Monday, January 31, 2011

BUCKEYES HAVE A FEW TARGETS STILL REMAINING FOR SIGNING DAY

Hermitage (Va.) linebacker Curtis Grant, top, is one of five players Ohio State is still targeting on signing day. (Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch)
(Updated 2-1 11:08 P.M.) COLUMBUS — National Signing Day is on Wednesday and Ohio State still has some big-time targets who have yet to announce their intentions.

Although a young recruit's mind can change as often as a high school girl picking out a prom dress, I have listed below the Buckeyes final five targets — in alphabetical order — and predict whether or not they will be donning a Scarlet & Gray lid come Wednesday ...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

SANZENBACHER HELPS NFL DRAFT STOCK AT SENIOR BOWL SATURDAY

Dane Sanzenbacher
(The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
MOBILE, Ala. — Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher had a team-high five receptions for 62 yards in the North's 24-10 loss Saturday evening, at the Under Armour Senior Bowl in Mobile.

Sanzenbacher reeled in three grabs (8, 16, 6) on one drive in the third quarter — from Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick — setting up the North's first points of the game (field goal).

The Buckeyes' MVP hauled in a 23-yard pass earlier in the half from Kaepernick, as well as a grab of nine yards on the team's final drive of the game from Washington's Jake Locker.

Friday, January 28, 2011

BUCKEYES LAND TOP PREP LONG SNAPPER BRYCE HAYNES OF GEORGIA

Bryce Haynes
CUMMING, Ga. — Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel has said in the past that the punt is the most important play in the game of football.

Although the punter is of vital importance to the "most important play" in the game, so is the man delivering him the football.

On Friday, Tressel and the Buckeyes landed perhaps the best long snapper in the nation for the class of 2011, as Pinecrest (GA) Academy's Bryce Haynes committed to play his collegiate football for the Ohio State University.

DANE SANZENBACHER GETTING SOME RAVE REVIEWS AT 2011 SENIOR BOWL

Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher's performance during Senior Bowl workouts is improving the Buckeyes' draft stock. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
MOBILE, Ala. — Although he was a late addition to the Senior Bowl, Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher is making his mark this week in Mobile.

Sanzenbacher is displaying the skills that made him not only a first team all-Big Ten selection, but also the Buckeyes' Most Valuable Player.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BUCKEYES HIRE FLORIDA ASSISTANT STAN DRAYTON TO COACH RECEIVERS

Stan Drayton
(Courtesy of the Ohio State University)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State has a new wide receivers coach.

According to Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel on Thursday, University of Florida assistant Stan Drayton will take over for longtime wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell, who left the Buckeyes this offseason to become head coach at Kent State.

Tressel said that Drayton, a native of Cleveland, is a major pickup for the Buckeyes staff.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BUCKEYES, BIG TEN TO BE WELL REPRESENTED IN SUPER BOWL XLV

Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk, right, will be one of five former Ohio State players/coaches who will be participating in Super XLV on Feb. 6 in Dallas. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
PARK RIDGE, Ill. — Four former Ohio State players, and one former assistant coach will be participating in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, Feb. 6 in Dallas.

Linebackers A.J. Hawk (2002-05) and Matt Wilhelm (1999-2002), along with defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (1998-2000) and defensive coordinator Dom Capers (1982-83) will represent the Green Bay Packers, while safety Will Allen (2000-03) will be playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

DANE SANZENBACHER TO PLAY IN SATURDAY'S SENIOR BOWL IN MOBILE

Dane Sanzenbacher
(The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
MOBILE, Ala. — Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher has been added to the North roster for Saturday's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Sanzenbacher — who was named the Buckeyes most valuable player this past season — led Ohio State in receptions (55), receiving yards (948) and receiving touchdowns (11), while garnering first team all-Big Ten honors as a pass catcher.

Monday, January 24, 2011

OSU COMMIT EVAN SPENCER SAYS BEING A BUCKEYE IS A FAMILY AFFAIR

Ohio State class of 2011 commit Evan Spencer. (Daily Herald/Gilbert R. Boucher II)
VERNON HILLS, Ill. — When most high school football recruits decide on a college to attend most provide you with some cliche answer when asked why they chose a certain school.

