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Comment 07 Apr 2014

I was very excited about Eli Apple being a Buckeye and look forward to great play from him going forward.  I'm sure having that black stripe removed will be a significant boost for his confidence  It's not how you start, but rather how you finish, that matters most.  

It was also very exciting to read that veterans Doran Grant and Armani Reeves have been so instrumental in Eli working through the difficult times.  For all the the crap Armani Reeves has taken for his play, it sure sounds like he is a great teammate.  Go Bucks!

Comment 07 Apr 2014

Thanks for sharing this link.  Both of these young men would be great additions for 2015.  With Hilliard being from Ohio, I am especially hopeful he ends up a Buckeye.  

I am not at all worried or concerned about the lack of verbals to this point.  I trust this staff will again bring another very talented group to tOSU once national signing day has come and gone.  Go Bucks!

Comment 24 Mar 2014

     Thank you for your respectful response.  I don't think I am getting too far ahead of things here nor painting with too broad a brush. In recruiting basketball players, the work and eyes of an assistant coach are instrumental in bringing a young man onto the radar screen. Kids are exposed through not only their high school seasons but also through AAU competition during April and in summer evaluation periods, including summer league play, team camps, and on the summer all-star circuits.  Assistant coaches are a significant part of the process.  

     Recruiting is a staff event and Coach Matta is the leader.  His tenure has been marked by great consistency.  However, the lifeblood of any program is recruiting and Coach Matta can't see them all.  He needs eyes and ears he can trust for good information and to find recruiting nuggets like LaVert along the way.  It's just my belief that far too many Ohio kids are playing well at other major programs and I honestly do not recall that ever happening before the last couple of years.

     While Groce may not have offered LaVert at Illinois, though I do not know that for fact, that doesn't mean he didn't see him as having a big upside.  He may have had scholarship limitations at Illinois to deal with, too, or players already offered by the previous staff he had to honor.  

     If LaVert was always known as a shooter, and having watched just about every Buckeye game this year, it puzzles me even more how he wasn't recruited at tOSU.  This Buckeye edition was devoid of shooters, as we all know, and that issue should have been rectified in recruiting along the way.  Go Bucks!


Comment 23 Mar 2014

I also agree completely.  Like it or not, this staff is not what it was just a couple of years back.  In particular, we have really missed Chris Jent and John Groce IMO.  John Groce saw something in LaVert as the OU coach and I believe had he been on the staff at tOSU that he would have recruited LaVert here, too.  To me, this one example represents a pattern of misses in terms of evaluating talent that is at the heart of what's missing at tOSU.  

Not every young man in Ohio wants to be a Buckeye, but you have to believe that many more do want to be Buckeyes than don't.  In basketball, a 'miss' in recruiting is HUGE, and, to me, far too many kids from Ohio are excelling in other places for this to be anything but a staff issue.  The lack of development is another issue but also a significant shortcoming at this point in time.  

That said, Thad Matta has done a terrific job at tOSU but any head coach is only as good as his staff.  I also believe that it will now take two good recruiting classes in a row to make up for the misses and lack of depth/experience that will be on next year's roster.  I surely hope I am wrong.  Go Bucks!

Comment 10 Mar 2014

Congratulations to Aaron Craft!  IMO, he should have at least been a two-time Defensive PoY.  As mentioned above, that dive to the floor in the last minute captures who Aaron Craft is as a player...selfless, driven, and a winner.  

I've thoroughly enjoyed watching Aaron Craft play and hate seeing his career end.  I'm sure that he'll go out in style.  Go Bucks!

Comment 26 Feb 2014

Mack is impressive.  His tape reminds me of the one we all saw here on 11W of Jamal Marcus when he was in high school.  Once JM got his hands on a ball-carrier, he never seemed to go forward.  That's also what I see with Thee Mack Truck.  Hopefully he will realize his childhood dream and be a Buckeye.  Go Bucks!

Comment 18 Feb 2014

If ND is the best place for him and his family, best of luck to Clark.  The one thing I am confident in is that tOSU coaching staff will bring in a great talent at tight end and in one year we'll be celebrating another terrific recruiting class.  Go Bucks!.  

Comment 10 Feb 2014

That applies only to a letter of intent.  Otherwise, there are a couple of ways that MM can enroll at MSU as a student.  He can enroll as a student after the first day of classes or have his father sign a B1G tender to receive financial aid, which requires a parent signature but doesn't specify if the custodial parent has to sign.  Go Bucks!

Comment 10 Feb 2014

Thanks for your post.  I am impressed that MM didn't want to do an end-around on his mother and have his father sign a B1G tender to attend MSU as he had hoped to do.  MM wants his mother to be on-board with the decision.  After his mother's reaction to MM's decision to attend MSU on NSD, that, IMO, shows some real maturity on MM's part.  

I hope this works out well for MM and that his family can support his decision, regardless of where he ends up.  Go Bucks!

Comment 10 Feb 2014

Birm, thanks for sharing this article.  I was struck by the love that Minkah's family has for each other, the willingness of his parents to sacrifice for their children as they have, and how much humility Minkah and his family exhibit.  

The school lucky enough to win Minkah's commitment will be getting a first class young man and a great family.  Go Bucks!

Comment 09 Feb 2014

My thoughts and prayers are for the Mitchell family.  Hopefully, Mr. Mitchell will get well but, until that point in time, football is a distant second for Mike.  As many have stated here, I, too, was very excited about Mike wearing the S & G but am glad he will be close to his father and family where they need him most.  Go Bucks!

