Westworld is the best show on television. Please don't remember my past slander at my funeral.
- How the NCAA's new redshirt rule could've helped Urban Meyer in the past.
- Arizona four-star running back (and Akron native) Darvon Hubbard close to a coveted Ohio State offer.
- Have a tailgate recipe the world needs to know about? Submit it to the Official 11W Tailgate Cookbook. The author of the highest-voted recipe receives a $50 gift certificate to the 11W Dry Goods.
Word of the Day: Chatelaine.
WHY DRE'MONT RETURNED. Dre'Mont Jones could be a millionaire right now. Instead, he chose to return to Ohio State to perfect his craft. In the end, it had a lot to do with his need for personal growth and the brutality of the position he plays.
“The physical aspects, I feel like I could have done well, football-wise,” Jones said. “But mentally I felt like I wasn’t there. I felt like I needed the extra maturity for my mind, and then your body will come along with it. ... I just felt like I needed an extra year really to just grow. D-tackle is a very taxing position. I need to develop my body as much as I can.”
That’s where things grew interesting, as far as coach Urban Meyer, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and defensive line coach Larry Johnson were concerned. The 15 days of spring practice were their barometer.
“The guy who probably had the best spring of anybody on our team is Dre’Mont Jones,” Meyer said. “He was outstanding. For a guy to come back when a lot of people thought he should leave, a lot of times we have to deal with, whether it be effort issues or ‘Why am I doing this?’ issues — zero. And that’s a credit to his family and (coach) Larry Johnson. He had a great spring.”
Props to Jones for realizing the need for personal growth and for taking a risk to return to the local team. Some fans think that's the safe play. That's not the case, even with NCAA insurance policies.
Sometimes players come back and don't improve. The good news with Jones is the chance of him not improving is less than 1%. If he already made that leap, there isn't going to be an offensive line in the country that can block the Buckeye defensive line for four quarters.
BIG GAME DAME. Opposing teams won't just have to compete against the Buckeye defensive line. They'll also face the secondary, which lost first-round draft selection Denzel Ward.
Damon Arnette is the most senior member of the unit room now, and his attention to detail should bring success.
“I’ll tell you what, the one thing Damon Arnette has is game experience,” OSU cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson said this spring. “He has game experience and you can’t take that away and he is a feisty competitor.
“A lot of the times out here I have to calm him down to make sure he doesn’t punch himself out, which you appreciate that because he cares so much. But he’s a guy we’re counting on, big time. And not just because he has game experience, but because he has talent and all of those other attributes that we need in order for him to have a really, really good season.”
No cornerback is perfect. They all give up catches to receivers. It’s part of the game. That’s why the old football adage says that cornerbacks have to have a short memory. They can’t lose time thinking about the catch they just gave up because they need to be ready for the next snap.
"No cornerback is perfect." Some of y'all need to get that tattooed on your forearm and repeat it.
I'm high on Arnette. He's going to be needed against bigger receivers. If he can play cover slot receivers, all the better.
SIMON SWITCHES. John Simon is a former player we all love to know, as he served as a talisman of the undefeated 2012 team.
That said, I did not expect him to be in the NFL in 2018. Yet he has done just that. Simon started nine games for the Indianapolis Colts last season before they put him on the injured reserve in early December.
He is now switching positions under a new defensive coordinator.
Matt Eberflus, formerly the Dallas Cowboys linebacker coach, is the Colts’ new defensive coordinator. The team is shifting to a 4-3 defense, which means Simon is going from outside linebacker to defensive end. That’s what he played at Ohio State.
Simon said the changes have inspired a positive outlook.
“I think we’ve got a good chance,” Simon said. “We have a lot of new faces in the building, [they] put together a good OTA, minicamp.
“Obviously, last year didn’t go the way we wanted, but a new scheme, a new coaching staff, new attitude coming into the building. So I think that’s good for us, a little bit of a fresh start.
The bad news for the Colts is they play in the same conference as the Almighty Browns, which means their ceiling is the AFC championship game. I still won't be salty if Simon gets a sack or two in a 32-point loss in Cleveland.
WALK IT OUT. Let's all take a moment to thank ourselves for having the sense to be fans of Ohio State, a school that does not have to worry about coaches using the university as a stepping stone or for leverage in contract negotiations.
Others aren't so lucky.
"It's very difficult to walk it back," said Ray Anderson, athletic director at Arizona State. "No matter what the coach says, the boosters, the alums, anybody on campus who is not in your camp, they're just saying, 'Uh, huh, you don't want to be here. Why am I gonna go the extra mile? How do I believe that you're not going to be in that same conversation next year?'"
Answering those questions honestly can make for an uncomfortable return to campus.
Walking back became an issue this offseason because of the Tennessee document dump in March that shined a bright light on what it's like to fill a major-college job opening.
Anderson's quote strikes at human nature and is the only downside to using a right endowed to every worker.
SHOTS FIRED. Ohio State pulled the trigger on 2019 three-star Fort Wayne athlete Craig Young on Friday.
Dontay Hunter, a 2019 three-star Westerville Central defensive end, committed to Purdue yesterday.
Former Ohio State recruiting staffer Eron Hodges, now the director of recruiting at Purdue, fired shots at his former employer Sunday night:
Take from our plate and well take from yours!! 2 God
— Eron Hodges (@EronHodges) June 17, 2018
Hunter wasn't a priority for Ohio State but certainly could have played his way into contention with a big senior year. That could still happen.
Nothing but respect for Hodges, but there's a reason "don't count your chickens before they hatch" is one of the world's most famous lessons. Ain't nothing been signed yet.