber workout of Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen. The two Blue Jackets forwards squash the corny notion that you can’t play with your food.

Now enjoy as you watch them pepper the net.

You know, I think that first “vegetable” might be an avocado. Technically, that’s a fruit. How do you like them apples?

Foligno certainly didn’t like having to pay up after (spoiler alert) losing the race.

“Don’t quit your day job, Foligno,” might be my favorite Morgan Freeman line since…Oh, heck. Everything Freeman says is an instant classic.

For similar battles, click here. The other food fight is pretty good, albeit kinda bananas.

Like these videos? They were uncovered by the great Alison Lukan. I’m giving her a hat tip, you should give her a follow.

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Terrelle Pryor Is “Homeless”

Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor has a new team, having signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, and he’s settled in by visiting the local veterans and children’s hospitals.

That hasn’t earned him any goodwill with at least one of the locals, though…

So for all the recent talk about how great the Duke/North Carolina basketball rivalry is (and last night’s game was fantastic), today score one for Ohio State/Michigan.

Hat tip to friend and colleague Tim Hall.

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Combine Starts Today

Today is day one of the NFL combine. The first group of players to arrive in Indianapolis includes former Buckeye tight end Jeff Heuerman as well as the other members of his position group, place kickers, special teamers and offensive lineman.

Eventually, there will be four Buckeyes sweating under the scouts’ microscope, and of these, one seems to stand out in the mind of NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock.

“Devin Smith…tracks the deep ball maybe better than anybody in this draft,” Mayock said. “A lot of guys can’t.”

Pointing out he also expects Smith to run a forty-yard dash in less than 4.35 seconds, Mayock added, “He’s got kind that of that center fielder skill to track the ball in the air, and that’s rare, and when you combine it with his speed, that’s a big weapon.”

Smith and the other wide receivers, quarterbacks and running backs report for orientation tomorrow.

The next day, it’s linebackers and defensive lineman checking in, and Mayock feels Michael Bennett should go somewhere in the second round and is one of eight defensive tackles he would consider a “high-level” player.

“I like Michael Bennett,” Mayock said. “He needs to be in a system where he plays 3 technique in a 4-3. I think his quickness and explosion is what sets him apart.”

The last group in Indianapolis is comprised of defensive backs, including one final Ohio State Buckeye.

“As far as Doran Grant,” said Mayock, “he’s kind of sneaky because his measurements, I don’t think are going to jump off the board, but he’s a really good football players, and from all I’ve heard, he’s a great kid and a hard work ethic kid. He’s the kind of guy I would bet on.”

Mayock projects Grant to go “in the middle rounds.”

The NFL Network’s coverage of the combine starts with the on-field workouts Friday, and, of course, we’ll be telling you how the Ohio State players are doing on 97.1 The Fan.

For what Mayock had to say about the Browns and the upcoming draft, listen below:

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Brutus Buckeye Has Game

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No, Roquan Smith Is Not Rosa Parks

Today, dear reader, I’m using you as my therapist. (Thanks in advance.) You see, most times when you write a column or blog or book or anything really, they tell you not to write something obvious.

How engaging is a dissertation on 2+2=4 going to be, right?

But today, for the sake of my sanity, I have to share this: No, Roquan Smith is not Rosa Parks.

I have to share this, because this seemingly straightforward truth is not so straightforward to everybody.

Enter Alabama columnist Kevin Scarbinsky.

Now, the work of Scarbinsky, at least that which I’m familiar with, is normally very good. He’s a talented writer, and typically insightful. He’s shown an ability to be extraordinarily gracious in the past, revisiting stories when he didn’t them just right.

In other words, don’t take what I’m about to say as an indictment on his ability or common sense in general.

However, Scarbinsky today said he made a comparison that could be considered “over the top, out of line, disrespectful,” and he’s absolutely right.

It is indeed all those things.

What was Scarbinsky comparing? Rosa Parks role in the civil rights movement, and Roquan Smith’s refusal to sign a letter of intent, which allows him to wait until the first day of class for him to pick which college football team he’ll play for.

What Smith is doing is worthwhile and perhaps trendsetting. Too many athletes are bound to a school only to have their coach or position coach leave after Signing Day. Indeed Scarbinsky’s defense for using the Rosa Parks metaphor is that the issue is deserving of attention, so he needed an attention-grabbing analogy.


(Again, Kevin whom I otherwise like.)

Rosa Parks was arrested. She lost her job. She received death threats. The price of her taking a stand was very, very high.

In case you were unaware, Roquan Smith is not risking a lynching for what he has done.

In the comments section of his column, Scarbinsky asks readers why they are downplaying Parks’ courage. He doesn’t see the irony of how he’s done exactly that by drawing a parallel between what Parks did and what Smith is trying to do.

He’s asked by one reader why he didn’t make the more reasonable comparison between Smith and Curt Flood, the late Cardinals outfielder who challenged baseball’s reserve clause and and set the stage for free agency.

“Curt Flood is a good comparison and one I considered” Scarbinsky’s responds. “But his name doesn’t resonate with as many people today.”

Yes, and there’s a reason for that. Flood also didn’t risk his freedom and his life.

We’ve seen this a few times lately: Well-meaning people hoping to spotlight something important, only to distract from the issue by instead casting an even brighter spotlight on their own attention-grabbing tactics. (Think of the Nationwide commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.)

If you want to compare Rosa Parks and and Roquan Smith, in other words, you can do what my friend did and highlight what the two actually have in common.

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