Statement From Ohio State at the Ohio Statehouse

Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer spoke in front of the Ohio Senate today as his national champion Buckeyes were honored at the Statehouse.

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Eye Spy

Iowa’s Adam Woodbury poked an opponent in the eye for the third time this season, tonight catching Melo Trimble.

Woodbury also scored a career-high 16 enroute to the 71-55 win over Maryland.

After the game, here’s what Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery said about the incident.

Because I said

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Signs, Signs, Everywhere A Sign

Eric Glover-Williams, whose nickname is Superman, was the first commitment to this recruiting class. He played quarterback a couple seasons, then moved to running back. There he racked up 1,149 yards on 200 carries, for an average of 5.7 yards per carry and 14 rushing touchdowns last year. At the Buckeyes’ Friday Night Lights camp, he was a standout first as a wide receiver going up against Damon Webb; then the next year, as a defensive back, shutting down Austin Mack. At the Under Armour All-America Game, he returned a punt 47 yards for a touchdown, the only score his team would manage that day. Obviously, on the field, he’s quite dexterous. Finding his way off the field has been a little more of a challenge. He’s presumably grown up a lot since Ohio State considered revoking their scholarship offer, so much so that the Michigan State Spartans noticed and tried to flip him late in the process. He stuck with the Buckeyes, however, partly because he says the Ohio State/Michigan rivalry reminds him so much of the McKinley/Massilon games.

Sources:

The Canton Repository and more here, and here.

Kevin Feder might be the next big thing at Ohio State, and when you think big, think 6’9”. He’s always been large. He was too big for Pop Warner football. That’s why he took up wrestling, eventually becoming a very successful heavyweight. Despite not playing football when he was young, he has repeatedly said he was a fan of the Buckeyes growing up (and up and up). When he beat all of the other offensive lineman in a race during an OSU camp, they became a fan of his, too, and that’s part of how he earned his offer. Feder committed to the Miami Hurricanes before changing his mind, deciding instead that his future was in Columbus, and Feder spent most of his high school career playing on the defensive line, but in college, expects to be an offensive tackle.

Sources:

The Columbus Dispatch, and Instagram, because, holy heck: http://instagram.com/p/x5GdX-zZoz/

Denzel Ward is a speedster who ran a 4.31 40-yard dash and also ran track, specifically the 100-meter-dash, 200, long jump and the 4×100 and 4×200 relays. He was even faster to accept Ohio State’s offer when Urban Meyer told him a scholarship was available. He was at an OSU camp and didn’t wait consult his parents. Ward used his speed to shut down opposing wide receivers. His high school coaches at Nordonia are almost positive he had more interceptions (9) than the players he defended had catches. Buckeye fans may love to hear that, but this might not make him very popular in Columbus: Ward’s favorite NFL team is the Steelers.

Sources:

Cleveland.com, and more here

Alex Stump played his high school ball in the Cleveland area, but his dad works in Columbus, so he was really hoping to land a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes. Before that happened, though, he committed to Kentucky. He skipped OSU’s camps out of respect to that commitment, but eventually received the offer he coveted. Thus, he flipped from being a Wildcats commit to a future Buckeye. He missed much of his senior season after tearing ligaments in his foot in late September (9/21/14). He needed surgery to repair the injury. During his junior season, however, Stump registered 57 catches, for 987 yards and 14 touchdowns. Along with Jerome Baker, Stump has also been an outspoken advocate of domestic abuse awareness.

Sources:

Eleven Warriors and Cleveland.com, and more from Cleveland.com

Liam McCullough’s commitment marked the third straight day that Ohio State snagged a verbal this past June, and as a longsnapper, that means his addition to the recruiting class might have gone unnoticed…unless, that is, you happened to be a current OSU specialist. That’s because McCullough, who lives just a short jaunt from campus and plays for Worthington Kilbourne, has already been working out with Buckeye kickers and punters.  Others that might have noticed? Coaches at Michigan State, Wisconsin and Kentucky. They also had offers out to McCullough.

