A Turnaround on Defense This Fall Should Pay Big Dividends During Next Year's Recruiting Cycle

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southalabamabuckeye's picture

I sincerely believe that Ohio State's defense will be very stout this fall and the coaching changes on that side of the ball will go down as some of Day's most important recruiting wins.

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

I already like Hafley but damn, my gut is telling me every NFL team is going to come knocking for him next winter. I hope we get at least two years out of him because he's already proven his worth to the staff. Maybe the possibility of becoming full DC if Mattison retires will keep him around. We don't need another Taver Johnson scenario.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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lesajima's picture

One factor will be does he enjoy recruiting? If not he will go back to the nfl. An advantage in college, at least at the OSU level is stability. Recruit well and the job is secure. The downside is less time off.

Lesajima

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BrutusB's picture

I don't know if anyone enjoys recruiting.  But hopefully he doesn't hate it enough to want to leave right away.

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Buckeye06's picture

Yea, when OSU hired Mattison I was hesitant, but Hafley could be heir apparent in 2-3 years.  It was probably a situation where Day needed to bring in a proven college commodity before taking a "chance" with Hafley who hasn't recruited in a few years.  

My thoughts at least 

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JW BUCKEYE's picture

Makes a lot of sense.

"Kiss my Converse!!" -- Sho 'Nuff the Master

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AZ Buckeye13's picture

Hafley was in the NFL and could have stayed there if he had chosen to do so. He voluntarily left SF so maybe the NFL isn't exactly his cup of tea. 

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buckslan's picture

Hafley is also a college guy. Hes only been in the NFL for the past 5 or 6 seasons I believe. And I think he's on record in stating he enjoys recruiting. If anything I'd be worried he becomes a college head coach somewhere.

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TSwerve's picture

Double edge sword really, want them be Elite for the players but knowing in your mind that means better opportunities. It would be nice to find a Bud Foster, Venny, Brown, a guy that wants to be a career DC ... if that’s Hafley I’d be ecstatic 

“It does not matter the size of the man, rather the amount of effort the man is willing to put forth” - Woody

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Chargerbuck's picture

Not to mention both Washington and Mattison were not in a position to recruit kids to OSU after building long term relationships trying to convince kids that Michigan was their best option, then switching gears mid stream to OSU...   Next year that stigma will be behind them, and they will have a much bigger impact for OSU, because they won’t be towing the Michigan baggage with them...

Not to mention, Mattison has long been the one Michigan coach I admired and wished for...  he was shit on by the Harbaugh, “Don Brown is the greatest DC...” bullshit...   Well the Buckeyes lit Donnie Boy up for 63 points, and Mattison had seen enough!   Can’t wait to see the impact his coaching has on the defense this Fall...

The Silver Bullets will be back, and watching the defense make plays will make for a much better season this Fall.

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buckslan's picture

Mattison has been a great DC everywhere he's went, it's a no brainer for Day to get him. I can easily see why Mattison wanted to come here. Pay upgrade, massive talent upgrade, one last hurrah before retirement (assuming). He doesn't really have to build anything up or recruit any lacking position because it's all here. Here's already got a perfect viper/bullet player in Brendon White, a stacked DL, a talented LB and secondary room. He's a great fundamentals coach and that's what we need the most and we have it.

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milhouse4588's picture

The defense will improve. I still have my doubts about the LBs in some places but I don't think the coaches this year will keep ineffective players on the field like they did last year.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing how things pan out this year, and cautiously optimistic.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

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macdaddybuckeyesupreme's picture

If the defense improves, and the offense stays the same. Hello playoff, hello national title. Remember we had a better offense then clemson last year, sure their defense was better. However, I think we could have beaten both Bama and Clemson with the offense we had

Successful people do what they have to, whether they feel like it or not

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BrutusB's picture

I would have put our offense against nearly anyone else's.  But if we couldn't stop Rondale Moore or Anthony McFarland I have no reason to think we would have stopped Jeudy or Justyn Ross.

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AZ Buckeye13's picture

Didn't have to stop them...just outscore them...

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BbBnD's picture

The Purdue game proved that isn’t a reliable strategy. 

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AZ Buckeye13's picture

It worked 13 out of 14 times...not a bad percentage.

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mizzer's picture

92.8% of the time it works all the time.

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Brutus865's picture

Clemson and Bama would have beat the brakes off Ohio state last year.

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Trebor40's picture

I honestly do not think so, the key to truly stopping us last year is get to and disrupt Haskins. The trouble with trying that is just how quick his read and release truly was coupled with just how insanely fast and by the end skillful his wideouts were and are. Then there were the guys designing the offense. No I am not saying we win either as our defense was hemorrhaging big plays - yet our special teams was dominant - even with our issues we constantly won field position battles and enjoyed short fields and our offense was better than even the numbers show because of the variety of play-makers utilized. I am actually confident that we score on and have sustained drives against ANYONE by the end of last year. 

