Ohio State Linebacker Baron Browning Needed a Year to Learn Before Earning Starting Opportunity to Begin Sophomore Season

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PunchFaceChampions's picture

No mention of Bill Davis...more ammo for Ramzy

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BornAndBredABuck's picture

Except, of course, for the part where they mention Bill Davis by name....

"Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect." -- Woody Hayes

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PunchFaceChampions's picture

I meant from Browning. Maybe he did and I missed it.

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Dominus's picture

That was one of the first things that I noticed too --- no mention of LB coach Bill Davis. Browning does comment on how he has learned so much from Tuf Borland and from Chris Worley while Worley was still at Ohio State. However, he doesn't mention Bill Davis at all, and that's troubling.

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Earthoid.'s picture

You guys think he'll ever look like this #5?

The Couban embargo.
Plays guitar and makes iced tea in the winter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgiM_ypFsRQ <--- scum tears

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I&#039;m Ron Burgundy's picture

At this point in their careers, I'd say it is wishful thinking.  Raekwon showed a knack for being around the ball and making plays as a true frosh and then as the starter from there on.

Browning is feeling a little more Curtis Grant-ish to me at this point, but it is pretty early in his career to make that statement. Hope I'm wrong.

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buckguyfan1's picture

Browning bring some nice fire power when needed.  Need to be solid in the middle for this defense to be championship caliber.

Simplify...

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Ostate84's picture

And I believe he will "hit the mark".

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Buckloving's picture

Get ready because Gary Patterson knows he can't stop our D line. This is where he's going to try to exploit imho

bobbyd

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Steelydan54's picture

Agree. But he won't have long to exploit and LBs improved greatly from week 1 to 2. We can let them dunk and dunk a bit. We will still get some sacks and stuff most runs. Makes TCU one dimensional; short passes and QB runs; kind of like the good guys of the last two years but not as talented in line play or defense. Meanwhile, we have evolved into the Buckeyes "formerly called Clemson" in 2015... I like our chances. 

Steelybuck54

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Buckloving's picture

I like the way you're thinking. We know we have the talent there it's just a matter of being tested. At least we'll know by the Penn St game what we have

bobbyd

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Dstacify's picture

Is Browning even starting in the middle in this game? I have no doubt he'll see some snaps but based on what I saw last week against Rutgers if Borland is healthy the starting three will be Tuf, Harrison, and Werner. Browning was on a noticeably more limited snap count last week in comparison to week 1.

11 Strong.

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KENTACOHUT's picture

I think Browning has a coming out party in his home state ! 

"Vitalum Vitalis "

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stpetebuck's picture

Def has the potential to. He improved during the last game. Just have to see if they start Borland. 

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Slitty Eyes Malone's picture

He showed improvement in pass coverage against Rutgers, but still doesn't look comfortable against the run. Idk if it's the coaching or just his old outside backer habits, but I've never seen a middle backer come charging up to take on blocks on every single running play like that. Takes himself out of so many plays by doing that. 

You had barbecue back there? And you didn't invite me? HURT! MY! FEELINGS!

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KENTACOHUT's picture

This ^^^^

"Vitalum Vitalis "

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brutus360's picture

Our mlb play is truly sub par and has been for years. We have 5* guys that haven’t been a dominating force. Love Tuf but he’s a bit undersized. The mlb’s seem to just slow the play down until others make the play. We haven’t had a big instinctive disruptive force in so long. Tired of reading about hyped up guys that don’t play up to it. There used to be a time we had a big time mlb play like a big time mlb. Marek, Cousineau, Spielman, Tovar, Katzenmoyer. 

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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McGrind's picture

^^^^^^ Yes Please!!!  All I want for Christmas is a soul taker at MLB. 

If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

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brutus360's picture

Soul taker! That's what I'm talking about.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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Buckeye06's picture

Marek, Cousineau, Spielman, Tovar, Katzenmoyer

The game has changed so much that those guys would be exploited so badly today.  They were amazing in their day, but MLBs who run 4.8s and can't get sideline to sideline just aren't able to survive at elite places.  

You don't think McMillan was a good MLB? or James L? Recently our OLBs have gotten more praise, but our MLBs have been solid.  

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brutus360's picture

Sorry, but I disagree with you about being exploited. Those guys were instinctive and smart and could make plays. Even if they weren't 4.5 guys. Forgot about James L, so you can add him to the list. And no on McMillan. Didn't live up to the hype. Maybe he will in the NFL, but didn't at OSU. I don't want a 5* mlb to take four years to figure it out to be average.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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Buckeye06's picture

McMillan left early for the NFL, and had 100+ tackles in both his sophomore and junior year.  I would say he absolutely was a good MLB 

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brutus360's picture

He came after Grant and in my opinion, neither  lived up to the hype. And I had higher hope for him after the Grant let down. Don’t get me wrong, McMillan was good. Just wasn’t great.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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irishfury's picture

You mean pretty much on the field as a freshman during our championship season.  Three years then drafted in the second round?  Jeez hope your kids can live up to your lofty expectations of great.

