Drew Thurman (5:40 pm)

With 23 commitments in the 2009 class, the spots left are pretty limited. The remaining commits could come from multiple different people. Here are some names that are left:

Jamaal Berry: 5-11/195/4.35 - One of the must get prospects left in the class. Berry is a running back that really combines strength and speed. Even with Hyde and Hall already committed, look for the Buckeyes to go hard after Berry.

Marcus Hall: 6-6/295 - I obviously see Hall committing to the Buckeyes in the end. Unlike Newsome, Hall will have a spot waiting for him as long he wants to wait.

Chris Watt: 6-4/270 - Nothing would be better than to steal Watt from Zook and Illinois. Watt and Hall would make the 09 class incredible on the offensive line.

Corey Adams: 6-4/275 - Adams is one of the best defensive lineman in the country, but is a long shot for the Buckeyes. If they do land Adams, it would be quite a steal!

Marlon Brown: 6-5/205/4.5 - Brown is one of those wideouts you drool over. He has it all: size, speed, and play making ability. Brown is a long shot for the Buckeyes like Adams, and very well could end up somewhere down south.

EJ Banks: 6-0/175/4.5 - The relationship between Banks and the Buckeyes seems to have cooled off a bit. He is a solid prospect, and would really add to the commits the Buckeyes have picked up in the secondary. Keep his name around.

DJ Hunter: 6-0/185/4.45 - Hunter passes the look test, and has a ton of speed. The secondary seems to be the major focus in 2009, and Hunter could add to that. I am a Hunter fan, and I hope he ends up a Buckeye. 

Brandon McGee: 6-0/175/4.5 - McGee has offers from everyone in the country, and is an incredible athlete. McGee is yet another secondary recruit, and he has great size and speed. I am not real sure he will end up a Buckeye, but who knows!

 
 

Drew Thurman (7:07 pm)

1) Naples Daily News has a great article on the Carlos Hyde commitment. It is really incredible to read how excited Hyde is to be a Buckeye. Make sure and check it out...

2) SportsCenter is doing a special called "Titletown." Massillon, Ohio has made the list, and will get a visit from Sportscenter in July. With 22 state championships and 9 national titles, they deserve to be on the list.

3) Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com has written an article on the coaches and players that have transcended the game. Archie has made the list, Woody did not. All the coaches on the list deserve to be there, but I would have loved to seen Woody. Oh, and where was John Copper?

4) Woody did make another list though. The rivalry of Woody and Bo did get picked as the Face of College Football in the 1970's. I wonder why the rivalry between Tressel and Carr didn't make the 2000's. Sorry Lloyd!

5) John Groce is the new coach for Ohio University. He has been a big part of the basketball recruitment for the Buckeyes, and he will be missed.  My father is very close with his family, and we hate to see him leave. We do wish him the best though!

 
 

Dave Thurman (9:16 pm)

The summer of 2008 has only just begun, and already the Buckeyes have 22 verbal commitments for the class of ’09 (not to mention a transfer in Justin Boren).  In the annals of football recruiting we’ve never seen anything like it.  Yes, Texas has pulled in a lot of verbals each spring
for the past few years, but never has so much talent been assembled so
quickly as what we witnessed this year from Tressel and his staff. All of which begs the question – is this the product of a new recruiting strategy or simply good fortune?  Is the Scarlet and Gray Recruiting machine set to make this happen each year or is this a once in a lifetime thing?

I’ve always liked the loaded question, “Are leaders born or made?”  And the wise answer is, of course, “Both!”  I think the same could be said about this year’s recruiting frenzy.  In my opinion, we are seeing a new style of going after high school athletes, but I also think that the pieces have fallen together perfectly for this particular class.

Obviously, volumes of threads have been written about the “Zook Effect.”
The fact that Illinois has offered a plethora of top Ohio talent so early
in the game, seemed to force Tressel’s hand a little bit, and cause him to
send out more early offers.  In the past he would extend official offers to
a number of out of state players at an early date, but tender very few to
young men from Ohio until later in the season.  Without doubt more Ohio
players received early offers this year thanks to the Zookster.  The fact
that we had more spots to fill than in the past few years didn’t hurt, either.  We didn’t have to be quite as selective, were able to pass out
more offers, and once a few guys began committing, the train started
steaming down the hill, and recruits realized that they better jump onboard sooner rather than later.

