Thursday, February 25, 2010

My New, Improved Top 25 Running Backs For 2010: Well, According To SEC Logic Anyway...



Please SEC fans, I implore you—please forgive my transgressions against the elite, unmatched running backs from your sacred, mighty, and impeccable conference.

I have seen the light!

I have been baptized in SEC holy water, and I now repent my sins (my previous top 10 running backs for 2010 article linked above) as I present to you my new and improved, and SEC approved, top 25 running backs in the nation ranking—which by the way, also inadvertently doubles as the Top 25 Heisman Contenders for 2010, of course...


25—David Oku—Tennessee (94 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns in 2009)

24—Rodney Scott—Ole Miss (138 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns in 2009)

23—Stevan Ridley—LSU (180 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns in 2009)

22—Robert Elliott—Mississippi State (221 rushing yards, 1 touchdown in 2009)

21—Mario Fannin—Auburn (285 rushing yards, 0 touchdowns in 2009)

20—Christian Ducre—Mississippi State (263 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns in 2009)

19—Dennis Johnson—Arkansas (342 rushing yards, 0 touchdowns in 2009)

18—Roy Upchurch—Alabama (299 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns in 2009)

17—Brian Maddox—South Carolina (307 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns in 2009)

16—Bryce Brown—Tennessee (460 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns in 2009)

15—Randall Cobb—Kentucky (447 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns in 2009)

14—Kenny Miles—South Carolina (626 rushing yards, 1 touchdown in 2009)

13—Zac Stacy—Vanderbilt (478 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns in 2009)

12—Charles Scott—LSU (542 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns in 2009)

11—Ontario McCalebb—Auburn (565 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns in 2009)

10—Chris Rainey—Florida (575 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns in 2009)

9—Caleb King—Georgia (594 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns in 2009)

8—Broderick Green—Arkansas (442 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns in 2009)

7—Brandon Bolden—Ole Miss (614 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns in 2009)

6—Washaun Ealey—Georgia (717 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns in 2009)

5—Warren Norman—Vanderbilt (783 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns in 2009)

4—Jeffrey Demps—Florida (745 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns in 2009)

3—Derrick Locke—Kentucky (907 rushing yards, 6 touchdowns in 2009)

2—Trent Richardson—Alabama (751 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns in 2009)

1—Mark Ingram—Alabama (1658 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns in 2009)



That's it, that's the SEC friendly, and real (wink) top 25 tailbacks in the nation for 2010.

By the way, can I interest you in the tropical island in the middle of Lake Erie that I own?

Hopefully if you're a fan of an SEC team and someone read this to you since you dropped out of school in Kindergarten, you were able to detect and identify the satire and sarcasm located within the article above, as it was chock full of each!

Yours sincerely,
HD


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Block-O-Nation's Top 10 Running Backs In College Football For 2010



I usually only write about Ohio State football, but if you look through the archives, you'll notice, that's not always the case.

This is my list of the top 10 running backs in the country heading into the 2010 college football season and a few thoughts on why each of them made this list.


No. 10—Roy Helu Jr—Nebraska Cornhuskers

Helu will be a senior in 2010, and will look to build on a solid 2009 campaign in which he rushed dor 1,147 yards and scored nine touchdowns. The Big 12 could be down in 2010, but many believe Coach Bo Pelini has Nebraska on the threshold of a return to the top 10. If they get there or not, Helu's production will be a big part of why they do or don't met those expectations.


No. 9—Lance Dunbar—North Texas Mean Green

As bad as the Mean Green have been, junior-to-be tailback Lance Dunbar has been conversely outstanding. In 2009, he gained 1,378 yards and scored 17 rushing touchdowns. He also added 300 yards receiving and caught three TD passes. You can bet Dunbar will be the catalyst if North Texas exceeds their 2009 win total of two in 2010.


No. 8—Montel Harris—Boston College Eagles

Last season, Harris rushed for over 100 yards in eight of BC's 13 games, totaling 1,457 yards and 14 touchdowns. In week seven against NC State, he had a career day, amassing 264 rushing yards and finding the endzone five times. Much of 2009, the talk surrounding BC was about Mark Herzlich's battle with cancer, but in 2010, with Herzlich set to return after treatment, Harris is good enough that he might end up being the number one topic of discussion pertaining to the Eagles, and could find himself in the discussion for the 2010 Heisman.


No. 7—Ricky Dobbs—Navy Midshipmen

Technically, Dobbs is a QB, but at Navy, the QB is a running back. He passed for over 1,000 yards and tossed six TD passes in 2009, so why is he on this list you ask? Because, it was the damage he did carrying the ball out of the Navy triple-option where he truly excelled and made his mark in "09". Dobbs rushed for 1,192 yards and scored 27 rushing touchdowns in his first full season as a starter. Here's some perspective on just how good Dobbs was / is—He missed two games last year or he might have had closer to 1,500 yards rushing and over 30 rushing touchdowns, numbers certainly attainable for him in 2010 if he remains injury-free.


No. 6—Noel Devine—West Virginia Mountaineers

Devine did indeed decide to return to Morgantown for his senior season and the Mountaineers are glad indeed to once again have his services. Last season, his first without star-QB Pat White next to him in the backfield, he rushed for 1,465 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. In 2010, he could once again be asked to shoulder the bulk of the workload as outgoing QB Jarrett Brown must be replaced. Another 1,400+ yards and, give or take, 15 touchdowns certainly is a likely possibility for Devine, if WVU doesn't become too one-dimensional with a new, under-experienced signal caller.

I'm sure even though I have corrected my unintentional error and added him to this top 10 list in place of Marshall's Darius Marshall who I originally thought had returned to school, there will be those the believe he isn't ranked high enough. To those of you that take that stance, that is certainly OK by me. We do not always need to see everything eye-to-eye.I suggest you go write your own article, with your own top 10, and rank him wherever you want. IMO, he's right where he deserves to be on my list—so to those this applies to, thanks in advance for your new articles.


No. 5—Jacquizz Rodgers—Oregon State Beavers

In two seasons, Rodgers has rushed for over 2,700 yards and scored 32 touchdowns. With USC's dominance now in question, and Oregon having a Miami-Florida type off-season so far, Oregon State could finally be the team to beat in the Pac-10. He has had some ups and downs, but overall, Rodgers has done his part up to this point, and I expect nothing less than more of the same from him in 2010. I believe another 1,500 yards, give or take, and 15-20 touchdowns could be on-tap for Quizz in 2010.