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brutus360's picture

Haha, come on man. I guess if mediocre is fine in your book. And there have been good lb’s here, even on great teams. Hell, Na’il Diggs was a good one too.  There’s quite a few mlb’s in that range from OSU  in the past too. I’m talking upper level players that stand above. Not my kids, which I have none fwiw. There’s a standard in the middle, at least there use to be. The ones teams planned around. Think the Bosa’s if that helps but in the middle.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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CreekBuck's picture

2015 Butkus Award finalist, 2016 Butkus semi-finalist, but not elite.  I politely and vociferously disagree.  McMillian was, is a stud.

You win with people.

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southbuc's picture

You are just flat wrong on McMillen. Lb isn’t the same position it was years ago. 

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brutus360's picture

You’re right that good players do get drafted early now. They didn’t in the past. I’m talking players better than good. Maybe he would have hit that level that last year. First team All B1G is nothing to laugh at, but was he an All American? And people can try to compare stats to years played, which is fine. But, I’m talking difference makers.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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buckskin's picture

Yep. Give me the 3 star from Minnesota who becomes a 3 time all American and the all time leading tackler for the Rams.

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Dstacify's picture

It didn't surprise me in the slightest that Laurinaitis turned out as good as he did. He's only the Road Warrior Animal's son. That mean streak he played with runs in the family clearly.

11 Strong.

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CreekBuck's picture

Or the 3 star full back who outshines the 5 star. Wins BIg 10 Defensive player but gets beat out for Butkus by a player in his confernece.  i'll never understand you can be the best defensive player in the conference and a player from your conference at your position wins the butkus over you.  Politics and idiots, I'm guessing.

You win with people.

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Dstacify's picture

+1 on Laurinaitis. He was probably the best and most disruptive MLB we've had since Katzenmoyer. And even Schlegel before him (though Carpenter and Hawk were the high profile guys of that trio) was a play-maker. Also Matt Wilhelm during the 2002 NC season. He was pretty good.

11 Strong.

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brutus360's picture

Yep, those were nice players. Thought of both Schlegel and better yet Wilhelm in that “argument”. Both, especially Wilhelm for making All American. Still not gonna make an offense game plan around. But I’ll take Wilhelm there. Schlegel stuffed well though. 

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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Dstacify's picture

Even after Laurinaitis we had Ross Homan anchoring the middle. He wasn't flashy like Laurinaitis was but he had great football instincts and was a tackling machine.

11 Strong.

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brutus360's picture

Yeah, another one in that range of good middle linebackers. We’ve had our share. I’m not knocking them. They were good. They did their job in the middle. I want us as a B1G elite and the nation to get a big destructive force in the middle, Again!

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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BMOC_57's picture

For the record Big Kat was a 4.5 guy and ran “sideline to sideline.”

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CreekBuck's picture

Big, Fast Kat at that! 

You win with people.

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swobuckeye's picture

I think Brownings' biggest problem is over-pursuit, similar to a young Ryan Shazier.  I think Hilliard has shown that he is much better at defending against running between the tackles.

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southbuc's picture

Bingo. Hilliard keeps himself in much better position. 

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KENTACOHUT's picture

Let me add  laurnitis and shazier to your list 

"Vitalum Vitalis "

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brutus360's picture

Ok, you guys got me again with Shazier. And good point about the comparison in his early playing time. And Swobuckeye, Hilliard does look better on the run plays. Have wondered why he isn't getting more prime time play.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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swobuckeye's picture

My guess is that Browning may be better defending the pass????  Browning is very fast and appears, so far, to be in the right position when thrown against. 

Hilliard is very disciplined in the middle against the run.  He moves very well along the LOS and fights off blockers.  I thought Hilliard had a pretty good set of wheels last year when playing on special teams.  He seemed to always be the guy making the tackle or was damn close to it.

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brutus360's picture

Agree. I’d like to see Hilliard get more minutes. And if Browning gets more comfortable I may complaining less about the middle.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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Dstacify's picture

Shazier didn't play in the middle much when he was here (except for maybe 2011 when he filled in for an injured Andrew Sweat in the middle but he also wasn't great that year). In 2012 Shazier played mostly on the outside with Sabino while Storm Klein manned the middle early in the season and then Zach Boren took over that spot late in the year. In 2013 Curtis Grant was the starting MLB for most of that season.

