Players from the Heralded 2018 Recruiting Class Who Need to Step Up For Ohio State Next Fall

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TxBuckeye5's picture

Togiai and Vincent at DT could be an upgrade at DT IMO. Also hoping Kamryn Babb can finally stay healthy this next season

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stpetebuck's picture

So many times I would see a d lineman make an amazing interior play and think “who was that?!!!”  It was often Tommy Togai. We all know he’s the strongest Buckeye, I’m psyched for him to explode. 

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Obstacle22's picture

Hamilton and Landers were damn good and I can't remember a game last season where we lamenting about how the middle of the line was gashed by the opposing running back. I hope Togiai and Vincent tear it up next season but let's not pretend that Hamilton and Landers more than held their own and were stalwart ambassadors of the program and the Ohio State Football brand. I'm especially going to miss Lander's cowboy hats. 

"I may not be able to outsmart too many people, but I can outwork 'em."     ~Woody Hayes
 

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bd2999's picture

They were pretty great IMO. Both at clogging run lanes and collapsing the pocket. The next guys up have huge shoes to fill for sure. 

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TxBuckeye5's picture

Don’t get me wrong they were great players and representatives of the program, I just think Togiai and Vincent have the potential to surpass them

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BuckNut_1974's picture

Don’t get me wrong they were great players and representatives of the program, I just think Togiai and Vincent have the potential to surpass them

 I think BB's quickness off the ball was very disruptive. Can't tell you how many times I saw him completely blow up a play because he just exploded past the O-lineman. Lets hope Togiai and Vincent can be as disruptive.

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TxBuckeye5's picture

If BB had prototypical size for a DT to go along with his quickness and leverage he would be a 1st round pick no question

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tbirnbrich's picture

Top DT prospect and likely top 5 pick if he was 6-2, 320.

He will be very solid wherever he goes though

I will pound and pound you until you quit

- Woody Hayes

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tGW's picture

I am really rooting for Babb as well. No more jokey stuff from me about his blocked punt vs TTUN in '18 (per Klatt). He has stayed the course and deserves a break from the football gods. Here's hoping he can at least become a special teams menace in 2020. 

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Elguapo's picture

I hope your right but Hamilton and cornell were as good of a pair of d tackles as I've ever seen in columbus

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Log Jammin''s picture

Could not agree more! Hamilton was an absolute stud for us this year!!!

I do mind, the Dude minds. This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man.

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Hovenaut's picture

Great choices.

Tackles from both sides of the ball and linebacker - definitely positions that help this team get things done.

I like Taron Vincent healthy and looking to inflict damage next season.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

There are times where the worst thing that can be spread is misinformation

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keith7456's picture

I am excited to see Taron Vincent. Dude is a monster.

Vincent and Togai will help make up some of the loss of Chase Young.

Personally will miss Davon and BB, but these dudes have a chance to be even better than those two.

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stantmann's picture

Former 5 stars Hilliard and Cooper will have a great year's coming up, and leading the team to another B1G title and CFP berth. Vincent and Mitchell will get plenty of experience next year though. The OSU O-line will be dominant in pass pro and running next year. I see a lot of RPO calls coming.

"When you're part of a team, you stand up for your teammates. Your loyalty is to them. You protect them through good and bad, because they'd do the same for you." Yogi Berra

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buckeye92's picture

Speaking of LBs. It should be interesting to see another offseason and how the rotation of middle linebacker ends up next season.
 

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stlbuckeye15's picture

Excited to (hopefully) see Vincent make an impact. "The battering ram" isn't a nickname given to just anybody.

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GareBear's picture

Are Borland and Werner each on their seventh year of eligibility? 

Michigan sucks

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BUCKAROOTIMESTWO's picture

Nope.  It just feels that it’ll be the 7th year, lol!

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johnblairgobucks's picture

I thought Werner improved tremendously this past season. I don't see him as a liability, like I used to.