No. 4—John Clay—Wisconsin Badgers

Clay led the Big Ten in rushing as a sophomore in 2010 with 1,517 yards and he added 18 touchdowns. He was voted the Big Ten Offensive POY, and should be on track for another big year with the progression of the Badger's passing game under QB Scott Tolzien. The passing game and running game should compliment each other very well in 2010, allowing Clay to post another huge year statistically. He ran wild on practically every opponent but one last season. Ohio State held him scoreless and to only 59 yards on 20 carries in 2009. At least he only has to face them once in 2010.


No. 3—Ryan Williams—Virginia Tech Hokies

It's funny how things work out sometimes. In 2008, freshman tailback Darren Evans was a beast for the Hokies. He gained 1,265 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, so when he tore his ACL prior to the 2009 season, Hokie Nation held it's collective breath, unsure of who, if anyone, could fill the void left by Evans. Enter freshman Ryan Williams. Not only did Williams fill the void, but he practically made Va Tech fans forget about Evans, as he gained 1,655 yards and hit paydirt 21 times. With Evans returning, it's hard to say who will be Coach Frank Beamer's No. 1 guy, but that's a great problem to have.


No. 2—Mark Ingram—Alabama Crimson Tide

Despite not having the best overall numbers for a tailback last year, Ingram became the first Alabama player to win the Heisman Trophy. Don't get me wrong—Ingram is a great tailback, but I can't help but think Stanford's Toby Gerhart was the more deserving of the two, but I digress. Ingram had 1,658 yards and he scored 17 touchdowns for the Tide over the course of the season, including 113 yards and three scores, and 116 yards and two scores, against Florida in the SEC title game, and against Texas in the BCS title game respectively. If the Tide's O-line can fill a couple spots and open holes in 2010 for Ingram like they did in 2009, he will have a good shot at etching his name in the books next to Archie Griffin's as the only two-time Heisman winners.


No. 1—Dion Lewis—Pitt Panthers

If a true freshman has ever stated his case for legit Heisman consideration, Lewis was that guy in 2009. When LeSean McCoy decided to skip his senior season at Pitt, I'm not sure anyone saw what Lewis would go on to do coming. After all, Lewis was only offered a scholarship from three schools—Pitt, Miami-OH, and Tulane. Regardless, he rushed for 1,799 yards (third best in the nation) and he crossed the goal line 17 times. Did I mention, he was a true freshman who was barely recruited? With QB Bill Stull graduating, Lewis may see even more carries and he could have an amazing season. Of course, the Panthers will have to hope they can replace Stull and pass the ball down the field to prevent defenses from stacking the box and keying on Lewis. If they can succeed at that task, I believe Lewis could approach, if not top 2,000 yards and 20+ touchdowns in 2010. There sure are a lot of if's but if Lewis puts up similar stats, he might be the fourth straight sophomore to win the Heisman.


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Photo copyright The New York Times

Oregon Ducks 2010 Off-Season: A Lesson In Lack Of Institutional Control



Unless you are living under a rock, you have heard about the recent thuggery that has gone down in the Pacific Northwest at the University of Nike Oregon.

Last season, LeGarrette Blount sucker-punched a Boise State player post-game and was suspended for the season, but his suspension was later reduced to only eight games.

Then, starting QB Jeremiah Masoli was named as a robbery suspect in an on-campus frat house burglary situation, but as of yet, has not been suspended or penalized by Kelly. It seems as though he might be getting a pass by the frat, since he is the best player at Oregon.

LaMichael James, the RB who replaced Blount last season and had a huge year was arrested and charged with assault and strangulation against a female student, but has not been suspended "pending further investigation", according to Kelly, who claims to "not have all the facts" yet.

Strangely, Kelly did suspend linebacker Kiko Alonso (yeah, we've never heard of him either) this week after the sophomore was arrested for a DUI early Saturday, just hours after the coach had met with the media about the string of troubles among his players since the Rose Bowl.

In an apparently related situation, Kelly also dismissed wide receiver Jamere Holland (another nobody—coincidence, we think not) from the program on Sunday for "violation of team rules."

Holland had posted an inflammatory Facebook status calling Alonso's potential dismissal from the team as "weak" and racially motivated. He also added that he wished he could "unfriend whites, and only have blacks as friends."

So if you're a star player at UO, you get a pass—If you're a marginal talent, you're get suspended or kicked off the team.

Favoritism much?

Kelly addressed some of these issues on a local radio station, and things between the host and Kelly did get heated.

He also appeared on ESPN's Outside The Lines yesterday (Tuesday Feb. 23, 2010).

In case you missed it, here's the video of Kelly on OTL.




In my opinion, Oregon football and Kelly, much like USC, seem to be on the verge of what the NCAA refers to as a "lack of institutional control."


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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Big Ten Power Rankings: The Top 10 Wide Receivers To Watch For In 2010

By Kevin Trahan
Iowa Hawkeyes B/R Featured Columnist


Last year was supposed to be the year of the wide receiver in the Big Ten, with stars like Illinois' Arrelious Benn and Minnesota's Eric Decker returning.

While some stars emerged from other teams, other stars failed to deliver. Benn turned into an average wide receiver and Decker got hurt halfway through the season, ending his year.

This year's crop of receivers looks just as promising and is much deeper, with a few possible All-Americans in the mix.


No. 10—Graham Zug—Penn State

Zug was the leader of Penn State's young receiving corps last season. The senior will be counted on more than ever in 2010 to lead a passing offense that could struggle with the departure of quarterback Darryl Clark.

At 6'2'', 178 pounds, Zug is relatively small for a receiver, but still accumulated 46 receptions, 600 yards, and seven touchdowns in 2009. He was the Nittany Lions' second-leading receiver behind Derek Moye. Expect him to improve in his senior season.

However, his stats may take a hit due to the quarterback change. With very little experience at that position, expect coach Joe Paterno to run the ball early and often, as running back Evan Royster returns for his senior season. JoePa will need to phase the new quarterback (likely sophomore Kevin Newsome) in very slowly, especially with an early game looming in Tuscaloosa against the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide.

So while Zug may improve in 2010, his stats may not be as impressive as 2009's due to youth in the passing game and a focus on the run game.


No. 9—B.J. Cunningham—Michigan State

Cunningham was the leader of Michigan State's surprisingly effective receiving corps in 2009. He accumulated 48 receptions, 641 receiving yards, and four touchdowns for the Spartans and helped quarterback Kirk Cousins find a rhythm early in the season.

But Cunningham's status with the team is still yet to be determined. He was suspended for the Alamo Bowl after his role in a campus fight in November, and later pled guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery charges.

