"NCAA" tag

Chad Lindsay Will Give Ohio State Help Where Buckeyes Need It Most

Protecting quarterback Braxton Miller is a top priority for Ohio State in 2014. The Buckeyes reportedly just got reinforcement on that front. It hasn’t been confirmed by the school yet, but former Alabama offensive lineman Chad Lindsay informed CBSports.com’s Jeremy Fowler on Tuesday that he’s transferring to Ohio State. “It’s done. Go Buckeyes!” Lindsay texted Fowler. In a time when graduate transfers have a free-agency feel to them, Lindsay provides Ohio State an immediate upgrade to a position hit hard by turnover. The Buckeyes return just one starter—tackle Taylor Decker—after losing four seniors from last year. The only other assured starter is right guard Pat Elflein. Though Lindsay only started four games for the Tide at center, all last year, he has plenty of playing experience as a backup during his time in Tuscaloosa. That should give him an edge as he competes for playing time during preseason camp, as experience is something that is generally lacking for the Buckeyes in the trenches. Last year’s senior-laden group helped the team finish fifth nationally in rushing (308.6 yards per game) and set school records in points scored (637), touchdowns (87) and touchdown passes (38), per Ohio State’s website. “The buzz around Tuscaloosa is Alabama did not want to lose Lindsay and had considered starting him at center while moving Ryan Kelly to left tackle,” Fowler wrote. “That’s no longer an option, and…

Ohio State Football: 3 Things Standing in the Way of a Big Ten Championship

Down three points late in the fourth quarter of the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game, Ohio State was in Michigan State territory, needing just two yards on fourth down to keep its title hopes alive. The ball was snapped, Braxton Miller swept to the right side, and the perimeter blockers opened a clear path for a potential burst to the end zone. But Jeff Heuerman’s man broke free on the interior, surged into the backfield and stopped Miller short of the conversion. Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes were largely outplayed by a more determined team that night, but one play could have swung the momentum—and a conference title—their way. Will something that small prevent Ohio State from winning a Big Ten title in 2014? It’s possible. Despite the months of training, preparation and game-planning, one play could make or break a season. That’s usually the way it goes for the true contenders. Elite teams—such as the 2002 Ohio State squad that won a national title—overcome their bigger obstacles or deficiencies and come through with a big play in crunch time. What big issues are standing in the way of Ohio State’s Big Ten title chances this year? Braxton Miller’s Durability Ohio State’s superstar quarterback has had an injury-plagued career in Columbus. In 2011, the Buckeyes had a 21-point lead midway through the third quarter against Nebraska when Miller rolled his ankle. He was unable to finish the game, and the…

Ohio State Basketball: Breaking Down Buckeyes’ Options at Guard in 2014-15

The backcourt the Ohio State basketball team trots on the floor in the 2014-15 season will look drastically different than it has the past four years. The frontcourt has seen the likes of Jared Sullinger, Deshaun Thomas, LaQuinton Ross and David Lighty shuffle in and out over that time span, but the one constant was always Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. at the guard spots. Of course, Jon Diebler was also a major part of the guard rotation early in Craft’s tenure. Clearly, losing Craft leaves a formidable hole on the roster. He was the best defensive player in the nation and often controlled games from that end of the floor, created opportunities for himself and others with his penetration and was an extension of Thad Matta on the floor. As for Smith, the lefty was certainly inconsistent at times during his career, but he provided solid defense, three-point touch and underrated rebounding. In fact, Smith’s ability to crash the glass will be the part of his game that is missed most in Columbus, especially when Amir Williams is on the floor at center. So, what will the backcourt look like in 2014-15 for the scarlet and gray? The primary holdover is Shannon Scott, who has played his way into Matta’s rotation with Craft-like defense, quickness in the open floor and the ability to get to the rim off the bounce. He will have a much bigger responsibility on both ends of the floor without Craft and will probably be more comfortable in a defined point…

Ohio State Football Recruiting: Breaking Down the Top Target at Each Position

Urban Meyer and Ohio State signed a top-five recruiting class for the third consecutive year last February, but with just two commitments in the fold for 2015, that streak is in serious jeopardy. In recruiting, though, it’s not how you start, but how you finish. The Buckeyes have targeted a number of the country’s top prospects, and with Meyer at the helm, they’re looking to surge. Ohio State has big needs at quarterback and tight end, but Meyer’s wish list spans the entire depth chart. Here’s a look at the Buckeyes’ top recruiting target at each position. Begin Slideshow

Redshirt Freshman Safety Jayme Thompson to Transfer from Ohio State

Just days after playing in the Ohio State spring game, defensive back Jayme Thompson has been granted his release from Ohio State and will transfer to another university. Justin Rowland of Rivals.com reported the news Wednesday, noting that Thompson would be in attendance for Kentucky’s spring game next weekend: Thompson was a 4-star prospect in the class of 2013, ranking as the No. 219 overall player, No. 12 safety and No. 15 prospect from Ohio on the 247Sports composite. He took a redshirt after hurting his ankle last season and made three tackles in Saturday’s spring game, per David Briggs of The Toledo Blade. Jayme’s father, Deon, released the following statement, per Marc Givler of BuckeyeGrove.com, Ohio State’s affiliate on the Rivals network: We would like to thank The Ohio State University for the opportunities that they have given my son, Jayme, and our family. Jayme is leaving the program in good academic standing and we look forward to the next chapter of Jayme’s education and football playing career. According to Givler’s report, Thompson would have to sit out next season (per the NCAA’s transfer rules) unless he applies for a waiver to play immediately because of the timing of this announcement. If that waiver is approved, he would be eligible to play in 2014. Givler also reports that the family is in the process of discussing destinations. If he indeed ends up at Kentucky, though, it would be the latest in a line of…

