Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Buckeye BCS Jokes Are Over: 2009 Buckeye Season Outlook

Article written by Cooper Ledford. He's a big Buckeye fan and BlockONation.com supporter.

In the upcoming 2009 season, the Ohio State Buckeyes will try to return to their bowl winning ways. The last time the Buckeyes won a bowl game was in 2005 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl versus the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

Ohio State plans on winning a BCS bowl game with the help and talent of their true sophomore quarterback, Terrelle Pryor.

Also some keys to winning will be upcoming wide receivers Jake Stoneburner and Duron Carter (son of Cris Carter). Corey Brown is also projected to be an outstanding WR. Veterans Ray Small and Dane Sanzenbacher will return at WR too.

Even with the loss of star running back Chris "Beanie" Wells (he decided to enter the NFL Draft a year early), there is still hope in the running game.

Jamaal Berry and Carlos Hyde will most likely see action in the back field along with Dan "Boom" Herron.

Also, with a lot of seniors leaving on defense, it may be difficult for the Buckeyes to be as good as they were last year but there is hope.

Potential impact players such as Etienne Sabino and Kurt Coleman return and should fill in well as the Buckeyes head for the "09" season.

Good Luck to the 2009 Ohio State Buckeyes!

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cup Runneth Over: Ohio State Players to Watch in 2009

by HD Handshoe

The "09" Ohio State Buckeyes will have a very different look compared to the 2008 team.

Gone are running back Chris 'Beanie' Wells, safety Malcolm Jenkins, linebackers James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman, and wide receivers Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline.

So 2009 will SURELY be a rebuilding year in Columbus....

In the famous words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast my friend!"

With back to back top three recruiting classes, the Buckeyes have loads of talented players ready to 'RELOAD' into their starting lineup!


In case you were living under a rock last year, Terrelle Pryor, the No. 1 H.S. recruit in the nation, committed to Ohio State. After Ohio State lost decisively in Week three to USC, Pryor was named the starter (replacing Senior captain Todd Boeckman) for the rest of the year. The 6'6 speedy QB led the Buckeyes to an (8-2) record in his ten games and most importantly, gained priceless experience that will most certainly pay off in 2009.

Running Back:

While the loss of Wells can't be ignored, there's plenty in the cupboards to help ease the pain. Daniel 'Boom' Herron filled in admirably last season when Wells missed time due to injury. Even after Wells came back, Herron had impressed the coaches enough to earn more playing time and will most likely be the starter to open the 2009 season.

Freshmen recruits Jamaal Berry and Carlos Hyde will also look to push for immediate backfield playing time should Herron falter. The 5-11, 190 pound Berry is a 5-star speed back and game-breaking threat any time he touches the ball.

Hyde (6-1, 225) is fast for his size, but is more of a power back possessing a stiff-arm comparable to the one Wells made famous in Columbus!

Even if Herron plays great, expect Berry and Hyde to both get their fair share of looks in relief.

Wide Receiver:

In recent years, WR "U", as Ohio State has been called in the past, has still had a talented receiver or two in any given season, but not a whole lot of depth.

That WILL NOT be the case in 2009! So much so that at this point, even attempting to project the starters would be a complete crap shoot.

Ray Small, Dane Sanzenbacher, Taurian Washington, DeVier Posey and Lamaar Thomas headline the list of returning veteran receivers. It has also been rumored that Brandon Saine may be moving to wideout.

WR/TE Jake Stoneburner will join the team in 2009 after red-shirting his freshman year, along with new recruits Duron Carter, James Jackson, Chris Fields, and dual-threat Corey Brown. Brown was a two-way star in H.S. who may potentially play both WR and CB for the Buckeyes.

Offensive Line:

The much-hyped O-line hasn't been as horrible as some pessimists will tell you, but it has been disappointing nonetheless.

That should be a thing of the past going forward for the next several seasons.

Michael Brewster leads the way after taking over as starting center last year as a freshman.

Sophomores J.B Shugarts and Mike Adams, along with freshmen Marcus Hall, Jack Mewhort, Sam Longo and Corey Linsley are practically a "Who's who" of four and five star linemen that will each look to earn their place in the starting lineup alongside veterans Bryant Browning and Jim Cordle.


Rather than list position by position, I'll instead offer an overview of the defense as a whole.

As I already mentioned, there are big shoes to fill at safety and linebacker. As I also already mentioned, the cupboard is not bare!

Etienne Sabino played mainly on special teams in 2008 but with the departure of Laurinaitis and Freeman, expect to see him step into that role of stud LB at tOSU!

