I hope that's true, because otherwise I'm not sure this is good news
Ohio State IS in no question.
Akers and Walker don't seem like the best examples - Akers might just not be willing to go that far from home, and from what I understand Walker's departure was, at the very least, by mutual agreement. Why someone like Damien Harris goes from Kentucky to Bama instead of coming to OSU is a better question in my opinion.
Webb could also have to play some CB next year, if either Arnette or Ward gets hurt or struggles. Still, time for Webb to break out seems to have passed, so unless Arnette, Ward, or one of the newcomers really breaks out at CB next year, the CBs as a whole will probably take at least a small step back from this year.
Where would EGW play on offense? He'd be behind 5 to 7 receivers/H-backs, and the brain trust can't seem to figure out how to get the ball to those.
The scholarship grid seems out of date compared to depth charts. For example, Arnette has been a backup CB all year, as far as I can tell. And for a while now Okudah has been talked about as a CB, while Brendon White, according to Birm, will start out at LB. Still, safety should be fine next year with Webb, E. Smith, EGW, Fuller, and Burns, and most likely in 2018 as well with EGW, Fuller, Burns, and Pryor. After than EGW is gone and Fuller most likely is as well.
IF Lattimore leaves (Conley seems like a foregone conclusion), CBs will definitely be very green next year, though Ward has been listed as a co-starter with Lattimore for much of the year and Webb could probably provide some stability if necessary. One of newcomers might get a good amount of PT next year too. But by 2018 Wade/Riep/Williamson/Okudah might in fact be a logjam and someone might have to move. Medium-term OSU is completely loaded at DB.
It's not just the run, where McMillan does an amazing job. A monster 1-tech pretty much requires a double team in pass pro, which either requires using up an additional body on the line or in the backfield for blocking or opens up opportunities for DEs. It's not an issue of the DL being bad with the converted SDEs - the Rushmen package can be very effective, as we've seen - it's a question of being able to do things that they can't do now, like getting constant pressure on passing downs without spending a fifth body to blitz. This could be the difference between shutting down the opponent's passing game and having your pressure/blitzing nullified by screens.
I agree OT is an area of need, but Jamarco is developing nicely and Pridgeon should displace Prince next year unless Prince makes a major leap. Jordan came in as an OT and could probably move back, and an absolute stud in Myers is already coming in.
On the other hand, Hill is essentially the only true DT on the roster right now. Dre'Mont Jones, Cornell, Landers, and Sprinkle are all undersized converted SDEs. You don't convert 4 SDEs into DTs if you don't have a dire need at DT.
Not to mention the fact that both Sprinkle and Jones are converted SDEs and, in the 280-290 range after several years in the program, are somewhat undersized at DT. Wilson is already a monster at 330 and Tufele, at 300, can probably grow into a legitimate 1-tech as well. They essentially play different positions.
I thought Wade was a definite CB?
There's a logjam developing at S as it is, with Webb, Erick Smith, and EGW all presumably ready to play, and Fuller and Burns pushing from behind. And Fuller might even pass EGW, from what I understand? I'm guessing, barring injury, two of Webb/Smith/Fuller start next year, and EGW will probably be right there. Will be hard for Wade to see the field outside of special teams. And EGW still has eligibility for 2018.
On the other hand, while CBs will be very green next year if both Conley and Lattimore leave, Williamson/Riep/Wade/Okudah will be a logjam of their own by 2018. Not to mention Ward, Arnette, and potentially Sheffield, all of whom will have eligibility in 2018.
This is the point to me. They kind of defense they can play is affected by the fact that there is barely a 1-tech on the roster. To me this is a ... shortcoming at DT, if you don't like 'struggling'.
So mods, is this the currently preferred thread for discussing recruiting? Because I'd love to know what people think about Okudah - Birm has described him as a lock for months (even a hypothetical "silent"), yet still nothing. And of course Wilson would be jewel of the class, not because he'd be the highest rated player, but because DT is by far the biggest need.
The day I dream about OSU recruiting is the day I check into rehab for recruiting addiction.
Seriously, trying to procrastinate when new info comes in at best once an hour is so frustrating!