That's certainly not the case for Vernon Hills (IL) star wide receiver Evan Spencer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

ROLLE, HINES, BROWNING ALL PLAY WELL IN EAST-WEST SHRINE GAME

Brian Rolle was one of three Buckeyes to play in Saturday's East-West Shrine Game in Orlando. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
ORLANDO — Ohio State seniors Brian Rolle, Jermale Hines and Bryant Browning helped lead the East squad to a 25-8 victory on Saturday evening in the 86th Annual East-West Shrine Game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Buckeyes linebacker Brian Rolle — who started at outside linebacker — would set the tone on the game's opening play, when he forced the football out of the hands of Hawaii tailback Alex Green, giving the East the ball deep inside West territory.

Friday, January 21, 2011

BILL HANCOCK'S STATEMENT ABOUT 'THE BCS GOT IT RIGHT' IS COMICAL

Texas Christian finished the 2010 season unbeaten at 13-0, including a Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin. However, they were never given an opportunity to play for a national championship. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
COLUMBUS  — The college football season came to a close earlier this month when No. 1 ranked Auburn took down No. 2 ranked Oregon in a thrilling BCS National Championship game.

The game reached an impressive milestone by becoming the most watched event ever on cable with a 15.3 rating, according to the Associated Press. Broadcasted by ESPN, the title game was down 11 percent from last year’s presentation, which aired on FOX.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

OHIO STATE BACKUP OFFENSIVE TACKLE SAM LONGO TO TRANSFER

Sam Longo
COLUMBUS — Ohio State sophomore offensive lineman Sam Longo has decided to transfer from the Buckeyes and will be released from his scholarship, according to the university.

The 6-foot-5, 280-pound native of Bellbrook, Ohio — who played in just one game during his short career at Ohio State — has not announced where he will be transferring.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BCS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: NO PLAYOFFS ... 'BCS GOT IT RIGHT'

(AP Photo/Michael Chow)
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Below is a press release sent to The Buckeye Times by the Bowl Championship Series. The release provides a complete transcript of BCS executive director Bill Hancock's presentation to the Football Writers Association of America (it's a bit long, here it is) ...

Monday, January 17, 2011

EJUAN PRICE CHOOSES OHIO STATE

Ejuan Price
(Christopher Horner/Tribune-Review)
PITTSBURGH — Woodland Hills (Pa.) star linebacker Ejuan Price announced on Monday evening that he will attend The Ohio State University next fall.

Price, who welcomed in Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel and Co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell at his home Monday, decided to play his collegiate football for the Buckeyes over Iowa and Rutgers, among others.

The 6-foot, 235-pound linebacker from western Pennsylvania becomes the 21st commitment for the Buckeyes from the class of 2011. Price is the third linebacker to join the Buckeyes from the 2011 class, along with Ryan Shazier (Plantation, Fla.) and Conner Crowell (Waldorf, Md.)

EJUAN PRICE TO DECIDE; BUCKS RETURNING; THREE IN SHRINE GAME

Ejuan Price
PITTSBURGH — Ohio State may land another linebacker for the class of 2011 on Monday as Woodland Hills (PA) star Ejuan Price intends to make his collegiate selection later today.

Price, a 6-foot, 235-pound linebacker from the Pittsburgh area, will make his choice between the Buckeyes and Iowa.

The Big 33 star is in the mold of a Brian Rolle, a smaller linebacker in stature, but a quick and fearless player whose strength is running from sideline to sideline.

Ohio State has already landed two premier linebackers for the class of 2011 in Ryan Shazier (Plantaion, Fla.) and Conner Crowell (Waldorf, Md.), and also has another top backer — five-star recruit Curtis Grant (Richmond, Va.) — in their sights, as well.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

ROSS HOMAN TO PLAY IN UNDER ARMOUR SENIOR BOWL ON JAN. 29

Ohio State linebacker Ross Homan will play in the 2011 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
MOBILE, Ala. — Ohio State linebacker Ross Homan has accepted an invitation to play in the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl, which will take place on January 29 in Mobile, Alabama.