Other possible candidates for that title include Andrew Sweat, Austin Spitler, Dorian Bell and Storm Klein.

Kurt Coleman, Chimdi Chekwa, Anderson Russell and Jermale Hines are a solid four-some for the Bucks at the safety/cornerback positions. Former WR turned DB Devon Torrence, along with Zach Domicone and the aforementioned Corey Brown should also see the field in 2009.

Along the defensive front, the Buckeyes are loaded as well. I can't attempt to predict all the starters but a few key guys and probable starters include Cameron Heyward, Thaddeus Gibson and Lawrence Wilson.

Others worth mentioning:

Garrett Goebel, Willie Mobley, Dexter Larimore, Keith Wells, Solomon Thomas, Rob Rose and Nathan Williams. (We should know more about who will be the twenty-two starters after the Spring game on April 25th.)

Ohio State will undoubtedly be locked and reloaded in 2009 and we won't have to wait long to see just how big their bullets are, as they play host to the USC Trojans in Week 2.

If the talent on paper translates to the field, Ohio State could make their fourth trip to the BCS title game in eight seasons under Tressel and their eighth BCS bowl appearance in the eleven years since the inception of the BCS.

Either way, this season will be exciting to witness and if the Buckeyes can get past USC, don't be surprised if I'm right about them running the table and playing for the BCS title!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm So Sick Of Hearing About Tim Tebow's "You'll Never See A Player..." Speech

by HD Handshoe

To borrow a line from Around The Horn host Tony Reali, "So that happened!"

The University of Florida decided it was a good idea to create a wall memorial in tribute to Tim Tebow for his speech after the Florida home loss to Ole Miss last season.

I mean seriously—could this Tim Tebow love-fest get any more ridiculous?

I already know at least three things that people who disagree with me and have no problem with this are going to say...

1. You're just a jealous Ohio State "Suckeye" fan (Which most likely will include a 41-14 reference).

2. SEC SEC SEC SEC (The annoying conference piggy-backing chant those of us who actually pick one team instead of the entire conference have to hear most every Saturday whenever an SEC game is on TV).

3. He deserves it. He led the Gators to the title after he promised he wouldn't let them lose again! (Of course he did--look at the overrated "good" teams and doormats they played the rest of the season).

I'm sure he's a decent person, but nobody is ever as perfect as they are made out to be.

This kid has been crowned God of Florida and the sports media, specifically ESPN, have fanned the flames of this total nonsense.

In my humble opinion, a program taking this sort of action should reserve it for an all-time great a few years after they graduate.

If Florida wanted to do this, why not wait until 2011 or 2012?

Right now, if I am any of the other 21 starters from the Gator team from last season, I'm wondering where's my individual monument? Where's my individual tribute?

Yes, Tebow is the face of the Florida team, as generally a QB is, but he didn't win those eight games and eventual BCS Championship on his own.

The biggest issues I have with this is he's still in school, he's quite possibly the most over-hyped college football player of all-time, and he's getting all the individual accolades like's he 's the next coming.

All this for making a speech that really meant next to nothing without the support of the rest of his teammates. I reiterate, he didn't do it all alone post-speech!

He might not even have much of an NFL career, especially as a QB, so that should be a red flag that screams out most logical people (in addition to myself) outside of the biased media, the state of Florida, and Gator fans, aren't buying into this!

Whenever you talk about Tebow, don't forget to use two o's—he's good, but he's not God!

Not even in Florida...

*** EDIT / UPDATE ***

Since I am ripping the University and the state of Florida for Godding up Tebow, I may as well rip the University for 1) giving this woman a diploma and 2) letting her "gradulate" them in front of Congress—Also, a big not-so-good shout out to the residents of the state of Florida for electing her illiterate @$$ to Congress in the 1st place!

Talk about "Epic fail!"

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Around The "Block" With Future Buckeye DE/LB David Durham (2010 Recruit)

by HD Handshoe

I've been fortunate enough recently to be able to contact and interview several of the Buckeye recruits from the class of 2009.

My good fortune continues as I now bring you my first interview with a member of the Ohio State class of 2010, David Durham, the 6'3 DE/LB from Texas who verbally committed to the Bucks on 2/23/2009.

I'd like to thank David for his time in allowing me to bring this to the BlockONation!

You verbally committed to Ohio State almost a full year before signing day 2010. What convinced and sold you so quickly about Ohio State and which coach or coaches were directly involved in recruiting you?

Ohio State football sells itself. It’s a special place to play. The facilities, The Horseshoe, and the players are the best anywhere. It is one of the few programs where the expectations are conference championships and national titles every year.

