Real Pod Wednesdays: Spring Practice Standouts and Question Marks, A Promising Running Backs Coach Hire and Meechie Johnson Replaces Roddy Gayle

By Dan Hope and Andy Anders on April 3, 2024 at 7:54 pm
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There’s been no shortage of Ohio State football and basketball happenings over the past week.

On the gridiron, Ohio State has now completed 10 of its 15 spring practices, highlighted by its Student Appreciation Day scrimmage on Saturday. Jeremiah Smith and C.J. Hicks are among the Buckeyes turning heads on the practice field while quarterback and offensive line remain Ohio State’s biggest question marks with a week-and-a-half of spring ball to go. Who will coach the running backs is no longer a question, though, with the hiring of Carlos Locklyn to replace Tony Alford.

On the hardcourt, postseason roster movement is in full swing for Ohio State men’s basketball as the Buckeyes made a big splash in the transfer portal by adding Meechie Johnson but subsequently lost one of their top players with the departure of Roddy Gayle Jr., who joined Scotty Middleton and Bowen Hardman as Buckeyes who have gone portaling since the season ended last week.

We analyze all of that and more on an evening edition of Real Pod Wednesdays, which you can watch in the video player above or listen to in the audio player below or on podcast streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

The full rundown for this week’s show:

  • 0:58: It’s no longer a question of whether Jeremiah Smith will start but how good he’ll be right away
  • 5:27: Will Howard leaving the door open for Devin Brown, maybe even Julian Sayin to be starting QB
  • 12:43: C.J. Hicks seems to be making a move toward a breakout season
  • 16:21: Ohio State’s defensive tackle depth looks promising with emergence of second-year players
  • 18:54: Bryson Rodgers doesn’t have a clear path to the field yet, but he’s making a case for himself
  • 21:05: Luke Montgomery, Josh Fryar looking likely to be starting right side of offensive line
  • 26:28: Ohio State’s offensive line doesn’t look great yet, but it at least looks better than last year
  • 28:47: Carlos Locklyn looks like a good running back coach hire despite his limited experience
  • 35:03: Tim Drevno should be valuable asset for offensive line, adds pressure for Justin Frye
  • 39:00: Meechie Johnson is a great addition, but transfer portal has been a net loss for OSU so far
  • 42:15: Ohio State still in the market for another transfer guard (Matt Allocco? Bronny James?) 
  • 45:28: Is Meechie an upgrade over Roddy Gayle? That depends on how you look at it
  • 46:50: Adding a wing becomes an even bigger portal priority with Scotty Middleton gone
  • 47:51: Ohio State needs to add another player in the frontcourt, too
  • 49:40: OSU could put together a quality lineup with its current players, but proven depth is lacking
  • 51:35: Bowen Hardman’s departure comes as no surprise
  • 52:32: Jake Diebler must now prove he can land impact transfers without clear Ohio State ties
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