Imagine being a Michigan fan right now.
A month and a half ago, you were planning a trip to the College Football Playoff, entering The Game as a touchdown favorite over Ohio State with the top defense in the country, looking to get your first win over the Buckeyes in seven years and a five-star recruit that lives 20 minutes fro Ohio Stadium seems within your grasps.
Fast forward, the Buckeyes dropped more points on you than they ever have before, that prospect decided to go to Ohio State instead, half your defense declares for the NFL, Ohio State replaces Urban Meyer with the dude who just engineered the carpet bombing of your top defense, your two recruiters packed up and joined the Buckeye coaching staff, and Ohio State just replaced the best quarterback in program history with the highest-rated player in program history.
At least there's basketball!
- K.J. Hill announces he will return for his senior year.
- Ohio State hires Michigan linebackers coach Al Washington.
- Meet new Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington.
- Bill Davis is officially out as Ohio State's linebackers coach.
- Ryan Day has to decide the fate of yet another quarterback competition.
- Mike Yurcich Q&A with Oklahoma State beat writer Mark Cooper.
- Compiling some way-too-early top-25 polls.
- Garrett Wilson is poised for early playing time.
Word of the Day: Cachinnate.
QUINCY AVERY TALKS FIELDS. There are few people in the country who know Justin Fields' talent better than quarterbacks trainer Quincy Avery, who has also worked with Dwayne Haskins and other elite quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson.
The guy has worked with some impressive, impressive quarterbacks. So when he gives his evaluation on Ohio State's newest signal caller, I'm gonna listen.
.@Quincy_Avery on @BullandFox re: #OhioState transfer QB @justnfields: "What you're going to see from him is really and truly an elite passer. He's a 4.5 forty guy, super quick, super twitchy. And he's just explosive. The things he can do at the QB position, it's unreal."— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) January 8, 2019
.@Quincy_Avery also said he watched #OhioState QB Justin Fields as The Opening prior to his senior year and other QBs like Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence. "The display that Justin Fields put on was better than any QB that I've ever seen over those 4 days that he was out there"— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) January 8, 2019
This is why I'm fine with the "Justin Fields is better than Trevor Lawrence or Tua Tagovailoa" #takes, even if I'm not ready to hop on that train myself, because the logic is there.
Fields is a drastically better, faster and more powerful runner than either of those lads, and never proved to be significantly worse slinging the football at any point in their evaluations. In fact, as Avery says, Fields often performed better throwing the ball.
I mean, the guy was the Elite 11 MVP, and that doesn't happen if you're not an elite passer.
Personally, I'm going to wait until he plays competitive snaps before I knight him, just as a did with Dwayne Haskins. But I'm more than fine with others hopping on the bandwagon early.
WON'T BE WAITING LONG. I wasn't terribly stoked about the idea of waiting until after spring practice to know if Justin Fields will be eligible to play next season, but it's looking like we might not have to.
From Kyle Rowland of the Toledo Blade:
Tom Mars was the star of last year’s college football offseason.
The resolute, ambitious Arkansas attorney changed the game for transfers, winning eligibility cases for six Mississippi players, including Shea Patterson at Michigan.
Now he’s embarking on another high-profile waiver request case, seeking immediate eligibility for Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.
“Unlike the situation with the Ole Miss transfers, the process of obtaining a waiver for Justin isn’t going to drag on for months,” Mars told The Blade, adding he believes a decision by the NCAA will be made by February.
“This is a high priority for Coach [Ryan] Day, and it’s my top priority at the moment. I’m confident the process will move quickly and that the NCAA will be able to make a decision on OSU’s waiver request much sooner than most people might think.”
The prevailing belief is that Fields will, in fact, get immediate eligibility, as Rowland explains in his piece. It's pleasant to hear that we won't have to wait that long for them to arrive at that conclusion.
Then we can all just enjoy the quarterback battle in peace.
BIG BEAR TOPS BIG BOARD. Nick Bosa might own the record for the longest time at the top of draft boards. I can't recall a time when a player was considered the top player in the draft from the end of his sophomore season all the way until after his junior season.
Bosa ain't the only Buckeye on the board, though, as two more crack his top-50. Dwayne Haskins checks in at No. 14 and Dre'Mont Jones comes in at No. 21.
A bunch of other players are ranked amongst their position groups, so heres a full rundown:
- Dwayne Haskins – No. 1 Quarterback
- Mike Weber – No. 6 Running Back
- Parris Campbell – No. 8 Wide Receiver
- Isaiah Prince – No. 9 Offensive Tackle
- Michael Jordan – No. 4 Guard
- Dre'Mont Jones – No. 5 Interior Lineman
- Nick Bosa – No. 1 Edge Rusher
- Kendall Sheffield – No. 7 Cornerback
- Damon Arnette – No. 9 Cornerback
It's looking like draft day might just be a gigantic Buckeye PSA.
HERBY SLINGS IT. Kirk Herbstreit is a few years removed from his Buckeye quarterback days, but it's looking like he could suit up for a start tomorrow.
Herby hit a target to earn $500,000 for Extra Yard for Teachers.
Big time players make big time plays, or so they say.
HOLY KINGSBURY, BATMAN. Kliff Kingsbury has had the wildest career trajectory the past month and a half.
He went from fired college head coach to a college offensive coordinator to current NFL head coach.
I've never seen anything quite like that before, but I love Kingsbury. I think he's made for the NFL because I always got the vibe he was a brilliant offensive mind, but wanted nothing to do with recruiting.
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