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krakatoa64's picture

Werner deserves to play for sure. But i really dont see tuf as a top 3 linebacker on this team next year

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cmented36's picture

I didn't see Tuf as a top 3 linebacker on this team the last 2 years either so... 

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a.buck's picture

No joke i thought something very similar. I had to check to make sure they still had eligibility lol

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DroneBuck's picture

Teradja Mitchell has like 4 Tuf Borlands and 3 Pete Werners ahead of him on the totem pole seniority depth chart.

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PhillyNut's picture

The biggest difference between this year and next year appears to be the Buckeyes will not have anyone on defense that actually forces teams to change their offensive approach.  Young and Okudah did that. Hopefully players like Zach Harrison and Wade will become those disruptors next year.  Would also love to see Baron Browning become a linebacker nobody wants to scheme against.  Borland and Werner were solid this year but they are not game changing players. Maybe Mitchell can be as well.

I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan!

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JT's picture

Borland solid?  Against lower competition, yes.  But...

I'm hoping he improves next year and Werner does too though.  Go Bucks!

JTNYC

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allinosu's picture

Where was he not solid against better teams. Coaches rated him champion but I guess they should have consulted you first. The only LB that I seen get faked out of his shorts by the quick footed speedster Wisconsin QB Coan and chasing behind Lawrence was Browning. But that's OK because he was rated a 5*.

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okiebuck's picture

You right about that Allin; and Trevor blew by Baron as well...
 

The only hard day was yesterday

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SOhioBuck's picture

I kept waiting for Browning to catch Lawrence, but it didn’t happen. I’m still shocked he didn’t make that play. 

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mockjocks's picture

Preach, SOhio - Especially because (backup) LB Tanner Muse was able to run down JK, on the run that probably puts the game away.

Emotionally, I think the Buckeyes gain even more confidence, and Clemson freezes in the headlights - being down 17-0 at the end of the 1st.

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SOhioBuck's picture

Mockjocks, I agree! They talk about a lot of plays, overturned calls, etc . . .  BUT if Dobbins gets in for 6 there it may have been enough to seal the deal.  Great effort play by their guy.  Still struggling  with it all. 

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Zone's picture

What's crazy is Zach Harrison actually made up more ground than both Browning and Trevor on his 67 yard run ,and may have made the play if Browning doesn't cut off Harrison.

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allinosu's picture

I want Baron to shine also but all year we heard from some that against elite defenses Werner and Borland were going to cost us and nothing happened any more than any other LDs in the country. They are assets and will continue to strengthen our defense along with Browning.

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krakatoa64's picture

You bring up browning with lawrence but ive seen way more plays of tuf getting blocked into oblivion or being too slow against much worse competition.

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allinosu's picture

Where? That's such bullshit. No more than any player on the defense. It happens from time to time for everyone. The reason Browning doesn't start is because of his mistakes. Yes he has made great plays at times but more often he is out of position and leaves his gap exposed like against Nebraska. Three teams targeted him (especially MSU) in pass coverage using fakes that put him out of position for TEs completions for first downs until he finally tipped one. People need to get the 5* blindness out of their heads and realize that nothing bad has happened with Borland in and the rotation between the two was really good this year. I don't expect Browning to stay in the middle this year. He looks out of place there.

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cmented36's picture

Nothing bad has happened with Borland in? Ok buddy. 

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allinosu's picture

Where? Heard all year that when we get to better teams he would fail yet Browning was to one exposed. 

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cmented36's picture

Did you watch the linebackers at all during the B1G Championship game? 

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allinosu's picture

Yes but all LBs get beat on both sides of the ball from time to time just like the other positions. Perry is right fans think they know more than they actually do.

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cmented36's picture

Dude you had just said nothing bad had ever happened with Borland in? Taylor going to the house right up the middle through his gap is a pretty bad thing in my opinion. Also pretty sure Browning wasn't the only linebacker playing during the Fiesta Bowl so yes bad things have happened with Borland in. Want to back peddle on that comment ? 

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allinosu's picture

I said bad things has happened to every player on defense at one time or another. Some fans like to dwell on Borland when in fact it hasn't been any more than others. I heard all year about how his lack of speed would cost us and it didn't happen.