So many mixed signals. Wiltfong CBs him to OSU at 6:10am, then implies it's not a sure thing in the morning's BM5? Yet a Bama insider CBs him to OSU at 10:36am?
It seems Moretti wanted to enroll early and OSU was no longer willing to let him because he won't be able to practice until the summer or later. This was probably made clear to him on his official.
With Simmons ... well, what can you say when the lowest rated commit in the class decommits? Well, some say crazy sh*t, but the butthurt is strong with them.
1) I doubt there's any way to hold Schiano to a two-year commitment. He was a very well established coach, albeit a dismal failure at his last stop, before coming here. Just getting him as an assistant was a coup. I think we've seen the dividends already.
2) Strong is very similar to Schiano in my opinion: formerly successful head coach, failed badly at his last stop. If hired, I can't imagine he'd stay more than two years before getting another shot at HC. That said, if BOTH Schiano and Fickell move on to HC positions after this season, I'd like to see Strong pursued for DC.
3) To me Helfrich is different from Schiano and Strong, but also different from Coker at Miami, Bill Stewart at WV, etc. Schiano and Strong very successful head coaches for a while before failing badly at most recent stop. Coker and Stewart were career assistants who were handed the reigns of programs at their peak in caretaker-type roles, hoping they could continue the success. Sometimes it works out, as with Chip Kelly taking over from Bellotti and Shaw taking over from Harbaugh, so it's worth a shot. Other times though the career assistant just isn't HC material. Helfrich failed pretty badly on his first try at HC, but he was thrown in the deep end at Oregon, given huge expectations, but no natural recruiting base. Before that he was a relatively young assistant on an upward trajectory, not a career assistant. I would think he benefits from experience under a very successful HC with a huge coaching tree and moves on to HC at a P5 program with slightly lower expectations. In that sense he's a natural fit for assistant under Urban.
In the end I think it comes down to two questions:
1) Is OSU willing to spend as much on its coaching staff as Bama? Kirby Smart made 1.5 mil before leaving for Georgia. Kiffin makes 1.4 mil. Sark will probably make something comparable when he replaces Kiffin as OC. I imagine this has something to do with Saban being able to hold on to his assistants longer than Urban. Is OSU willing to pay Helfrich 1 mil or more to stay until the perfect HC opportunity comes along? At 650K Fickell was OSU's highest paid assistant last year, but only 35th highest nationally. There's room to grow. Would Herman had stayed until the Texas job opened up if OSU was willing to may him 1.5 mil? Would have been nice to have have him these past two seasons.
2) Would there be too many cooks in the kitchen on offense? Even if Beck moves on pretty painlessly, Warrinner as Co-OC hasn't exactly been a great success, last year's Michigan game and bowl game notwithstanding. But he can't easily go back to his old job either. I'm afraid making him Co-OC was a mistake - now he's likely stuck there unless he moves on to an HC position. I suspect he's more like Coker and Stewart than like Kelly and Shaw - not HC material. But at this point he's more likely to become and HC, fail, then go back to coaching OL than go straight to coaching OL. Sucks, because he's a great OL coach, but I think I'd take Helfrich at OC with Studrawa coaching the OL over Warrinner at OC with Studrawa coaching OL. Oh, and as an added bonus, Helfrich was actually OC/QBs coach at Oregon before becoming HC.
Coker won a title with Miami the year before losing to OSU
Is this in any way connected to Shaun Wade?
That's the thing - those need to be both practiced and called regularly in games so that they can be relied on when the run game is denied. This means they should be called 20-30 times in every blowout. In other words they need to be a major component of the offense, since they are necessary to soften up good defenses against the run. There's nothing wrong with being a primarily-run offense, but there has to be a passing game to fall back on when the run is denied.
I have no idea what they have planned for C. Hopefully they're working on that now. Hopefully Jamarco grows into a good tackle and Pridgeon comes back as the other tackle. Myers will probably need to be at least a backup tackle, and will need to be able to start by his second year. Between Pridgeon and Myers, Prince shouldn't be starting next year unless he makes a major leap. Out of Price, Jordan, Knox, Burrell, and the rest, there should be enough of both talent and experience to field two solid guards. It would be great to add at least one more OT to this class though. For whatever reason OT and DT seem like by far the weakest positions in Urban's recruiting.
