Monday, June 22, 2009

BUCKEYES ALL-DECADE TEAM (2000-2009)

The first decade of the 21st century is nearly over and it's been pretty good for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team.

During this decade, the Bucks hired head coach Jim Tressel (2001), won one national championship (2002), been in two others (2006, 2007), had a Heisman Trophy winner (Troy Smith, 2006), took at least a share of the Big Ten conference title five times (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) and possess a 7-2 record against Michigan (7-1 under Tressel).

Not too shabby!

Well, as this first decade ticks away, I thought that it was time to reflect on some of the best Buckeyes players to don the Scarlet and Gray over the past ten seasons and put together an All-Decade squad.

It was quite difficult to put together, but listed below is who I would field as my Buckeyes team of the decade:

FIRST TEAM
OFFENSE
QB-Troy Smith
RB-Chris "Beanie" Wells
FB-Jamar Martin
WR-Santonio Holmes
WR-Michael Jenkins
TE-Ben Hartsock
T-Shane Olivea
T-Rob Sims
G-Adrien Clarke
G-Alex Stepanovich* Only started one season as a guard, but I had to have him on the first team.
C-LeCharles Bentley
FIRST TEAM
DEFENSE
DE-Will Smith
DE-Vernon Gholston
DT-Quinn Pitcock
DT-Tim Anderson
OLB-A.J. Hawk
ILB-James Laurinaitis
OLB-Marcus Freeman
CB-Malcolm Jenkins
CB-Chris Gamble
S-Mike Doss
S-Donte Whitner
FIRST TEAM
SPECIALISTS
Returner-Ted Ginn Jr.
K-Mike Nugent
P-A.J. Trapasso

SECOND TEAM
OFFENSE
QB-Craig Krenzel
RB-Maurice Clarett
FB-Brandon Joe
WR-Ted Ginn Jr.
WR-Anthony Gonzalez
WR-Brian Robiskie
TE-None.
T-Kirk Barton
T-Tyson Walter
G-Bryce Bishop
G-T.J. Downing
C-Nick Mangold
SECOND TEAM
DEFENSE
DE-Darrion Scott
DE-Cameron Heyward
DT-Ryan Pickett
DT-Kenny Peterson
OLB-Bobby Carpenter
ILB-Matt Wilhelm
OLB-Robert Reynolds
CB-Nate Clements
CB-Ashton Youboty
S-Donnie Nickey
S-Kurt Coleman
SECOND TEAM
SPECIALISTS
Returner-Chris Gamble
K-Ryan Pretorius
P-Andy Groom

Friday, June 19, 2009

BUCKEYES: CONSENSUS TOP 10 AMONG PRESEASON POLLS

Many of the nation's top college football publications and websites have released their 2009 preseason polls and the Ohio State Buckeyes are a consensus top 10 selection.

Listed below are where the Buckeyes rank nationally among some of the top forecasters in the business:
Phil Steele — No. 10
Athlon — No. 5
Lindy's — No. 8
The Sporting News — No. 9
Atlanta Journal-Constitution — No. 8
CBS Sportsline — No. 7
ESPN (Mark Schlabach) — No. 6
Gainesville Sun — No. 8
Knoxville News — No. 6
NationalChamps.net — No. 7
SouthernPigskin.com — No. 8
Sports Illustrated (Andy Samples) — No. 9

The Buckeyes begin the season on September 5, when they host the Navy Midshipmen at Ohio Stadium.

Monday, June 15, 2009

TRESSEL SPEAKS ABOUT JAAMAL BERRY'S ARREST


Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel spoke Monday about the recent arrest of Buckeyes' prized recruit, Jaamal Berry.

Speaking before a host of reporters at a Booster golf outing at the OSU Golf Course, the Buckeyes coach said that Berry is quite disappointed with what has transpired, just days before the running back was to arrive on campus in Columbus.

"All he could do was talk about how disappointed and embarrassed he was," Tressel said about his phone conversation with Berry, who is currently in his hometown of Miami, Florida. "He never meant to do anything but good things on behalf of Ohio State and he said, 'here I am, before I even get there, making a mistake and not being where I should be.'

"I know how he feels about it, but now, no matter how you feel about it, we have to go through the process."

Berry was arrested Thursday morning in Miami after Miami-Dade police found more than 28 grams of marijuana in his possession. Berry will appear in court on July 2 in Miami.

Tressel stated that Berry's status as a Buckeye is uncertain at the moment.

"Just waiting to see how this process unfolds," Tressel said. "Hopefully, something happens early this week that gives us a little direction so that we can go to our administration and say, 'we've learned this and we suggest this.' And then obviously we have to do what the whole group needs done."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

FREEMAN WRITING ABOUT LIFE AS AN NFL ROOKIE

Photo by Darla Dunkle-Hudnell
Former Ohio State and current Chicago Bears linebacker, Marcus Freeman, has been writing a weekly diary on Chicagobears.com.