11 Strong.

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brutus360's picture

Thanks! I was thinking that at first too, but by the time my fingers started typing, my mind shifted. It’s not at a great level either anymore. Actually, it was average even early on.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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CreekBuck's picture

WasShazier an MLB or an OLB?  I was thinking about him but thought OLB.

You win with people.

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Jay_sizzle's picture

Shazier was an OLB , he is far too small for MLB

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southbuc's picture

UV a million. He finds himself on the backside of the play way too much. 

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stpetebuck's picture

Schiano and Davis will undoubtedly be emphasizing discipline. Over-pursuing a better running qb will be disastrous.  

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wyatt's picture

I see the opposite. Our LB group looks to be back on their heels, delayed decision making, watching, then finishing up on the play. I don't see instinctive reactions. Maybe I'm asking for too much. Davis needs to earn his salary. 

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brutus360's picture

You’re not asking too much!

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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CreekBuck's picture

Except Hilliard, trigger step forward and attacks down hill.  At least in the limited film I saw last game.

You win with people.

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Seattle Linga's picture

Love his passion and desire to get better each and every day !!

Go get'em Cal Poppy - we are behind you !!

It's not a rivalry .............. it's a wreckoning.

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BUCKEYE3M's picture

I've been really high on him, but it seems like just about every big run they've surrendered this season has been directly thru the space he vacated diving into the wrong run gap. I genuinely hope he lives up to the hype. 

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ohst8buxCP's picture

I think the talent is definitley there, but he's playing out of position. At the end of the day he's an OLB and i don't think he'll be at his best until he moves there

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brutus360's picture

I'm inclined to agree with you on that Ohst. If his cover skills are up to the task. Look, maybe my beef is with the LB coaching, I'm not sure, but something is holding these guys back from being able to play.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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KENTACOHUT's picture

I have been upset with the bill davis hire for two years ! I know urban is in a position to take care of certain people I just  haven’t seen it with this hire , I actually saw a slump in LB play since his hire I.e Oklahoma year 2 and and Iowa are the two games that can’t escape my mind .

"Vitalum Vitalis "

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Gflbuck's picture

Thank you Kenta.  I'm not certain it's been Bill Davis but seems like it.  Just watching Jerome Baker regress in his assignments/positioning was very frustrating.  If Davis is the issue I'm certain Schiano knows and hopefully UFM would listen to him.  It seems like he's on the hot seat, especially among the fans.

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Dstacify's picture

I do believe Davis has been the first LB coach change we've had in perhaps more than a decade (excluding 2011 when Fickell was the interim HC and brought Vrabel in to coach the LBs). For I think almost the entirety of Tressel's tenure as HC Fickell coached the LBs and that continued into Meyer's tenure. And one thing I've noticed is that the LBs were typically very disciplined in coverage under Fickell and maximized their athleticism. That has not been the case under Davis. It seems like Davis almost doesn't believe in LBs playing coverage under any circumstances and would rather they be a full on extension of the defensive line and rush on every down (which given our depth at D-line we don't need them to serve that purpose at all). It's probably too early start calling Davis the next Withers (in terms of not being on the same page with the rest of the coaching staff) but guys like Browning with his pedigree coming in should be making a lot more plays than they are.

11 Strong.

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CowCat's picture

The linebackers play within the overall scheme of the defense. It's up to Schiano whether they're attacking, covering or blitzing.

However if the LBs are not executing within the scheme correctly, that's on Davis.

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

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brutus360's picture

Damn Dstacify! That was a quality comment.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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CreekBuck's picture

Yes Brutus360 something we can agree on.

You win with people.

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Silver Sniper's picture

Perhaps Kyle can do a break-down piece on MLB play that Bill Davis will read and implement. 

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Hovenaut's picture

Gap discipline...

...as I bark from the comfines of my armchair.

Browning will get it with repetition, all in due time.

I'm not around that much, running exhausted and lost...

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BUCKEYEZ's picture

This.

I have to catch myself at times admonishing Werner and Browning for not being gap sound given their inexperience.

Bill Davis is fair game though. They ask the LB’s to do too much at times, with man-man corners and a defensive line mostly content rushing the passer as their first objective. But regardless, the coaching has been lacking recently.

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brutus360's picture

I like your optimism Hove. I hope you're right.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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Hovenaut's picture

We've seen it before - Isaiah Prince, Curtis Grant, etc.

Browning has it physically.

I'm not around that much, running exhausted and lost...