Homan — who finished the 2010 season with 72 tackles (second on team) — will be a member of the North squad, which will be led by Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

Friday, January 14, 2011

OHIO STATE POSITION PREVIEW 2011: LINEBACKERS, REPLACING SENIORS

Ross Homan (51) is one of two linebackers the Buckeyes must replace in 2011. Brian Rolle (not pictured) is the other. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — In the six seasons that I've been covering Ohio State football it seems like every year the Buckeyes are looking at replacing star linebackers in its lineup.

First it was trying to find replacements for A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter. Then there was the task of replacing James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman. And going into the 2011 season, the Buckeyes are looking to fill in holes that Brian Rolle and Ross Homan — Ohio State's leading tacklers the past two seasons — left behind.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SMITH LOOKING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EARLY OPPORTUNITIES AT OSU

Devin Smith
MASSILLON — With the loss of Dane Sanzenbacher to graduation, and the upcoming suspension of senior-to-be, DeVier Posey, Ohio State seems to have a few openings at the wide receiver position going into the 2011 college football season.

One player in particular, Massillon (OH) Washington High School and class of 2011 commit, Devin Smith, is ready for the opportunity to show the coaches in Columbus that he has the skills to make an immediate impact.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

MICHIGAN HIRES SAN DIEGO STATE'S BRADY HOKE AS NEW HEAD COACH

Michigan has hired San Diego State's Brady Hoke as its 19th head football coach on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan has hired San Diego State's Brady Hoke as its new head football coach, UM director of athletics Dave Brandon announced on Tuesday.

"We are pleased to announce the hiring of Brady," Brandon said. "He is a terrific coach and will be a great ambassador and leader for our football program. We look forward to having him build a championship program on the field and in the classroom."

LES MILES SAYS NO THANKS TO MICHIGAN, WILL RETURN TO LSU

LSU head coach Les Miles will return to Baton Rouge. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan just can't seem to win anything pertaining to the game of football.

Just a week after Stanford's Jim Harbaugh — Michigan's No. 1 choice to succeed Rich Rodriguez as the Wolverines' football boss — took the head coaching job for the San Francisco 49ers, UM's second choice, LSU's Les Miles, said no thanks to the university on Tuesday morning.

BUCKEYES FINISH FIFTH IN FINAL POLLS; BREWSTER STAYING

Ohio State finishes in the top five after beating Arkansas in last Tuesday's Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
For the seventh time under head coach Jim Tressel, the Ohio State football team finishes the college football season ranked in the top five, according to the Associated Press and USA Today (coaches) polls, released Tuesday morning.

Monday, January 10, 2011

OHIO STATE POSITION PREVIEW 2011: QUARTERBACKS, PRYOR'S FILL-IN?

Who will replace Terrelle Pryor in the Buckeyes first five games of 2011? (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Of all the Ohio State football players suspended for the first five games of the 2011 regular season, the one Buckeye Nation is worrying about replacing the most is quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Not saying that DeVier Posey, Dan Herron, Mike Adams or Solomon Thomas will be easy chalk-ups for the Buckeyes, but none of them play at the most critical position on the football field — and none of them are the face of the entire program.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

OHIO STATE OFFICIALLY APPEALS NCAA'S DECISION ON SUSPENSIONS

Dan Herron
(The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State has officially appealed the NCAA's decision to suspend five Buckeye football players — Terrelle Pryor, Dan Herron, Solomon Thomas, Mike Adams and DeVier Posey — for receiving improper benefits, according to OSU associate athletics director of communications, Dan Wallenberg.

Below is the complete press release sent to The Buckeye Times by Wallenberg ...

Friday, January 7, 2011

PRYOR HAS 'SUCCESSFUL' SURGERY

Terrelle Pryor
(The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor underwent surgery today on some ligaments in his right foot which he injured late in Tuesday night's Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas.

According to Pryor, the surgery went very well.

"Thanks. Surgery successful," Pryor posted on his Twitter account Friday evening.