The relationships with the coaches made a big impact on me. Coach Tressel is someone I can trust and that really cares about his players. He has established strong FCA and community service programs, has a great staff that is stable and consistently wins. I knew I couldn't find a better place than Ohio State to play college football. There's great fan support and academics as well.

Coach Fickell was the coach that recruited me and also the coach that I will be playing for. He is someone that I have a lot of respect for and I look forward to playing for him.

Any idea when you may take an official or unofficial visit to come hang out with the team, check out the facilities and/or take in a game in person?

I’ll be coming back up to Columbus for the spring game and hopefully I will be able to sit in on a few meetings and practices while I am there. I will also take my official visit for a game if my open week coincides with an OSU home game.

How pumped are you to watch the 2009 Week two Ohio State/USC prime-time game in Columbus?

I’m excited! It’s going to be a huge game with a lot of big time players. It’s very important because it’s at home and on national TV with championship implications. I think it’s important that we win every game, but especially the ones in Columbus.

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

Some of my favorite Buckeyes would have to be AJ Hawk and James Laurinaitis. Those guys are playmakers. Guys I try to model my play after would be Bobby Carpenter, Vernon Gholston, and Thaddeus Gibson. They play linebacker and defensive end just like I do. I really liked watching Gibson this year especially the way he gets after the quarterback.

Michigan has been down for the past couple season but Ohio State vs. Michigan is still a fierce rivalry no matter what and 2009 will mark the 106th meeting? Coming from Texas, what is your perspective on this rivalry?

This rivalry is one of the reasons I am attracted to Ohio State. I’ve watched some games on TV and have also seen the HBO special. Ohio State – Michigan is the biggest rivalry in college football. I want to play in big games and it doesn’t get any bigger than that one.

Who's your favorite NFL team and do you have a current NFL favorite player? How about favorite NFL player of all-time?

I am originally from Charlotte, so my favorite NFL team has been the Carolina Panthers. Some of my favorite NFL players are Ray Lewis, Sean Merriman, and Brian Urlacher. But my favorite player of all time is Lawrence Taylor. It’s hard to find someone who compares to him at the linebacker position, he’s the best. I try to play like he does.

What's your favorite kind of music and who's your favorite artist/band?

I like to listen to a lot of rap music. I like a lot of southern artists. My favorites are Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and T.I.

Do you ever visit any of the online Buckeye message boards or Blogs and if so, have you ever posted comments or do you just read what fans are saying?

I don’t usually pay attention to the message boards, but a few of my friends have showed me some of the posts by Ohio State fans after I committed and I really appreciate their welcome messages and support.

Sometimes I get on Rivals or Scout just to see how Ohio State is doing in recruiting, or whether we have picked up any new commitments in my class, things like that.

Are you in any YouTube videos that you know of?

Not that I know of.

Since you're from Texas, I just have to assume you do have family and friends who are Longhorn fans so, how did they react to you choosing OSU?

Everyone has been very supportive of my decision to attend tOSU. Most of my friends, even though they might be Longhorn or Aggie fans, think it is a pretty big deal for me to be going to Ohio State to play football.

As a H.S. player that was being recruited by Ohio State, were you affected or hesitant at all before you made your decision to commit to OSU after the past three BCS bowl game losses by the Buckeyes although they did play very well vs. Texas as I'm sure you are well aware!

No, I wasn't hesitant at all. Ohio State plays in a BCS game almost every year. Ohio State is consistently one of the best programs year in and year out in college football and I don’t think one game here or there can affect their reputation in my eyes or anyone else’s for that matter.

Many of the OSU players have persuaded buddies of theirs to follow them to OSU. Are you going to be actively trying to recruit anyone you know either from your H.S. or players you've played against from other schools nearby to come to OSU with you?

If the coaches want me to, then I’ll be glad to help out!

In closing, I'd just add that David definitely seems very intelligent and knowledgeable about the Buckeye program and made a very well-informed decision when he chose Ohio State.

He's going to be a very welcome addition to the Buckeyes in 2010 and going forward. I think I speak for the all of the OSU fans when I say welcome aboard and we're all excited to see you in the Scarlet and Gray!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Top Five Ohio State Videos on YouTube

by HD Handshoe

Obviously a list like this is completely subjective and tastes will vary from one person to another, but I am convinced most Buckeye fans will agree that these are some of the best Buckeye videos YouTube currently has to offer!
Watch them and see if you don't agree!

There truly are an endless number of Buckeye videos on YouTube and many very talented video editors making these videos!

