Some call this day Valentine's Day, but that's incorrect. Today is Legend's Day.
Happy Birthday, Woody.
- Tyvis Powell can vouch for Jeff Hafley.
- It's a good time to be a Buckeye receiver.
- How Ohio State landed Enokk Vimahi.
- Graduate transfer offensive lineman to visit Ohio State.
Word of the Day: Parsimonious.
FIELDS FILM STUDY. Justin Fields is like a new toy you know you're getting for Christmas, but it's July so you spend the next months dreaming about what it's going to be like when you can finally play with it.
In this case, the toy is Justin Fields, and the dreams are highlight videos and film studies.
I know how it goes, and I'm right there with y'all. Between now and August, I'll probably have seen every snap the fellow took at UGA and in high school 7 times. But what else do you want me to do?
Cleveland.com's Jake Burns put together a nice little film study on Fields for our viewing and reading enjoyment, complete with cutups of plays from his high school days and his freshman season at UGA.
Here are a few selected #takes from the piece:
At 6-3, 225 pounds ,a player should not be able to move this well. He has a natural gracefulness about the way he runs with the ability to stop and start on a dime. There are too many clips to count of his high school days where he eludes defenders with ease and is simply too fast for the competition.
Fields put several reps together where he displayed an ability to sit in the pocket, decipher the defense, and make an accurate throw despite pressure. These are extremely difficult throws for young quarterbacks. He anticipates the his "Z" receiver coming open on the cross once he clears the middle zone and delivers an accurate YAC (yards after catch) ball to his wide receiver.
Fields runs the ball like a running back. He is both powerful and agile. He will pull the ball down within the pocket and make plays on the run. Here against Middle Tennessee, Fields feels the coverage and decides to run. He erases an angle to the sideline and makes a defensive back miss with shifty hips. It comes easy for him.
I'm unreasonably stoked for the spring game, knowing full well it's just going to be a gigantic tease.
A LITTLE LESS WAY-TOO-EARLY. We're already more than a month passed the end of college football season, which means those way-too-early preseason polls are now pretty stale.
But don't worry, ESPN gave us a new one, with all NFL decisions now accounted for. The Buckeyes were No. 4 initially, now they're No. 5.
From Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com:
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
2018 record: 13-1, 8-1 Big Ten
First 2019 Way-Too-Early rank: 4
Returning starters: five offense, 10 defense, one special teams
Key losses: QB Dwayne Haskins Jr., DT Dre'Mont Jones, DE Nick Bosa, WR Parris Campbell, WR Terry McLaurin, RB Mike Weber, OT Isaiah Prince, G Malcolm Pridgeon, C Michael Jordan
Outlook: You probably heard shouts of "O-H!" around the Buckeye State on Friday afternoon, as the NCAA approved quarterback Justin Fields' waiver application, granting him immediate eligibility for the 2019 season. While more waivers are being granted and every quarterback transfer is significant, Ohio State really needed to get the green light on Fields, especially after Tate Martell transferred to Miami.
The Buckeyes now replace the most prolific single-season passer in team history (Haskins) with their highest-rated quarterback recruit since Terrelle Pryor in 2008. Fields will lead an offense that returns running back J.K. Dobbins, wideouts K.J. Hill, Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor, and others.
The Fields news ended a week when Ohio State finalized a recruiting class that slipped to No. 17 in ESPN's national rankings. The size of the class (17 players) undoubtedly led to Ohio State's lowest rating in quite some time, and the Buckeyes still landed an excellent centerpiece in five-star defensive end Zach Harrison. Spring practice will be about integrating Fields and bolstering a defense under new leadership with co-coordinators Greg Mattison and Jeff Hafley.
There are a few perplexing things here.
First off, Ohio State's lost two starters on defense (three, if you count Nick Bosa), not one. Though I guess I can't fault them too much for not knowing Kendall Sheffield declared since we literally had to find out by his name appearing on an Instagram post for an NFL Combine training center.
Second, which specialist do they think isn't returning? Sean Nuernberger, who played in only six games last season?
Anyway, fifth is fine. Whatever. It's February.
SPECIAL KIND OF DELUSION. Tale old as time: A Michigan Man overvalues himself. Somehow, Rashan Gary has concluded that he is the best player in the NFL Draft.
From Drew Davison of the Star Telegram:
“I feel like I’m the best player in the draft, defensively and offensively,” said Gary, who is training at Michael Johnson Performance. “I’m the best player in the draft.
“The team [that drafts me] is going to get Rashan Gary. I’m a blue collar worker. Every day, head down, learn the ways of the team, be the best now and be the best for that team and be the best for that state and bring back a Super Bowl wherever I go.
I understand having confidence in yourself, but this is just outright dishonesty. Gary wasn't even the best player in the conference on offense or defense, and probably wasn't even the best player on his team at any point in his career.
Stats aren't everything, but Chase Young had as many sacks this season as Gary had in his entire career. Nick Bosa, the actual best player in the draft, had more sacks and as many solo tackles for loss in his 2.5 games as Gary did all season.
I'm sure he'll have a fine NFL career, but I think even drafting him in the top-10 would be recklessly overthinking your pick. I'm obviously biased, but why the hell would you waste such a high pick on a pass-rusher who had fewer than 10 sacks in his entire college career?
DURON CARTER INKS CFL DEAL TOO. The CFL receiving corps are gonna be pretty Buckeye heavy next year as Duron Carter is giving it another go north of the border, signing with the BC Lions.
Carter is an NFL veteran, playing in the league six of the past seven seasons, missing only the 2015 season when he tried to make an NFL roster.
In his career, carer has 276 catches for 4,150 and 27 touchdowns.
GET YER SCHEDULE. The Columbus Arena League team doesn't have a name, a coach or a roster yet, but dammit, we've got a schedule!
I can absolutely guarantee I will be attending one of these contests, regardless of who is on the roster.
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