The other part which I acknowledge is an odd one yet I believe would have been key - teams did not do to those two teams what they did to other teams on offense - while for our team we were in many situations - down, giving up huge plays to reverse momentum, needing to make late game winning plays multiple weeks as well as (strangely) coming up with big stops 

I see us losing to Clemson 38 - 30 

I see us beating Bama 34 - 31

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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buckslan's picture

Our offense wasn't as great as some might think. Sure the passing was amazing but it was offset by a horrible run game. It was the very definition of unbalanced. An unbalanced offense would not do very well against Clemson or Alabama, you have to run the ball or at the very least have a threat on the ground to beat those teams (or any great team for that matter)

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nm_buck's picture

If I'm a top recruit, I might want to go to a top-notch school that has an immediate need for me, where I could have a better chance of making a difference and improving along side my teammates. It's more about the coaching IMO...

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

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Sanantonefan's picture

I think the combination of the new coaches and the fact that we have A TON of experience coming back will result in an excellent defensive effort this year. I am sure they will play with a chip on their shoulder,

As Fields gets his feet wet and the offense finds it's way, a stout defense would lead to great success. Predicting we make the playoffs this year.

You Got Barbecue Back There!?!?!?!

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buckslan's picture

A lot of experience and veterans. Unless Josh proctor, taron Vincent, or Teradja Mitchell win a starting spot, the entire defense will be led by guys that are in their 3rd season or longer.

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ronaprhys's picture

The angle of that pic makes it look like a damned bobblehead doll giving the thumbs up.  

"I’m not kidding, that boy’s head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! Aye, now that was offsides, now wasn’t it? He’ll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow."

'97 - Molecular Genetics

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joethejester's picture

 Login just to upvote this and correct it. “he’ll be crying himself to sleep on his gargantuan pillow. 

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BuckInNashville's picture

I see the offensive firepower coming in, but I’m not as positive about the 2018 on field performance being the reason. I think what you’re seeing is the appeal of Ryan Day, and especially, Brian Hartline.

if the previous year’s on field performance was such a driver, how could we have inked 5* Zach Harrison at DE ?

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JackIsWayBetterThanTiger's picture

I do not know the metrics that 247 sports employs to establish their 2020 Coach recruiter rankings, but the 5 commits Hafley secured has put him 3rd Nationally among all recruiters, and Hartline is naturally ahead of him in 2nd place:

https://247sports.com/Season/2020-Football/CompositeCoachRankings/ 

One of his recruits, however, will play on Offense, while another is listed as an Athlete who could play Offense or Defense.

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Steelydan54's picture

We may never know what was going on in the coaching room on defense last year, but I guarantee it wasn't pretty; and it showed in the confusion and lackluster play on the field by 2018 Silver Painted Bullets. 

This year I expect the DL and Backfield to anchor the D, with the LB's re-establishing control of the middle. Last years defense was "Break but don't Bend" with all the gash plays, combined with our otherwise decent yds per attempt. If we can just go back to "Bend but don't Break", we may give up some yards and field goals, but we won't be playing OT vs Maryland. A year of decent defense, with flashes of brilliance on the back end and Line will bring in the defensive recruits next year. 

Steelybuck54

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JJBuckeye's picture

I truly believe that defense recruiting will step up a notch next year with winning and an improved defensive scheme this year. The goal is to get back to where Heacock and Fred Pagac had the “Silver Bullets” play fast, mean, and aggressive. Go Bucks

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TURD_BUCKET's picture

The Buckeyes are recruiting their needs right now, where there is less depth, which is likely on offense.  There is more depth on the defensive side of the team right now and less of a need.  Sure, a better performance on the field and familiarity with the coaches will definitely help in recruiting on the defensive side, but the apparent lack of defensive recruits and "stars" for the 2020 cycle might have more to do with the fact the less defensive players are needed than on offense.  

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

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Trebor40's picture

The defense we see this year is filled with excellent 2nd and 3rd year players - I agree with the reasoning that a path to the field even next year would be hard for many 4* recruits to imagine while the opportunity for the offensive side of the ball does seem far greater! 

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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TURD_BUCKET's picture

Right.  And the quality of the D recruits for the 2020 class still will be pretty damn good, if not the quantity.

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

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Trebor40's picture

It does seem like we are stepping away from the SEC style of signing players yet we shall see if the lower numbers which allow for less injuries is a safe play though a cleaner one assuredly! 

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

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FrankTheGrimes's picture

After last years down class followed by this years densive haul.  Im still a little worried.  We will need to get some top talent along the d line in next years class.  Urban always knew the importance of a disruptive defensive line.  I hope that doesn’t get lost with the the new guard.  That being said, very impressed with the quality of this class all thinngs considered.  

“Feeling cold is psychological” -Woody

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Bucks19's picture

This very board was ecstatic about Grinch then crapped all over him. This board is ecstatic about Hafley. What happens if the defense is sub par or he goes to the NFL? He’s mud? 

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analyticalguy's picture

Yup. That's pretty much it.

(I for one don't expect the D to be subpar)

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rdalchemy's picture

If OSU truly wants to be great they have to recruit defensive players like Clemson and Alabama. Where do they get those 320 lb guys with no baby fat?

Zbuddha

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Beaver's picture

We do recruit players like Al and Clem. We had guys like Vincent and Togai sitting the  Bench. Let’s see how the new coaches rotate in fresh quality players to utilize talent we already have. Last years D totally sucked. I do not see why any other team wanted the loser coaches Day got rid of. In my opinion it was Meyers fault for having all his cronies in over their head coaching positions.

Karl sherrick

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