Kitchel and Lexco are probably the top two video makers as far as Buckeye channels go, so if you haven't heard of them, you're missing out.

Here are direct links to each of their YouTube channels!



Now, please enjoy these videos I have selected for you!

"THE" Honorable Mention!

#5 "THE" Fight Song

#4 - "THE" Best Room!

#3 "THE" 2008 Movie!

#2 - "THE" Season Highlights!

#1 "THE" Best Fans!

I hope you enjoyed these! Feel free to post links to your favorite Buckeye videos in the comments!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Former Michigan RB Mike Hart: A Then and Now Perspective

by HD Handshoe

As a Buckeyes' fan, people accuse me of being unfairly anti-Michigan and an OSU homer.

There's no such thing as being unfair when it comes to hating the team from the North even if I am a Buckeye homer.

However, I can be fair and objective (usually) when it comes to judging the talent a player possesses, regardless of his team affiliation.

Mike Hart, as much as I hated him (and still do), was easily one of the best running backs to ever wear the maize and blue.

He is the all-time leading rusher in Michigan history, he helped get Michigan to two Rose Bowls, and he was a major factor in leading the Wolverines to the 2008 Capital One Bowl upset of Florida in Lloyd Carr's final game as UM head coach.

It remains to be seen if he will excel in the NFL as he did for four seasons in Ann Arbor after missing the majority of his rookie season to injury.

At least he has excelled in learning some humility as seen recently by his appearance on the Big Ten Network's show, The Big Ten Quad, hosted by former Buckeye and Heisman Trophy winner, Eddie George.

VIDEO SPOILER ALERT: I will openly confess that I take pleasure in hearing him admit that it eats him up inside that he NEVER did beat Ohio State!

It's not because I'm a heartless hater.

No, it has much less to do with that and much much more to do with this:

But, alas he's technically no longer a Wolverine so as forced as this may sound (and I admit, it's kind of forced!) I wish him well in his future endeavors.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chris Wells Autograph Pics From 3-15-09 in Findlay, Ohio

by HD Handshoe

I met Beanie Wells yesterday and I gave him one of the two 8x10's that I had made to keep for himself. I was able to get a few pics plus the scan of my 8x10 he signed for me.

AJ Trapasso and Brian Hartline were also there. Todd Boeckman was there last week when the event had been originally scheduled so I missed him but here are a few images from the signing!

I really wanted to ask Beanie if he'd be interested in doing an interview for the site, but there were several hundred fans in attendance and he was pretty busy signing as you might imagine.

In other news, I do have more interviews lined up with several of the guys that will play for the 2009 version of your Ohio State Buckeyes!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Video From OSU Pro Day for Former Buckeyes (courtesy of NFL.com)

by HD Handshoe

Former Buckeye players Malcolm Jenkins, James Laurinaitis and Chris Wells all looked to improve on their combine performances from last month while others, such as Brian Hartline and Todd Boeckman, who weren't invited to the combine just hoped to get noticed period as scouts from NFL teams visited Columbus on Friday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ohio State—Michigan: A Video History of THE No. 1 Rivalry In Sports

by HD Handshoe

Finally, I bring you the HBO documentary that aired just before the historic 103rd meeting of the Buckeyes and Wolverines in 2006.

It was the 1st time in the series that the teams met when each was ranked No.1 or No. 2. respectively.

That game, much like the entire history of the series, was an instant classic with No. 1 Ohio State holding on for a 42-39 win.

Sadly, former Buckeye assistant and former Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler died one day before the match-up.

I do apologize that the video quality isn't High-Def, but if you have not yet seen this, by the end, you won't care much about that and if you're a fan of either team, you'll be hard-pressed to not get goosebumps and/or shed a couple of tears near the end.

Runtime is just under one hour.

Around The "Block" With Buckeye WR James Jackson (2009 Recruit)

I had the pleasure of recently interviewing 2009 Ohio State recruit WR James Jackson. I love the answers he gave in his interview and his attitude and I'm totally excited to share it with every Buckeye fan across BlockONation!

Why did you choose Ohio State over other schools recruiting you and who was most involved in recruiting you from the coaching staff?

I chose Ohio State because I believed in coach Tressel and what he has established at Ohio State so far. Coach Hazzel was my recruiter.

What are your personal and team goals for the 2009 season?

My personal goals for this season are as follows: To start at receiver, punt return and kick return; To become an All-American at WR; To get 13 touchdowns and 1000 yards receiving; To get at least 7 catches a game; And to become the top receiver in the nation. The goals I have for the team is be ranked #1, win all of our games, blowout USC and Michigan, and to win the National Championship game.