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cmented36's picture

 People need to get the 5* blindness out of their heads and realize that nothing bad has happened with Borland in 

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Sanitarian2's picture

Blah!, Blah!, Blah!  first to get in a shot on Borland, congrats

Sani

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bd2999's picture

He played pretty well against all the competition that I remember honestly. He had some bad plays here and there, but played pretty strong throughout the season honestly. 

Not sure why folks love to knock Borland. He is a good player. Not lightening fast, but if you need your LB to run down somebody consistently than things are not going well. 

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Brandon26841's picture

People kept saying how Penn State, Michigan, Clemson were going to expose and attack Borland, and if the coaches were smart he wasn't going to see the field against those "speedy" teams.

Dude wasn't attacked at all and played just fine. He had a very solid season. Browning had more splash plays for sure, but he also had more plays where it was obvious he had made the wrong read / forgot to fill a gap which resulted in a huge play.

Neither guy is perfect, and that's why they split snaps. Both had their good plays and their bad. But Borland was NOT bad in 2019. He simply wasn't. A game changer? No. But he was solid. If Borland would have been on the opposite end of some of Browning's bad plays he would have been CRUCIFIED on here, but things were much quieter for him (you do have a few people that criticize his play constantly). 

I'm happy they're both Buckeyes and I expect them to play well again in 2020. 

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a.buck's picture

Well put man. This sums it up perfectly. I will say that i personally fell into the trap of holding my breath when Tuf was on the field and feeling optimistic when Barron was out there. It might have been the 'eye test' or 5* blinders. But you nailed it man. Bravo.

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CincyBuck's picture

The biggest difference between this year and next year appears to be the Buckeyes will not have anyone on defense that actually forces teams to change their offensive approach.

Respectfully disagree.  I expect Wade to be a lock-down CB.  And I suspect there are other gamechangers on this defense.  We just don't know who they are yet.

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buckeyenationlouisvillebranch's picture

Rumor has it Darnay Holmes...

Football is a religion in Ohio. We attend our service every fall on the banks of the Olentangy. A place we affectionately call "the shoe".

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CincyBuck's picture

Ha, well I meant players already committed and/or on the roster.  But, sure, always have to consider the transfer portal.  That Temple DE sounds like a beast.

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TroyBuckeyeFan22's picture

I guess 5* Zach Harrison that clocked a 4.5 40 yard dash at 250 lbs. and 5* Shaun Wade isn’t good enough for you. If Harrison develops like he should and Wade plays like he has been on the outside, both will be top ten picks like Young and Okudah when their time comes.

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Maka's picture

Dont forget having a healthy Cooper and Smith. So we lose one A+++ player in Chase. But we replace him with 3 A+ players with an offseason to get healthy, stronger and development. 

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a.buck's picture

As crazy as it sounds i think the D Line could be as good. Nobody will be Chase, but in all honesty you cant expect anybody to be that good. The line will over all have more experience, Harrison, Friday, Smith, Cooper at DE should be terrifying for opposing offenses.

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bd2999's picture

I think this is a bit of hindsight. We knew Young and Okudah would be good but not how good coming into the eyar. In 2018 Young played well and had flashes but was not consistent. Then he was a monster. 

Wade could replace Okhudah. And Harrison or the defensive front as a whole should be disruptive this year. So, I see no need to worry. The secondary will have talent but not have the experience. Arnette was really good this past year, when he was able to go. And Wade was also good plus Fuller. 

How fast those new guys can be developed is going to be key. They got alot of experience this year and really only looked questionable at times against Clemson. Still ok there with the second tier guys. And Clemson has some of the best WRs out there. So, hard to knock the young guys too hard. Nobody in the Big Ten is that fast as a team. And even OSU's backups kept up with them. 

With the exception of a few out of position big plays where Wade was sorely missed. 

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ronaprhys's picture

This better not be a rebuild.  Need this to be a reload.  

