April 23, 2014

NFL Scouting Combine: Seven Buckeyes invited

The NFL Scouting Combine is February 20-26 in Indianapolis. Seven Ohio State Buckeyes were extended invitations to the combine this year in preparation for the 2013 NFL Draft. They are-

FB Zach Boren

OT Reid Fragel

DT Johnathan Hankins

LB Etienne Sabino

LB John Simon

WR Jake Stoneburner

DT Nate Williams

Perhaps the biggest surprise in this group is the exclusion of CB Travis Howard. Sabino over Howard? At least Howard will have the chance to impress scouts at Ohio State’s pro day.

[Related: National Signing Day, Buckeyes add speed]

The Buckeye Leaves

The Big Ten has been busy the last two days handing out conference awards. Keep something in mind as we talk about which Buckeyes did and didn’t make these all conference teams and individual honors: Ohio State finished 8-0 in Big Ten play. Nebraska finished 7-1, Michigan 6-2 and Penn State 6-2. I mention those next three teams because they were the second, third and fourth best records in the conference.

And Ohio State beat all of them. (And Wisconsin for good measure.)

There were two sets of all-conference team. The coaches voted for one team, and a media panel voted on the other. You would have to wonder if some of the hurt feelings surrounding Urban’s recruiting didn’t spill over onto a ballot or two.

The Buckeyes named to the coaches All-Big Ten Conference team: [Read more...]

Buckeye Six Pack: The Game

It feels so strange that there will be no more Ohio State football games. Especially after the team finished undefeated. Let’s get to it…

1) Stepping Up. In big games, nobody has been bigger for Ohio State in the last three years than John Simon. Seeing him in street clothes to start the game made me nervous. Extremely nervous about this defense. The first half didn’t do much to calm my nerves.

But give them all the credit in the world. They stepped up in the second half and took care of business. They held Michigan to 61 yards in the second half and 9 for the fourth quarter. Outstanding performance.

Does it help that Michigan abandoned the most efficient and explosive part of their offense for the last three drives? Of course. But Ohio State had bottled up Robinson and the Michigan running game in the third quarter and Hoke was desperate to try something. [Read more...]

Buckeyes News: FB Zach Boren Might Also Play Linebacker

In preparation for tonight’s game at Indiana, the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes might have a secret weapon up their sleeves. And it probably wasn’t the guy you first expected it to be. Take it away, Eleven Warriors:

Last night, the internet, or at least the Buckeye corner of it, was buzzing with rumors of fullback Zach Boren, playing—perhaps even starting—at linebacker against Indiana.

Quite the stunner. If true, Boren will become the first real two-way contributor for Ohio State since Chris Gamble played extensively at cornerback and wide receiver in 2003.

We reached out to a couple of sources and were told that Boren will indeed see playing time at middle linebacker tonight. How much? That’s hard to say.

Ohio State will counter Indiana’s pass-first offense with a heavy diet of nickel packages, which means the Buckeyes won’t even have a middle linebacker on the field for most of the game. Further, we don’t know if Boren will be the man in the middle for OSU’s base defense or whether the staff is looking to start him off in short yardage or similar situations with an expanded role as the season progresses.

Boren, an unheralded three-year starter, could certainly be a vicious contributor defensively. The 6-foot-1, 245-lb. senior actually was named Ohio’s defensive player of the year as a linebacker for Pickerington Central in 2008.

This should be a particularly neat storyline to follow tonight in Bloomington. All Buckeye fans should have fond memories of Gamble participating on both sides of the ball, as that was during the glory days of Tressel ball last decade.

Update: Now this is likely why Boren might be forced to play defensively:

[Related: “You are completely screwed” – B1G Buckeyes]

Urban Meyer Names Buckeyes Team Captains

It’s getting closer and closer to primetime for the Ohio State Buckeyes, even if they are embarking on a season with a bowl ban. I know everyone is relatively excited for the beginning of the Urban Meyer era. Now, he has named the team captains.

Defensive lineman John Simon, from Youngstown, Ohio, and Cardinal Mooney High School;
Fullback Zach Boren, from Pickerington, Ohio, and Pickerington Central High School;
Linebacker Etienne Sabino, from North Miami Beach, Fla., and Dr. Krop High School;
Defensive linemen Garrett Goebel, from Villa Park, Ill., and Montini High School; and
Running back Jordan Hall, from Jeannette, Pa., and Jeannette High School.

The release goes on to say that the five Buckeyes have combined for 185 games played and 74 starts. The Buckeyes will kick off their season on September 1st against Miami (OH) in Columbus.