Loaded Class Could Earn Quick Playing Time

By Kyle Rowland on February 6, 2014 at 9:15a
Raekwon McMillan could be 2014's Joey Bosa.
74 Comments

One year ago, names like Dontre Wilson, Mike Mitchell and Vonn Bell were uttered with every breath. None of them made the immediate impact forecasted by a plethora of prognosticators. One didn’t even play at all – Mitchell, a linebacker, who redshirterd after an injury in fall camp set back his learning curve.

Aside from defensive end Joey Bosa, whose first-year performance verged on miraculous, contributions were few and far between from the Class of 2013. In all, 15 players from the 23-member class redshirted. Barring any unforeseen setbacks from now until late-August, Meyer believes the opposite effect will take hold for the newest crop of Buckeyes.

“If things work out, we’ll redshirt a minimal amount of this class,” Meyer said. “We wanted to play more last year. Gareon Conley should have played last year. That’s Gareon’s fault and our fault, and the position coach’s fault, if we’re going to sit here and blame, which I’m not doing. But we’re counting on these guys to go play.”

Addressed were major pitfalls from Meyer’s first two seasons at Ohio State – linebacker, offensive line and defensive backfield. The class is highlighted by a quartet of linebackers, quintet of offensive linemen and several cornerbacks and safeties. Athleticism, power and speed are three words most associated with the group.

Raekwon McMillan, Sam Hubbard, Kyle Berger and Dante Booker are all rated in the top five at their linebacker position. For Meyer, it screams instant depth. The unit’s been under fire for three years with criticism from Meyer never resulting in superior play. They were more consistent last year, but still didn’t approach the level experienced the four previous decades.

“The emphasis is on linebacker. There are some obvious strengths and weaknesses, but the linebacker position is one that’s going through an overall,” Meyer said. “Far too many mistakes have been made in either lack of development or [recruiting], and it’s just not where we need to be. 

“There are four linebackers we recruited, four guys I’m putting pressure on, along with Coach Fickell and myself, to get ready for next year. They have to play for us, in addition to the players we have on our roster already. Everybody knows there’s no redshirt plans for those players at all.”

McMillan, who possesses a hulking 6-foot-2, 242-pound frame, is readymade for instant success. He was the rated as the nation’s top linebacker after a senior season that makes videogames seem mild. McMillian recorded 159 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks en route to capturing the high school Butkus Award.

“Not only is he physically and mentally ready to play, he’s already in school,” ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill said. “I think that’s going to bode well for this defensive unit that sorely needs an upgrade in talent and certainly needs some bodies [at linebacker]. That’s one that stands out to me without question.”

“If things work out, we’ll redshirt a minimal amount of this class.” -Urban Meyer

In his first discussion with the media, McMillan didn’t shy away from the pressure. He took it head-on and completely embraced it. No starting linebacker spot is secure. There will be an open competition in the spring with the best three players earning the upper hand. Andy Katzenmoyer is the lone true freshman to ever start for the Buckeyes. But don’t think that will deter McMillan.

“Coach Meyer told me if I come here nothing was going to be given to me,” McMillan said. “I had to compete just like everybody else. Yes, I have a good chance to start, but it’s all going to go to waste if I don’t put in the work right now.”

More than half of Ohio State’s recruits come from out-of-state, and McMillian is one of those 13. The Georgian picked the Buckeyes over the likes of Alabama and Clemson because, he said, Ohio State felt like the right place. 

“Everything about it was great,” McMillan said. “Coach Meyer, the coaching staff is one of the best in the nation and I really like working with these guys.”

In the backend is a group headlined by Damon Webb, Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith. Webb plays an aggressive, hard-nosed style at cornerback that could endear himself to Chris Ash, Kerry Coombs and Meyer. The pass defense issues were discussed on Wednesday with a nod to the true freshmen.

“Damon Webb, I anticipate he’ll be on the depth next year,” Meyer said. “And Marshon Lattimore from Glennville is going to be in the mix as well. And Erick Smith, he’s a guy I’m really excited to get here. He played corner in the all-star game, but we plan on putting him at safety, and, once again, immediately on the depth chart.”

Three players on offense – Johnnie Dixon, Curtis Samuel and Parris Campbell – fit Meyer’s mold of being dynamic and having the ability to be a gamebreaker. Ohio State lost Philly Brown at wide receiver, but returns a bulk of its pass-catchers. However, that doesn’t mean first-year players can’t step in and be part of the rotation. At the top of that list is Dixon.