Do you know yet what # you'll be wearing and how much do you think you will be on the field in 2009 or have you been told anything about possibly being red-shirted?

I don't know what number I will get and I do not plan on red-shirting because I believe I am one of the best receivers that will be on the team.

How pumped are you for the Week 2 USC prime-time game in the Horseshoe?

I'm ready for that USC game—I want to dominate that game and destroy USC.

Do you have a favorite Buckeye player of all-time and NFL favorite player of all-time?

My favorite Buckeye is Ted Ginn and my favorite football players of all-time are Micheal Vick and Deion Sanders.

What's your favorite music and who's your favorite artist/band?

Rap and R&B are my favorite types of music and my favorite artists of all-time are Notorious BIG, Easy E and Lil' Wayne.

Do you ever visit any of the online Buckeye message boards or Blogs and if so, have you ever posted comments?

Yeah, I do because I like to see the negative posts that are about me and feed off of that so I'm always motivated to prove my haters wrong!

Are you in any YouTube videos that you know of?

Yeah, my highlight video is on YouTube.

Since you're from Michigan, you must have family and/or friends who are Michigan fans. How did they react to you choosing OSU?

Yeah, I have both family and friends that are Michigan fans but they didn't care that I chose OSU. They just want what's best for me. Some are now even switching over to being Buckeye fans.

How fast have you been timed running the 40 yard dash?

I ran 4.31 during my Sophomore year but I'm way faster now!

As previously stated above, I love his confident attitude. That's something that's been missing in Columbus for quite some time now.

Hopefully his passion, desire, killer instinct and the fire that seems to obviously burn inside of him, driving him to want to succeed and to be the best, is contagious!

Check out his YouTube highlight video that he mentioned!

Thanks for reading and be sure to comment!

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Some image(s) copyright of Jim Davidson / TheOzone.net

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Around The "Block" With Buckeye Safety Jamie Wood (2009 Recruit)

by HD Handshoe

Hey Jamie, thanks for taking time for this interview!

No Problem!

1. Why did you choose Ohio State over other schools recruiting you and were there any of your teammates that influenced you?

There was no influence on my decision other than my love for OSU. It always been my dream to one day play a sport for the buckeyes but I didn't know it would be football.

2. What are your personal and team goals for the 2009 season?

My personal goals are to learn as much as i can from Kurt and Anderson. I have the opportunity to learn from two talented guys who know the in's and outs of the defense. As a team the goal is to first win the Big Ten title, then whatever comes after that is even better.

3. What # will you be wearing and how much do you think you will be on the field in 2009?

I am going to be wearing number 23. I expect to get the opportunity to showcase my talents, but I know I have a lot to learn so only time will tell.

4. How pumped are you for the Week 2 USC prime-time game in the Horseshoe at night?

That game is going to be crazy. It will be good to have them on our home turf for once and see how they deal with all you guys cheering for the Bucks. The only thing I want out of that night is the win though!

5. Who is your favorite Buckeye player of all-time? NFL favorite player?

My favorite Buckeye player would have to be Ted Ginn, just because of his play-making ability. He made the games fun to watch. In the NFL I loved the late Sean Taylor. His physical style of play was amazing.

6. What's your favorite music and who's your favorite artist/band?

I listen to pretty much everything from Gospel to Rock. But if I had to pick a favorite it would be Brian McKnight or Boyz II Men—I love R&B.

7. Do you ever visit any of the online Buckeye message boards or Blogs and if so, have you ever posted comments?

Yeah, I used to visit them often when I was going through the recruiting process but know I don't as frequently. No, I have never posted on anything because that could just bring about a whole bunch of mess that I really don't want to deal with.

8. Are you in any YouTube videos that you know of?

As far as YouTube, I think there is one where Coach Tress is breaking down our class. There are also some game highlights from my high school games.

9. Any favorite place you hangout at in Columbus?

I usually just chill out with friends around Pickerington, but I would say Easton.

If there was ever a Buckeye player that defines "level-headed", Jamie would be that guy.

Thanks again to him for taking time from his schedule to allow me to bring this to fans of the Block "O" Nation!

Around The "Block" With Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde (2009 Recruit)

By HD HandshoeBlockONation.com Founder

First off Carlos, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this today.

No problem.

Let's start off by getting to know a little about you off the field.


What kind of music do you listen to most?


So who is your favorite rapper?

Right now, Young Jeezy.

What's your favorite show(s) on TV?

Anything on ESPN - I watch whatever is showing.