Coach Mark Dantonio said that Cunningham's status with the team will be evaluated at a later date. The same applies for wide receiver Mark Dell, MSU's second leading receiver, who pled guilty to the same charges.

But don't expect too much of a penalty, especially because Cunningham already missed the bowl game. A one game suspension seems the most likely at this point, and it shouldn't have much of an effect on his season.


No. 8—Derrell Johnson-Koulianos—Iowa

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos's (DJK to Iowans) rank within the Hawkeye wide receiver hierarchy has been difficult for Hawkeye fans to understand ever since he arrived in Iowa City.

On one hand, he will likely break Iowa's career receiving record in 2010, but he has dropped on the depth chart numerous times during his career.

Normally, that tactic is just used by coach Kirk Ferentz to motivate DJK, whose lack of work ethic has sometimes been a cause for concern. But over the last two seasons, DJK has stayed mainly on Ferentz's good side and has been a key contributor to Iowa's passing game, accumulating 45 receptions, 750 yards, and two touchdowns in 2009.

Expect DJK to improve his stats even more in 2010, as he has improved greatly from year to year. The return of starting quarterback Ricky Stanzi will help his numbers as well.


No. 7—Demarlo Belcher—Indiana

At most Big Ten schools, Belcher would get a lot of attention. But remember, this is Indiana. It also doesn't help that he is the number two receiver for the Hoosiers, behind Tandon Doss.

But Belcher is a very talented receiver in a passing offense that's quite talented itself. He had 61 receptions for 770 and five touchdowns in 2009. Expect those numbers to improve in 2010 with the return of quarterback Ben Chappell.

Belcher will likely be overshadowed by Doss once again, but he will be a key contributor to Indiana's pass offense, which will be better than most expect next season.


No. 6—Derek Moye—Penn State

After a breakout sophomore season, Derek Moye will help lead Penn State in a rebuilding season that features a new quarterback.

Moye hauled in 48 receptions for 785 yards and six touchdowns last season for the Nittany Lions, but, like Zug, likely won't be able to continue that level of success into 2010.

As new starting quarterback Kevin Newsome is integrated into the system in State College, the Nittany Lions will likely lean on senior tailback Evan Royster and the run game, meaning Moye won't get as many receptions as last season. Nevertheless, he will still be a key asset to the Penn State passing game in 2010.


No. 5—Nick Toon—Wisconsin

With the departure of tight end Garrett Graham, Toon will be Wisconsin's top receiver in 2010. He led the revived Badgers passing game with 54 receptions for 805 yards and four touchdowns in 2009, and will likely improve in 2010.

With the exception of Graham, the entire Wisconsin receiving corps returns next season, as does quarterback Scott Tolzien. The running game will be very good and running back John Clay may contend for the Heisman Trophy. But expect a balanced attack in Madison, meaning Toon will have a chance for a very strong season in 2010.


No. 4—Marvin McNutt—Iowa

At this time last year, Marvin McNutt was a quarterback buried deep in Iowa's depth chart. But coach Kirk Ferentz refused to let this remarkable young talent go to waste, and McNutt made the move to wide receiver.

McNutt's 674 receiving yards are second on the team to DJK, but his many of his eight touchdowns were some of the most important in Iowa's season.

He made an outstanding grab against Ohio State to send the game to overtime, caught the winning touchdown against Michigan State as time expired, and had a 92-yard touchdown reception against Indiana to give momentum back to the Hawkeyes.

McNutt has a chance to be a star next season, and he and DJK will give Iowa its best receiving tandem since 2004.


No. 3—Keith Smith—Purdue

The only receiver to have more than 1,000 yards in 2009, Keith Smith could easily be an All-American candidate at the end of the season.

But, like Belcher, his team could hold him back. Purdue isn't exactly a football powerhouse, and while it has improved, Smith would be better off playing somewhere else.

Another obstacle that could hold Smith back is the departure of quarterback Joey Elliot. Like the Penn State receivers, Smith's stats could end up worse next year because of the quarterback transition.


No. 2—Tandon Doss—Indiana

Doss was the third leading receiver in the Big Ten last year with 77 receptions, 962 yards, and five touchdowns, and was the leader for one of the best receiving corps in the Big Ten.

A rising junior, Doss has become a force to be reckoned with in his conference and may end up as an All-American within the next two years.

With senior quarterback Ben Chappell returning, look for Doss to improve his stats even more. He's likely to pass the 1,000 yard mark. He and Belcher should form the Big Ten's best receiving duo in 2010.




No. 1—DeVier Posey—Ohio State

Of course no top 10, Big Ten preseason wide receiver list is complete without an Ohio State player, and this particular player has the chance to be the conference's top receiver in his junior season of 2010.

Overall in 2009, DeVier Posey was was pretty good, but not always great—Although he had some great moments at times last season.

But now, he has a chance to be a star with the improvement of Terrelle Pryor's passing game.

Last year, Posey accumulated 60 receptions for 828 yards and eight touchdowns for the Buckeyes. You can expect a breakout year this coming season, as Ohio State is expected to pass the ball a lot more.

Posey was outstanding during the Rose Bowl, with 101 receiving yards and a touchdown, helping his Buckeyes break their recent bowl game curse.

Expect many more games like the Rose Bowl in 2010 from Posey, and from the Buckeyes as they pursue their sixth straight Big Ten title, their fourth trip to the BCS title game in the last nine seasons, and their record ninth trip overall to a BCS bowl game since the inception of the BCS back in 1998.


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All photos within this article courtesy of BleacherReport.com / Getty Images

Friday, February 19, 2010

2010 Ohio State Buckeyes: Five Pitfalls That Could Derail Their Chances at a BCS Title Game Berth


After what was an incredible finish to the 2009 season that saw Ohio State win the Rose Bowl, 2010 is shaping up to be the best team Jim Tressel has ever had at Ohio State.

But with all of those expectations, there is the "what if?" factor.

What if Ohio State has another "Purdue" game?

What if Terrelle Pryor goes down with an injury? (*knock on wood*)

What if the defensive line isn't as dominant as in 2009 and late 2008?

Regardless of the reasoning, everyone knows that teams, especially in the Big Ten, will be gunning for the Buckeyes and trying to end their stronghold grip on the conference.

There are obviously high expectations for Ohio State in 2010. Many "way too early" 2010 rankings have put the Buckeyes as high as No. 2, but none of that matters if expectations don't translate into reality once the season begins.

Here are five Saturdays that could potentially cost Ohio State a shot at the BCS National Championship Game in Glendale.


No. 5—November 27 at Home vs. Michigan

This one is the least likely of the five, and some fans may consider it a stretch, but remember, it has happened before. Anything can happen in a rivalry game.

