buckeyes in the middle of spring

Spring practices are (just past) halfway done.  In a break from previous seasons' policy, media has been allowed to attend several practices.  Thus, a few more nuggets are out there for us fans to chew on.

Below are a few things that I've culled from the various blogs I read.  If you don't read them as obsessively as I, maybe you'll appreciate my culling.  Plus a few Rose Bowl pictures to make the whole post prettier.

The cheerleaders get ready for the game.

Position Battles

  • Backup RB - most reviews of hyped recruit Jamaal Berry are positive. I did see one report that his vision does not match that of Jordan Hall (last season's #3) Hall has been in and out due to a shoulder injury. We have too many tailbacks. Someone is going to transfer next winter.
  • 3rd WR - RS freshman Chris Fields is starting to lead the pack. Carter is out and Washington is unfortuately continuing to exhibit stone hands. Grant Schwartz has a chance to be #4 expecially if Carter continues to be unreliable.
  • Backup QB - Kenny Guiton might beat out Joe Bauserman. But either of those guys in the lineup outside of mopup time is a scary situation.
  • 3rd LB - Sabino looks like he has it wrapped up.
  • LT - (starting RT) Shugarts and (backup RT) Marcus Hall got a brief look but are back on the right side.  Now it's back to Adams and Andrew Miller just like last season. Neither of these guys has looked consistently stellar. If one of those guys emerges our offense will be killer.  If neither do maybe Hall will be moved back again.

Boom's parents are ready. We later found out Boom was too.

Spring Observations (so far)

  • Pryor - tons of positive reviews, I keep hearing he looks really sharp.  Note this was not the case last year
  • Duron Carter has missed all of the spring so far. Reason is unclear but academics is the favorite speculation.
  • Keep hearing they are throwing to TE Jake Stoneburner a lot and he is a mismatch. Of course we've heard this before.
  • The offense as a whole looks a lot like the Rose Bowl version. Spread formations, run-pass options, quick hits.
  • S Ohrian Johnson looks comfortable calling the plays. A good sign.
  • The starting DL still looks sick. DE Nathan Williams and DT John Simon look all-conference level at least. DE Solomon Thomas and DE Melvin Fellows (that's right) look like the next up-and-comers.
  • Depth at DT is a concern. Various career backup O-linemen are getting tryouts.  We get back stud DT Dexter Larimore but keep in mind he has not made it through a full season yet.
  • Lots of players getting trials at PR and KR
  • We won't know until the fall if S/LB Tyler Moeller will play again or not. If he does, he will be the nickel back
  • Cornerbacks have not looked as good but Chekwa and backup Travis Howard are out

Takin' the field

Older but-still-fun News

1 Tressel thinks the team played better in the loss to TX than in the win against Oregon.

Hangin' with the cuteness.

2 Tressel appeared at a clinic in Strongsville over the weekend and provided some insight into how his defense was able to hold the Ducks to near season lows across the board in offense.  Quoting the link...

In preparations for the high-scoring and fast-paced Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl, a game won by the Buckeyes, 26-17, Tressel and his staff installed a “2 offense tempo practice” drill in which his first-team defense stayed on the field the entire time while his first- and second-team offenses ran plays without huddles, literally as fast as they could execute, Tressel said. The offenses switched every two plays, which was the only mini-break the defense was awarded.

You don’t need me to tell you how well the preparation worked. Jermale Hines summed it up best:

“It was great for our offense because they were able to get into a tempo during practice, but for the defense, they were gased,” said Tressel. “But I remember (safety) Jermale Hines telling me after (the Rose Bowl), ‘Coach, it was like Oregon was playing in slow motion.”

To business which led to...