After quite an eventful couple of days, I am proud to report that we are now one day closer to football season. Rejoice.
- Urban Meyer said he was aware of the 2009 incident involving Zach Smith in Gainesville, Florida, but was unaware of the 2015 allegations against Smith.
- What Zach Smith's departure could mean for Ohio Sate's recruiting assignments.
- Urban Meyer leaning on strong group of assistants to overcome a coaching change right before the start of the season.
- Parris Campbell taking responsibility to lead the wide receivers through the coaching transition.
- Urban Meyer and Joe Burrow remain close despite Burrow narrowly losing quarterback battle and transferring to LSU
- Kamryn Babb suffers a torn ACL, will likely miss the 2018 season.
- Marcus Hooker suspended for the season opener.
Word of the Day: Soporific.
THE REDSHIRT GAME. College football's new redshirt rule allowing players to play in up to four games and still take a redshirt season is welcomed nearly universally by coaches and players alike.
For elite teams like Ohio State, it could mean a chance for young, unproven players to show what they can do in a game setting without jeopardizing their eligibility if it turns out they aren't ready to play. Worst case scenario, they get in-game experience and keep a year. Best case scenario, a player that probably wasn't going to stay five years anyway proves he should play more as a freshman.
It could also means young players who aren't quite ready to play at the start of the season could still see the field at the end of the season after a few months of practice and development.
From Andy Staples of SI.com:
Imagine if Ohio State’s Urban Meyer could have thrown receiver K.J. Hill into the mix in 2015 and still had the choice to redshirt him. Meyer might have tried Hill early and might have found one more weapon for the offense on a team that just missed the College Football Playoff and certainly had the talent to win a national title.
Or perhaps Meyer would have given quarterback Tate Martell a few game snaps last season. Martell will be the backup this year, and his next game action will be his first.
My biggest fear about the new redshirt rule is that it makes redshirting a player much easier and much more tempting, and Ohio State doesn't need to redshirt any more players than it already does.
Players rarely stay five years in Columbus anyway, and if they do, they've probably been passed on the depth chart and aren't ever going to play, meaning they just eat a scholarship for an extra year.
The only players who should redshirt are quarterbacks and offensive linemen. Everyone else should play immediately. That's my opinion, which is 100 percent right.
BASKETBUCKS HEAD TO SPAIN, AND YOU'RE INVITED... to attend an open practice the before they depart.
The team announced it will open its July 31st practice at the Schottenstein Center to any fan wishing to get a sneak peak at the 2018-19 squad.
The practice begins at 5 p.m. and Chris Holtmann and selected players will address the crowd at 6 p.m. following the practice. The event and parking is free.
The Buckeyes will then head to Spain the following day for three exhibition games in three different cities while also taking some time to experience the country's culture.
Their itinerary is as follows:
- Aug. 1: The Buckeyes will depart Columbus and arrive in Madrid Friday morning.
- Aug. 2: The Buckeyes will take a guided tour of Madrid. As part of the tour, the team will walk through the city center, including Puerta Del Sol and Plaza Mayor, two of the city’s main squares. A welcome dinner for the team is planned for the evening.
- Aug. 3: Visit medieval Toledo, the former Spanish capital.
- Aug. 4: Tour of Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, home to Spanish soccer giant, Real Madrid. It’s one of the largest stadiums in Europe (80,000)
- Aug. 4: Game One vs. Madrid Generals
- Aug. 5: Travel to Valencia by train. Team will have time to spend on the beach and explore the city on its own.
- Aug. 6: Guided tour of Valencia. Paella dinner on the beach.
- Aug. 7: Visit the Valencia Bullfighting museum.
- Aug. 7: Game Two vs. Valencia All Stars
- Aug. 8: Travel to Barcelona with stop in Cambrils. Day of sailing the Costa Daurada on a catamaran.
- Aug. 8: Walking tour of Barcelona.
- Aug. 9: Guided tour of Barcelona.
- Aug. 9: Game Three vs. Catalan All Stars
- Aug. 10: Visit La Sagrada Familia, a church that has been under construction since 1882 and not expected to be completed in 2026. Farewell Dinner in the evening
- Aug. 11: Return to Columbus.
WORLD'S BIGGEST PUNTER. If Cameron Johnston doesn't make it in the NFL as a punter, perhaps he should consider a positional switch to linebacker because he is suddenly absolutely jacked.
Training camp is nearly here, last workout and DEXA Scan in at Grandview Pro Fitness, best training facility in Columbus! pic.twitter.com/CLe6zQYhPt— Cameron Johnston (@Cam_Johnston) July 23, 2018
I don't know how or why his upper body new resembles Hafthor Bjornsson, but I pray for the poor soul who's running up the field this fall with "just the punter to beat."
KELSEY MITCHELL IN THREE-POINT CONTEST. The NCAA's all-time leading scorer from behind the arc now gets a chance to outshoot the world's best as former Buckeye Kelsey Mitchell will compete in the three-point contest during halftime of the WNBA All-Star game.
Mitchell was arguably the best three-point shooter in NCAA history. During her four-year Ohio State career, she hit more three-pointers than anyone in NCAA history, and also owns the all-time record for most consecutive games with a made three-pointer.
Turns out, that translated to the professional ranks, even during her first season.
Mitchell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft, ranks second in the WNBA in three-pointers made with 55. Mitchell has hit at least five three-pointers in three games for Indiana. Her scoring average of 12.8 points is third among rookies.
Mitchell was one of the best rhythm shooters I've ever seen. I wouldn't be shocked at all to see her win this competition on Saturday.
MIRROR LAKE NEARS COMPLETION. For over a year, the Mirror Lake region of campus has more closely resembled the pit from the early seasons of Parks and Recreation than it did an iconic campus attraction.
Thankfully, that's changing very soon as the restoration project nears completion.
From an Ohio State news release:
Work crews continue to install walkways, add landscaping and refine some of the features surrounding the new Mirror Lake. Now the area looks more like the iconic campus location that it was and less like a construction site. An opening date in mid-August is expected.
“I think the biggest change in my mind is it is going to look a lot more open than it did before. We’ve pulled some of the perimeter planting back and we’ll be planting the lake edge. It will have a much softer edge,” said University Landscape Architect Steve Volkmann.
Volkmann said one of the improvements that has him excited about the renovated Mirror Lake is the increase in seating. New benches, overlooks and terraces and scarlet Adirondack chairs will encircle the area.
I'll admit, I was skeptical when I first saw the plans for the project, but from what I've seen and heard, it looks like quite the improvement. I'll give you my final assessment when the project reaches its conclusion in August.
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