'97 - Molecular Genetics

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LawClub's picture

What makes you think it might be a rebuild?

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Novice's picture

This will absolutely be a reload...

Just a Buckeye surviving in Wisconsin...

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yankeescum's picture

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tyler Friday take some snaps at D tackle. I am stoked to see if Antwaun Jackson and Cooper can give us some juice as the old heads of the group. I think the both lines have a chance to be special. 

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73buckeye's picture

I remember the angst we all felt when Antwan Jackson didn't pick the Buckeyes when he signed. And I remember the anticipation when he finally arrived a couple years later. It would be great to see him finally live up to the hype and expectations and become a real force in the d line. It's time. 

ernie

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Brandon26841's picture

Not sure why you got a downvote. On paper there is more depth at DE than at DT at the moment, although the cupboard isn't bare there either. Friday has looked very solid but his body and game really screams 3T to me, just like Cornell and Dre'Mont Jones did. I think he'd do well there. 

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Buckabroad's picture

Vincent and Togiai at DT should inspire Terror in opposing OLs. Harrison, Tyreke Smith and Cooper off the edge as well. The OL perhaps will be even stronger. I'd say we should stack up well in the trenches next year. 

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

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The Cynic's picture

I wouldn’t rule out Haskell Garrett either. I thought he was impressive in limited spots.

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krakatoa64's picture

I think garrett will be a co starter this year

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Buckabroad's picture

Sorry, I did not mean to slight Garrett by omission at all. I think he will contribute as much as Vincent and Togiai. That threesome in particular should make it very hard to run up the middle … or at all … against our D. 

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

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_Patches's picture

God I would love to see Mitchell play well, it seems like forever since a younger linebacker earned real significant playing time.

If you take everything I’ve accomplished in my life and condense it down to one day, it looks decent!

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The Buck Guy's picture

Me too. But Pete Werner did, and Urban still raves about him too. But rather than a Swiss army knife type that Werner is, I think Mitchell might be our next McMillan. Not as good in pass pro but a beast against the run and will be in the backfield regularly and often

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_Patches's picture

Yea i was thinking raekwon was the last one. I guess werner did too, but raekwon certainly had better guys ahead of him to compete for time.

If you take everything I’ve accomplished in my life and condense it down to one day, it looks decent!

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The Cynic's picture

He has to be given the chance, and thus far the coaches have thrown their lot in with Borland. Borland is average against the run and a disaster in coverage. I have no idea what Washington is thinking anymore than what Davis was thinking last year. The LBers were somewhat better this year, but the real improvement in the D was the DL and DBs that was a result of a new system. LBers were a weak link comparatively, and we need an upgrade. The talent is there. It’s time to find out if we have the coaching to develop them.

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DroneBuck's picture

Good choices for class of 2018 recruits. I hope they all step up and succeed. 

As for 2019, I look for Jameson Williams to explode onto the scene. Dude has legit rocketpacks for wheels and has already demonstrated nice hands and toughness. I think another full cycle through the off-season program and gained familiarity with the system will have him poised and primed for a breakout 2020 season. We already know there's a ton of WR reps opening up next yr with the departures of Victor, Mack, & Hill.

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raiderred's picture

I would have put tyreke Johnson at the top of this list. Highly rated recruit in a position of desperate need for someone to step up.

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I'm Ron Burgundy's picture

+1, him and Vincent are like the forgotten 5 stars, each entering their 3rd year. Both have been hampered by injuries, here's to good health and huge breakouts next season. 

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Novice's picture

Good point on Johnson...I'm hoping he's at least a steady rotation player next season. 

Just a Buckeye surviving in Wisconsin...

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Obstacle22's picture

Johnson is such a mystery. He could be Malik Hooker or Isaiah Pryor or anything in between. Hopefully he's closer to Hooker. 

"I may not be able to outsmart too many people, but I can outwork 'em."     ~Woody Hayes
 

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Chicago Connection's picture

My only question about the D is the CB play. The talent is there, but it will be tough to match the combo of Arnette and Okudah.