The West Palm Beach native is already enrolled and has flashed his big-play ability in one-on-one drills. Dixon, who’s 5-foot-11, makes up for his size with blazing speed and a knack for creating big plays. He’s credited with running a 4.37 40 and often played his best during Dwyer High School’s most important games.

“I think Johnnie Dixon on the offensive side of the football is adding to a need area of offensive skill, where Urban Meyer and the staff want to upgrade speed, athleticism and players who can create mismatches in space,” Luginbill said. “I think that’s very, very important.”

And just because Dixon’s from South Florida doesn’t mean he’ll disappear during games in October and November. He’s aware of what he signed up for, flashing a smile when he gazed outdoors at the snow falling in Columbus. Dixon said Meyer and Ohio State’s history of producing top-end wide receivers couldn’t be ignored. Frigid weather or not, the Buckeyes one-upped Alabama, Miami and others.

“Once you make it to the NFL, you play in all types of weather any way,” Dixon said.

Anytime the subject of speed was broached, which happens frequently with Meyer, the attention turned to Samuel, a hybrid player from Brooklyn. He’s enrolled and already wowing his teammates and coaches. Meyer referred to him as “electric.” He’s never been shy in his pursuit for speed and building the fastest team in college football. The commitments of Samuel and Campbell only fills the cupboard with more sugar.

At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Samuel has the appearance of the smallish player that thrives in an offense choreographed by Meyer. He can catch passes downfield, in the backfield or run the football. The common denominator once he tackled – or reaches the end zone – is that would-be tacklers generally miss before corralling him. 

“Curtis Samuel, in my opinion, can serve the offense in a very similar fashion to what Dontre Wilson did a year ago as a true freshman,” Luginbill said. “Maybe he’s a true running back on certain downs, maybe he’s split out wide on other downs, maybe he’s in the slot and utilized in the jet sweep.

“Urban Meyer wants to have guys that can create that Percy Harvin effect, where every time the offense breaks, the defense has to know where everybody is lined up because you’re worried about a mismatch or a disadvantage. I think [Dixon, Samuel and Campbell] are fit to see some time early.”

Said Meyer: “I think we won today. That was a good class.”

74 Comments

Comments

FROMTHE18's picture

a completely irrelevant question: why is McMillan #2 in that picture? Is he expected to get that jersey number on defense or was it kind of a random thing?

+1 HS
Buckeye06's picture

It was just a promo used by the OSU staff, but with Bryant (and Shazier) gone, that number is open I guess on D.
 

+1 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

That's the number he wants to wear at Ohio State, despite being No. 42 in high school.

Doc's picture

Welcome boys.  Now, get to work!

"Say my name."

droessl's picture

My kingdom to not hear people talk about the "Percy Harvin role/effect." 

CC's picture

If somehow we can leverage one of the best 3-4 players in the history of UF to our advantage, I say use it.
I agree it's annoying, but if it gives a kid something to grab on to, give it to them.

+2 HS
fear_the_nut70's picture

^^^^This.  I am sick of it.  Percy is a one of a kind talent, and putting that kind of pressure on a kid is unfair.  Let's call it the Wilson or Samuel Role.

+1 HS
kgab11's picture

I'd like to see it called something other than a players name, like "Flash" or "Lightning"

+2 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

The proper name for the actual position is "slot back".

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+2 HS
buckguyfan1's picture

When internal competition becomes stronger than external competition you are ready to play for Championships.

+1 HS
urbz4prez's picture

I can't imagine what the opposing defensive coordinator will do when dontre wilson and Curtis samuel line up together in the backfield.

I feel like I need to go watch an episode of Flash.........

"And Urban Meyer said "Let there be light, and it was so."

chitown buckeye's picture

Agreed, I just hope we distribute the ball to everyone. We were a two trick pony last year with miller/Hyde (Ironically until we should have used Hyde late in games). Would love to see Braxton distribute to 5-6 different receivers a game and hand off to 2-3 different playmakers. Gotto get everyone involved, something we didnt do a lot of last year.

"I'm having a heart attack!"