That being said, over the last six years, this rivalry have been very one-sided. Ohio State has not lost to Michigan since John Navarre and Chris Perry were running the show for UM back in 2003.

But there's always cause for concern when the Wolverines come to town because of the rivalry that it is. It's always one of those games where the records need to be thrown out when these two teams meet.

Of course, that meant very little the last time Michigan played in Columbus...UM got "McGuffied!"


Still, it is the biggest game of the year, even with UM down right now. To give an example of how the Buckeyes focus on Michigan, their training facility has active countdown clocks set specifically to countdown to the Michigan game.

With the Big Ten adding a bye week as of this year, this will be the first time the teams meet after Thanksgiving ever.

Could changing that 100+ year tradition of THE GAME always being played on the third Saturday of November finally change the recent misfortunes of the Wolverines?

It could happen, but even most logical Michigan fans (that is definitely an oxymoron, and a very small group of people) do not expect a win in Columbus this coming season.


No. 4—September 11 at Home vs. Miami (FL)

These two teams last met in 2003 for the National Title, which the Buckeyes won in double-overtime after a controversial (only in Florida) pass interference flag by referee Terry Porter.


Deja Vu coming for Miami fans?

Seven years later, the Hurricanes come North looking for revenge, and QB Jacory Harris will get to face off against his good friend Terrelle Pryor.

Miami should have reason for motivation, especially coach Randy Shannon, who was the Defensive Coordinator when these teams last met.

The 'Canes will likely be a top 10 team when they meet Ohio State, but this Miami team lost in the Champs Sports Bowl to a Wisconsin team that the Buckeyes beat by 18 points earlier in the season.

This game will be the barometer as to where the Buckeyes and the Big Ten stand in 2010. So to will the Penn State vs. Alabama game that will be played the same day.

Wins by each would be an even greater boost to the steadily recovering perception of the Big Ten conference, and could potentially set up a huge top-five showdown between the Bucks and Nittany Lions once conference play begins.

Speaking of Penn State...


No. 3—November 13 at Home vs. Penn State

Two years ago, when Penn State came to Columbus undefeated, the Buckeyes had the Nittany Lions on the ropes until a fumble by then-true freshman Terrelle Pryor, led to the game's only touchdown, allowing PSU to escape with a 13-6 win—their first in Ohio Stadium since 1978.


Terrelle Pryor giveth...

Last season, despite the Terrelle Cryor t-shirt non-sense, and a "white-out" in Happy Valley, OSU left no doubt, beating up on the previously once-beaten (by Iowa) Nittany Lions, 24-7.

In recent years, this matchup has become quite the rivalry in the Big Ten, though OSU fans still recognize Michigan as their true No. 1 rival, not Penn State, much to the chagrin of jilted PSU fans.

But this years meeting brings some interesting storylines, with QB Kevin Newsome making his first trip to Columbus after the departure of Daryll Clark, and the final year of RB Evan Royster's outstanding career.

These games are some of the most physical in the country, so by no means will this one be pretty.

The Buckeyes certainly can't take this one for granted, but with the experience edge in their favor, another "per-usual" home win over the Nittany Lions should be the most likely outcome.


No. 2—October 16 at Camp Randall vs. Wisconsin

Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin is no doubt one of the toughest venues for a visiting opponent to play in, in all of college football.

And in mid-October, the Buckeyes will get a refresher course against a much-improved Wisconsin team, led by QB Scott Tolzien and 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year RB John Clay.

Clay is the best RB in the conference, although to be fair, I must also mention that Ohio State's defense held him to just 59 yards on 21 carries last season, as the Buckeyes defeated the then-unbeaten (5-0) Badgers, 31-13.

Wisconsin fans surely have fresh memories (and revenge on their minds) of Pryor's big drive and late touchdown scramble and dive to win the game the last time the Badgers hosted Ohio State in 2008.


And Terrelle Pryor, taketh away...

Winning in Madison can often prove to be difficult for any team, especially at night under the lights. This game will be physical, and both teams will bring their "A" games.

Ohio State and Wisconsin both could be, and probably will be, undefeated when they meet, meaning the team that wins will very likely solidify their position at or near the top of the conference, and near the top of the national rankings.

With Pryor entering his third season as a starter, and the OSU defense looking like it should once again be dominant, the Buckeyes have to be the favorite in this game as of right now.

But, much like with Penn State, they cannot afford to overlook the Badgers, especially on the road.


No. 1—November 20 at Kinnick Stadium vs. Iowa

There is no bigger threat to the Buckeyes reign in the Big Ten than the team they escaped against to win the conference title outright in 2009 than the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Kirk Ferentz's teams are almost impossible to beat at home in November, and that's exactly when these two teams will meet head on, possibly for a conference title, and a trip to the BCS title game.

This time around, Ohio State should be dealing with Ricky Stanzi, who is one of the best QB's in the conference, and maybe even the nation.

With Stanzi out with an ankle injury last season, OSU nearly saw backup James Vandenburg lead Iowa to a win in Columbus.


Could the 2010 meeting be even better? In a word, YES!

Iowa, much like Ohio State likes to run the ball, control the time of possession, and play great defense.

I'm thinking Ferentz recently decided to copy Tressel's formula for success—If you can't beat'em, join'em, right?

In all seriousness, this game on paper should be just as good as last years. Both teams have veteran QB's, solid RB's, a a stud defense.

Adrian Clayborn and Tyler Sash are back, along with most of Iowa's talented skill players.

There's no doubt that Iowa will be motivated and wanting revenge after losing the game, and the conference title, in Columbus by a field goal in OT.

This could be the college game of the year if both teams are undefeated (a distinct possibility) when they meet.

Just like in 2006 when Ohio State and Michigan were both unbeaten in the final game of the year, we could see another No. 1 vs. No. 2 between OSU and Iowa if Alabama, Boise State and a few others (Texas, Florida, TCU, Va Tech, etc.) lose before week 13.


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Original article written by Tim Bielik—B/R OSU Featured Columnist & Block-O-Nation Contributor
Edits, changes, and additions to the original article made by HD Handshoe—Founder—Block-O-Nation
Photo Copyright of Jim Davidson--TheOzone.net

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

James Louis: "Around The Block" With The 2010 Buckeye WR Recruit



Most Buckeye fans that follow recruiting closely know that WR James Louis is one of the top prospects in the Ohio State 2010 class based on rankings from sites like Rivals and Scout.

But we here at Block-O-Nation thought you might like to know a little more about James in his own words (and other players coming soon).