To that end, hiring Coombs would shore up this position, while the rest of the D might compensate for not having Okudah or Chase.

The scheme will be similar, so the only remaining question is a coordinator / motivator / recruiter to match Hafley, and again, that could be Coombs.

chicagobuckeye

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Run_Fido_Run's picture

My optimistic prediction for the 2020 Silver Bullets is that they will be one of, if not the toughest defenses to run on in the country. I can see them holding offenses to something like 2.6 yards/carry.

Against the pass, the won’t be quite as stingy as this year’s group, but they will have Josh Proctor patrolling the middle, so they might be even more opportunistic. Plus, if you can stop the run and run all over your opponent . . . 

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Chicago Connection's picture

I see it the same--nobody's gonna run on that front. Like you, I have a hunch the D might let up more pass yards but get more INTs. Of course, some of that depends on the pass rush, which I expect to be strong and has potential to be better than '19--even with Chase's exit.

Neither of us said much about the LBs, but there's no reason to believe they won't be better given their collective experience (not to mention being two years removed from Billy Davis), plus the fact that I suspect Mitchell is going to emerge as a big-time, difference-making terror.

chicagobuckeye

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kiddbuckeye's picture

I need Spring ball to get the sour taste out of my mouth

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Chicago Connection's picture

True enough, although I'm hoping the team keeps that taste in their mouths for the whole season. Talk about motivation.

chicagobuckeye

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buckerew's picture

Bucks may have a numbers problem. Babb has had chronic issues with his knee. Would not surprise me if he is declared medically ineligible. That would free up a scholly. Have to see what happens with him.  

Buckeye since 1952.

Go Bucks!

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Novice's picture

Certainly a shame with Babb. Can't help but to wonder what might've been...

Just a Buckeye surviving in Wisconsin...

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BucksHave7's picture

We got this.  Repeat B10 Champions!!!

BucksHave7

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PRO8's picture

That would be 4 time consecutive BIG champs....

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Run_Fido_Run's picture

I am excited about Mitchell, too, but if we’re talking about replacing a “rangy” player like Malik Harrison, the best fit for that role could be K’Vaughan Pope. Actually, aside from any positional fits, I doubt they’ll be able to keep Pope off the field next season, period. The dude has that “it” factor you rarely see even among top 100 recruits. Still not a finished product, but when he gets closer to his potential, look out! 

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PRO8's picture

Yes , I'm not sure why Mitchell was picked , I thought he lined up mostly as MLB... I was thinking Gant or Pope

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letsgobucks's picture

Ive been waiting on this comment.. +1 for the accuracy. Pope is the rangy athletic player who plays on the outside (and has made play after play when given an opportunity). Mitchell is talented but def has the attributes of a middle linebacker..

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Novice's picture

Sevyn Banks is another.

Just a Buckeye surviving in Wisconsin...

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BuckeyeRocket's picture

Gant, Pope and Mitchell all have high ceilings. Could we rotate 6 at LB like we do at WR?

BuckeyeRocket

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The Cynic's picture

I love the DL talent we have. I don’t know expect a drop off at all.

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The Cynic's picture

The LBers need an upgrade. Harrison had a good year, but Borland is a liability and Werner is adequate at best. Steve Helwagen said it best when he said the LBers were good enough to win the B1G but not the NC. Browning or Mitchell should win the Mike and Pope and Gant should get long looks outside. Browning is a very interesting player. He’s electric as a pass rusher, and is decent in coverage for a Mike, but he doesn’t show the instincts needed against the run. I hope he’s always on the field in pass rush situations, but I question if he’s a full time player.

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The Cynic's picture

The LBers need an upgrade. Harrison had a good year, but Borland is a liability and Werner is adequate at best. Steve Helwagen said it best when he said the LBers were good enough to win the B1G but not the NC. Browning or Mitchell should win the Mike and Pope and Gant should get long looks outside. Browning is a very interesting player. He’s electric as a pass rusher, and is decent in coverage for a Mike, but he doesn’t show the instincts needed against the run. I hope he’s always on the field in pass rush situations, but I question if he’s a full time player. What to do with the LBers is a major test for Day next year IMO. Even though the defensive coaches are making the calls, Day can override them if he feels they aren’t playing the best players. Let’s hope we don’t have another John Kerr situation on our hands again.