+1 HS
ScarletGray43157's picture

Really this is only Coach Meyer's second recruiting class.  I know he has technically been at OSU for three Signing Days but he was only here about six weeks before that class signed in his first year, so these most recent two classes are the ones that he has had a full hand in, along with his staff.  Not too shabby results, in my opinion, and if the pattern continues the elevated level of play on the field will be obvious to everyone.  I am really encouraged.  

In old Ohio there's a team that's known throughout the land...

Furious George 27's picture

I agree, he finished up the 2012 class with the DL/DE commits which vaulted them to top 5. If you look there are 16-17 three star recruits in that class before he was hired. The last two seasons he has filled each class with 17 or so 4-5 star recruits. So far that DL has been really impressive, cant wait to see how the LB/DB come out this season after 2 years of stock piling talent.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

RedStorm45's picture

Not to mention, quite a few of those guys are gone, for a variety of reasons.

YTOWNBUCKI's picture

It would be refreshing to see some of these guys playing in non-conference play to get some experience at the very least. The future is definitely bright in Columbus and there is reason for optimism for sure.

I just love to come back from my hiatus to some awesome NSD coverage. After the B1G CG, i decided to refrain from 11W to help my wife plan the rest of our wedding so to see this stuff again, it's really made my day.

stittracer99's picture

I think it's just natural to think that any returning starter from last year will automatically be penciled in for this year. I hope the coaches completely wipe the board clean and make every position up for grabs and play the best player, period. No gimme's just because someone played last year (D and C Grant, D Smith, Spencer, et al). Competition breeds success. 2014's 2-deep should be set during spring and summer practices, not from the 2013 season.

steveoz49's picture

I don't mean to correct Coach Meyer, but this isn't a good class....this is a GREAT class! 
Every year after signing day, I'm always excited to see what is to come, but this year's recruiting class just seems to have so much athleticism .
One player that I don't think is getting talked about enough (just my opinion) is Erik Smith.  He was lights out on national television.  I think he's going to make a strong push for playing time.  I think he might end up being the jewel of the class.  again, just my opinion.

+2 HS
zacisone's picture

It IS a great class to you and me. To Coach Meyer, I think he wants to wait and see. We did WIN yesterday. They are vary athletic, very! Go Bucks! O-H-

Zacisone

cinserious's picture

This is a GREAT class!    So many areas were bolstered that we needed: LBs just got a serious upgrade with four awesome players who will all push for the two deep and help bring that position back to greatness. Same can be said for the DBs. I predict in 2014 to see the Buck's defense as top 15 in the country thanks to great back-to-back recruiting classes and great hires on the coaching staff.
Offensively, Urban is still stockpiling an insane amount of athletes, specifically at that H-back/slot position. We're slowly getting the Offensive line back to where it needs to be and the WR/RB groups are looking real nice for the future. the 2014 season will have Meyer's signature offensive stamp on it just the way he likes it and will be even better than 2013.
 

"Get him a body bag, Yeah!"

buckz4evr's picture

If you listen to the presser, he did say it was a great class.  First he said it was a good class, then sort of corrected himself by saying a great class

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Yeah, my impression was that Meyer was saying this is a great recruiting class. But the day after NSD, these kids become players. It will be up to them to translate that great potential into greatness on the field.

jamesrbrown322's picture

I have got to admit it...I am really excited about OSU's prospects for winning a national title or titles, from 2015-2017. Seriously, not just the amount of talent, but needs addressed, and amount of athletes they've recruited are phenomenal.
Assuming they can address the DL needs next year, they are going to be scary good.

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

rgarrett22's picture

I hope you're right. I think the defense can only improve in the years to come from the rough stretch over the past 2-3 seasons.

I'm likely splitting hairs, but I am most concerned about the QB position once Braxton's career ends next season. I realize we won a NCG with Krenzel as our starting QB, so I know it's not essential to have a transcendent talent at the controls on offense to win a national title. But, we have been spoiled with Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor, and Braxton Miller over the past decade. Then again, Troy Smith wasn't a highly touted recruit (Zwick was!), and he became a Heisman trophy winner. Is J.T. Barrett the heir apparent or Cardale Jones? We'll probably get a look at them when (if) Braxton inevitably gets dinged up next season.

+1 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

Don't forget Collier, he certainly has the frame and athleticism for Meyer's system. Additionally, I am a BIG believer in Barrett, and OSU has a really good shot at landing at least one of Gibson, Wimbush, and Nunez.
It also cannot be understated - Meyer's scheme made Tim Tebow look like Steve Young. Don't ever forget that.