Comment 09 Feb 2014

Like many people in my age range (50's), change doesn't come easy.  On top of that, I am not much into technology and use it only when necessary.  For me, this site change will require time to figure out.

I'm convinced the site has been changed because it was necessary at some level.  That's good enough for me and I trust the folks who have made this site what it is know better.  Go Bucks!

Comment 05 Feb 2014

Birm...Your 'story' is never more important than the recruit or family.  "Thank you" for doing your job as professionally as you do and with the proper decorum.  

We are indeed blessed to have the 11W staff on our side!  Go Bucks!  


Comment 05 Feb 2014

While I am excited about Darius Slade as a prospect, I am even more excited about him being a Buckeye after reading this post.  It is clear to me that Darius is an intelligent young man, is well-spoken, comes from a close-knit family, and values the relationship he has with Coach Johnson.  

The addition of Darius Slade is a great way to complete the Dream '14 class.  Go Bucks! 

Comment 04 Feb 2014

What a difference two weeks makes?!  I'm very proud of this Buckeye team for the great fighting spirit they showed again tonight at Iowa and am happy for them to have won again in another difficult venue.  Let's hope this is the start of another long winning streak.  Go Bucks!

Comment 02 Feb 2014

Birm, always, thanks for sharing the promising information you have about how the "Dream '14'" class will finish up.  While there are no guarantees, the prospect of JJ signing with tOSU and adding MM to this class is really exciting.  Go Bucks!

Comment 01 Feb 2014

A surprising but most welcome victory today in the Kohl Center.  Whether the Badgers have been struggling or not, any time you go to their place and beat a Bo Ryan coached team it is a good win.  I hope this can be a springboard forward.  Go Bucks!

Comment 01 Feb 2014

Thanks for taking a few moments to summarize your experience as an audience member as Coach Meyer spoke to your company.  One of my favorite topics to read about is leadership and, IMO, the one quality all great leaders have is passion for what they do.  In that regard, we Buckeye fans are truly blessed.  Go Bucks! 

Comment 31 Jan 2014

Welcome to the Buckeye family Nick.  There is no doubt he plays in a great high school league and attends a terrific high school, which tells me he has some football skills for sure an can definitely handle his business academically.  Best wishes to Nick at tOSU.  Go Bucks! 

Comment 29 Jan 2014

Unfortunately, the real true weaknesses of this group weren't revealed until the competition got better in B1G play.  Now that they have been exposed, combined with the lack of confidence, and the result is one of the worst losses I have seen in years for tOSU.  

While always looking for something to feel good about, I don't see a solution in sight.  Here's to hoping...Go Bucks!       

Comment 29 Jan 2014

The word 'rival' is more about semantics than anything.  By definition, a 'rival' is either a person or thing that tries to defeat or be more successful than another, so it's easy to say that every team on the schedule is a 'rival' when examined under that lens.  

Rival is also defined as something or someone that is as good or almost as good as another person or thing.  To determine that, are you looking from a historical perspective or more recent?

In terms of historical match-ups, scUM is clearly a rival because of both on the field competition and in recruitment of student-athletes over time.  Being able to recruit Ohio products to play for TTUN and our staff now doing their best to bring 'northerners' to tOSU has certainly added fuel to the fire we call 'The Game.'.

No other school, from a historical perspective, is really what you might call a rival, IMO.  Though I do not have records right in front of me nor plan to look them up, our Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin something like 62 of the first 65 times games were played against one another.  It wasn't until Barry Alvarez got there close to 25 years ago that things changed.  Bert, being Bert, added some flavor to the games but he only defeated tOSU once.

As for MSU, I just don't see enough historical match-ups or recruiting battles to really consider Sparty a traditional rival though see this one evolving.  Yes, there have been some memorable, or not so memorable, games between our schools (MSU in 1998 immediately comes to mind) but not many historically speaking.  Coach Dantonio, being from Ohio and on the 2002 National Championship team, has certainly brought MSU more into the discussion of a rival with Sparty's win this year and the battle for Jamarco Jones.

With no disrespect to PSU, I just don't see them as a true 'rival' based on games played over time nor have I seen many epic recruiting battles.  PSU has been very good historically and the games played against OSU since joining the B1G have, for the most part, been highly competitive.  My age may have something to do with seeing PSU as I do, as the first 3 games were played in the 1970's as I was closing in on 20.  I never had an attachment or any true emotion to this game.   

I was taught to respect all opponents but know from both playing and coaching that only certain teams can get the blood flowing.  For this Buckeye, scUM is the only one right now that meets that standard, with MSU now in the discussion.  Go Bucks!

Comment 28 Jan 2014

11W...nobody's done it better since 2007!  A BIG "Thank-you" to the 11W staff, present and past, for your endless pursuit of all information related to Buckeye sports.  Your professionalism, work ethic, and interactions with this community never cease to amaze me.  Go Bucks!  


Comment 28 Jan 2014

Birm.  You are the man!  IMO, this is one of your very best efforts from many to chose from.  Your logical assessment of the entire recruiting process is spot-on.  Ultimately, these young men being recruited will do what is best for themselves and we fans must accept that, for better or worse.  

But, make no mistake, this Buckeye coaching staff is incredible at their jobs.  The energy and passion they continue to bring to the program each and every day make me proud to be a fan of tOSU!  I am very confident in the direction this team is headed and in our leadership.  When the chips do finally fall for the Dream '14 team, our Buckeyes will be positioned better than ever to succeed.

Thanks again.  Go Bucks!