Sources:

Cleveland.com

Joe Burrow is Ohio’s Mr. Football, a participant in the 2015 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, and an Ohio State commit, with an emphasis on commitment. After telling Urban Meyer he wanted to be a Buckeye, he ignored late pushes by Nebraska, Oklahoma and Michigan. That he put off the Huskers is significant for a number of reasons. First, there’s the fact that Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck’s lack of early interest in Burrow is one reason the 6’4”, 210 pound signal caller is coming to Columbus, and now Beck is here, too. Second, Joe’s brothers Jamie and Dan both played for the Huskers. His father, Jimmy, both played for NU and then served on the coaching staff there. Jimmy is now the defensive coordinator of the Ohio Bobcats. Long conversations with his dad have helped Joe Burrow understand the game in such a way that he was able to throw six touchdowns in the state final, a game his Athens team ultimately lost 56-52 to Toledo Central Catholic. Although Athens finished the season as the runner-up, they still managed to become the most prolific offense in Ohio high school history with 861 points on the year. Burrow had over 11,000 yards and recorded 156 touchdowns in his career. His senior year he was 249 of 346 (72 percent), 4,413 yards, 63 touchdowns and two interceptions. With those numbers, it’s probably surprising to think he once thought his best shot at an athletic scholarship was basketball.

Sources:

Omaha World Herald, The Athens News, Cleveland.com. The Columbus Dispatch

A three-year starter at a powerhouse Georgia high school, his senior year, cornerback Joshua Norwood carried the banner for a defense that had a stellar season.  The Valdosta Wildcats were 9-2 and as the Valdosta Daily Times notes, they pitched four shutouts and allowed just 13.6 points per game. Norwood himself “picked off six passes, forced five fumbles and recovered three more. The 6-foot, 165-pounder also recorded 10 pass breakups and made 44 tackles, 11 for a loss.” Norwood is a three-sport athlete, competing also in track and basketball, and he decommitted from Cincinnati before joining the Buckeyes recruiting class.

Sources:

Valdosta Daily Times, Eleven Warriors

What Cleveland Glennville has been to Ohio State, Cass Tech has been to Michigan…That is until Urban Meyer tapped into the talent pool there and started pulling that talent to OSU. One example of that this year is Joshua Alabi. (The other is Mike Weber, who–as of 7:44 am–we’re still waiting to hear from.) He decided on the Buckeyes despite the fact that Michigan was the first school to offer him and the fact that he made 10 combined official or unofficial visits to Ann Arbor. Also, Michigan State was among his finalists. As much as the state of Michigan may have held an allure for Alabi, Urban Meyer held even more. Alabi told The Columbus Dispatch that when he was younger, he wanted to go to Florida to play for the now Buckeye head man.

Sources:

MLive.com

Rashod Berry was the 2014 All-Northeast Lakes District defensive player of the year. He earned that honor by forcing six fumbles and recording six sacks, one interception and a safety playing defensive end his senior year at Lorain. His senior year was important for another reason: It wasn’t until then that the Big Ten came calling. Berry, however, hoped he displayed confidence and patience by waiting to commit anywhere until then. In the end, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State ended up as his finalists. One advantage OSU has on the others? They had Lorain’s own Raymont Harris help them with their recruiting pitch. Berry also plays basketball, and his idea of taking a break is jogging around the neighborhood.

Sources:

The Chronicle-TelegramCleveland.com

When Dre’mont Jones verbally committed to Ohio State, it capped a ten-day period when OSU landed five recruits. (Nick Conner had offered his commitment just the day before. Denzel Ward joined up a day later.) The lineman registered 47 tackles, four sacks, and four forced fumbles during his senior year. In addition, he had three fumble recoveries, one which he returned for a touchdown. Jones called playing for the Buckeyes a dream come true, and the fact that his high school teammate and good friend Kyle Berger was also on campus was a very nice added bonus. Jones is a U.S. Army All American, and he was described by Athlon as a standout in the practices leading up to that game. During the game itself, he led all players with two pass breakups, and he tipped a ball, directly leading to a pick six for his team. He committed on his third trip to Columbus. Jones also plays basketball.

Sources:

AthlonCleveland.com

Another example of a player whom Urban Meyer was able to flip, offensive lineman Mirko Jurkovic  decommitted from Nebraska with the firing of Bo Pelini. Actually, when you consider some of his links to the area, it might be somewhat surprising Jurkovic wasn’t a Buckeye sooner. He grew up next door to Ohio State strength and conditioning coach Mick Marotti. His uncle John spent ten years in the NFL, including some time with the Browns. And it probably didn’t hurt that the weekend Jurkovic chose to make his official visit, he got to watch the Buckeyes beat Michigan. Jurkovic’s father, the late Mirko, Sr., died in 2013 after battling cancer.