I think we are also seeing the “Pryor Domino Effect.”  I mean that once
Terrelle signed on the bottom line for the Bucks, a whole bunch of great
players sat up, took notice, and considered the possibilities of playing
with a potential superstar, to say nothing of the rest of the Brew Crew.
No doubt the class of ’08 ended with a flurry and there was a ton of
momentum going into this recruiting season.  And once the ball gets rolling, sometimes it just keeps on picking up steam.

But there is one more factor that I would throw into the mix.  Call it the
“National Championship Fallout Effect.”  JT is nothing if not a competitor
and he didn’t take kindly to seeing his boys get their butts handed to them
two years in a row.  Going back to his YSU days, he has usually won when
his team reached the championship game, and he fully intends to reverse the fortunes of the past two years.  So I think he and his staff has possessed a new resolve and hunger for recruiting this year, particularly in respect to speed.  Admittedly the whole southern speed argument has been overplayed, but the fact is, we need more guys with quicks to handle spread offenses, and to win national championships.  So, I think Tress and crew have recruited this year with a passion never seen before.

Put it all together and the results are spectacular.  Yes, I think there is
a bit of a new strategy being deployed, but no, I don’t think we’ll always
see 20 plus verbal commitments by the end of June.  So enjoy it while it
lasts.  These are the good old days for Buckeye football and recruiting.

 
 

Drew Thurman (6:40 pm)

After a crazy weekend where Duron Carter, Justin Green, and Carlos Hyde commited, Monday did not disappoint. The Buckeyes received two more commitments today, bumping the total up to 22 commitments.

The first came from Bradley McDougald, a defensive back from Dublin, Ohio. The commitment from McDougald seemed imminent for several weeks now. McDougald held a ton of offers from schools like Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Even though he played both running back and defensive back at Dublin Scioto, its look as if he will play in the secondary for the Buckeyes. That gives the Buckeyes 5 defensive back commitments in the 2009 class. Like all of the rest, McDougald has a ton of speed. This seems to be a major focus of the staff for the 2009 class. On top of that though, McDougald is a run-stopper and a hitting machine. On film he looks great coming up, shedding blocks, and stuffing the run. He is a very solid commitment for the Buckeyes.  

The Bucks also got a commitment from Corey Brown today. Brown (6-2 180) plays both ways at Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, but will likely play wideout for the Buckeyes. Brown was a huge commitment to get and he held offers from Tennessee, Penn State, Oklahoma, Michigan, and more. I am blown away that this commitment also came today. Brown has a ton of potential, and joins Chris Fields and Duron Carter at wideout in 2009. He also joins his teammate Dorian Bell (LB) who committed early this spring. I am sure most of you are as fired up as me to see Brown commit today.

So, with these two men joining the bandwagon today the Buckeyes have 22 commitments. This 2009 class has been unbelievable so far, and it shows how hard Tressel and the staff have been working. One has to wonder how this class will actually finish up. Guys like Newsome, Hall, Berry, Watt, McGee, and Banks are sure to get a lot of talk over the next several weeks. The only thing to be down about right now as a Buckeye fan is the fact that we do not have 35 scholarships to give away. If we did, who knows how amazing this class could be!

 
 

Drew Thurman (5:18 pm)

Carlos Hyde has committed to the Buckeyes today. Hyde (6-1 230) is the 19th commitment in the 2009 class. With Hyde and Carter committing this weekend, scholarships continue to get more and more valuable. Welcome to the Buckeye family Hyde! 

Update (9:23 pm)

The Buckeyes also received a commitment from Justin Green (CB - Lousiville, KY) on Sunday. Green adds to an already stellar class in the secondary. Green is in the Rivals100, and is a huge pick up for the Buckeyes. He held offers from Miami Fl, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, and more. This weekend has been incredible, and the commitments just keep coming in. It really is a great time to be a Buckeye fan! Here are some links:

Brightcove Video
Rivals Video

 
 

Drew Thurman (9:37 am)

I think Beanie Wells has skewed our perspective on running backs. His combination of size and speed has helped affect who fans want in the future. The evidence of this is clear in the 2009 class. Look at most boards and the first name you will see for running backs in 2009 is Carlos Hyde. Fans want the Buckeyes to get another Beanie. The problem is that a running back like Beanie only comes along every 10 years or so. I think Hyde is a very quality running back, but he will never be Beanie Wells.