We were fortunate enough to catch up with James recently, and assumed that Buckeye fans would be interested in what he had to say about his path to Columbus, among other things.




Q:    James, thanks for taking the time to do this for the site. You originally verbally committed to Florida, then changed your verbal to Ohio State. There were some rumors as NSD neared that UF or Minnesota could still be options, but in the end you signed your LOI with Ohio State, and we are THANKFUL! So, what made Ohio State the right choice for you in the end?

A:    Yes, at one point I was very interested in Minnesota and Florida. Both were in my top. But Florida was always my number one. It was just that I really didn't want to be far away from home, but I came to realize leaving the state would be best thing for me and my family. So I stuck with Ohio State and I really loved the atmosphere over there and the coaching staff and the players are all great.


Q:    What coach, or coaches were most involved in recruiting you? Did you get an in-home visit and if so, with which coach or coaches?

A:    The coaches the were really involved in recruiting me were coach Hazell from Ohio State and coach Hightower from Minnesota.


Q:    Were any of your new teammates trying to recruit or sway you to pick Ohio State, and if so, care to name a name or two?

A:    No, not really. I am really good friends with Duron Carter, but he never really told me to come and he never told me not to. He just said that it's a great place and that I would love it and that they would be happy to have me.


Q:    It looks as though the Bucks will have some decent depth at WR, so do you have any sense yet as to whether or not you will redshirt or play in 2010?

A:    As of right now, I am looking forward to heading to Columbus to play as a true freshman. Redshirting isn't on my mind. I think I have a chance to make a difference in the offense and to help out with an undefeated 2010 season.


Q:    The Miami Hurricanes come to Columbus this year and it could very well be a game where both teams are ranked in the top 10. Being from Florida, do you have any inside scoop on how good they will be, and do you personally know some of the guys on their team?

A:    That's actually one of the games I'm looking forward to next season because I have a lot of family members who grew up Miami Hurricane fans so I'm excited. I have one good friend from that team and his name is Orlando Franklin. He plays on the O-Line.


Q:    Do you have a favorite Buckeye player of all-time?

A:    Cris Carter is my favorite all-time Buckeye, but I compare my game right now to Santonio Holmes, another former Buckeye favorite.


Q:    Who's your favorite NFL team?

A:    My favorite NFL team is the Cincinnati Bengals because Chad Johnson is my favorite WR in the NFL right now.


Q:    Do you have a favorite NFL player of all-time?

A:    My favorite NFL player of all-time has to be Jerry Rice.


Q:    What is your favorite kind of music? Who is your favorite artist or group?

A:    Rap, and my favorite artist has to be Gucci Mane.


Q:    Have you, or do you ever visit any Ohio State blogs or message boards online to see what Ohio State fans are saying?

A:    No, I really don't. Not really sure what websites to check out.


Q:    Are you in any videos on YouTube that you know of?

A:    I have one video on YouTube that I know of. It's my junior season highlight tape.


Q:    Any favorite TV shows you like to watch?

A:    Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.


Q:    What were you thinking the first time you were in Ohio Stadium, aka the Horseshoe?

A:    I couldn't believe it... It was so packed in the Horseshoe and the fans were crazy. I had never been in an environment like that before.




Again, we want to thank James for his time.

I think I speak for all Buckeye fans when I say welcome into the Buckeye Family James.

We can't wait to see you on the field!

In case you don't follow recruiting or don't/didn't know much about him before now, James is a very talented WR and an excellent addition to our team.

Here's that YouTube video from his junior season that he referred to in case you haven't seen his on-the-field skills.



Bookmark us, and/or check back soon.
We have more player interviews coming soon!


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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Buckeye Stable: Ohio State Backfield Overflowing With Talent Heading Into 2010



Anyone not living in a cave that follows college football knows who Terrelle Pryor is.

For those who may have lived in a cave, he was the top recruit in the nation in 2008, and is the starting QB for THE Ohio State Buckeyes.

Clearly, he is the most known and recognizable player in the OSU backfield, but he's not the only guy who can carry the rock.

In years past, USC has had what some referred to as a "stable" of stud running backs. Most recently, notables include CJ Gable, Joe McKnight, and Stafon Johnson. Florida's Emmanuel Moody began his career at USC and was the Pac-10 freshmen of the year in 2006 before leaving SoCal for the Gators.

Before that, there was Reggie Bush and LenDale White who split time and both ended up in the NFL. But enough about USC.

The talent that Ohio State will field at RB this coming season will rival, and very well could/should surpass any stable Slippery Pete ever assembled in his tenure in LA (2001-2009) before he scrambled out of town, just before the NCAA likely slams the sanctions hammer down on the Trojans.



SIX NAMES TO KNOW



1—Brandon Saine

"Zoom" was finally healthy for the majority of a season in 2009 and he was able to show off the ability and speed that made him a two-sport star for Piqua (Ohio) High School in track and football.

According to Scout.com, he was a 4-star recruit as a member of Ohio State's 2007 recruiting class.

Even though he wasn't the full-time featured back in 2009, Zoom still scored six total touchdowns, and managed to gain over 950 total yards, while averaging over five yards per carry.

A healthy senior season with more time as the featured back for him just might help lead the Buckeyes back to another BCS title game. Also, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could end up calling Saine's name on day one of the pro draft come April, 2011 if he and the team, each have a big year.


2—Daniel Herron

Like Saine, "Boom" was also a 4-star recruit for the Buckeyes in 2007. However, he was redshirted his freshmen season.

In 2008, with Beanie Wells missing four games after he was injured in the opening game of the year vs. Youngstown State, and with Saine out almost the entire season due to injury as well, Boom got his chance to show Ohio State did well in recruiting him.

In those four games, and some other spot duty in place of Wells, Herron gained 439 yards on the ground with an average of 4.9 yards per carry, and scored six touchdowns.

In 2009, Herron was named the starter to begin the season. He himself missed some time due to injury which opened the door for the finally healthy Brandon Saine. Even so, Herron did rush for 600 yards and scored eight total touchdowns.

Dan should still be one of the main men for tOSU in 2010 seeing as how Coach Tressel tends to favor experienced upperclassmen, but we'll have to see just how much playing time the young guys might earn, and if that affects Boom in the coming months or not.


3—Jordan Hall

In a limited role for the Bucks last season, soon-to-be sophomore Jordan Hall showed some excellent potential heading into the future.

The 2009 3-star recruit played in six of the Buckeyes 13 games and although he didn't get a ton of carries, Terrelle Pryor's former high school teammate from Jeannette, PA made the most of his opportunities when both Boom and Zoom each were nursing injuries.

