As I stated in a post on the Spring Game extravaganza article yesterday was my son and I's first time in the historic stadium. I was like a kid on Christmas and my son was amazed by the whole area around the stadium. Our experience was a memorable one that I'm sure we will talk about for years to come. I showed the ticket scanner how to use the ticketmaster app to get to the barcode because some people had issues with it before. The ladies at the gift shop were all very helpful and fun. We ended up with seats right next to the band towards the tunnel. We got a great view of the warm ups and most of the big plays from yesterday's game. I noticed a few things that stood out to me:
1. Justin Fields and Matthew Baldwin both have strong arms. As they were warming up they came to the goal line to throw 50 yard passes. I watched both qbs make those throws with minimal effort with near precision accuracy. Fields in particular made those throws with just a flick of the wrist. I've only ever seen maybe 10 qbs that could throw that far without having to extend their motion to do so. Most recently Haskins and Cardale Jones come to mind.
2. The safeties looked more like the ball hawks that the silver bullets have always been famous for. They were all making plays on the ball, especially Jahsen Wint, and chasing down running backs. For the most part they kept ball carriers contained too. That's a welcomed improvement over what we saw from last year's defense.
3. Garrett Wilson is for real. I carefully watched all the sprints and warm up drills to see you was going full go and who was just doing the motions. Wilson caught the guy in front of him on almost every sprint and was full speed every drill. Then of course the td catch he made in the game shows his athleticism. It's no wonder he was a 5*. The kid only has 1 speed. FULL GO.
4. It was great to see how hard Lejond Cavazos and Jack Miller are working to build this recruiting class. They both made sure to spend time with every recruit. We again had a front row seat because they were all gathered in the endzone in front of us.
5. Zach Harrison is going to make an impact this year. He might not have got to the qb or made the tackle on the rb but more times than not he won his battle. Just like Wilson he goes all out all the time too from what I saw of him.
6. There's some strong leadership on this year's team. Fields and Baldwin both were in control of the offense. Even though both qbs struggled at times they were in control. I watched Fields change protection and call out blitzes a few times. I'm sure Baldwin did too but I didn't specifically see it. Haskins even admitted he didn't pick that up fully until about the 3rd game last year. Then seeing Damon Arnette come off the "opposing" sideline to celebrate big plays made by Sevyn Banks, Jahsen Wint and Amir Riep was very telling too.
After seeing the product on the field this early in the developmental process I'm on board with believing this could be a special year for Buckeye football.