Grading Ohio State’s Post-Spring Depth Chart

At Ohio State, most position battles are won or lost in the spring, when the coaches have the time to really evaluate the roster and identify their playmakers. With spring practice in the books, Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes are starting to take shape. While a number of starting spots remain open as the Buckeyes work to replace 10 starters, the top contenders have been identified. Safety Tyvis Powell emerged as a contributor, and he knows where he stands going into summer conditioning, according to Ari Wasserman of The Plain Dealer: The way they treat it here, spring is the opportunity to go earn a position. When summer camp comes around, they pretty much got who they want in. There aren’t too many changes made, so what you see right now is kind of what it is going to be. Of course, there are exceptions. Last year, Joey Bosa and Dontre Wilson arrived in the fall and earned a spot in Ohio State’s two-deep rotation as true freshmen. But the depth chart’s foundation is set in the spring. Here’s a detailed look at each position group after spring practice. Begin Slideshow

Ohio State Football: Expect Braxton Miller to Pass More, Stay Healthy in 2014

Last year, Braxton Miller had a fantastic season, even while missing some time due to injury. After a disappointing end to 2013, Miller has a lot to prove his senior year. Miller will have to protect himself by staying in the pocket more this season and not going on the run. Being an electric playmaker, this may seem contradictory to Miller’s instincts, but he must do it in order to stay healthy and lead the Ohio State Buckeyes. Check out the video above, where Adam Kramer and Michael Felder project how Braxton Miller will fare in his senior season. Highlights courtesy of XOs Digital Read more Ohio State Football news on BleacherReport.com

Spring Game Shows Ohio State Clearly Addressed It’s Biggest Issue

Following the spring game in Columbus, one thing was quite clear: Ohio State made sure to address its issues with respect to coverage in the back end. The Buckeyes defenders, under co-defensive coordinators Chris Ash and Luke Fickell, have responded to their issues from a season ago and pushed to match patterns, relate to receivers and make plays on the football. Spring games are often difficult to use to make evaluations for a given team. Formats differ, rules vary tremendously and who is active—and to what extent—is always a crap shoot, something Martin Rickman at Sports Illustrated points out in his Buckeyes spring game recap. However, a true shift in mentality is something that is noticeable, regardless of personnel or watered-down play-calling. For Ohio State, little was discovered with respect to the quarterback position. Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett failed to show separation as they battle for the backup job. Expected starting running back Ezekiel Elliott was extremely limited. The defensive side of the ball played four-man fronts almost exclusively. Yet it was clear something was different in the back seven of the Buckeyes’ defense. Prior to the Big Ten championship game, the Buckeyes’ issues with route relations was discussed. The same was mentioned before Urban Meyer’s team took on the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl. Entering spring, the need to work on pass coverage was again noted here. And the Buckeyes went out and addressed that very…

Cardale Jones Stood out in Spring but J.T. Barrett Is QB of the Future for OSU

The Ohio State spring game is in the books, and with star QB Braxton Miller sitting out, Buckeyes fans got a glimpse of the future in Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett. Which QB proved himself in the spring game? Urban Meyer loves athletes on offense that can score from anywhere on the field, and Ohio State has three such players on its roster. Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, and Curtis Samuel all have the potential to play the Percy Harvin role for the Buckeyes. How will Meyer use each on offense? Check out Ben Axelrod from BuckeyeSports.com give some inside info on Ohio State’s spring game. Highlights courtesy XOS Digital Read more Ohio State Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Basketball: What Trevor Thompson, Anthony Lee Will Bring to Buckeyes

The Ohio State basketball team lost Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith Jr. and LaQuinton Ross to either graduation or the NBA this offseason, but Thad Matta has nearly 14’ of reinforcements on the way. While much of the excitement surrounding the program has understandably come from the No. 6-ranked recruiting class in the country, per 247Sports, Matta addressed a serious area of need through the transfer market. Big men Anthony Lee and Trevor Thompson both recently elected to take their talents to Columbus. Lee comes via Temple, where he averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds a game in 2013-14. He was a double-double threat every time he stepped on the floor and gave the Owls a formidable rim protector on the defensive side of the ball. Lee is such an important addition for the Buckeyes because Amir Williams has failed to live up to his McDonald’s All-American potential in his three years on campus. While Williams has flashed moments of brilliance, Ohio State needs a consistent big man in the physically grueling Big Ten. It was actually the departing Ross who led the team in rebounds per game last year, and the graduating Smith was a close third. The team as a whole was 216th in the country in total rebounds a night with Ross and Smith, so Lee’s prowess on the boards will be absolutely critical. Lee also fits in nicely with the group of incoming 2014 recruits. D’Angelo Russell, Jae’Sean Tate and Keita Bates-Diop are the expected impact…

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