Sources:

Eleven WarriorsOmaha.com

Recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill called Aramis (AJ) Alexander a possible sleeper in the 2015 recruiting class. He chose a very low-key setting to announce his commitment to Ohio State: in the locker room before a game during this past season. He did that, so he could share the moment with teammates. Alexander’s commitment reflects a relatively new emphasis Ohio State has placed on the state of Virginia, with Zach Smith and Larry Johnson both handling recruiting in the area. Alexander’s point man was Johnson. The wide receiver missed the bulk of his senior year with an ACL injury and projects as an H-back in college. He’s also a basketball player, who was part of a team which made it to the state semis his junior year.

Sources:

ESPN.com, Washington Post, Cleveland.com

A longtime commit to South Carolina, Damon Arnette stuck with his decision to pledge to the Gamecocks, even after a 7-6 season when questions arose about Steve Spurrier’s longevity and a number of other players defected from the South Carolina recruiting class. Then Arnette took late visits to Ohio State and Michigan, which ended up complicating his decision. Urban Meyer let Arnette try on one of his championship rings. Not surprising that Meyer would pull out all the stops. After all, Arnette had three picks and three sacks his senior season. (At the same high school where Joey Bosa cut his teeth, it should be noted.) Plus, he was viewed as a necessary replacement for Carlton Davis, once Davis bolted OSU’s recruiting class for Auburn.

Sources:

Spartanburg Herald-JournalGoGamecocks.com

Matthew Burrell’s official visit was at the Virginia Tech game…He committed to OSU over LSU anyway. He said he loved the fans. (But maybe not the weather.) He was also at Penn State the night the Buckeyes squeaked out a win against the Nittany Lions. After transferring from Chancellor High School to Hylton in Virginia, he started for two years with the Bulldogs, spending that final season at left guard. Guard is the position most analysts believe he’ll play at the collegiate level. He’s also spent time at tackle, and in the U.S. Army All-American Game, he actually played some center. His high school coach thinks he’ll eventually play on Sundays, which wouldn’t be so notable, except that his coach played on Sundays. Tony Lilly was a third-round draft pick of the Broncos, and started 15 games at safety (including Super Bowl XXII) over the course of his 4-year NFL career.

Sources:

The Washington Post, InsideNova.com, The Columbus Dispatch

Jerome Baker played linebacker and running back in high school. He originally committed to Florida, but switched to Ohio State because the Buckeyes were “headed in the right direction.” That’s highly symbolic, given that the New York Times once cited Baker’s verbal commitment to the Gators as exhibit A of the Big Ten’s decline. How versatile is Baker? It can be summed up in the way his high school career ended with his Benedictine squad topping Kettering Alter 21-14. In that state championship game, Baker took most of the snaps at quarterback in the second half and scored two rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, defensively, he made the stop on a fourth-and-2 play with nine seconds remaining to end the game. Overall? He had 83 yards rushing, 55 passing, and led the team with 11 tackles. He is expected to play defense in college, and as a linebacker, he had 89 tackles and 3 sacks his senior season. Not only did he obtain those numbers while playing both ways, but he missed three games of his senior season with an ankle sprain. Along with Alex Stump, Baker has also been an outspoken advocate of domestic abuse awareness.

Sources:

The New York TimesCleveland.com, and more from Cleveland.com

Pickerington’s Davon Hamilton had to wait on an offer from Ohio State, but he did not spend that time idly. He was at one point committed to Ohio, then Pitt, then Kentucky.  The Buckeyes waited until Hamilton’s official visit, the weekend of their National Championship Celebration, to tell him they had a scholarship available for him, and he accepted shortly thereafter. He’s expected to play on the defensive side of the ball, but he also saw time as an offensive tackle for the Tigers. During his senior season, he recorded 67 tackles, including 23 tackles for loss.

Sources:

Cleveland.com, This Week

Linebacker Justin Hilliard started to dream about being a Buckeye football player clear back in second grade.  In fact, that’s partly why he says he wears jersey number 47, as a tribute to AJ Hawk.  For someone so immersed in the sport, however, he certainly defies the stereotypes.  He’s a member of his school’s chess club, for instance, and he wants to major in business.  Far from being a tank-in-cleats, like you might expect of a linebacker, Hilliard finished in the top 15 of SPARQ fitness testing at The Opening football camp, and was mobile enough to be named to the all-tournament team in 7-on-7 play. He’s a U.S. Army All-American and a USA Today first-teamer. During his senior year, he had 71 tackles, 5 sacks, two forced, fumbles and two fumble recoveries. For all that, he’d still like to get a jump on college ball, so he’ll arrive on campus this May. Until then he’ll workout with former St. Xavier star, now with the Carolina Panthers, Luke Kuechly. Hilliard might also get a leg up by listening to his high school coach, Steve Specht. Specht should know a little bit about playing for Urban Meyer, since he did so himself when he was in high school. Hilliard’s older brother, CJ, is a running back at Iowa.

