Jack Sawyer is still a high school sophomore, but he's already got some game-ready trash talk.
His hit list is going to be 3 pages long by the time he finally gets to Columbus.
- Thad Matta vs. John Beilein
- Paris Johnson Jr. puts up NFL Combine numbers as a high school junior.
- The Bucks need to get better at returning punts.
- Jake Dieber is the reason Keon Johnson is high on the Buckeyes.
- J.K. Dobbins is running toward Ohio State history.
- Wyatt Davis' time has arrived..
Word of the Day: Otiose.
HE AIN'T REDSHIRTING. Everyone freaks the hell out about the incoming highly-touted freshmen every offseason only to see them sit on the sidelines or disappoint when the games actually start, because well, they're freshmen.
It ain't happening this year! I've watched him play in exactly one fake football game in a Buckeye uniform, but think it's a safe bet that Garrett Wilson will neither sit the bench nor disappoint as a freshman.
Caleb Friedman of SI.com has Wilson as one of his instant-impact freshmen heading into this season.
OHIO STATE WR GARRETT WILSON
Wilson, a prized five-star out of Lake Travis (Texas) High School, has arrived in Columbus to a receiver room that lost Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin from last season’s Big Ten champs. The Buckeyes return a wealth of talent at wideout in Chris Olave, K.J. Hill and Binjimen Victor, but Garrett should make a strong push for targets from the get-go. Exhibit A, from the Ohio State spring game:
Behold: Garrett Wilson. pic.twitter.com/oH56Bwn4Eh— Eleven Warriors (@11W) April 13, 2019
OSU receivers coach Brian Hartline has said Wilson doesn’t carry himself like a freshman, which bodes well as summer practices ramp up. Wilson was a major recruiting victory for Ohio State, and he’ll have opportunities to make an impact as the Buckeyes break in new quarterback Justin Fields.
(Note: By sharing an excerpt of a piece in which he embedded a Tweet that I Tweeted, I have now completed the aggregation circle)
I'm sure Wilson's going to do some stuff this season, but I'm more interested to see what he looks like in his final season. I saw what Brian Hartline did to that receivers room in just a few months, I'm tuned the hell in to see what a five-star prospect turns into in three years.
25 UNDER 25. Ohio State's produced some NFL legends throughout the years, and the football factory doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon because some of the best Buckeyes in the league are also some of the youngest.
Pro Football Focus put together a "25 Under 25" list – a more prestigious version of Forbes' "30 Under 30" – and three Buckeyes made the cut.
From Mark Chichester of Pro Football Focus:
EDGE JOEY BOSA, LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Age at kickoff: 24 years, 1 month, 26 days
When Bosa is healthy and on the field, there is arguably no stronger force in the pass-rush. Among the 85 edge defenders who have logged at least 500 pass-rushing snaps since 2016, Bosa’s win rate (21.0%) and pressure rate (21.2%) both rank first.
CB MARSHON LATTIMORE, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Age at kickoff: 23 years, 3 months, 17 days
Lattimore has earned an 88.7 coverage grade over the last two years in the league, and he figures to be a difference-maker at the position maker for years to come. Since 2017, the former Ohio State corner has allowed a passer rating of just 68.8 on throws into his primary coverage – fifth among cornerbacks with at least 100 targets in that span.
CB DENZEL WARD, CLEVELAND BROWNS
Age at kickoff: 22 years, 4 months, 9 days
Injuries took their toll on Ward towards the end of his rookie season, but his early-season play is yet another great sign for the future of Cleveland. In his 13 games, Ward allowed a passer rating of just 70.7 on throws into his coverage, and he yielded an average of 0.88 yards per coverage snap – both of which ranked fourth among first-year cornerbacks.
I've been doing this long enough to know that you'll probably be outraged that Michael Thomas isn't on this list, but save the torches and pitchforks because he's 26 years old.
FROM (SLIGHTLY FURTHER) DOWNTOWN. The NCAA is considering moving three-point line back about a foot and a half in part to make the shot more challenging because apparently the three-pointer is "becoming too prevalent in men’s college basketball."
Noted three-point maker Jon Diebler is not at all convinced a slight move backwards is going to change a team's strategy in any meaningful way.
From Stephen Means of Cleveland.com:
“The only thing is that now people will shoot even farther back because they don’t shoot right up against the line,” Diebler told cleveland.com. “Once you practice and get repetition, I don’t think it will make a huge difference. You might see percentages drop the first couple of years, but most college programs have NBA lines on their court anyway. Every player’s goal is to go to the NBA so you’re constantly, even though you’re in college, working on those shots as well.”
The main goal of extending the three-point line will be to discourage teams for settling for them, but in order to do that, there are some other rule changes that may have to happen first.
“Obviously in the NBA (there are) rules about illegal defense and everything like that,” Diebler said. “With college, it’s hard to tell.”
For what it's worth, Diebler was playing the last time the NCAA moved the three-point line back, and his three-point shooting percentage increased from .289 as a freshman in 2007-08 to .416 his sophomore year.
GAMBLE PAYED OFF. Before Gunnar Hoak became probably the biggest back-up quarterback commitment in Ohio State football history, J.P. Andrade became one of the biggest preferred walk-on commitments in Ohio State football history.
See, the Buckeyes desperately needed quarterbacks, and Andrade answered the call. And from the sounds of it, he risked an awful lot waiting on that offer.
From Joey Kaufman of the Columbus Dispatch:
The development required a bit of a gamble by Andrade. When the signing period in February passed, he sat on offers from a handful of Division I schools, but none from a Power Five conference program. He also entertained a similar preferred walk-on offer from Florida.
Andrade envisioned himself at a bigger program, and with teams filling roster needs with preferred walk-ons later in the spring, he waited.
“He just believed, ‘I can play Division I. I want to do this. I can do this. I want to find out,’” said Steve Bogan, his coach at Bonita High School in La Verne, California.
Andrade had reason for hope. He had started for Bonita’s varsity team since he was a sophomore and had been productive. As a senior last fall, he threw for 4,366 yards, sixth-most among quarterbacks in California, according to MaxPreps, and was a regional offensive player of the year.
Stating the obvious here, but it seems pretty damn good when your fourth or fifth-best option at quarterback threw for over 4,000 yards in high school.
According to his high school coach Andrade doesn't have the strongest arm and isn't the most athletic, but makes up for it with his smarts and ability to pick things up quickly. So basically, Ohio State just signed the prototype scout team quarterback.
OH HELL YEAH. Y'all thought #QBGeddon died in 2015, but it looks like we're lighting that flame again.
Join myself, @JT_theQB4th & Buckeye Greats in my 1st Charity Softball Classic as #TeamCardale takes on #TeamJT 7.13.19 1pm, at Buckeye Field. Ticketed are $20, each person is entered to win a cabin for 2 on the 2020 @BuckeyeCruise plus many more great prizes! pic.twitter.com/bpPslgcpUi— Cardale Jones (@Cardale7_) May 17, 2019
Someone needs to convince Troy Smith to play so we can toss in a fascinating subplot with Justin Zwick playing against him as well.
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