Garrett Wilson needs YOU to help him win the NFL's illustrious Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Year award.
Will YOU vote for him?
You can vote for Chris Olave while you're at it, too. One of them will lose, which is unfortunate, but at least one Buckeye can win!
Let's have a good Wednesday, shall we?
FILLING THE GAPS. Former Ole Miss cornerback Davison Igbinosun, the top remaining player in the transfer portal, committed to Ohio State on Tuesday in what was perhaps the biggest BOOM of the offseason for the Buckeyes.
Of course, the return of players like Steele Chambers, Miyan Williams, Cade Stover, Xavier Johnson, Tommy Eichenberg and Josh Proctor was also massive BOOMs for Ohio State. Still, something about the addition of Igbinosun – and that of safety Ja'Had Carter – speaks greater volumes to me about the direction of the defense in 2023 and beyond. And I have three reasons to believe that.
Second, both of them have already proven they can perform at the Power 5 level. Igbinosun started 10 games as a true freshman for Ole Miss, recording 37 tackles and five pass breakups. Carter started in 28 of his 31 games for Syracuse, collecting 138 tackles, five interceptions, 12 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and a touchdown.
Third, and arguably most importantly, is the remaining eligibility both Igbinson and Carter can use as Buckeyes. Igbinson will be able to play three seasons in the scarlet and gray. Carter could play two seasons, one as a senior and another if he chooses to utilize his COVID year.
When I combine all of those points, I believe it tells me that Ryan Day and Jim Knowles wanted defensive players in the portal that were talented, experienced and, above all, here to stay.
It's no secret the secondary was the hole in Ohio State's defense last season, and the additions of Igbinosun and Carter aren't some quick patch job to cover it up like something you'd see a landlord on a college campus do. No, those players are here to fill the gaps. And that should make every Buckeye fan excited as the team heads into 2023.
DAWAND JONES → THANOS. The Reese's Senior Bowl released Dawand Jones’ measurements on Tuesday, and you have to see them to believe them.
Talk about a massive human.
Does anyone know if his birth certificate (if he even has one) is from Indianapolis, Indiana? Are we sure it doesn't say Titan? Because I think we may be looking at Thanos disguised as an Ohio State offensive lineman.
According to The Mock Draft Database, Jones' measurements from his weigh-in are among the best percentiles for an offensive lineman dating back to 1999, with his height (96th percentile), weight (99th), hand (98th), arm (99th) and wingspan (100th) all ranking near the top of prospects measured at the NFL combine in the last 23 years.
Jones' wingspan of 89.5 inches is also expected to be the longest ever recorded at the NFL combine. And that checks out. His wingspan is 2.5 inches longer than NBA champion and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, after all. And a friendly reminder that Antetokounmpo is seven feet tall and nicknamed the "Greek Freak."
As for his hands, look at them when pressed against the hand of a "normal" human.
As for his play at the Senior Bowl, well, Jones is off to a phenomenal start. A widely projected second-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft, the buzz of his size and performance(s) in Mobile, Alabama, should only improve his draft stock, which means Ohio State could add yet another first-round selection to the record books on April 27.
This was the matchup everyone wanted to see in OL/DL pass rush drills: Dawand Jones vs Isaiah Foskey (Foskey put an OT on his ass his previous rep)— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) January 31, 2023
Jones with another win on the day. No one has been able to get the better of Jones size and length yet pic.twitter.com/TNFRtqxQY5
TBDFITL. Attendance for Ohio State football games increased by over 8.17% from 2021 to 2022, proving that Buckeyes were out in full force to support their favorite team this past fall.
Ohio State's regular-season finale with Michigan drew the largest attendance with 106,787 in the Shoe to witness the 118th edition of The Game. The Buckeyes' home and season opener against Notre Dame had the second-largest attendance of 106,594.
Overall, Ohio State brought in an average of 104,663 for its eight home games in 2022, which ranked behind only Michigan (110,246) and Penn State (107,379) for the most in college football, according to 247Sports.
While Ohio State checked in at No. 3 in the rankings for 2022, the title “The Best Damn Fans in the Land” will be tested in 2023, as best-sellers like Notre Dame and Michigan aren't on the schedule to fill seats this fall.
Penn State is the Big Ticket™. But then there's Youngstown State, Western Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State and Minnesota, and I think we all know those aren't exactly Big Tickets™. Still, I have faith that Buckeye Nation will show out.
A FRIENDLY REMINDER. Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s ranking among wide receivers headed to the 2023 NFL draft has been a hot topic since early January, as some analysts have JSN as their No. 1 wideout in the class while others have him as low as No. 3.
Ohio State football and its media team weighed into the debate with a video on Tuesday. One that made its stance clear that JSN is, hands-down, the best wide receiver turning pro this year.
It would seem some have forgotten how talented Smith-Njigba is and how productive he was during his tenure as a Buckeye, namely his record-breaking sophomore season in which he collected 95 catches, 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns with Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave also demanding targets.
Still, the arguments will continue because of his hamstring injury and yadda, yadda, yadda – whatever. The bottom line is this. Whoever drafts JSN is set to receive a player with the potential to be a star at the next level. My bet is that potential turns into reality sooner rather than later.
SONG OF THE DAY. “The Internet” by Jon Bellion.
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