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Spring Game Takeaways by player

GVerrilli92's picture
April 16, 2014 at 2:28pm

Posted this on scout originally, just some players that caught my attention and some speculation at the coaches' motives for how they ran the game.



So I've been watching the spring game over, a lot. And I've had a couple of takeaways so far that I'll just bullet by player. You guys watch it again and tell me what you think. It's offense only, and I'm trying to focus on POSITIVES with these.. the negatives would take a while. Also I didn't get into the OL, too much  to look for.

Ezekiel Elliot - not much from him, but Urban didn't wanna hurt his No. 1. And he is that.

(25:18) shows us why he's No. 1 in the backfield, amazing ability to draw the defense in and bounce the run out - speed.

Mike Thomas - wow, he can be really good if he just gains some confidence and Brax can find him in stride. He's poised for an all B1G year if he proves he can do the little things.

(39:10) He is going to take a couple like these to the house this year. He looks very comfortable catching and turning with the ball. Braxton has to make these passes at 90% 

(51:16) Shows amazing hands here. Mid-field threat.

(1:05:50) Ok, he should be catching these quick slants at will all year when teams are backing off to protect the seams. Please Brax, gotta complete these in your sleep. 

(1:10:45) I don't see how he isn't named a starter already. His ability to catch this flash screen in stride at that speed makes him invaluable to our offense.

(1:16:18) Damn, hands team. Just get your feet down

Johnny Dixon - official "Project Pup" of the offense for 2014. Urban was really forcing the ball his way to see if he could go make a play. I think Johnny was one of the players Urb was talking about when he was mentioning evaluating players' responses to the moment.

(39:30) He will get the ball like this often, I presume.

(1:14:51) Urban pulls Johnny aside, gives him some directions. Next play we run a VERY quick in-route with the TE sticking at Johnny's break. Incomplete pass, but lethal combo. Hear Urban yelling GO JOHNNY GO. I like this.

JT Barrett - official heir to the offense in 2015. JT also might be the only QB on the roster, with Braxton and Cardale being run-first guys. But he also makes reads at a very high percentage - heady player. I think he could be a better version of KG next year.

(47:25) He shows great change of direction, vision is there too when running the ball. This is one to look at for 2015, he can run the hell outta the RO.

(51:16) Shows a lazer-beam, over-the-top release on this completion in the middle. 

(1:05:50) Another throw to look at in 15. His form is gold when he has time.

(1:59:45) This is the play that convinced me JT is the heir to the offense. He is a very "wiggly" runner. Tough to know which hole he's going to hit and puts a lot of stress on the LB as a ball carrier.

(2:04:00) I still think he is being challenged this spring to continue working hard through the summer. He obviously shows much more potential in the RO as he takes this one in for a TD.

Brionte Dunn - the battering ram, I wanna see him on 3rd down and Urban does too.

(52:45) He loves contact
(52: 15) Again.
(57:15) Again.

Warren Ball - the surprise offensive player of the spring game, and IMO the most well-rounded back

(1:08:00) This is why he will see the field. He has unique combination of running style and size. Explosive, short-box speed.

(1:11:15) Downfield vision and ability to get around safeties.
(1:12:45) Very serviceable run again.

(1:57:55) He is an every-down back, can run off tackle and take on the second level physically

Curtis Samuel - the Ezekiel Elliot of 2014

(1:42:55) I expect he will take one of these off-tackle handoffs to the house this year. He burns green faster than Cheech or Chong.

(1:55:00) You can tell people are excited about him. Cardale was translating this swing pass the whole way.

(2:08:15) One does not simply stop Curtis Samuel behind the line.

Cardale Jones - disappointment of the spring game. He is the back-up, and I'm not sure that's going to change even going into the season. But he is not the next starting QB at OSU.

(1:44:05) Finally makes the best throw of his day on this smash route. Decides to put some air on the ball and drops it in a barrel. 
(1:45:20) I have a feeling Cardale will be doing this a lot this year, finds some space and falls forward for good yardage. 

(1:53:50) Our OL actually gives him some time and he makes a D1 throw. 

Corey Smith - he has a very traditional skill set, I think he could be one of the best route-runners on the team

(1:53:50) looks like an Ohio State WR.

(2:13:30) He can be a very good possession receiver. He should be on the outside when we go 4+ wide

Nick Vannett - just a damn solid TE

(1:58:30) This seam pass is absolutely essential to our route tree. If Nick makes a living out of this space, he'll be very productive

Jeff Greene - the dark horse. If this guy finds the field it means he has beaten some stiff competition. It also means that he's taking advantage of his freakish size and speed.

(2:02:45) A sighting! Man he looks comfy with the ball in his hands and catches the ball away from his body. Get this down to a science young man.

Some Defensive Quick-Hitters

(26:20) Armani Reeves is great at bump and run coverage.

(27:15) Tyquan Lewis has a GREAT motor

(29:15) How deep is this freakin' D-line? Rashad Frazier looked as fast as anyone we have on this play.
(32:15) and on this one!