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

+2 HS
W-burgbuck's picture

You beat me to it. Barret or Jones need to step up to the plate cause Collier won't sit back and watch he's underrated and will be in the discussion, they slip up he'll be there to take the spot.

W-burgbuck

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

I believe that the QBs on roster have all the tools to be successful... I am more concerned about losing Herman who has done a very good job with developing Miller and KG since he came to town.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

Didn't Spielman start as a true freshman at linebacker? I mean I know he missed the first half of the first game and all, but did start as a true frosh I thought.

buckguyfan1's picture

yes, and played well.

mclovin's picture

Spielman and Laurenaitis started as freshman at LB (althouigh I think Laurenaitis' only start was the bowl game because Carpenter was hurt).  What he should have written was that Katzenmoyer was the first true freshman to open up the season as a starting LB. 

+1 HS
OSU_1992_UFM's picture

Carpenter got hurt on one of the first plays in The Game, James stepped up and made some great plays,getting called off the bench for the first time in the Big House had to be stressful lol

UFM_Renewal

mtrotb's picture

Urban talking them all up.  Most will redshirt just like last year's class.  Saying yesterday that McMillan, Hubbard, Booker, and Berger will all play is crazy.  Grant, Perry, Mitchell, and Johnson have something to say about that and there is no way he is going to play 8 linebackers.

mtrotb

+2 HS
jamesrbrown322's picture

One would have to consider that Berger, with his injury, may be the most likely candidate to Redshirt.
I think it would be foolish to RS Booker or McMillan. They are too damn good and athletic to not make the 2 deep at LB, let alone waste a year redshirting. Even with Grant and Perry, I can't imagine Meyer and Fickell wanting to have too many "green" LBs in the 2 deep next year.
I know this is a big time guess, but if pressed, I'd say the two deep this fall will look something like this - ILB -Grant, McMillan, WLB - Booker, Johnson, SLB - Mitchell, Perry, with Williams, Johnson, and Hubbard getting into the rotation, and Berger redshirting. Just a guess but I'd say this is how it opens, with McMillan eventually taking over for Grant to start by the end of the season, and the two OLB constantly rotating.
Then again, I have not seen any of them practice, so who knows? We've got to fill the void between now and August somehow right?

"I can accept failure, but I cannot accept not trying." - W.W. Hayes

d5k's picture

I agree except I would think Hubbard is a RS candidate as well.  The most likely way he avoids a redshirt is by being a beast on kickoff/punt with his athleticism which is a possibility.

+1 HS
Furious George 27's picture

I see the rotation as well.... Its time to start building the depth, the days of starting a walk-on or having to move a FB to LB should be over.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

RedStorm45's picture

The last walk-on to start was...?  Antonio Smith in '06 (although he had earned a scholly by then)?

Furious George 27's picture

Joe Burger is a walk-on LB who had to play several times due injuries and not wanting to burn a RS.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

d5k's picture

If you make the 2 deep you don't redshirt, you play special teams.  He is saying all 4 of those guys will compete for the ~2-3 2 deep spots that are available.

Brandon26841's picture

I agree with this. I see a LOT of red-shirting in this class personally. Just my opinion, but:
 
Will play:
Curtis Samuel (but still likely stuck behind both Marshall and Wilson = not much PT)
D. Knox (if he can beat out either Underwood or Brown he'll be in the 2-deep. Not a guarantee)
Dixon (wanted to say he'll redshirt, but eh... he might see a little time)
Lattimore (likely start off 5th on depth chart at CB, so may redshirt)
McMillan (should definitely play. Shocked if he started though)
Dante Booker (back-up at WILL)
Eric Smith (could definitely see him getting time on special teams)
Neurnberger
Redshirt:
Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell, J. Jones, M. Jones, Kyle Trout, Noah Brown, Stephen Collier, D. Webb, Holmes, D. Thompson, Berger, Hubbard, Hooker, Brady Taylor, Slade

trock's picture

I may be in the minority, but is anybody else sick of hearing, "we won't redshirt"? Heard the same thing last year.