BUCKEYES LOOKING MORE SEC-LIKE; SANZENBACHER, PRYOR STEP IT UP

Dan Herron (1) celebeartes with his teammates after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter of Tuesday night's Sugar Bowl win in New Orleans. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
NEW ORLEANS — Just a few thoughts from Ohio State's 31-26 Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas ...

BUCKEYES HAVE EVOLVED ... Ever since being thwarted by Southeastern Conference powers Florida and LSU in back-to-back BCS Championship games (2007-2008), Ohio State has changed the way they recruit players.

PRYOR TO HAVE SURGERY TODAY

Terrelle Pryor
(The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor will undergo surgery on his right foot today, to stabilize a few ligaments he injured late in Tuesday night's Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas.

The surgery shouldn't affect his 2011 season, though, mostly due to the fact that he will miss the first five games after being suspended by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits.

Pryor finished Tuesday night's win as the game's Most Valuable Player, after recording 336 total yards and two touchdown passes in the 31-26 victory.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

BUCKEYES PICK UP ANOTHER BIG WIN BY LANDING STAR CB DORAN GRANT

Doran Grant
TAMPA, Fla. — Just a day after taking down Arkansas in perhaps the most memorable Sugar Bowl game ever, Ohio State kept their winning ways rolling on Wednesday night in Tampa.

Doran Grant — a 5-11, 177-pound cornerback from Akron (OH) St. Vincent-St. Mary — who was participating in the Under Armour All-American game announced that he would be playing his collegiate football for the Buckeyes.

OSU'S TERRELLE PRYOR READY TO MATURE ... ON AND OFF THE FIELD

Terrelle Pryor led the Buckeyes to their first bowl win vs. the SEC on Tuesday night. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
NEW ORLEANS — When Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits, he could have easily just pointed his finger. He could have said that the system was flawed. He could've just walked away and said he's going to the NFL. He could've said his dad was actually the one who sold his loot.

But he didn't.

BUCKEYES WIN SUGAR BOWL OVER ARKANSAS IN DRAMATIC FASHION

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor wins the Sugar Bowl's most valuable player award. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
NEW ORLEANS — Just a little less than two weeks ago, Ohio State defensive end Solomon Thomas was suspended by the NCAA — for the first five games of 2011 for receiving improper benefits. His actions brought shame to the team and the university.

On Tuesday night in New Orleans, Thomas was the team's hero.

OHIO STATE FOOTBALL ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL POSTGAME NOTES

Buckeye fans go wild after Ohio State topped Arkansas 31-26 in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)

Below are the Ohio State post-game notes from Tuesday's 31-26 Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas ... 

Monday, January 3, 2011

JUSTIN BOREN IS ONE BUCKEYE WHO HAS TASTED VICTORY VS. THE SEC

Justin Boren
(The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
NEW ORLEANS — Ohio State may be 0-9 in bowl games against teams from the Southeastern Conference, but Buckeyes senior guard Justin Boren is 1-0.

As a sophomore at the University of Michigan, Boren — who started for the Wolverines at left guard — helped the maize and blue to a 41-35 upset victory (in the 2008 Capital One bowl) over Tim Tebow and Florida, the same team that waxed Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game a season prior.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

ARKANSAS PLAYERS COMPARING TERRELLE PRYOR WITH CAM NEWTON

Terrelle Pryor (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
NEW ORLEANS — When the Arkansas defense turns on game film of Ohio State's offense, one of the first things that jumps out at them is the incredible similarities between Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Auburn's Heisman Trophy winning signal caller, Cam Newton.

"They are basically like the same type of quarterback with the same type of arm," Arkansas senior defensive end Damario Ambrose said. "They are like clones. It's kind of weird."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

TERRELLE PRYOR FOCUSED ON ARKANSAS, READY TO GO FORWARD

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor fielded questions from the media on Saturday in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
NEW ORLEANS — For the first time since being suspended by the NCAA a little more than a week ago, Ohio State star quarterback Terrelle Pryor fielded questions from the media on Saturday morning inside the ballroom of the media hotel in New Orleans.

Pryor talked about a number of issues on Saturday, from dealing with the suspension, how it's affected him and whether or not he's going to return for his senior season.