It is time. Literal months have passed since I tried to get info out of Ohio State, so instead of scrimmage breakdowns based on video you get a holistic recap of the fall for Ohio State. And it has been a bit of a chaotic mess. Not going to point fingers, because much has happened that can only be analyzed with inside info. As I have told you before, I have none. So we merely observe.
First, the positives.
Stadium construction is going well. It's been a while since an official update was given by the head coach, but turf was going down and it looks like the spartan structure will be ready for 2023. Barely. But ready.
It's a big deal for many reasons, but most of all I am excited to not see zoomed out streams from 30,000 feet when the Buckeyes aren't on BTN or ESPN. Whomever decided that perching an early 2000s webcam up on top of Ohio Stadium was a good idea needs to be beaten.
Next, the freshmen arrived, and are making waves. Cullen Brown is penciled in as a starter on defense. Matt Caputo has had a good fall. And I think that Tate Jones or Dillon Magee could be a good 2nd/3rd midfield line option.
We can't forget the new transfers either. Kyle Lewis has come in as a middie after being a star at attack down in Lynchburg. That's a big deal. Kyle Borda is making some noise as a two-way player in midfield too.
In recruiting, Ohio State secured 6 commits as October started, but haven't had another commitment since October 3rd. Headlining the class is Liam White, an Illinois native who is currently #22 in his grad year. The Buckeyes have 4 Inside Lacrosse four-star recruits so far.
Finally, based on recap articles, it appears the underclassmen are making up for a few years of mediocre recruiting. Ari Allen was picked as a player to breakout in 2023 by Inside Lacrosse. Ed Shean sounds like a monster on offense. Matt Fritz had a really nice game against Princeton, who is fresh off a Final Four appearance. Bobby Van Buren has improved. There's a youth movement afoot in Columbus we should all be excited about.
Now for the negatives.
Injuries have really hit Ohio State hard. Scott White, Jason Knox, Johnny Maccarone, and Colby Smith all missed some or all of fallball due to ailments. Per Mitchell Pehlke, Johnny Maccarone missed all of fall with a foot issue. That's definitely not ideal, as Maccarone is probably the most talented freshman brought in this off-season.
Transfer issues also cropped up. Two of the bigger names to land in Columbus, Richie LaCalandra and Marcus Hudgins, haven't participated fully in fallball due to unknown eligibility issues. Both are tremendous players who would do great things for Ohio State if they can suit up. Unknown if either will compete in 2023.
Signing day saw multiple changes to the Ohio State class, for a number of reasons. I believe 4 players "decommitted" in the month leading up to signing day, heading for different places outside of the Big Ten. Two of Ohio State's three Canadian players didn't sign with the Buckeyes. Cameron Pack, who was supposed to be on this year's team, is enrolling with the 2023 class as of now. No idea if that's related to the transfer issues we're potentially going to see, or if things just didn't work out.
Fortunately, that seems to be about it (so far) for Ohio State's problems. There has been a big uptick in offensive talent this year, and I think that some surprises are in store for 2023's opening faceoff. Because I am a glutton for punishment, I will post a theoretical Opening Day starting lineup below. No FOGO, because that's just not fair.
Goalie: Skylar Wahlund
Defense: Jacob Snyder, Bobby Van Buren, Cullen Brown
Offensive Midfield: Ari Allen, Ed Shean, Kyle Lewis
Attack: Jason Knox, Jack Myers, Colby Smith
This year's squad is deeper than it has been in a long, long time. If Ed Shean adds a third dodging threat, this offense will reach heights not seen since 2017. And Colby Smith might hit 55 goals.
Lots to look forward to. I will writeup scrimmage reciews if I ever get the tape from the legal department.