+2 HS
RedStorm45's picture

It's more of a mentality.  These guys didn't come here to sit on the sidelines for two years.  But, I agree.  There simply won't be enough plays and roster spots open to have most of these guys see significant time.  I'd be surprised if 50% of this class sees more than garbage time snaps in 2014.

Hovenaut's picture

Let's get to spring, and I think we may start to have a better idea of where things stand.
For now, I just want the class to finish hs/acclimate to college, stay healthy and out of trouble.

"Success - it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

+3 HS
D-Day0043's picture

I had high hopes for Mitchell. I hope he isn't one if those "misses" at linebacker Urban was talking about. I hope he is ready to punish some fools this year. We really need his speed at the position.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

d5k's picture

Well he's probably talking about Curtis Grant, Cam Williams and the guys that left the program.

Stoicpaisano's picture

A lot of the LBs that left the program were unavoidable. Turner got shot, McVey, Crowell, Hagan went medical, Ejuan Price got freaked out by the Tressel situation.
Bell, Newsome and Perkins were all goons. They were also all-conference last year.
They planned on playing Mitchell in 2013 and he got hurt. They played Darron Lee in two games then HE got hurt.
Luke Roberts was a clear miss. Cam Williams (and Reeves) looks like a miss.
All the above is why I'm not as down on Fickell as others. He needs to hit on this year's quartet but has a history of putting guys into the league.

+1 HS
D-Day0043's picture

I agree. There was quite a bit of attrition and I have been really disappointed with Grant and Williams. I guess I'm just paranoid about Mitchell. He was the recruit I was the most excited about landing last year. The kid is an athletic freak and I was so hoping he would come in and take over the MIKE. And hopefully he will this year. I don't remember hearing anything about him getting hurt. I guess I must have missed it. 

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

-1 HS
buckskin's picture

I didn't hear he got hurt either, but I remember watching his high school film and just seeing absolute speed and power.  He made plays by running through people or just flying to the ball; those attributes alone won't work at the college level.  Not too much instincts; a redshirt year will help develop that. 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I think Meyer is mainly taking about the 2009 - 2011 classes, but he might be including the 2012 class as well.
Meyer had to scramble to put the class together on short notice, so maybe he would have liked to get a few extra LBs in that class. Also, Luke Roberts obviously didn't work out.
If Josh Perry is able to make additional strides, he could become a real player. I'm not quite ready to write off Camren Williams. Maybe he can develop into a solid backup?

Furious George 27's picture

It said Mitchell was injured in camp which hurt his chances.... I hope the keep it simple philosophy Ash has talked about extends to the LBs and we can stop hearing about how players (Grant) are thinking too much rather than reacting.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+1 HS
D-Day0043's picture

I agree. You want your players playing instinctual football. If your players aren't doing that, then the coaches need to take a look at their philosophy. With that being said, there are some players that have all of the talent in the world, but don't have the brains to grasp concepts. I believe our problems on defense fall somewhere in the middle.

I am D-Day0043 and I approve this message.

+1 HS
ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

I agree with this (and nice handle). You raise an interesting point with regards to playing aggressive by keeping it 'simple'.  I wonder if being aggressive tends to rely more on the natural talent of the players vs a system approach where above average players look like 5-star on-field celebrities.

For example, It would be interesting to know which defensive philosophy is ideal by testing a hypothesis where we could compare the ceiling/potential for results of various defensive philosophies. We could do a 3-arm experiment... Arm A would be a simple defense that allowed for more instinctive and aggressive style of play.  Arm B would be a system approach where 3-star recruits could look like 5-star recruits because it allows for weaknesses to be better masked, and Arm C would be a mix - that is, a system that allowed for 3-star players to look like 5-star players, and 5-star players to look like they should be in the NFL (I think this is what Pat Narducci runs at Mich St...) not that his system is 'perfect' or anything,  but I can't help but lust after defenses that simply dominate (eg, Seahawks). 

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

whobdis's picture

I think the winning streak last year put the staff in a position of avoiding any changes. That is past us now and I imagine they will feel more free to change things up. I think putting Brown in at safety is an example of trying to avoid any letdown by going with experience. It would have been nice to get Bell in and he would have some games under his belt. I hope we go with the youngsters and we should be willing to deal with some growing pains..at least we'll feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I"m not sure many of us felt that way last year..with our D anyway
 

+1 HS
ITWASME's picture

I completely agree with this! I think this year we will see a lot of changes during the season if kids don't step up

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

I think you can make the same argument about our offense. We started playing to protect a lead instead of be explosive and unpredictable.