Many people probably don't know it, but you are originally from Ohio near Cincinnati, correct?


So when did you move to Florida?

My sophomore year, 2006.

Any idea what you're going to be majoring in at OSU?

No, not sure yet.

Who are YOUR top three running backs of all-time?

Herschel Walker, Beanie Wells, and Adrian Peterson

Three very worthy choices!


I've heard you being compared to P.J. Hill from Wisconsin and Eddie George from OSU. Who do you feel you are most like on the field?

Both Herschel and Beanie.

I definitely hear your stiff-arm compares to Beanie's; I'm looking forward to seeing that!

Yeah, I've got some power in it.

Have you had the chance to meet Beanie?

Yeah, he's cool.

So who at Ohio State was most involved in recruiting you and I'm talking players, coaches, the ball boy...name them all!

Coach Dick Tressel and I've met with (Head) Coach Tressel too.

Were any of your soon-to-be teammates in particular who called you or texted you bugging you to come to OSU before you made your commitment?

No, I really didn't talk to anybody before-hand other than the coaches.

You had a long list of schools lined up for you. What were the main reasons why you chose to come to Ohio State?

Because I've always loved Ohio State. It's the school I always wanted to go to.

Did the OSU losses to Florida and LSU in the BCS title games affect your choice at all and did it make you want to come here and help them win a title?

No, it didn't...I really didn't care. I just wanted to be a part of OSU, whether they won or not.

Well I'm sure you know the crazy Buckeye fans are hungry to see the Bucks win the title again, and I know many of them believe you can be a big part of helping them to do that...

Yeah, I feel I can be a really big part in that!

I know the recruiting sites all listed you as a fullback. What position will you be playing in your efforts to help the Buckeyes win a title, and do you know what number you're going to be wearing yet?

I will be playing running back, not fullback, and yes, I'll be wearing No. 34.

What personal and team goals have you set?

To be the starting running back and to win the BCS Championship!

And of course beating Michigan four times, right?

Yeah, I have family members who are Michigan fans, so I have extra motivation!

Speaking of Michigan, they are obviously rebuilding up there, but it's still Ohio State/Michigan, so what pops into your head when you think about playing them for the first time and in Ann Arbor of all places this year?

First thing I think is "BEAT MICHIGAN" and yeah, I'm very excited for that game and look forward to beating them!

If the NFL comes calling down the road, I'm sure you won't be too upset? OSU has sent a lot of RB's to the NFL. I think you've got a decent shot!

Yeah, I hope so!

Pryor and you could both win Heisman's and help OSU win it all and I hope that happens!

Yeah, me too!

USC will be the second game of your college career and it's a huge game to say the least. Are you pumped, nervous, excited? What are your thoughts?

Yeah, I'm definitely pumped to play them and hopefully show what I can do!

Well, that's all I've got but I just wanna say thanks again so much for your time and I wish you all the best in the coming seasons at OSU and beyond!

OK, Thanks!

As I go back over the questions and answers and type up this story, I can't help but notice a certain quiet confidence displayed by this young man.

He definitely seems to fit the bill as a Tressel strong-character on and off the field kind of guy. He will transition well as a Buckeye and will no doubt be embraced by the Buckeye faithful.

I would expect that there's a great deal of pressure in potentially being the next great running back in the long line of great running backs Ohio State has produced, and that's exactly what I personally think Carlos Hyde will be and why I wanted to interview him in the first place.

He might just be the next big thing at Ohio State, but you'd hardly know it from talking to him.

The great ones don't feel the pressure or a need to brag. They just perform. It comes naturally, and they're not cocky...just confident.

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OSU's Evan Turner 1st Team Big Ten; POY Runner-up

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Sophomore Guard Evan Turner lost out to Michigan State's Kalin Lucas for Big Ten Player of the Year on Monday, but was named to the all-conference 1st team.

While no Buckeyes were named to the 2nd or 3rd team, sophomore guard Jon Diebler and freshmen guard William Buford were honorable mentions.

Buford was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, while center B.J. Mullens was voted Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, and both were named to the conference's All-Freshman team.

Turner and Lucas were joined on the All-Big Ten 1st team by Talor Battle of PSU, Michigan's Manny Harris and JuJuan Johnson of Purdue.

Turner put up slightly better numbers but Coach Thad Matta could understand rewarding the best player on a Spartan team that went 25-5, won the conference title by four games and is ranked No. 7 in the country.

"I think there's a lot of validity in that," Matta said.