On 48 carries, Hall picked up 248 yards for a 5.2 ypc average, and scored one touchdown.

He's a bit on the small side height-wise, but he's also pretty fast and he hits the hole and gets through it when it opens. He could easily make a push for more playing time if there are injuries, if he impresses this Spring, or with plenty of hard work once Fall camp begins.


4—Jaamal Berry

Berry is somewhat of an unknown commodity at this point. He was considered the top prospect in the OSU 2009 recruiting class, but a leg injury forced him to redshirt and miss the entire season.

With Saine and Herron returning, and Hall impressing the coaches when he saw the field this past season, Berry, a four to 5-star rated prospect out of Miami (Florida) Palmetto HS may or may not have a shot to earn substantial playing time this coming season—if he can get, and remain 100% healthy that is.

This will be a classic wait-and-see situation, as far as how much Jaamal does or doesn't play in 2010.


5—Carlos Hyde

A year ago, Carlos just missed being eligible to enroll at Ohio State, literally by one point on his ACT.

So instead, the 4-star fullback out of Naples, Florida attended Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia before enrolling at tOSU this Winter. That particular route worked out quite well for another Buckeye RB back in the mid-1990's.

Eddie George attended Fork Union MA before coming to Columbus. Then he went on to win the 1995 Heisman Trophy, was named 1996 NFL Rookie of the Year, and played a total of nine seasons in the NFL (1996-2004).

Carlos (6-1, 225) is not quite as tall as George (6-3, 240), but he has been compared to him based on his build and ability.

As a senior for Naples in 2008, he gained 1653 yards on the ground and scored 16 touchdowns. He's one to watch if and when he gets a shot on the field.

He may be redshirted (if eligible), or that may happen to our last but not least player to watch, or it could even happen to both of them with this much depth.


6—Roderick Smith

Speaking of last but not least, and of a guy many have compared to Eddie George, Smith (6-3, 225) is that guy. He's also drawn comparisons to Beanie Wells. Those are some big footsteps to follow in, but not uncommon for a four to 5-star level player.

He is considered by many to be one of, if not the best DI football prospect ever to come out of Indiana, a state traditionally known for its' exploits on the hardwood rather than the gridiron.

As a four-year high school starter, Smith gained over 6,500 rushing yards and scored 66 career touchdowns—and to think, as of right now, he's No. 6 on the depth chart.

He's probably a year away with the others who are here and ahead of him in terms of knowing the system and playbook, but I for one cannot wait until he hits the field, whether it is 2010, or not until 2011.




The talent, specifically at running back, that the Buckeyes have been able to assemble over these past four recruiting years is flat-out sick.

The way things are looking for Ohio State in the near future, we'll all need to do what the song says.

Some might say this over-abundance of talent could lead to dissension in the locker room, or transfers down the line.

I suppose there might be some truth to that, but to be honest, it is certainly a "problem" I don't mind having.

I'd be much more concerned if we had one guy who was golden, and a cupboard full of backups that aren't worth a grain of sand combined...


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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Three Teams That Fit The Profile As A National Championship Contender In 2010


Since the inception of the BCS in 1998, most of the teams that have won national championships have shared certain common denominators.

All have come from "Big Six" conferences, the past six champions posted at least nine victories the previous season and all but one had a winning record in post-October regular-season games.

In addition, 11 of the 12 teams to win the BCS title entered their championship season with a quarterback who was a junior or senior and had at least some starting experience.

Finally, 11 of 12 champions returned at least six full-time starters from a defensive unit that ranked in nation's top 20 in scoring defense the previous season.

Of course, there are other factors involved in fielding a championship team. The majority of champions had junior- and senior-dominated offensive lines, but it's difficult to project line starters seven months before the season begins.

Avoiding injuries also is vital, but how well a team manages that won't be known until after the 2010 regular season is completed.

Fitting the profile obviously won't guarantee a championship: None of the six teams that fit the '09 profile won the national championship. But Texas did play in the BCS national championship game, while Florida and Iowa played in BCS bowls. And Ole Miss, West Virginia and Virginia Tech posted at least nine wins.

This past season, Alabama, which went on to win the national championship, fit five of the six characteristics. They did not have a quarterback who previously had started.

When Alabama defeated Texas in the BCS national championship game, Greg McElroy joined Tennessee's Tee Martin (1998) as the only title-winning quarterbacks in the BCS era without previous starting experience.

So, while profiling shouldn't inspire fans to make reservations for Glendale, Ariz., the site of the 2010 championship game, it at least provides encouragement and a reason to start saving up.

But which fans should start saving? That question is answered in the following profile.


1. Be in a "Big Six" conference

Unbeaten Utah in 2004 and '08, Hawaii in '07, Boise State in '06 and '09 and TCU in '09 were not given a shot at playing for the national championship. Once might be a fluke, twice could be a coincidence and three times is a trend. But six times in six years? That's exclusion. The BCS system consistently has shown that teams outside the six power conferences won't have a legitimate shot at the national title.

Fitting the profile so far: The 65 teams in "Big Six" conferences and Notre Dame.


2. Post at least nine victories the previous season

Nine of the 12 BCS champions (75 percent) posted at least nine victories in the season preceding their national championship run. Four of the past six champions posted double-digit victory totals the previous year; only Florida (9-3 in '06 and 9-4 in '08) did not.

Still fitting the profile: 22 teams -- Alabama, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Texas, Texas Tech, USC, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin.


3. Posted a winning record in post-October regular-season games

Playing well in November often is the key to winning championships. That also provides a clue as to what programs are improving and could be a factor the next season. Every BCS national champion with the exception of LSU in 2002 posted a winning record in post-October regular-season games the previous year. Seven teams were unbeaten in that span the season preceding their championship.

Still fitting the profile: 17 teams -- Alabama, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Because the majority of BCS champions were unbeaten in post-October regular-season games the previous season, take extra note of Alabama, Cincinnati, Florida, Nebraska, Ohio State, Texas and Virginia Tech.


4. Return a junior or senior quarterback with starting experience

Again, McElroy and Martin are the only quarterbacks without any previous starting experience to lead BCS championship teams.

Still fitting the profile: 11 teams -- Alabama (McElroy), Cincinnati (Zach Collaros), Clemson (Kyle Parker), Georgia Tech (Josh Nesbitt), Miami (Jacory Harris), Nebraska (Zac Lee), Ohio State (Terrelle Pryor), Oregon (Jeremiah Masoli), Texas Tech (Taylor Potts), Virginia Tech (Tyrod Taylor) and Wisconsin (Scott Tolzien).


