To all the new freshmen beginning their first week as Ohio State students – congratulations and welcome to the best four-to-six years of your life.
I could write a book of advice on what to do your freshman year, but you should probably not shoot bottle rockets up the elevator shaft, or take all the furniture from a neighboring suite and disperse it throughout the floor, or collect various construction items from around campus and hide them in your wall, or skip every one of your macroeconomics lectures to watch the Fox crime drama Bones.
And there definitely isn't an 8-mile tunnel system under the oval.
- Woody Hayes' statue is officially home in Newcomerstown.
- Ohio State's defensive line expected to be elite once again.
- Uncertainly surrounds Ohio State's talented but unproven linebacking corps.
- Our staff Heisman Trophy predictions.
- A look at potential breakout players on both sides of the ball.
- Tyreke Smith, Jeremy Ruckert and Master Teague lose black stripes.
Word of the Day: Abrogate.
ALL ABOARD THE DWAYNE TRAIN. In less than two weeks, Dwayne Haskins will be starting his career as Ohio State's starting quarterback. Haskins already has the firm backing of the Buckeye faithful – many of whom hopped on the hype as early as train last season – but he's picking up more backers every day.
The latest to be openly high on Haskins was Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports, who rated the new Buckeye signal caller as college football's top breakout quarterback this season.
Listen, there were Ohio State fans who wanted Haskins playing over J.T. Barrett last season, and while I certainly understood why Ohio State chose to stick with their veteran leader, I could also relate to Buckeyes fans eyeing the backup quarterback option. Haskins is very talented. While Barrett was the veteran leader Ohio State's coaches could depend on to run the ship and keep things in order, Haskins should prove to be a better QB in the traditional sense. He's a much better passer and showed it in limited action as a redshirt freshman last season. While he spent most of the season appearing in mop-up duty after Ohio State had already crushed its opponent, he was thrown to the wolves in the final game of the regular season against Michigan. Haskins replaced an injured Barrett and all he did was complete six of his seven passes for 94 yards while rushing for another 24, helping to make sure the Buckeyes held on to beat their hated rival. He finished the season having completed 70 percent of his passes for 565 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception. There are a lot of questions surrounding the Ohio State football program at the moment, but Haskins isn't one of them.
It's gotta be frustrating for other fanbases to watch Ohio State lose one of the greatest quarterbacks in program history only to be replaced by a guy many assume will be an upgrade.
FORMER NOTRE DAME LACROSSE RECRUIT DOMINATES NFL. Sam Hubbard broke records before he even stepped on the field for the Cincinnati Bengals, but now he's showing he's more than just a home-town hero, he's an elite pass rusher.
#Bengals' Sam Hubbard, the team's rookie third-round pick, earned the highest defense grade (92.5) on the team against the #Cowboys. He recorded five total pressures in the process. pic.twitter.com/yGnOYxdfOK— PFF CIN Bengals (@PFF_Bengals) August 19, 2018
From how he's playing against paid professionals, you wouldn't believe he's only played that position for four years. His hands and hips look absolutely perfect on this strip sack:
Sam Hubbard alert. Chaz Green pic.twitter.com/TDgTMmdUZ5— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 19, 2018
EGW EYEING NFL VIA SLIPPERY ROCK. Just cause Eric Glover-Williams isn't at Ohio State anymore doesn't mean he doesn't still have his sights set on an NFL career.
Glover-Williams is now at Slippery Rock University, a Division II college in Pennsylvania. He's hoping there, he'll get both the playing time and exposure he needs to get to the next level.
“Coach Lutz made me feel at home,” Glover-Williams said in a phone interview this week. “I was just looking for the right fit, whatever division that was going to be. Coming down to Division II, it’s a little different with the equipment and things like that, but at the end of the day, football is football. The speed of the players, there’s no real difference. It’s just that maybe the offense line and the defensive line are a little taller. But there’s no difference with the skill players. I feel like guys get overlooked at times (and end up in Division II).
“It doesn’t matter what division you play in. If you’re the best talent, the NFL scouts are going to find you.”
Fortunately for Glover-Williams, NFL scouts already know how to get to campus. The Rock had two players sign as priority free agents following this year’s NFL draft (DE Marcus Martin with the Seahawks and OL Ian Park with the Eagles) and saw a third player (WR Marcus Johnson) get a minicamp invite with the Buffalo Bills. Another Slippery Rock graduate, Atlanta Falcons OL Brandon Fusco, is entering his eighth season in the NFL. Slippery Rock may not Ohio State, but it’s not Siberia, either.
I remember watching his high school highlights where he just made opponents look stupid. He's absurdly athletic and it's borderline unfair that he's going to play against Division II athletes this year.
His head coach said the hardest thing will be deciding whether he should play offense or defense. Honestly, he just shouldn't come off the field. He's going to put up video game numbers every game.
PETIT-FRERE RUNNING WITH THE TWOS. When the Buckeyes got a late commitment from the top offensive tackle in the country, you knew he wasn't coming to sit the bench, and in just his first few weeks with the team, it looks like he's never going to be too low on the depth chart.
Ohio State's got its deepest offensive line since Urban Meyer's arrival, but Nicholas Petit-Frere ain't gonna wait too long for his turn.
From the Buckeye Beat GOAT Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch:
Nicholas Petit-Frere apparently is starting to live up to his billing as a five-star prospect as Ohio State swings through the midpoint of preseason.
The media was allowed to watch the first 30 minutes of practice on Saturday, and it amounted to pregame warmups before the Buckeyes held their last major scrimmage of camp. Petit-Frere, a freshman offensive tackle from Tampa, Florida, appeared to be the No. 2 right tackle behind returning starter Isaiah Prince as line coach Greg Studrawa put the linemen through drills, although Petit-Frere still bore the black helmet stripe symbolic of a newcomer not yet considered a full-fledged Buckeye.
Backup right tackle is where coaches brought along Thayer Munford as a freshman last season, and he is now the starter at left tackle. Coming in, Munford didn’t have nearly the credentials Petit-Frere has.
And to think, folks thought the sky was falling after Jackson Carman committed to Clemson instead of Ohio State. Things always have a way of working out.
DOBBINS: HAKSINS > PATTERSON. It's not really news that Ohio State's running back thinks Ohio State's quarterback is better than Michigan's quarterback, but still, guys usually don't come right out and say that like J.K. Dobbins did on Saturday.
Dwayne haskins... https://t.co/cOs9O2Id1N— Jk dobbins (@Jkdobbins22) August 19, 2018
I mean, he's not wrong, and I was sincerely baffled at how close that poll was. I guess time will tell.
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