Sources:

SCOUT.comESPN.comCincinnati.com



An All-State wide receiver out of Arkansas and the Arkansas Farm Bureau Division 7A/6A Offensive Player of the Year, KJ Hill originally said he wanted to play for the home-state Razorbacks. Then he decided to at least consider offers from Alabama and Ohio State. Hill really liked Lane Kiffin’s Crimson Tide offense. He eventually chose OSU, however, making it a very good day for THE universities of the world. Hill’s senior season, he was on the receiving end of 58 catches, totaling 1,023 yards and 11 TDs in a pro-style scheme. He also had 7 rushing touchdowns. Hill is a basketball player, too, hoping his team can repeat last year’s championship performance. This year on the court, he had a 24-point effort in one quarter of a game against Little Rock Central, a game his team ultimately won 86-55.

Sources:

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-GazetteThe Arkansas News

Robert Landers announced his commitment to Ohio State at a Wayne High School basketball game. Landers doesn’t play basketball, mind, you. However, he’s a Second-Team, All-Ohio Division I football player and a championship caliber shot putter. Landers’ announcement was the culmination of a whirlwind recruitment of the defensive lineman, who had originally said he was going to head to West Virginia before flipping. It was his stellar performance in the playoffs that really peeked the Buckeyes interest.

Sources:

SB NationHuber Heights Courier

Born in Tennessee, moved to Utah, committed to the Utes, now headed to Columbus: Branden Bowen is an offensive lineman on the go. His trainer, John Madsen, played for Urban Meyer when Meyer was in Utah, so the feedback Bowen got from him was invaluable. Bowen graduated January 16th, but since that’s after the OSU spring semester starts, he can’t enroll until June. For now, therefore, he’s working out with Madsen six days a week.

Sources:

Eleven Warriors, SB Nation

Maybe no player in this class had their recruitment more discussed and dissected than quarterback Torrance Gibson. Maybe that’s because his recruitment started clear back in eighth grade, when the Miami Hurricanes became the first team to offer him a scholarship. His athleticism, also evidenced by the fact that he runs the 200 and 400 meters in track, was clear even back then.  Of course, that was years before he led the spread offense of American Heritage High School to the school’s first ever state title his junior season and followed that up with another Class 5-A Championship his senior year. Over the course of his high school career, he threw for 4,094 yards and 44 touchdowns with just 7 interceptions in 421 pass attempts. About the only knock on his game was that his completion percentage was sub .500. During his final season, he completed 112 of 240 passes for 1,959 yards, with 21 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Gibson, also a prolific rusher ran for 1,012 yards, averaged 7.4 yards per carry, and scored 13 times. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, where he was 5/8 for 47 yards. Such achievements were not going to be ignored by other colleges, and Gibson was making visits to Auburn and LSU, even after committing to the Buckeyes. One last note on Gibson: He wears number 6, because he’s the youngest of six children raised by a single mom.

Sources:

The Orlando SentinelBucknuts.com

Isaiah Prince is a rarity in football: a player who decommitted from Alabama. He is considered the top player out of Maryland, and took a hard look at the Terrapins as well before deciding on Ohio State. What do the Buckeyes get in Prince? He’s a 6’6” offensive lineman who recovered from a broken ankle his junior year to help spearhead an attack that ran for more than 3,700 yards this past season. He was also a participant in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Sources:

The Washington Post, CBS Sports

Mike Weber’s commitment to OSU is doubly sweet for Buckeye fans. They landed a quality running back…plus, he had decomitted from Michigan less than a month earlier. In fact, he decomitted as Michigan was losing to Maryland, 23-16. This is despite the fact that he said he’d been a Michigan fan since age 5. Oh, and did we mention Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh was a teammate of Thomas Wilcher, Weber’s high school coach? The Detroit Free Press notes that, “Weber made the Detroit Free Press Dream Team after rushing for 2,268 yards and 29 touchdowns on 224 carries this past season (10.1 yards per carry). He topped 5,000 yards and 50 TDs for his career. He surpassed 400 yards rushing in a Division I state quarterfinal win over Chippewa Valley.” His entire playoff run was incredibly impressive, in fact. In his four postseason games alone, Weber rushed for a total 890 yards and 13 touchdowns. Finally, Weber was the leading rusher in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl with 48 yards on 10 carries. Ohio State had to hold off a late charge from the Wolverines to sign Weber. Harbaugh and Weber met January 28th to discuss the possibility of his coming to Ann Arbor.