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E-BUCKS's picture

Why all the downvotes? This is a well thought out take on the Linebackers. Being solid is not good enough when you have all this potential talent behind him that might be a better fit. 

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The Cynic's picture

They downvote because fans who don’t understand the game, childishly hate any criticism of their team. They can’t admit their team ever does anything wrong. They hated it when Barrett was called a poor passer, even though now most fans will admit that’s the case. Even when fans follow the program closely, they rarely understand the game or the team. Look at how many ego driven pissing matches start on this board because no one can stand any criticism. 

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cmented36's picture

As long the LB's on the field include Borland and Werner you can make a safe bet the opposing coaches will scheme to attack them. To me that's the biggest sign of personnel needing a change. Also hope our LB's/DE's figure out how to play a QB in a read option. It should be pretty simple, 1 crashes on the RB, the other is responsible for the QB. Thought this was one of the bigger weaknesses from playing with 1 safety, if the OLB didn't scrape appropriately you were relying on either the corner to beat his block and make a play in the run really quickly or that Fuller would be able to get through the traffic from the middle of the field to make the play. I think we see more 2 safety sets next season with the DB personnel changes, it's not every year you have somebody like Wade playing nickel so if he's moving outside and no longer have the pretty reliable Fuller,  hopefully they don't start trying to fit square pegs into round holes. 

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Larryp713's picture

For all the Football experts here, do you not consider that two sets of defensive coaches have found Tuf Borland and Pete Werner the most effective of the LB options available. This offseason, Pope, Mitchell, and Gant, all of whom I think are excellent LBs, are going to get their chance to beat those two out. I need to trust the coaches that see these guys every day and have personal relationships with each of them to select the three LBs for the 2020 season. I think too many people commenting on this site are stuck in 2018, where most of the back seven were consistently out of place and Borland was clearly hampered with his achilles tendon injury. I watched the 2019 defense as open-minded as possible, and though I recognize Browning's incredible athleticism, Borland always seemed to be around the ball and made some great plays. Werner was a warrior, guarding some of the best tight ends in the country, and I saw him make a lot of plays. In their limited duty, Pope, Mitchell, and Gant all played well. I think we have six or seven LBs that can be real contributors, and I will trust the coaches to put the best players on the field. 

Respectfully,

Larryp713

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GaBuckeye33's picture

Probably won't be the most popular comment on here, but I feel the need to say it. Tuf's situation reeks of JT's situation a few years ago. GREAT dudes and leaders. Phenomenal teammates and Buckeyes.... But at a certain point, it becomes hard to believe that the guys behind them don't have more potential. We recruit at such an insane level that you have to believe the next man up could explode, if given the opportunity to get real-time experience. It's really simple probability. (I.E. Haskins and Burrow respectively)

Now I know I'm not a professional scout or coach and the staff at tOSU are obviously more knowledgeable, but at times I'm not sure we're fielding the highest-ceiling type of guys. I think it's natural to side with an older, more experienced player at times. Their consistency takes precedence and the little hiccups involved with bringing young guys along like Mitchell, or Haskins, or Burrow become more glaring. (think Fields vs Fromm at UGA) Personally I wish Mitchell was given more opportunity this year, but it looks like he'll take over for Harrison, rather than give our defense an athletic makeover at MLB. (you know the old saying.. if your MLB is slow, than your defense is slow) 

At the end of the day, I'm rooting for all of these dudes and they're clearly all working their asses off. Love these guys! But I'd be lying if I said I've been ecstatic about our LB play over the past few years. Here's to hoping they improve, or there's a 1000% open competition for all 3 spots, regardless of age or experience. We shall see, and go Bucks!

"Show me a gracious loser and I'll show you a bus boy." -Woody Hayes

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