"As close as it was this year between Evan and Lucas, you can see where people would say, 'Michigan State won the Big Ten, we'll give it to him.' "

Lucas averaged 14.8 points, 4.6 assists, two turnovers, 2.2 rebounds, 0.9 steals and shot 39.5 percent from the field and 39.5 percent on 3-pointers.

Turner averaged 16.8 points, 3.9 assists, 3.5 turnovers, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals and shot 51.6 percent from the field and 40.9 percent on 3-pointers.

If POY honors actually went to the best player statistically, and not necessarily the best player from the team that won the conference or had the best W/L record, Turner would have and should have gotten the nod over Lucas.

Michigan State is more of a complete team than the Buckeyes, especially without David Lighty, so the Spartan's success this season can be attributed to several players.

While Deibler, Buford, Mullens and Dallas Lauderdale have all made contributions for the Buckeyes, Turner has been the most consistent and shown the ability to put the team on his back in the clutch. The all-important Northwestern game was a prime example of that!

He is one of, if not the main reason the Buckeyes are 20-9 and all but guaranteed to be heading for NCAA March Madness.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Buckeye Roll Call: 5 Locks and 11 Sleepers in the 2009 NFL Draft

by HD Handshoe

The 2009 NFL Draft could see as many as sixteen former Ohio State Buckeye players have their names called. Five are no-doubters, three of which are almost certainly guaranteed to be chosen in the 1st round.

After that, it's basically a crap-shoot as to where the chips may fall but I'll offer you my best educated guess as to how it may play out. Keep in mind, these are just guesses!

The most likely Buckeye to hear their name called first on draft day will be S/CB and 2008 Thorpe Award winner, Malcolm Jenkins.

He could break the top 10 with either Cleveland (No. 5 overall) or Green Bay (No. 9 overall), but will certainly be gone to New Orleans (No. 14 overall) if he drops down to them.

Next should be RB Chris 'Beanie' Wells. Teams that may show some interest in Wells are Cleveland (No. 5 overall), Jacksonville (No. 8 overall), Denver (No. 12 overall), New England (No. 23 overall), Philadelphia (No. 21 and No. 28 overall) and Arizona (No. 31 overall).

Linebacker James Laurinaitis will be the third, and likely last Buckeye to be picked in the first round. James was thought to be a top 10 pick had he entered the 2008 draft and he certainly did nothing to lessen his draft status, but based on team needs in this draft, he'll most likely be picked in the latter half of the first round.

Teams possibly considering Laurinaitis may include Green Bay (No. 9 overall), Denver (No. 12 overall), Chicago (No. 18 overall), New England (No. 23 overall), Miami (No. 25 overall) and New York Giants (No. 29 overall).

Wide receiver Brian Robiskie leads the list of Buckeyes who could find a new NFL home in round two. After an impressive workout at the NFL combine, he moved closer to the late first round, but won't quite make it that high. Teams interested in the 2nd could include Cleveland, St. Louis, Cincinnati, NY Giants, NY Jets, Indianapolis and Dallas.

Linebacker Marcus Freeman, CB Donald Washington, and WR Brian Hartline could also get some consideration in the 2nd round although I could see Freeman and Washington each going as low as the third or fourth and Hartline going anywhere from the third to the seventh round.

The best of the rest who may steal a spot in the draft (but could just as easily go undrafted) include DT Nadar Abdallah, QB Todd Boeckman, OL Alex Boone (especially given his recent off the field troubles.), OL Steve Rehring, TE Rory Nicol and PK Ryan Pretorius.

Running back Mo Wells, S Jamario O'Neal, and P A.J. Trapasso are probably on the outside looking during the draft, but may get looks as undrafted rookie free agents.

Whether they are drafted or not, I suspect all of these former Buckeyes will have a shot to make it.

The Buckeyes may have had recent struggles winning BCS bowl games, but one thing they haven't dropped off in is sending players to the pros.

2009 should be no exception!

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

With DUKE-CAROLINA Looming on Sunday...

by HD Handshoe

I thought why not broaden the horizons here on BlockONation, especially since I am a 21-year veteran DUKE fan!

I have accomplished the uncommon feat of being a fan of two of the teams involved in the two best and most heated rivalries in all of sports.

You see, I was born a Buckeye and I am about as big of a Buckeye football fan there is and ever was. The roots of my disdain for that team from up North are forever nestled deep within me, right to my very core.

Though that is a great part of my make-up, that is not all that defines me.

As a young boy, basketball was my first love. I ate, drank, slept (and played) basketball, specifically college basketball, 24/7.

From the very first time I saw Duke University play on TV, that was it. I was on the bandwagon and I have been ever since.