Sources:

Detroit Free Press, MLive.com

And read up on the recruits already on campus here.

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Kuerlic on #Elite15

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Signing Day Eve

Signing Day is tomorrow! So today, we’re sharing the biographies of the four 2015 recruits who are already enrolled at Ohio State.

And stay tuned, because tomorrow, we’ll share a similar biography for each player right after they’ve sent in their Letter of Intent.

We’re ready to introduce you to all the newest Buckeyes!

Nick Conner is one of the four players already enrolled at OSU. Not exactly a surprising development. He’s a local kid with a poster of former Buckeye Mike Vrabel hanging in his room. In fact, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear he accepted a scholarship the day the Buckeyes offered. His senior season was marred by injuries to his ribs and knee, but he still had some impressive games, including a 6-touchdown performance against Westerville South. He’s expected to be a linebacker in college, though, and as a junior, he led Dublin Scioto with 119 tackles, including 19 TFLs. He also had 3 interceptions. Conner is an honor roll student. He was invited, but did not participate due to the knee injury, in the Semper-Fi All-American Game. Oh, and Urban Meyer should like this about Conner, he’s also a baseball player.

Sources:

The Columbus Dispatch, more from The Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland.com

Jashon Cornell met Justin Hilliard on a recruiting trip Iowa about three years ago. They became fast friends and committed to Ohio State on the same day. And not long after he committed, Cornell was on Ohio State’s campus. He’s one of four 2015 recruits already enrolled. He repeatedly told reporters it was Larry Johnson, and his ability to get players to the NFL, that most attracted him to OSU. The enthusiasm apparently went both ways as the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Cornell was the very first recruit Johnson called when he came to Columbus. It also helped that Cornell’s aunt lives thirty minutes from the Ohio State campus. Cornell played basketball in high school in addition to football.

Sources:

Cleveland.com, Eleven Warriors, St. Paul Pioneer Press

Grant Schmidt is the first player out of South Dakota to come to Ohio State, and was the first offensive lineman to join the 2015 recruiting class. He’s also one of the first to arrive in Columbus, as he’s one of the four players already enrolled at OSU. That’s why Schmidt jokes that he was tear gassed walking back to his dorm as police pepper sprayed fans celebrating the Buckeyes national championship. He confidently added that he wasn’t the one causing trouble. Confidence actually comes naturally to Schmidt. He was told that once he received an Ohio State offer, he shouldn’t take the risk of attending a Buckeye camp. However, Schmidt wanted to compete against 4-and-5 star athletes, something he’s now ready to do at the next level.

Sources:

Eleven Warriors, KSFY News, The Argus Leader

Jamel Dean is one of Ohio State’s early enrollees, already on campus. He paved the way to that early enrollment by taking high school classes in middle school and, later, summer school. Not surprising considering he wants to major in mechanical engineering.  In a way, reporting early to OSU was just Dean’s way of repaying the Buckeyes. After all, they expressed an early enthusiasm in him. In fact, Ohio State was Dean’s first offer. What did Ohio State see in Dean? He’s a track athlete, who was especially good in the 100-meter-dash. Meanwhile, his work on the football field was impressive enough to earn him an invite to the Semper Fidelis Bowl. Unfortunately, he could not participate due to a knee injury.

Sources:

Florida Today, SB Nation

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Foligno and McElhinney Like Warm Hugs

With Sergei Bobrovsky out 4-6 weeks, what will become of Nick Foligno’s tradition of warmly embracing the winning netminder? We might have caught a glimpse tonight!

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Columbus Shines In Starring Role

The city of Columbus embraced the NHL with the warmth of a Nick Foligno/Sergei Bobrovsky hug, and today the NHL is responding…

From NHL Teams:

From NHL Scribes:

And here’s a glowing review from “The Hockey News.”

And From NHL Players:

Canadiens goalie Carey Price: “I had a lot of fun here. I think Columbus did a great job of supporting this event. They were awesome hosts.”

Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: “It was great. They put on such a great event here in Columbus, and the support that they had throughout the whole thing was amazing. Definitely something I won’t forget for a long time.”

Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments section!

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