So with all of that say, let me go in a different direction. Our offense is going to change under Terrelle Pryor. Our look is going to change under Terrelle Pryor. Speed is going to be important in the backfield with Terrelle Pryor. Enter Jamaal Berry. Berry has some incredible speed and playing making ability. I think he is obviously the best choice to be in the backfield with Terrelle Pryor.

Watch the second film below, and you will see what I mean. Berry comes from 10 yards behind a guy, and chases him down for a tackle. The play is remarkable, and shows the speed Berry has. Speed kills, and I want that speed to be in the backfield. I think Hyde is a solid back, but I offically hop on the Berry bandwagon. He is the kind of play maker we need in the backfield.

 
 

Drew Thurman (10:05 am)

1) After all the rumors, it offically looks like Antonio Henton is headed to Georgia Southern. I am not sure this is a huge loss, but I do feel for Henton. His story at Ohio State has been a pretty sad one, and I hope things go well for him with the Eagles. He was hailed as "the next Troy Smith" when he committed to the Bucks, but things have not transpired that way. First came the arrest and Henton's descent on the depth chart, then came Terrelle Pryor! I really do wish Henton the best in the future.

2) As many expected, Woody Hayes was named the "Face of the Program" on ESPN.com. According to the fans Script Ohio was second and Archie was in third. Everyone should check this out on ESPN, and see how things panned out for every NCAA team.

3) New Michigan away jerseys? It sure looks like it. What is even better is that Michigan fans hate them as much as Buckeye fans do. Seriously though, Michigan should have never signed the deal with Adidas. I knew they were going to ruin the Michigan jersey. Hooray for Nike jerseys! Go Bucks!

 
 

Drew Thurman (12:36 pm)

Is there a deeper group of linebackers in the whole country? I think the answer is a pretty obvious one, no! With that said, there is a lot to watch for in the 2008-09 season at linebacker. How will the veterans perform? Who will take the last linebacker spot? What can of impact could the freshmen have? These are big question, so let's take a look...

James Laurinaitis: There are some players you just don't worry about, and Laurinaitis is one of them. Last he led the team with 121 tackles, and was the star of the defense. On top of this he pulled in the Dick Butkus Award this last year. So, I am going to be brief with Laurinaitis. He is the leader of the defense, and he is great at stopping up the middle. The fact that he returned for his senior season was very admirable, and he should have another incredible season in 08-09. Laurinaitis just adds to the tradition at Linebacker U.  

Marcus Freeman: If Freeman was not in Laurinaitis' shadow who knows how much press he would get. He also returned for his senior year, and like Laurinaitis makes our defense one of the best in the country. Freeman racked up 71 tackles and 2 interceptions last year. A bigger season could be on the way for Freeman.

Jermale Hines: Hines did not get much love from Buckeye fans when he committed late in the 07 class. Buckeye fans feel much differently now. Hines has got great speed and football instincts Before his injury in the spring game, Hines looked to have a major impact at the outside linebacker job this season. Obviously the injury will slow him down, but Hines looks to be a major player in the future. The Buckeyes need as much speed at OLB as they can, so Hines is very valuable.

Curtis Terry: Terry looks to be the man to beat for the last starting job at linebacker. Not only that, but Terry is also playing fullback on the other side of the ball. Terry is a running stopping machine, and will really round out the linebacking core well. Terry has always been a hard worker, and I think his senior season could hold a lot of great things. Look for #99 (Not #55) to be making some big plays on both sides of the ball.

Ross Homan: Homan is probably going to be one of the most interesting players to watch this season. His freshmen year he racked in 28 tackles, and he has looked like a stud in the spring games. Homan though had a foot injury last year, and that slowed his efforts. With Grant's departure though, I look for more playing time for Homan. He is one of those tough Mid-West linebackers out of the same mold as Hawk and Laurinaitis, and this year could be his coming out party. Look for #51 out on the field a lot more this next season.

