I actually added a special tribute to them at the end. I included Shazier because even though he wasn't a part of this years team, he was a part of that 2011 recruiting class that stuck to their commitments despite all the turmoil.
Yeah. With work and all, it took me about a week to finish.
Anybody who's watched Gibson throw and believes his future is at QB is kidding themselves. He's an athletic freak who was capable of playing QB in high school because he had a large arsenal of weapons surrounding him.
Burrow is a true QB with serviceable speed that can be called upon and relied upon when the pocket breaks down. I was originally a doubter of Burrow until I actually watched him play. I'm telling you right now, if he had gone to HS in California, he'd be a top 50 player in the country.
Then again, time will tell. Urban Meyer has made good of every QB he's worked with and I have no doubt that that won't change.
The Ohio State University owes a lot to this senior class.
This was the final recruiting class of Jim Tressel and they were the men that stuck around despite the controversy surrounding the program and the coaching staff.
They are the epitome of dedication and loyalty. True Buckeyes.
Truthfully, if the QB situation works out, tOSU will be even better next year.
Replacing starters is difficult at first, but one must think about how they would line up with the previous years starters by mid-season.
OT: Losing Baldwin sucks, but Jamarco Jones possesses much more natural ability that Warriner will develop thoroughly.
WR: Spencers blocking and Smiths long ball are intangibles that aren't' as easily replaced. But the depth at WR is pretty good and the team will adapt. Whether or not they'll be "better" is difficult to conclude.
TE: Heuerman, though good, didn't have a strong impact on the field. Vannett will smoothly transition to the starting role and there shouldn't be much of a drop off.
DT: Bennett will be the most difficult to replace, but Schutt should be very serviceable by mid-season.
DE: Miller was never really the starter in my eyes because all season I kept wondering how studly that line would be if Spence was playing. Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes are prepped to step up and develop into good players by the end of the season. And of course we all eagerly anticipate the play of Sam Hubbard.
MLB: Grant has been a true warrior and great leader, but let's be honest with ourselves. McMillan will be much better.
CB: Grant took over the role of Travis Howard and was mentored by Roby. After Roby left, Grant tutored Apple. I fully expect Apple to carry on that proud tradition and train the next man up to be a star. Whether it be Conley, Webb, Lattimore, Reeves, or Burrows.
After Devin Smith, Corey Smith runs the next best deep route. It's just a matter of him catching the ball that will determine how much he improves next year (that deep one against Alabama that he dropped was a real bummer).
But I, personally am looking forward to what James Clark brings to the table next year or (if he bulks up some) Terry McLaurin.
There is a western bias when it comes to the QB position. Recruiting experts see California QB's as the standard for a 5-Star and often don't give credit where credit is due to QB's outside of the golden state. I really believe that Joe Burrow is going to end up being the best player in this class when it is all said and done.
He has a skill set that aligns with the likes of Steve Young and Aaron Rodgers (don't grill me too hard for those comparisons) in that he has good size, arm strength, and touch. But more importantly, he is MOBILE. He is not a burner, he's a QB with great instincts and the legs that can solidly support his game without depending upon them.
Hilliard, Baker, Cornell, EGW, Gibson, Weber, Burrell, etc. will all be good (though statistics show that one or two of them will be busts my our measures as fans), but Burrow will be the crown jewel of this class when he look back on it 4-5 years from now.
Ohio State has a history of choking in duals, but showing up come tournament time. And with Little Stieber, Demas, and BoJo just getting back in the mix of things, I'm not sure that that pattern will change.
I have complete faith that this team will win its' first national title this year in March, but duals have just never been their forte.
As much as we should thank JT for recruiting them, we need to thank his final class even more for the dedication they showed to a fallen giant. They were the ones that stuck around despite the turmoil they knew that awaited in the wake of the tattoo ordeal.
Braxton Miller, Evan Spencer, Devin Smith, Nick Vannett, Jeff Heuerman, Chris Carter, Antonio Underwood, Michael Bennett, Steve Miller, Chase Farris, Joel Hale, Curtis Grant, Ryan Shazier, Doran Grant, and Ron Tanner.
The success of this year was built on their loyalty and leadership. The truest of Buckeyes.
Seeing how this season went, it's hard to believe that just three years ago the QB arsenal was comprised of Joe Bauserman and a freshman Braxton Miller.
Is anybody going to watch the Florida/ECU game just for the purpose of seeing Lincoln Riley's offense?
Unless he can draw Frost away from Oregon, I really hope Urban scoops him up.
Did anybody notice how good the O-Line was once they settled in?
If $$ is the issue, Ohio State better open it's check book to Ed Warriner!
Rocky Balboa (His speech in his last movie to his son always gives me chills).
Herb Brooks (If being the underdog doesn't pump you up after watching Miracle, nothing will).
I remember when this came out a few years ago!
It's nice to see it coming true!
I know that it's only been three games, but if the season had ended after Saturday, what are the odds each of these players would leave for the NFL?
Woodchuck is my favorite, but I like all of them.
I don't know what was sadder. Corey Smith dropping the ball(s) or the offensive line looking like merely an illusion for the VT defense to run through.
How I didn't see it, I don't know.
Paul Warfield, Cris Carter, Joey Galloway, Terry Glenn, David Boston, Michael Jenkins, Santonio Holmes, Anthony Gonzalez, etc.
To limit the choices to Boston, Ginn, and Philly doesn't do the history of Ohio State receivers any justice.
Ginn was a good all around player, but as a receiver, he was (in my opinion) always the #2 receiver. Holmes and Gonzalez were both better route runners as well as pass catchers than him.
Philly only shined because he was the only decent route runner in a weak group of WR's.
I like the pick for McLaurin if you are speaking strictly in the long run. Because, like Parris Campbell, he needs to put on some weight to be consistently effective. Therefor, I doubt he'll break out anytime this year.
My sleeper though would have to be Malik Hooker. He's a raw athlete who came in just in time to be brought up by Chris Ash. He basically arrived in the right place at the right time. He won't be more than a special teams player until his junior year though.