+1 HS
BuckRock's picture

EXACTLY!!!!!

If you go back and watch the first few games of last year, We were passing the ball all over the place, playing explosive football. It was about the play calling and getting the ball into as many different people as possible. It worked extremely well.

 The only other time during the season that we used this type of Offensive strategy was the Penn State night game!  Go watch it, it was amazing how we came out throwing the football and spreading the ball around, this is a much watch game!

 The defensive strategy in this game was to knock Penn State's QB out of rythmn, must watch this game, this should be a blueprint going forward for offensive and defensive play calling.

e135800's picture

With apple and company last year and this years db class, where does this leave Reeves?

d5k's picture

Sounds like Gareon Conley and Doran Grant are the frontrunners for the outside corner spots from the press conferences yesterday.  And Burrows has moved officially to nickel/safety per Coombs which was the rumor already.  My wager is Reeves becomes a backup and may even have pressure to make the 2 deep unless he improves a lot.  The impression I got is they were regretting not burning redshirts on Conley/Apple as they were practicing at a near-starter level by the end of the year.
How they shuffle the safety/Star spots around will be interesting.  Powell and Bell are likely to start somewhere but one of them could be the Star and Burrows could be the 3rd guy although there are other candidates.
 
 

Furious George 27's picture

I am not sure what the coaches have been able to do so far i.e. Ash.... But if he is in total control of the secondary, IMO I would think its a wide open competition going to whoever can grasp his schemes which may be different from last year.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

rkylet83's picture

I believe that McMillan will start either day 1 or shortly after.  He is already so fundamentally sound.  I went back and watched his game film and it is so amazing for a player his age.  

allinosu's picture

It won't be that easy.

thatlillefty's picture

After all the talk about not redshirting kids from last year's freshman class, then sitting 15 of 23... i'm a bit skeptical when Urban says, "we’ll redshirt a minimal amount of this class." In reality, I bet a good number of these kids sit out their first year.
Still holding out hope for Mike Mitchell. And I don't think Dontre was a disappointment by any stretch last season. He was a solid contributor to our offense... someone defensive coordinators had to account for in their game plans.

RedStorm45's picture

As some have noted above, all of this talent from the last 2+ classes is going to come to a head within a year or two.  Mitchell, Johnson, Worley/Lee (wherever those two are playing, not sure if it's LB or not) + this year's quartet = roughly 6 to 7 LB's for the next couple years, and that's not counting C. Grant this year and Josh Perry still on the roster.  Look at all of the athletes or WR's...Corey Smith, James Clark, Michael Thomas, Marshall, Dixon, McLaurin, Brown, Samuel.  We really only played 4, maybe 5 WR's consistently last year.  In the defensive backfield - Powell, Bell, Grant (senior this year), Apple, Reeves, Conley, Burrows, Thompson, Smith, Lattimore, Hooker.  And we graduated no one off the D-Line.
 
So I'm not sure the notion that most of this class is going to play is too accurate.  We'll see obviously.  Unless we go to a rotation like the DL in most of the positions, there are going to be quite a few guys from the last two classes who will barely see the field for awhile, if at all.

countrybuckeye's picture

@RedStorm45 --- I knew their are others who think like I do ...

"Unless we go to a rotation like the DL in most of the positions ..."

My mind, to your mind.  IF these players want to please their HC, abide by his top mantra, "4-5 seconds of total effort to the ball, every play, no exceptions."   Coasting.  Pacing yourself.  Regrouping.  Analyzing the last play.  ALL of that should be restricted to the sidelines.  Fresh horses every set of downs.  And IF the starters are the BEST, it will ONLY be one set of 3 downs.

These players are not the NFL elite.  There are 84 players on the roster.  Even highly-conditioned athletes will be gassed after an up-tempo set of downs.  You are no being truthful if you say otherwise.