I think you're exactly right. Urban's run-first approach works great against over-matched opponents, but against elite defenses it's simply too prone to stalling. My intuition is that, when you do it too often, it's simply too costly to require advancement of 3-5 yards just to get back to the LOS. This is why I advocate switching to a pass-to-run approach in such cases. Or really, whenever you've had two consecutive drives stall before advancing at least 30 yards. In the context of that one game, it softens up the defense to make your running attack effective again. In the context of a season, it keeps the QB and receivers comfortable enough with the passing concepts to be able to turn to them whenever needed. They don't need to be so complicated that a competent defense wouldn't be able to deny them. Just complicated enough that denying them means not being able to deny the run game.
And of course it means punting when it doesn't work! What exactly do they do now when on 1st down Weber or Samuel gains 3, on 2nd they try the same thing and get 1 or none, then on 3rd they run Samuel out wide and get somewhere between +3 and -3? It doesn't matter how good you are at doing one thing - a great defense will deny you that one thing.
For that to be successful he needs to find an open receiver at least what, 75% of passing downs? That can work, but only with WoodyFan's prescription above - lots of screens, crossing routes, delays, etc - short, relatively easy passes. Everyone in the world expects this to be a run-first offense. Make it a pass to run offense for the playoffs and no one will be able to stop the run when it comes.
I say this every time recruiting comes up, and I always get shouted down along the lines of "in 2014 there O linemen were 3*s, and look how great that line was!"
Yes, sometimes that works out, and sometimes 5*s bust, but recruiting elite talent is a much more high-percentage approach. For all the incredible Urban has secured at other positions, recruiting along the O-line and at defensive tackle has been unremarkable at best.
Can't remember about earlier games, but it was a crazy number against Michigan, which absolutely shouldn't happen. Passing game is all out of sorts - JT doesn't trust himself, receivers don't trust themselves, and no one trusts anyone else.
1) As mentioned in several comments above, the only thing Bama's D-line probably has on Michigan's is depth. They are by no means on another level from Michigan.
2) I'm reasonably hopeful that with a full month of practice the situation will be dramatically improved with a combination of recuperation from nagging injuries, work on fundamentals by the O-line as a unit without the rush of preparing for next week's opponent's D scheme, and, probably most importantly, work by JT and receivers on at least a few quick, short yardage, high-percentage passing plays that can be used to keep the opposing D from disregarding the passing game.
OSU has a VERY good running attack, both up the middle and wide. When this is the ONLY threat the OSU offense poses, a good defense will be able to keep it in check, while a great one, like Michigan's, will essentially be able to shut it down. However, because of how good the rushing attack is, it wouldn't take a great deal of success in the passing game to create opportunities for success in the running game.
In the 2014 postseason that modicum of success came on deep home run passes. However, JT doesn't have Cardale's arm, while OSU does not currently have a deep threat anywhere near as dangerous as Devin Smith. On the other hand, OSU now has substantially more experienced receivers than in 2014. At the moment JT is too lost to take advantage of this fact.
Check out the passing stats. Samuel has 65 rec for 822 yards. He averages over 12 ypc, but so do Brown, Wilson, and Hill, while Baugh is at 11.2 ypc. Yet Brown only has 30 rec, Wilson has 27, Baugh has 24, and Hill has 17. No wonder they keep dropping balls! With only 2-3 targets a game, they're WAY too eager to make the most of their few opportunities. That's a ton of talent at receiver, before we even get to Campbell and McLaurin. And yet at the moment the offense consists almost exclusively of Samuel, JT runs, and Mike Weber a distant third.
In the playoff opponents' Ds will have laser focus on those three players. You can't tell me that Samuel can't be used as a decoy to create favorable match ups for Brown and Baugh on quick short yardage routes. It's simply a question of getting JT more comfortable in the passing game. They have a month to do it, and if they can come out and demonstrate this aspect as a credible threat on their opening drive, we'll see Weber and Samuel with huge runs a little later.