(44:35) Cam Burrows undercuts a pass and shows some pretty nice hands. Great speed just to be there for the play, but he landed out of bounds.

(54:30) Eli Apple may be the quickest of the CBs

(1:03:20) Tyquan Lewis has it all, speed, motor, strength, leverage/pads

(1:16:18) Great catch by Thomas but Eli Apple makes a play on the receiver we haven't seen in a while to force the incompletion

(1:46:55) Joe Burger (no. 48?) makes a beastly hit, holy crap. Maybe the hardest so far

Is it fall yet?
Go Bucks.

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highsteppin's picture

I think you are a little too much in love with JT Barrett.  He did some nice things in the second half when given the time.  When you included Jones as a run first guy, you lost all credibility.  The offensive line Jones was behind was definitely giving him less time than the one Barrett was operating behind.  Practice is where the job will be won.  Jones is pocket passer, always has been.  Just go back and watch his hs film.

-1 HS
Squirrel Master's picture

I think Rashad Frasier has a word with you about how much better JT's Oline was compared to Jones! In the first half alone, JT was getting touched on almost every pass! That shouldn't happen.

but I will say that Jones's issue was that he was taking more time to pass the ball, so it looked like his line wasn't pass blocking as well. JT dropped back and was practically enveloped by Frasier as soon as he makes his 5 step drop.

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

GVerrilli92's picture

Well our coaches must have lost some credibility last year as well. Considering he had nearly 10x more rushing attempts than passing.

Now I understand the context of the game dictates playcall, but I highly doubt you would see a pass-first QB come in during scrub time and never throw the ball. Not to mention what a kid does in high school has zero translation to college, see Darron Lee for this year's example.

Unfortunately, your opinion and the facts do not coincide this time.

I got a gray kitty, white kitty, tabby too, and a little orange guy who puts snakes in my shoes. Got mad MC skills, that leave ya struck, and I roll with my kitties and I'm hard as f*ck.

-1 HS
Colerain 2004 G.O.A.T.'s picture

~~giving him less time than the won Barrett was operating behind.  Practice is where the job will be one. 

Maybe check the use of the words "one" and "won" before attacking posters credibility....Nice save you repay me with a DV for me helping you from looking like a jackass.

I speak the truth but I guess that's a foreign language to yall.~~Lil Wayne

-5 HS
otrain2416's picture

Here's what I got from the spring game:

  • Our backup QBs both need a lot of work for me to feel comfortable if Braxton goes down.
  • Eze might be the best option we have at RB considering with a young OL we might be bouncing a lot of plays outside.
  • Our OL is our teams weakest link as of now. 
  • Our secondary looked so much better in press coverage and to me it didn't take a genius to switch to it.
  • C. Grant has not earned his starting spot yet.
  • Darron Lee and Chris Worley could be rotating at OLB at the beginning of the season because they are both outstanding players. 
  • Our D line is going to be ridiculous. I think Tyquan could be starting for most teams and Frazier looked solid as well. Add in Steve Miller, Tommy Schutt, Jamal Marcus, Michael Hill, Donovan Munger, and Cris Carter for the rotation we are going to be VERY deep. 
  • Our WR could be our main offensive threat this year if Braxton can distribute the ball to them and our O-line and protect him. 

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

+2 HS
Jdadams01's picture

Our OL will rarely look good in spring games. Starters sit and the rest are mixed up between teams. OL is all about a cohesive unit because if one guy messes up or is slow, the whole line is essentially beaten. There's no way around it with our spring game format.

otrain2416's picture

No I agree I didn't expect to see perfection from them. I just thought our backup O-line looked very good when they got to play last year so I had a little bit higher expectations from what we saw. 

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

BroJim's picture

Nice post, I like most of the comments. Thanks everyone! 

I season my simple food with hunger

+1 HS
sivaDavis's picture

Building a solid offensive line will take place during the summer and fall. Being a former lineman, you really need to develop chemistry with the guy next to you. You talk/scream, you have your own signals, your own verbage and it all really matters. It can't be overstated how important it is to have solid chemistry on the o-line. But anyway add that in with how ridiculously deep the defensive line is and I think that's why at times we seemed incompetent on the offensive line. I believe we have the talent and once the starters are fully distinguished, adding in how great Ed Warriner is, I believe we will have a solid offensive line. Not great at first but solid. And they will only get better during the year. How many times last year did we see a defensive lineman come through the line untouched to crush Braxton? Or a linebacker even? Maybe a handful during 14 games, I could live with that. That was all because of our amazing offensive line that had probably the most combined experience and the most chemistry in the entire country. I'm really excited for this year. The defense, even though it's the spring game and they played press the entire time (at least it seemed), could be really solid. And it's only going to get better once the freshman arrive. Same with the offensive line. Big Meech, Jamarco, and company will come in and work.


"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

irishfury's picture

I think people forget during last spring game that our stellar oline gave up like 8 total sacks.  I really trust the Oline coach to have one of the best Olines again.  I also agree about JT.  I think JT did better then Jones.  After the first fumble it seemed as if he moved the team down the field.