The year was 1988. My first ever favorite Duke player may come as a shock to some, but if you know anything about him and about college basketball during that era, you won't be too surprised at all to learn it was Danny Ferry. I could go on about him but instead, all I will say is that guy could play!

I'm still pretty young, but my bucket list includes making the trip to Durham at least once to watch a Blue Devils home game live in person, preferably when they are playing (and thumping) the Tarheels!

Before I end this so that you may enjoy the videos I've included below, I just want to add that while I don't hate the University of North Carolina or the Tarheels basketball team as much as I hate the university and football team from Ann Arbor, it's a very close second.

Oddly enough, I NEVER liked any football player from UM, but I must confess, school allegiance aside, I loved watching Michael Jordan as a kid. But in my defense—who didn't?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Buckeye Football Lives Here

by HD Handshoe

The Top 5 Recruiting Classes of 2009

Ohio State Buckeyes #1. OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes went wire-to-wire as Scout's No. 1 class. Ohio State got off to a fast start with 22 commitments pledging to the Buckeyes by the Fourth of July headlined by 5-star recruits Dorian Bell, Melvin Fellows and Johnny Simon. It had been a quiet autumn for the Buckeyes with only one commitment since Sept. 1. Then they locked up the No. 1 spot by signing offensive tackle Marcus Hall. The Buckeyes are looking to inject a heavy dose of speed with five defensive backs signed, headlined by two-way athlete Corey Brown and offensive imports James Jackson, poached from the state up North (that means Michigan for those outside the loop) and three key play-makers from the Sunshine State in running backs Jaamal Berry and Carlos Hyde and wide receiver Duron Carter.

Alabama Crimson Tide #2. ALABAMA
Alabama made another mad dash for the No. 1 spot, only to come up just short. With a solid contingent already committed before Signing Day, Alabama had a huge Signing Day haul, including linebacker Tana Patrick, running back Eddie Lacy and offensive tackle Brandon Moore. Alabama has an impressive class across the board, headlined by five-star-rated running back Trent Richardson, linebacker Nico Johnson, and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Michael Bowman and Kevin Norwood are big, talented receivers who should complement Julio Jones well. Alabama recruited depth and talent at every position including a deep pool of offensive linemen spearheaded by massive tackle D.J. Fluker.

LSU Tigers #3. LSU
The Bayou Bengals of LSU enjoy one of the best location-based recruiting advantages in the entire country as the only BCS school in a talent-rich area. Les Miles and his Tigers have stretched beyond the state of Louisiana though, securing a commitment from one of the most dangerous players in the country in quarterback Russell Shepard of Houston. LSU also has a commitment from the nation's No. 1-ranked safety prospect in Craig Loston, another Texas product. All of the big names aren't from out of state though, as five-star defensive tackle Chris Davenport hopes to maintain the recent tradition of dominating interior linemen for the Tigers. Michael Ford, Scout's No. 3 running back, also hails from Louisiana. Signing Day decisions by defensive end Sam Montgomery, linebacker Barkevious Mingo, and No. 1 wide receiver Rueben Randle lifted the class.

UCLA Bruins #4. UCLA
One of the big movers on Signing Day, UCLA had a terrrific finish with signatures from big offensive linemen Xavier Su'a-Filo and Stan Hasiak, as well as a cross-country pull in four-star running back Damien Thigpen. UCLA also signed a top-10 class in 2008. Four-star quarterback Richard Brehaut could be thrust into action early next year, and a new favorite target should be the nation's No. 1 tight end, Morrell Presley. Presley wasn't the only former Trojan commit that inked with UCLA. Randall Carroll made the switch as well, vaulting the Bruins past the Trojans in the rankings and into the top 5.

North Carolina Tarheels #5. N. CAROLINA
North Carolina did a terrific job of securing the state's top talent. With four ACC teams within the state borders, the Tar Heels secured signatures from five of the top seven prospects from North Carolina. UNC is doing more than just securing its own borders though with high-profile commitments from out-of-staters, including quarterback Bryn Renner (Virginia) and offensive linemen Brennan Williams (Massachusetts) and Johnnie Farms (Georgia). The headliner in this Tar Heel class, though, is a homegrown product: Scout.com's No. 1 defensive end Donte Moss from Jacksonville, N.C.

(Ranking by Scout.com)


nuva ring

2009 Ohio State Football Schedule

by HD Handshoe

Thursday, March 5, 2009

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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!

I'd also like to personally thank all those individuals who have contributed to the success of the site! I wouldn't be here without your help over the last 8+ years. You all know who you are!

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