5. Return at least six starters from a defensive unit that ranked in the top 20 in scoring defense

We'll define returning starters as players who had no fewer than five starts, which represents at least a third of the games. Nine of the past 10 BCS champs ranked at least 20th in scoring defense the previous season. Tennessee is the only champion in the BCS era that returned fewer than six defensive starters.

Still fitting the profile: Three teams -- Nebraska, Ohio State, Virginia Tech.

Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Nebraska are high-profile programs, and as demonstrated above, they all fit the national championship profile for 2010.

No doubt, fans of the Buckeyes, Hokies and Huskers already are counting the days to what could be an epic season.

But Alabama fans surely are, too. They're well-aware a team doesn't have to completely meet the profile to raise the crystal trophy.

Oregon, Texas, Miami, Wisconsin, Iowa and several others can glean encouragement from that, too.


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Photo copyright of US Presswire
Article written by Olin Buchanan, senior college football writer for Rivals.com.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

BlockONation's Ridiculously Way-Too-Early Top 10 For 2010—Number Nine

by HD Handshoe
Founder—Block-O-Nation



Welcome to our 10-part series highlighting our picks for the way-too-early top 10 preseason teams in the nation for 2010.

One at a time, our top 10 will be revealed, leading up to No. 1.

As always, we want to know what you think as well, so please post your thoughts in the comment section.

Bookmark the site if you haven't already and feel free to tell all your friends about us too!




Now, on with the countdown...



Number 9—TCU Horned Frogs

TCU had an amazing season in 2009, going unbeaten (12-0) and busting the BCS to earn a spot in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.

Unfortunately for them, the BCS Monopoly forced them to play fellow BCS Buster Boise State rather than Florida, Cincinnati, Iowa, or Georgia Tech.

The game was fairly evenly matched, and Boise won to cap off a perfect season of their own (14-0), but we really wanted the opportunity to see just how good the two teams were against the big boys.

Maybe next year, but probably not...

Speaking of 2010, TCU should once again be highly ranked to start the season, and deservedly so, as most of their key starters return.

The Horned Frogs lose only two starters on offense—left tackle Marshall Newhouse and tailback Joseph Turner, meaning their somewhat unheralded star QB Andy Dalton will be back for his senior season.

Dalton threw for over 2750 yards, 23 touchdowns, versus only eight interceptions, while posting a 151.8 QB efficiency rating.

Seven starters are coming back on the defensive side of the ball, but defensive end Jerry Hughes, linebacker Daryl Washington, and cornerbacks Nick Sanders and Rafael Priest leave pretty big shoes to fill.

TCU will open its season at Dallas Cowboys Stadium against Oregon State on Sept. 4.

The Horned Frogs also have a home game against Baylor and a road game at SMU in their non-conference schedule.

They should have a legit chance of going 12-0 again if they come close to meeting the high expectations that will be placed upon them.

Although they will likely begin the season in or near the AP top 10, in the end, I personally don't see them remaining unbeaten, or thus in the top 10 too far into the 2010 season.

2010 Regular Season Projection

Possible Losses
Oregon State, Baylor, BYU, and Utah

W/L Record
It's tough to say for sure, but I think TCU wins eight games for sure, and maybe as many as 10 depending on the health of Robert Baylor from Baylor and if they are a little lucky as I expect Oregon State, BYU, and Utah to all be top 25 teams this coming season.

Last season, the Horned Frogs went 8-0 in the Mountain West. I don't believe they will repeat that feat in 2010, but ultimately, they could win the MWC if they don't lose to both BYU and Utah.

I expect to see them in a decent bowl game, but not likely another BCS game this coming year.


Number eight, coming soon!



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Friday, February 5, 2010

National Signing Day—Ohio State 2010 Recruiting Report Card: Did The Buckeyes Make The Grade?

by Tim Bielik
BlockONation Analyst
Ohio State Featured Columnist



With all 18 recruits signed, Ohio State has put together a decent class, though nowhere near at the level of 2008 and 2009, classes both in the Top 5.

Though OSU did not land the type of recruits they were able to score the previous two classes, the Buckeyes do have a solid group of sleepers to work with.

By comparison to 2008 and 2009, OSU did not land that one true superstar that made the class special (Pryor in 2008, Jaamal Berry in 2009).

But with the pieces they have, solid football players with alot of heart, Ohio State has depth in place for the future.

Here's a look position by position at the recruits Ohio State have signed.



QB Taylor Graham, Verlon Reed; Grade: B-




Terrelle Pryor will be a junior in 2010, but the need for a backup QB was immediate so OSU could have someone ready in case Joe Bauserman isn't as solid as many hoped.

To fill the void, Tressel landed Illinois QB Taylor Graham, the son of former NFL QB Kent Graham.

Graham is ranked 14th on Rivals.com's pro-style QB list, ahead of Washington commit Nick Montana. At 6'4", 215 lbs, he has the prototypical frame of a tall pocket passer.

Graham missed the end of both his junior and senior season with injuries, which is somewhat of a concern to the coaching staff.

But he has the accuracy and arm strength to be a solid quarterback, though he must learn how to be a more cerebral passer.

The Buckeyes also landed athlete Verlon Reed late in the process as a sleeper out of local Marion-Franklin in Columbus.

He will be given a shot at QB, but might switch over to defense depending on 2011, which I will discuss in further detail later.


RB Carlos Hyde, Roderick Smith; Grade: A



One thing the Buckeyes did well was bolster what many already thought was a deep stable of running backs.

Big RB Carlos Hyde, held up in 2009 by grade issues, returns as the big power back that many felt the Buckeyes lacked in 2009.

Hyde spent the last season at Fork Union Military Academy, but has enrolled at Ohio State for the winter quarter and will play this spring.

The other RB in 2010 might remind a lot of Buckeye fans of legendary RB Eddie George.

Roderick Smith comes to Columbus at 6'3", 220 lbs with a pedigree as probably the best running back ever to come out of the state of Indiana.

Smith is one of the most physical runners in the country and push for playing time this coming season, or at least by 2011.


WR James Louis, Corey Brown, Tyrone Williams; Grade: A



Ohio State lately has been churning out a great quantity of talented WRs into the NFL, surprising for a school built on running the football.

And the trend continues as the Buckeyes picked up three talented receivers to add to their collection.

The most prized product in this class might be Florida product James Louis, who shocked many by picking Ohio State over Florida during the summer.

At 5'11", 180 lbs, and 4.4 40-yard speed, Louis has all the physical measurables of a dynamic playmaker in the receiver corps.

Louis has drawn comparisons to Santonio Holmes and Andre DeBose, both of whom should raise some eyebrows at Ohio State.

