Chris Childers has a national college athletics show on Sirius XM 91. He always says exactly what he thinks and this is a transcript of what he said about Ohio State today. Make of it what you will but I think it is generally a realistic assessment.
-I really believe Ezekiel Elliott is going to be a superstar if he stays healthy. Ezekiel Elliott was a five star recruit coming out of high school. Go watch his film, go on any recruiting website. Youtube it, go check him out. If you don’t know much about Ezekiel Elliott, do yourself a favor, check him out; he’s got the goods. He’s got the goods. Carlos Hyde had the goods but he’s no longer there.
When you look at Ohio State, and I’ve heard a lot of people question the Buckeyes and their offense. “Like yeah there is Braxton Miller, but can they be any good offensively? Can they be as good as they were? Yeah we have Braxton, but the offensive line is rebuilt, and Carlos Hyde is gone, and Philly Brown is no longer at wide receiver. And, those are all very good points. But, they got talent, and Urban has recruited talent. Ezekiel Elliott is one of those prized Kids that Urban recruited himself to fit his system. And, like I said, Ezekiel Elliott has the goods, and I think you're going to see him really put on a show this year for Ohio State.
He will become a household name, he will be a guy that is an all-Big Ten type of talent. I’m telling you right now, if you don’t know the name yet, you're going to know it a couple of weeks into the season. If he’s healthy, that’s how strongly I feel about Ezekiel Elliott at running back for Ohio State.
Even at wide receiver I’m not concerned. They’ve got Evan Spencer; they have Devin Smith. Offensive line, sure, has a lot of new parts. They have one legitimate starter back up front for them, and It’s not like they’re going to be young. They get the Alabama transfer Chad Lindsay, and they’ll be ok. They might not be a great offensive line. They’ll be ok.
Then I look at their defense. Ohio State seems to be this team that no one wants to respect. Are you getting this vibe as well? It just seems like no one wants to respect Ohio State when it comes to the four team playoff. People know they’re in the mix, but nobody legitimately takes them seriously. You know this to be true as do I. We are basing this off of what happened in the Big Ten title game. We are basing this off, well we’re not, but people are basing this off of the Orange Bowl. They lost to two very good teams in Michigan State and Clemson. And, Michigan State went on to beat Stanford in the Rose Bowl, mind you, with one of the best defenses in America, if not the best. That was a very good football team that they got beat by. Number one, and the Clemson game was back and forth, back and forth, could have gone either way. It’s not like they got to the big stage and got embarrassed. That was not the case. But, when it comes to Ohio State there seems to be a lack of respect even though in two years Urban Meyer has gone 24 and 2.
And when I look at the defense, and the defense is a valid concern, and I understand the defense has to be better. They have to be able to stop the pass. They have to be able to do it. That was the problem against Connor Cook and the Spartans. That was the problem against Michigan. I mean Michigan’s offense was up and down, and if you watched Michigan last year they shouldn’t have gone up and down on anybody, and they did on the Buckeyes. Then Michigan State did it. Then Clemson, Tahj Boyd ripped them apart.
The secondary was absolute crap last year. There’s no way to sugar coat it, there’s no nice term for it. They were bad. But, when I look at this defense, I have hope for significant improvement.
I know I’m always selling hope, I’m selling it at Texas A&M, I’m selling it at Ohio State, but I really have reason to believe that there is reason for hope at those schools. I’m not going to go out there and sell hope for everybody now, do not get me wrong. But it needs instances, yes there is the unknown. Yes, the previous evidence does not back up reason for hope. But, when I look at this defense, the front four may be the best in college football. Noah Spence, Michael Bennett, Adolphus Washington, those guys are as good as any group in the country. Well how does that impact the secondary? Well it does in a big way because those cats can get after the quarterback. They can get sacks, they can be disruptive in the running game getting into the opposing backfield, they can hurry the quarterback. All that stuff can improve the pass defense.
Guys like Doran Grant, Armani Reeves, Vonn Bell, they have to step up in the secondary. But it’s not like these guys are scrubs. They just had some real issues last year but hopefully a little seasoning, and another year, another system can get those guys vastly improved, and they need to be. And I understand why people don’t take them seriously. You can’t be taken seriously until you can prove you can stop somebody.
And, I’m not sure when they’re going to be able to prove it throughout the year. You look at the schedule, who is going to light up your secondary early on? Navy certainly is not going to do it. Navy is in a lot of trouble in this game because I just told you how good the defensive line is, the front seven for Ohio State. All Navy does is run, and that’s not a good matchup for them. Virginia Tech has no passing game, and that’s game number two. Kent State, I know nothing about them. Cincinnati is a team, Gunner Kiel, maybe they test them a little bit but it’s not like anyone is lighting the world on fire. I believe the team that could challenge them the most could be Maryland early on, as far as the passing game. CJ Brown, Steffon Diggs, and Deon Long. But I think there is reason for optimism. But I would have been taken a little bit back if Ezekiel Elliott’s injury was serious, but all good. Pin is in the wrist. He’s going to be ready to go on Thursday.