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brutus360's picture

I know. I think Grant is different than Prince just because he was one of those 5* guys and big and stout at MLB that was average in my book by his senior year. Tuf is smaller than Browning but, call it what you want, plays more instinctual and disciplined. The middle needs a thumper or as McGind calls it, a Soul Taker.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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KENTACOHUT's picture

Arm chair coaching is the best job on the world !   We are always  correct no matter what , no contract disputes after a few years  oh awful coaching and  we get to make a decision after the play has completed. 

"Vitalum Vitalis "

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BMOC_57's picture

Gap discipline should be the result of practice and film study.  He shouldn’t need game reps for that. Over pursuit from being too excited must be experienced at true game speed. Over pursuit will land you in the wrong gap sometimes but not frequently. I see the this as a coaching problem.

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CreekBuck's picture

comfines; combination of comfortable confines?...I like it, I'm adopting it from the comfines of my swivel desk chair.

You win with people.

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MDBuckeye23's picture

This is an awesome article. Perfect read for young players in any sport that want the immediate rewards without putting in the work. I am reminded of Morgan Wooten's book "A Coach for All Seasons" who talked about Dematha basketball. Freshman play on the Freshman team unless they are an exceptional talent/attitude, then they play JV. Sophomores play JV unless they have already proven on the JV that they can play varsity. Varsity is Juniors and Seniors that know the program and have learned the right way and fully buy in. In 50+ years, every single (100%) 4 year player in the DeMatha program got a full scholarship to a Division 1 school. This is how it will be at Ohio State with the NFL. Every player that does this will have a chance to make an NFL roster in one way or another if they buy in (baring injuries, etc). Hell it could even be as a coach!

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RunEddieRun1983's picture

The entire defense totally stepped up in week 2 and looked much improved. Gotta just keep taking those steps forward.

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

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southalabamabuckeye's picture

Browning seems to have a humble desire to be coachable and to improve, which will help to maximize his talents. Keep up the hard work and the benefits will be reaped.

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dwcbuckeye's picture

I would prefer less of "5 star" athlete and more of someone who is more than athletically capable but excels is the position know-how. I very smart field general at the position is what is needed.  One could argue the MLB could be the relatively least athletic position on the defense as long as they are also the smartest defender on the field.  And by least athletic I still mean 4 star quality athlete.

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brutus360's picture

I'm not throwing in the towel yet on Browning as he is young. He has the tools to be a great linebacker. Just be one.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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osu_killernuts's picture

https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/kenneth-murray-1/gamelog/2017/

In the first two games last year (equivalent to Baron's first two games starting this year), Kenneth had 2 solo tackles and 6 assists. So I am unsure what your point is? 

Playing at Ohio State will help you develop into a very good LB provide you have the physical tools to start (Shazier, McMillian, Lee, Hubbard). Baron made the current choice. I'm sure he could have started at many other schools last year, but would he have developed as a football player and as a man like he will at Ohio State? 

No such thing as a bad win

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martin anderson's picture

Sam Hubbard was not a linebacker at OSU. Seriously, are you saying only OSU develops NFL players?

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osu_killernuts's picture

Hubbard was projected as a hybrid DE/LB at the NFL level. No where did imply that only Ohio State develops NFL players. The point was that Ohio State does a very good job developing players to play in the NFL. 

Further, stop being a troll and go get a sammich at Jimmy Johns

No such thing as a bad win

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southbuc's picture

Good news this week is we will run out of nickel as our base defense.  Last week we played a prostyle offense the likes of which we don’t face very often

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CreekBuck's picture

I don't want to bash Browning. He and the other LBs are playing hard and trying to perform under immense pressure. However, I'd like to see more of Hilliard in prime time. BTN gave Justin a lot of love late n the game and he performed well.  I agree with Coach Schiano I think the talent between the LBs aren't too much different and they should see more rotation.  If Tuf comes back to full health (hard to believe he'll be 100% this year) and playing like he did last year then it will be tough to rotate the Silver Bullets' QB.

As for Coach Davis, someone has to be the weakest link.

You win with people.

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brutus360's picture

Good adds by you and Stpete. Hilliard has stood out to me  like he has on special teams. I know Browning is the next poster boy, so I get it if he just lives up to it. This could be a magical year so we need the best now. If he is the standard is be the best.

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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stpetebuck's picture

Browning is all about upside. Coaches must be taking that into account. Hilliard, I agree looked really solid with the two’s late in the game. 

Its going to be interesting to see the starting lineup for this bright lights immense game  

I trust the coaches.  But the experimenting is over.  Time to play our best for four quarters  

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brutus360's picture

These guys will get better. Looking forward to watching their future. Starting this weekend!

"Age wrinkles the body, quitting wrinkles the soul" Woody Hayes

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