Signing Day's lost its luster a bit with most #teens sending their paperwork in back in December, but mark my words, there will still be booms!
Also, we get to hear from Commander in Chief Ryan Day, the new assistant coaches, and the early enrollees, including Justin Fields.
- Doug Nester is headed to Virginia Tech.
- Signing Day Primer
- Mock draft roundup.
- Future BasketBucks balling.
- Jack Sawyer decided to commit to Ohio State after wondering, "Why wait?"
Word of the Day: Guileless.
AND YOUR TITLE GAME IS... ESPN is going out on a limb here and projecting that Clemson and Alabama will play in the national title game at the end of the year.
Wild, I know.
But in the spirit of signing day, their whittling process was a little interesting, because it centers on recruiting. They basically came up with six criteria and weeded teams out when they didn't fit the criteria.
Here they are for your reading pleasure, and you can read more in-depth explanations of each criteria on ESPN.com:
- Do you have an ESPN 300 quarterback on your roster?
- Did you sign at least one five-star recruit in the previous three classes?
- Have you averaged a top-10 class over the past four recruiting cycles?
- Are you locking down the home state?
- Are you bringing in top-tier defensive talent?
- Do you have one of the best incoming classes in your conference?
The only two teams left standing were Alabama and Clemson.
But don't fret, Ohio State actually made it to No. 6 before getting eliminated, and that should probably have a fat asterisk next to it because while the Buckeyes don't technically have the top class in the Big Ten, it's only because they don't have as many commitments as Michigan or Penn State.
If you're looking at average recruit ranking, Ohio State actually tops the conference.
Gonna be real odd settling this on the field with a three-way game.
LOOKING BACK AT THE 2015 CLASS. Looking back at old recruiting classes is always a hilarious exercise, but it's even more hilarious to look at the class that was notoriously Urban Meyer's worst at Ohio State.
In the spirit of signing day, we're doing just that!
From Max Olson of The Athletic ($):
35. Justin Hilliard, LB, Ohio State: Hilliard had to battle through injuries early in his Ohio State career, including two torn biceps and a torn left meniscus. He’s primarily been a special teams contributor for the Buckeyes, playing in 30 games with one career start.
61. Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State: Baker developed into a two-year starter and was the Buckeyes’ leading tackler in 2017. He declared for the draft, was a third-round pick and started 11 games for the Miami Dolphins as a rookie.
75. Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State: Weber declared for the NFL Draft after rushing for 2,676 yards and 24 touchdowns over three seasons.
82. Torrance Gibson, ATH, Ohio State: The quarterback/receiver was suspended at Ohio State, transferred to Cincinnati, transferred to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and then had a brief stint with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos last year.
95. Jashon Cornell, DE, Ohio State: The backup defensive end made his first career start in 2018 and has recorded 33 tackles and three sacks in 31 career games.
99. Eric Glover-Williams, CB, Ohio State: After being dismissed from Ohio State in 2017, Glover-Williams enrolled at a junior college and then transferred to Slippery Rock, where he started seven games last season and earned second-team all-conference honors.
I'll admit that Torrance Gibson and Eric Glover-Williams were the two players I was most excited to watch in this class.
Moral of the story, don't have hopes of any kind about anything.
DWAYNE TO THE BRONCOS? I just finished telling y'all every mock draft was going to be the same from here on out and then they went and switched it up on me!
Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus has Nick Bosa going No. 1 overall, just like everyone else, but then he tosses in a little surprise: the Broncos trading up to pick No. 3 to snag Dwayne Haskins.
1. ARIZONA CARDINALS – NICK BOSA, EDGE, OHIO STATE
Passing on the top player in the draft because of ‘scheme fit’ would be absurd. Bosa’s proficiency rushing the passer fits into every scheme in the NFL. He had a higher pass-rushing win rate as a true freshman than a handful of the other edges in this mock had this past season.
3. DENVER BRONCOS (VIA JETS) – DWAYNE HASKINS, QB, OHIO STATE
John Elway can’t look his fanbase in the eyes if he goes into 2019 with Case Keenum as the quarterback. He also can’t sit back and see where the chips fall with multiple QB-needy teams in front of him. It won’t be cheap, but the Broncos have to make a move.
If I absolutely need a quarterback in this class, I would sell my soul to get Haskins because the next best guy is like finding the next richest guy while sitting in a Waffle House with Warren Buffett.
CAM HEYWARD MAKES 101. I told y'all not to worry, and that more were coming, and here we are. Cameron Heyward cracks Pro Football Focus' top-101, checking in at No. 57.
From Pro Football Focus:
57. CAMERON HEYWARD, PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Top 101 appearances: 2
Heyward recorded an overall grade of 84.9 this year, the 16th-best mark among interior defenders and his second consecutive grade of 80.0 or higher. As usual, he was a force as a pass rusher and generated 59 total pressures on the year, the fifth-most among players at the position.
I've always thought Cam was extremely underrated, mostly because it seems like it took until this season for folks to start appreciating interior linemen.
I know edge rushers are flashy and all, but it's a hell of a lot harder to deal with someone destroying the inside of the line than it is to scheme around someone coming from the outside. Ask teams about Aaron Donald.
CONLEY HEADED TO CHARLOTTE. Mike Conley is headed to All-Star weekend after all, just not as an actual All-Star.
The Memphis Grizzlies have officially announced that Mike Conley is going to Charlotte....to compete in the 2019 Taco Bell Skills Challenge at Spectrum Center on Saturday, Feb. 16 as part of All-Star weekend.— David Cobb (@DavidWCobb) February 6, 2019
The dude is going to go down as one of the most deserving players in history to never make an All-Star game.
At this point though, he's used to it and taking it all in stride.
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