Another major prospect similar to Louis is Pennsylvania native Corey Brown, who has a near-exact build to Louis at 6'0", 186 lbs, and 4.45 speed.

Brown is a talented receiver who is great in space and an excellent kick returner, drawing comparisons to Percy Harvin.

The third of the new receivers is a big target in Cleveland's Tyrone Williams.

And by big, Williams comes in at a massive 6'7", 216 lbs frame, making him a big target in the red zone.

Williams could one day move to TE if his body outgrows the WR frame, but having that size could be a big mismatch in the passing game.


OL Andrew Norwell; Grade C+



The offensive line has been an Achilles heel of the Buckeyes for the last few years, but the Buckeyes landed a huge fish early in the process.

Top-rated offensive tackle Andrew Norwell of Cincinnati brings a tremendous nastiness and tenacity to the position.

Norwell will probably redshirt like most offensive linemen to build up their strength, but he could be a big-time linemen for the Buckeyes.

The reason for the low C+ grade is that Norwell is currently the only offensive lineman committed to the Buckeyes.

Obviously, the quality of the entire class would have skyrocketed had Seantrel Henderson committed, or if he still does since he has yet to sign a LOI with USC.

If not, 2011 will need to be a big year for O-line recruiting in Columbus.


DL J.T. Moore, David Durham, Darryl Baldwin, Johnathan Hankins; Grade: B+



The defensive line was the staple of the 2009 season, and OSU started off 2010's recruiting season with a defensive lineman.

Boardman's J.T. Moore was the first to commit on Sept. 12, 2008, and comes in at 6'3", but not quite as big as some defensive linemen out there.

Moore has great lateral quickness and gets off the line quickly as well.

David Durham left Texas to play his senior year in North Carolina, but stayed a Buckeye through the process.

Durham comes to Columbus somewhat slender, but at 4.7 40 speed, very quick for a defensive lineman.

He might be converted to OLB with his speed, and is more of a DE/OLB hybrid.

It will be very interesting to see where Durham ends up at, but he has the speed to wreak havoc on the defensive side of the ball.

Big Darryl Baldwin hails from Solon and has the size and speed to play either position on the defensive line.

Baldwin is 6'7", 265 lbs, and a 4.7 40 time, meaning that he can be either a power rusher outside or a disruptor in the middle with his speed.

Baldwin was also a TE, but has been projected at DE for the impending future.

The biggest (in size) recruit for 2010 is DT Johnathan Hankins from Michigan.

Hankins brings his big body in at 6'3", 310 lbs, prototypical size for a NT if OSU is considering a 3-4 as they had experimented with during 2009.

DT was a big need, especially after Sharrif Floyd went to Florida over the Buckeyes.

Having a dominant D-line as the Buckeyes did in 2009 is crucial, hence the direction most of the recruiting was put into.


LB Scott McVey, Jamel Turner; Grade: B



Linebacker has always been a position of strength in recruiting, especially in the last two years where the talent pool is as stacked as any school in America.

This year, Ohio State added two more talented prospects to this pool.

The most talented and most intriguing of the two could be Jamel Turner.

Turner is a lightning rod athlete at OLB, but saw his stock plummet when he transferred to Fork Union Military Academy for his senior season.

Turner says he has matured and is ready for the Buckeyes.

The other man in the LB corps is St. Ignatius product Scott McVey.

McVey is Scout.com's third ranked MLB, and presents special types of instincts that you need at the MLB position.

McVey is compact at 6'1", 217 lbs, and has a 4.55 40 time, but he is also known as a great hitter and aggressive playmaker.


DB Christian Bryant, Bradley Roby, Chad Hagan; Grade: B



Defensive backs are another position Ohio State produces well when it comes to the NFL, and 2010 added a few more names to a potential legacy.

The big face in the secondary for 2010 is Glenville product Christian Bryant.

Bryant was a U.S. Army All-American and had a tremendous camp, shutting down many of the top receivers through the week of practices.

A Top 10 corner, Bryant is a very instinctive with great awareness despite his lack of size and supreme speed.

The speed belongs to Bradley Roby, who was a surprise pickup from the same school as superstar DT Cameron Heyward (Peachtree Ridge in Georgia).

Roby was originally a commit to Vanderbilt but switched to OSU after an outstanding visit.

And the staff was no doubt intrigued by Roby's frame at 6'1", 171 lbs, and 4.34 speed, something Ohio State will really enjoy.

Roby is a talented corner, but his specialty is his speed, which could also allow him to possibly play WR or be a returner for the Buckeyes.

The wildcard of this recruiting class might be S/LB Chad Hagan, who has a freakish athlete frame at 6' plus and over 200 lbs with speed in the 4.4 neighborhood.

Hagan might need a year to learn defense, and for his body to fully mature, but he could very well end up being a steal for the Buckeyes.

However, he has a heart condition that might be a worry for the coaches—but they have shown faith in Hagan by staying true to their scholarship.

K Drew Basil from Chillicothe, Ohio is the 18th and final commit of the 2010 recruiting class.




Looking to 2011: A Top Class in OSU's Future?

While OSU had limited scholarships to work with in 2010, 2011 could end up being a very different story.

Having a near-full complement of 25 scholarships, plus a loaded amount of top prospects in Ohio, OSU could have a class very similar to what they had in 2008 and 2009.

They've already gotten their 2011 class off to a great start, landing potential four-star DE Kenny Hayes from Toledo Whitmer, and four/five-star DE Steve Miller from Canton McKinley.

The top Buckeye targets from Ohio in 2011 are Wayne QB Braxton Miller, cousin of former Buckeye Dee Miler, and Springfield LB Trey DePriest.



Both superstar products (pictured above) have offers from everywhere, but OSU has a shot to land both as a package deal to Columbus.

No one has an indication as to when Miller might commit, although most indications are that he will eventually be a Buckeye—but Alabama has emerged as the main competition for DePriest's services, so that will be a wait-and-see situation.

On a positive note, Ohio State has a solid track record with singing in-state talent, so DePriest could definitely end up a Buckeye, and another super recruiting class in 2011 could easily be in the works!


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BlockONation's Expanding Web Presence

6/05/2009

Numerous BlockONation articles have been posted on or linked to from some very well known, high-volume sports websites.

We'd like to take a moment to both acknowledge and thank those sites for their support in helping make BlockONation one of the most popular new Ohio State Football blogs on the web!

In no particular order:

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Again, thanks so very much to those sites for all their support and also, a huge thank you to the fans who have visited the site to date!

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It is our mission here at BlockONation.com to continue to provide top-notch, fresh content for our readers and we will always do everything possible to meet your expectations!

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