MN Buckeye's picture

I see this as the year the redshirts from last year really step up. Spring practice will tell where these guys are developmentally.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Wow - they've really built a stockpile of these 5'11/6' fast & quick "athlete" freaks. Makes me wonder how that will shake out, since there is only 1-2 "hybrid" RB/WR and/or slot WR positions on offense, three KO/P return slots, and 2-3 "cover" CB/S spots on defense. The competition is great, but how will they keep all these kids busy? 
At first, I was thinking, well a couple of the kids who were offensive playmakers in h.s. will end up playing DB (e.g., maybe Parris Campbell) . . . but then I looked at how much depth they're developing there, too!
Maybe these factors will help alleviate the logjam:

  • The first, most obvious solution is that these "athletes" will play on special teams;
  • Use lots of substitutions and mix-up packages: e.g., rotate Dontre, Marshall, and Samuel fairly liberally; or occasionally put Dontre in the backfield + Marshall/Samuel/etc. in slot;
  • Screw it, just line up 2 or 3 of them at WR at the same times, with the idea that speed and athleticism will make up for lack of height and bulk;
  • Transitioning players: if some of the larger S/LB or WR/TE 'tweeners get even bigger, with say N. Brown transitioning to TE, or Worley playing a LB-style "Star" (in the mold of Jermale Hines), that opens up space at other lighter positions.
  • I also hesitate to mention . . . there is always a certain amount of attrition (injury or other issues), too.
KeithMC33's picture

I heard a guy on the radio when i was in Chicago the other day, and he was talking about the SEC oversigning and he was really trying hard to justify it. I have just started following recruiting like a mad man over the past year, so i never realized that we may have 25 guys in our class today, but by the time they are all seniors, that class will typically drop to 15-16 with injuries, early pro departures and attrition. No clue if this guy was right about that or pulling stats out of his ass, but that stat really surprised me. I figured if you had 25 to start with you would still have 19-20 of those players in 3-4 years.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Logically, we'd expect that schools that "oversign" a lot would have high attrition rates (so that the roster "ledger" balances out, so to speak), but losing 9-10 out 25 sounds like a high estimate to me.
Anecdotally, I'm sure there are classes with attrition levels that high, or even higher, but there are probably plenty others with much lower attrition rates, which don't catch the attention (or are ignored) by oversigning apologists.
To be honest, though, I have no idea what the actual average attrition rate is. Does anybody else?

fear_the_nut70's picture

“Coach Meyer told me if I come here nothing was going to be given to me,” McMillan said. “I had to compete just like everybody else. Yes, I have a good chance to start, but it’s all going to go to waste if I don’t put in the work right now.”
I love that Meyer tells kids that in recruiting and hope that Raekwon and all the recruits really believe this.  It's nice to be a four or five star guy coming out of H.S., but once recruiting is over, that means squat if you don't put in the work. 

ktownbuckeye20's picture

Raekwon sounds like a senior during that youtube interview. Sounds like he has a great head on his shoulders to match that grown ass man frame. Kid has all the goods to be a monster in the c-bus! Everything i hear around campus about his work ethic is positive too, kid is always in the gym. Go bucks 

buckskin's picture

This class will receive it's true ranking on the field during the next 4 years.  I'm a little bothered when our head coach says Conley should have played more; I know he wants to instill trust in his assistants, but if a change needs to be made, he should pull the trigger.  I know he went in to potential blame on why he didn't play, but he said that name for a reason. 

Chadding Tatum's picture

I honestly believe that for a lot of position groups the slate is going to be wiped clean. I'm looking at WR, OL, LB, and DB. At WR, basically everyone disappeared late in the year. Maybe Devin Smith puts it together this year, but I've seen 2 years of the same thing now. Spencer will be coming off injury and might never get his starting spot back. I think we'll see Mike Thomas getting a majority of the snaps at Z, Jeff Greene at X and Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson in the slot. I think James Clark and Johnnie Dixon see time as well. On the line, I think Decker is more suited to play on the left side and he should thrive there. Elflein probably has a guard spot locked up with Boren at C. That leaves RT and the other guard spot. My dark horse is Billy Price, who moved from DT. Gun to my head I'm saying the starters at LB are SAM: Perry, MIKE: McMillain, and WILL: Mitchell with Grant, Johnson Booker on the 2 deep as well. The defensive backfield is the hardest to predict to me. Grant should be the boundary corner (I read somewhere he graded out higher than Roby last year.) What makes the most sense to me is Conley on the other side, Apple as the Nickel, Burrows at Star and Bell and Powell at FS and SS respectively. Absolutely cannot wait for spring ball to see these position battles. 

buckeye4life050233's picture
buckeye4life050233's picture