Dante Booker or Jerome Baker? Urban Meyer Says Ohio State Will Need Both Linebackers Going Forward

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Buckeyechuck5's picture

In one word..........Baker.

"Life is not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. THATS HOW WINNING IS DONE!!" - Rocky Ballboa

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Buckeyeman's picture

Play them both. I like Booker against a team like Wisconsin or Michigan ST, but I think Baker excels against spread teams with the threat of a running QB. 

Go Bucks

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sivaDavis's picture

This times a billion 

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

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MDBuckeye23's picture

Spread teams might need to see Worley take a few plays off and give the Baker/Booker combo on the outside. The fact that the 3 of them are so versatile means that they can all stay fresh. Really naming one the "starter" is a media and fan thing. In that locker room they are all equal in my opinion. 

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SilverBullets4Life's picture

Urban knows the way

MACTE VIRTUTE

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Jcam3588's picture

Both will play, Baker should start. Can't bench that kind of production. 

"Because I couldn't go for three."

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wyatt's picture

Some guys are better in games than practice and I think Baker is one of them.

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MrWiley7's picture

Start Booker and play them both...kinda like Curtis Grant and Raekwon in 2014. I really don't think there is a dropoff if one goes in and the other goes out so make them split time out there.

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Hovenaut's picture

Baker or Booker looks fine for me.

Hindsight is, and in, 2020

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

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letsgobucks's picture

What a wonderful problem to have. Two elite linebackers who both deserve to play. Yes please!!! #PlayThemBoth

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Blksks17's picture

Don't believe we can call both guys "elite" one guy has done absolutely nothing. The other is ascending to elite status if he continues this strong campaign. 

Blacksocks

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letsgobucks's picture

I guess I call him "elite" because I watched him play a few times in high school and I know what kind of a special talent he is. I understand why you would say that because you haven't seen it "yet". But ill say the coaching staff has seen it and you will too....

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Earthoid.'s picture

If you're a starting LB at OSU, I think you can almost automatically assign the elite tag to your name.   There's rarely a more demanding LB corp in CFB and to get one of the few spots on one of the most historic position groups of any team, means that you've got to be pretty damn near elite.

A gentle reminder to BE NICE. Plays guitar and makes iced tea in the winter.

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Blksks17's picture

It's not fair to throw around the word elite or place that distinction on every starter or 5 star recruit. Some starters even for this historic group are not and have not been elite. There are far more very good players that have contributed and had very good careers that are not elite talents.

Blacksocks

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drank1933's picture

I've got it! Play Baker but have him switch his jersey to #33. Problem solved!

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WezBuck28's picture

Insert "why not both" gif..

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SoulPatrol32's picture

Jack Tatum hates targeting penalties. 

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Blksks17's picture

Baker starts. Booker is the next guy in for all 3 backers. No reason to throw off the chemistry our Defense has built with these 3 guys. Rhythm and consistency is important to a young player. Continue to let him grow by playing not sitting on the bench watching. He has proven that he can perform on the big stage and has made the most of his opportunity. 

Blacksocks

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smartone29's picture

It's kinda like the Bengals with their LB situation. You have one guy (Vinnie Rey) who can play across all three positions. Rotation. Definitely excited that we get Booker back!!

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Squirrel Master's picture

Since both outside LB spots are as interchangeable as is said, why not have a rotation of all 3 where at some points both Baker and Booker will be on the field together while Worley gets a blow.

I do think that the wise choice would be to have Booker starting again. He did earn it and Baker's ego can handle the return to backup status if he plays a lot still.

I know Baker has been playing well but I do believe Booker would look good if he had the chance as well. He is really good!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

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BeatTTUN's picture

Both 

Go Buckeyes 

I saw Ryan Day hang 62 on Michigan...His hair was perfect.

Go Buckeyes Beat Michigan

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thatlillefty's picture

What about Burger... more specifically, what about saying Booker, Baker, Burger, 3 times fast??

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Buckeye_Ryan's picture

I never played or coached football - so this may be a dumb question: if we have guys who are capable of playing multiple LB spots, wouldn't it be beneficial from a disguise perspective to switch / rotate them periodically? Most QB's call out the WILL at the LOS, but if the WILL is the WILL on one play and not the next, that could add confusion to the offense as they try to dissect a defense. #BasicQuestionForABasicDefense

Born a Buckeye, raised a Buckeye, will die a Buckeye.

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brband64's picture

Let's put it to a vote:

"It feels great ... it feels like, 'Shit, I got it.'" ~ Jeff Hafley

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SilverHaven's picture

Fun word play, brband64.  
Tho' I'm left uncertain about the implications here:

"Rub a dub dub
"Three men in a tub..."

Who's the candlestick maker?

Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina I ka Pono. The life of the land is preserved in righteousness. (Hawai'i state motto) Aloha nui kakou.

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kmp10's picture

Yes, they need both players... but Baker SEEMS to be an athletic freak, and those players are few and far between. When you stand out athletically at a place like Ohio State, well, everyone can assume that you're special. I'd play Baker as much as possible, knowing that Booker will get significant minutes.

When I die, sprinkle my ashes over the 70's 

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Icouldnotgofor3's picture

They're all interchangeable. I'm still waiting for Keandre Jones to get some reps along with Borland and Conner. 

Saban on a cart eating cold pizza

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Bucknut63's picture

Both are going to get a chance against Rutgers and Indiana. These guys are going to get plenty of snaps to see who's going to get the crunch time against Wiscy and Penn St.

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buckeye phi's picture

Yes - Baker is a "freak" athlete.  But the coaches and players (who actually see him in practice) also believe Booker is a "freak'.  he's just a different kind of freak.  Booker is considerably bigger than Baker. 

I agree with those who are saying there should be some sort of a rotation.  But perhaps who starts and who comes in as relief should be determined more by the kind of offense we're going up against week to week. 

Clearly, the smaller, faster Baker would seem to be the better option verses more pass-happy offenses - whereas, Booker would seem to be the better fit vs power rushing attacks -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

The problem for Booker is that we don't know what he is yet. Baker has showed well in his limited action, so it's hard to sit him. Both guys will clearly play, though. If Booker returns and plays well maybe he regains his starting role. But OSU will need both players to continue to develop and play well. 

Right now, my starting unit is Worley, Kwon, and Baker. Booker is the first guy off the bench.

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buckeye phi's picture

Based on what I've heard/read, the coaches feel very confident in what they have in Booker.  That's why he was the starter until he was hurt.  Not that I haven't been impressed with Baker - I definitely have. 

I could actually envision all three of our top OLBs in a nearly equal rotation, for that matter -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

Phi, I wholeheartedly agree with you, and I couldn't have said it better myself.  I would consider Baker our "nickle LB", he gets the nod in passing downs and against for or five WR sets.  Booker is our "run stuffer LB" and gets the nod for I-formations or two TE sets.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

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TraptnMI's picture

PHI I saw Baker take on blockers with more success than Booker and believe Baker has more natural smarts all around on the field putting himself in the best position to succeed. Booker seems to be a step slow when processing what to do causing him to be a tad late to commit the run or pass. Recognition is a problem.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

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buckeye phi's picture

The last thing I want to do is come across as anti-Baker.  I absolutely love what the kid brings to the table.  But are you sure you've seen enough of Booker to make that kind of an assessment?  It's my understanding a healthy Booker has only played about a quarter and a half this season - if that -

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. - Will Rogers

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TraptnMI's picture

I'm being a little tuff on him for sure cause I think he is more special than what I have seen, and specifically his subpar play in last years Penn State game. Barkley made most players look bad, so that's not fare, but it concerned me. I just see a superior nose for the ball in Baker. I hope Booker proves me wrong. His pick 6 in Nikes the opening is the player I thought he would consistently be. Potential star, just not yet.

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

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cdub4's picture

There are current starters who possibly may be 1-3 round draft picks who played subpar early in their careers.

From the comments from the players, Booker is a stud, and Baker may have had problems getting off blocks in practice.

I usually just trust the coaches because they see more than we see.

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TraptnMI's picture

Oh for sure 

" It's real good whatcha done Anthony, real good ! "

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ohiobobg's picture

2 players, both stay fresh. Hmmmm......... I dunno.

"you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning"

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southalabamabuckeye's picture

They will both play. The coaches are smart enough to know whose strengths to use against teams and situations.  The Buckeyes will continue to thrive defensively.

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Wyandot Buckeye Fan's picture

Booker, he was the starter from the get go. Last time Urban went with a backup it possibly cost us a NC. I don't care what position it is. It's nice knowing you have a guy who can come off the bench to rest somebody and you won't lose production.

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

Nobody can judge Booker because he has barely played this season. Didnt he hurt his knee on BG's 2nd possession in the opener? Urban will let them battle it out in practice and whomever starts is the player who earns it but it does NOT mean that one of them is terrible and shouldnt be playing.

"I find your lack of kalua disturbing" - Darth Lebowski

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BucksLaw2013's picture

Why is there not more talk of Worley as the odd man out. Has he produced that much more than Baker or Booker?

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jpbuckeye's picture

I would rather play in the box although I agree, it can be tricky.

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NOBLUE's picture

baker booker burger elite e lite burger booker baker or from fishigan booger eater

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coreyklein7322's picture

Without a doubt Baker should be the starter.  If there is any platoon in the LB corps it should be between Worley/Booker but not Baker. 

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