"Silence the Doubters" If you missed it in "Buckshots", that is the new motto for the 2010 Ohio State Buckeyes, created by everyday fan Eric Hanscel. Hanscel has gone from "Joe Buckeye Fan" to semi-celebrity status through that little phrase that he originally put on his neon orange posterboard sign at OSU games (both home and away) in 2008 when Terrelle Pryor, "Block O", and a majority of the impact veterans on this year's team made it's way onto the scene in Columbus. The slogan made it's way onto a t-shirt at a pre-season Ohio State picnic, where many players took notice, liked the theme, and even wanted a shirt or two for themselves. The motto currently rests on a long red banner hung outside the parking garage on the corner of Woody Hayes and Cannon drives so that the team can see it when it walks from The Blackwell through SJA for Skull Session.
Hopefully the Buckeyes can indeed silence the doubters this season and bring home a MNC to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. One way they plan to do that is to deflect all the attention surrounding the team being placed as #1 in all polls accounted for. Terrelle Pryor apparently called a players-only meeting after it was announced the team would be ranked first in the newest polls. He addressed the team, acknowledging how important the honor was, but made sure that the players knew they needed to stay focused and wanted to avoid anyone getting a big head over the new title at the top of the college football world. The "Tressel-ization" of Terrelle Pryor continues and if you're a Buckeye fan you have to smile ear to ear at the way this kid has come in as a self-proclaimed "punk" and emerged as the real leader of a team that is willing to follow him. These intangibles are invaluable when it comes to making a run at the MNC this year and it's good to see the Buckeyes have what it takes off the field to make sure the job gets done on the field.
One player who can help "silence the doubters" is Jonathan Hankins. The 6-3/335 freshman defensive tackle, know as "Big Hank" has certainly been an impact player in his first season in Columbus, providing the team with a long-needed true nose tackle and giving starting nose tackle Dexter Larimore a breather every now and then. Dave Biddle has a nice little write-up on #52, who may play a very big role in stuffing the Wisconsin running game this Saturday.
Impact freshman are hard to find. When you find a recruit who can see the field in their first year in college, you have to go all-in for them. It seems that's what Ohio State has done with Jadevon Clowney, the #1 overall player in the country by virtually all recruiting services. Clowney was not really on the OSU radar in the beginning of the process and vice versa, but the Bucks' good play on the field coupled with a late recruiting pitch officially has Ohio State in Clowney's top four and in line for an official visit. Being that he's never been to Columbus, getting him on campus is the first step (Michigan game perhaps?). Anything is possible after that so continued to stay tuned for updates.