A lot of talk this spring has focused on the staff's new approach to teaching broader football concepts to the veteran squad. The thinking was they didn't want some of the 4th or 5th year guys to get bored going over position fundamentals and concepts that they've already seen three or four times, so the coaches instituted mandatory 7am sessions for these guys to learn more about the game.
The defensive backs would get instruction and tips from the offense and offensive coaches, gaining invaluable insight into how Darell Hazell coaches his receivers to attack a zone defense among other things.
James Laurinaitis, a guy you figured has seen it all in the college game, learned that something as simple as watching how he places his weight on his feet could be enough to spring the game-changing play.
The advanced seminars aren't limited to the older guys, however. Players that aren't required to attend the sessions have taken an interest and are showing up. Kurt Coleman's attendance looks like it's already paying off judging by his fine spring game snare.
I think this is a great idea. The best players at every level of competition not only knew what they were doing, but they knew what the rest of their teammates were doing and how they all fit in together. I'm just wondering if maybe this isn't something the Vest should implement as a permanent policy/approach going forward -- not just with the veteran guys.
Recruits today have grown up with top notch vocational simulators -- video games. The Madden series is one year older than Terrelle Pryor and by the time he was 10, he was able to play it on a PS2. Think he learned more about the game than I did in my 3-on-3 epics on the trusty 2600?
These kids have been customizing playbooks and reading defensive formations for years before they get into a major college program. Granted, this learning by way of videogame probably skews a bit towards the offensive side, but thousands of kids each year are also learning to read the likeliness of whether the play will be a pass or a run based off of formation or motion.
It's also why so many younger players are making an impact at every level of sport. They're more prepared, more singularly-focused than at any other time and they would probably even thrive learning all aspects of the game, not just position-specific skills. Here's hoping the extra learning pays off this season and the sessions become part of the Tressel coaching philosophy.
Mel Kiper May Make a Televised Appearance this Week
The NFL Draft is this Saturday and America has already begun bracing itself in light of the impending Kiper onslaught. Only one Buckeye looks to go high in the draft and by high, I mean possibly at #1. The Gun Show seems to be the one player each year that starts at or outside the top 10 in most mock drafts only catch some momentum and watch his pockets get fatter as the draft approaches.
From the looks of it, he's assured to be a top three pick, with a good chance to go first. It's still baffling to me how the slow and untalented Big Ten could potentially have two of its players taken with the top two picks in the draft (assuming Gholston & Jake Long).
Paki O'Meara is Coming For You
Iowa has a bit of a problem at running back.
Since the departure of Jevon Pugh earlier this spring, the Hawkeyes have one running back on scholarship, JUCO transfer Nate Guillory.
That's the bad news. The even worse news is that Guillory isn't even the projected starter heading into fall. That honor goes to the handsome fella you see to the left, walk-on Paki O'Meara.
O'Meara has a 349 yard effort under his belt at Cedar Rapids Washington, but the sophomore has never carried the rock in a college football game. The reviews from his spring game performance were neither great nor bad, but with Ferentz on record as saying "If we have to go with him in the fall, we will" and "Obviously, weâ€™re hoping weâ€™ll be able to supplement him with other players in the fall" you know Paki is not the answer.