Freeman, who was selected in the fifth round by the Bears in the 2009 NFL Draft back in April, has been blogging about his experiences as an NFL rookie, getting accustomed to the city of Chicago and even working out with some Navy recruits at a nearby Naval base.

It's a pretty interesting read.


Freeman was second on the Buckeyes in tackles (84) as a senior in 2008 and was named second team All-Big Ten. Freeman was a two-time All-Big Ten selection during his collegiate career in Columbus.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

JAAMAL BERRY ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES IN MIAMI

Ohio State incoming freshman running back, Jaamal Berry, was arrested and charged early Thursday morning in Miami, Florida for possession of more than 28 grams of marijuana, according to the Miami Herald.

Berry, who is a top recruit for the Buckeyes' class of 2009, was stopped by police for running a traffic light. The Police discovered a bag of marijuana in Berry's automobile — a Nissan Altima. According to the police report, the soon-to-be OSU running back stated that he had bought the drugs an hour earlier and was planning to smoke them with friends.

Berry was released on bond and no court date has been scheduled as of yet.

OSU officials have declined to comment until they have gathered more information about the arrest.

Berry, an All-American back who starred at Miami Palmetto High School, has been touted as a possible replacement for Chris "Beanie" Wells as the Buckeyes' starting tailback this fall, along with Dan "Boom" Herron and Brandon Saine.

Berry was scheduled to enroll at OSU in the coming days. However, his status now seems a bit uncertain after Thursday morning's arrest.

More to come ...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

MONTANA PASSES ON OSU, SELECTS WASHINGTON

Nick Montana, son of NFL hall of fame quarterback Joe Montana, will not be playing his collegiate football at Ohio State or his father's alma mater, Notre Dame.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Montana— 6-1, 185-pound quarterback from Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California — has committed to the University of Washington.

Oaks Christian head coach Bill Redell confirmed the news.

Montana, who is one of the top rated quarterbacks nationally in the class of 2010, had offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, LSU and Georgia, just to name a few, but chose to play for new coach Steve Sarkisian in Seattle.

Sarkisian has had some great success working with collegiate quarterbacks, coaching two Heisman Trophy winners at USC during his tenure with the Trojans.

A little more than a week ago, the Buckeyes made an offer to Cincinnati Moeller class of 2010 quarterback Andrew Hendrix, raising red flags that Montana may no longer be available. Hendrix has yet to make a commitment and seems to be very high on Notre Dame, according to those close to him.

The Buckeyes have yet to pick up a top quarterback since inking Terrelle Pryor in the class of 2008.

However, there's no need for Buckeye fans to panic. The nation's top passer for the class of 2011 — Huber Heights Wayne quarterback Braxton Miller — is currently leaning strong for the Buckeyes.

Monday, June 1, 2009

BUCKEYES FB 2009 PREVIEW: NAVY


Ohio State hasn't played a team from the armed forces since the 1990 Liberty Bowl, where the Buckeyes were bombed by the Air Force Academy and quarterback Rob Perez, 23-11, in Memphis, Tennessee.

After a nearly 20-year hiatus, the Bucks will do battle once again with the armed forces, as they host the Naval Academy in the season opener on September 5 at Ohio Stadium.

The Buckeyes haven't faced Navy since the 1981 Liberty Bowl, where quarterback Art Schlichter led OSU to a 31-28 victory with two touchdown passes. The Buckeyes are 3-0 all-time against the Midshipman.

Unless the Middies are allowed to bring in the seals, OSU should move to 4-0.

Navy, which finished 8-5 overall in 2008, possessed the nation's No. 1 rushing attack last season, as running backs' Shun White and Eric Kettani, along with quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (the best name in sports) combined for 2,369 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground.

Unfortunately for the Midshipman, those three ground pounders are no longer in Annapolis.

Navy only returns four starters on offense this season and will rely heavily on new quarterback Ricky Dobbs, who saw some good action in 2008, finishing the season with 498 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. Many around the program state that Dobbs gives Navy a better passing threat than his predecessor.

However, with just four returning starters and a solid OSU defense standing in their way, the Naval Academy offense should be held at bay during their battle at the Horseshoe.

The Midshipman do have plenty of experience returning on the defensive side of the football. Navy returns seven starters on defense, including their star linebacker Ross Pospisil, who led the team with 106 tackles in 2008. The Midshipman did have some quality wins over Wake Forest and Rutgers last season, but what they will face on September 5 in Columbus is something they're not used to seeing.

Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor should get some good reps during the game and the rest of the Buckeyes should get quality work before their much anticipated primetime battle with USC a week later.

Let's face it — Navy presents a much better tune up bout than Youngstown State, that's for sure.