Tyler Moeller: Moeller is a kid your heart has to go out to. On any other team Moeller would probably be a very solid linebacker, but he has been buried on the depth chart at Ohio State. Moeller did bulk up in the off season though, and he is very hard hitter. My personal prediction is that Moeller will fight with Hines for playing time behind Curtis Terry. With the possibility of Terry playing both ways, that could mean a lot of playing time for Moeller. Add this to the fact that Hines is coming off of injury, and you could see Moeller show his skills for the first time besides special teams.

Brian Rolle: I have to say that Brian Rolle is one of my favorite players on the team. I think he has won a lot of Buckeye fans over with his speed and hitting ability on special teams. Rolle has all the intangibles to be a stud, and I think he is only going to get more and more playing time. Rolle like Hines has a ton of speed, and can really help the OLB position. You better watch Rolle the next few seasons becuase his stock is going to continue to rise! 

Austin Spitler: Like Moeller, my heart goes out to Spitler. Spitler would be a stud most places in the Big Ten, but he finds himself behind Laurinaitis for yet another season. Spitler will probably see the field even more in 08-09, and probably will be the starter at MLB the following season. I am a bigger Spitler fan, and I hope that things work out for him. This season could really show a lot for what the future holds for Spitler.

Etienne Sabino & Andrew Sweat: Not only were Sabino and Sweat huge pickups in the 08 recruiting class, they both came in the spring. Sabino and Sweat are going to be very far ahead of most freshmen entering the 08-09 season. Sweat is going to be a good one in the future, but this season does not look to hold much for him. He will start getting to look at playing time next season in my opinion. Sabino on the other hand is going to be interesting to watch. The guy is an animal, and he huge for a freshman linebacker. He looked very solid in the spring game, and I cannot wait watch him in the future.

 
 

Dave Thurman (2:36 pm)

Quick, what comes to mind when you think of Ohio State football?  Ask your run of the mill college football disciple that question and most will
immediately answer, “the running game.”  Thirty years after Woody coached his last game we are still characterized as a “three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust” team.  People think of the Buckeye offense and images of big, strong running backs naturally come to mind: Pete Johnson, Keith Byers, Raymont Harris, Eddie George, and yes, Beanie Wells.

But which position on offense has Ohio State been most successful at
producing, at least in regard to the NFL, over the past 25 years?  Try wide
receiver.  That’s right.  Not offensive linemen, not running back, and (big
shock) not tight end.  Now when you ask people which schools do the best
job at producing receivers, I’ll bet next month’s house rent that they will
point to Florida’s Big 3 (UF, FSU & Cryami), along with USC and maybe
Oklahoma.  Certainly those in the Midwest would throw in Michigan, which
has had some awfully fine wide outs.  But Ohio State?  Surely not!  Well,
just take a look at the list of some of the better receivers that have
donned Scarlet and Gray the past twenty plus years:

Cris Carter – The best at this position in Buckeye history, he had huge
hands and defined the term “circus catch.”  Carter had a great NFL career,
and I would rank him as one of the five best receivers to ever play pro
football.
Jeff Graham – Could really catch the deep pass, and had a fine NFL career.
Brian Stablein – Pretty fast for a white boy, he became a decent
possession receiver at the next level.
Joey Galloway – The fastest player I have ever witnessed in the flesh,
the only thing that could ever stop him was an injury…has enjoyed a long
and very successful NFL career despite a few physical setbacks.
Chris Sanders – Incredible speed, with so-so hands, he had a few good
years in the pros.
Terry Glenn – Incredible speed and really good hands.  Parcells may have questioned his manhood but this guy can play, and has done it at both levels.
Dee Miller – Great athlete, who was really ballyhooed coming out of high
school.  Early injuries kept him from achieving his full potential but he
was a very good college player who never got to play in the NFL.
David Boston – The closest thing to Cris Carter to come down the pike, he was huge before steroids, and tight-end sized afterwards.  He was having a brilliant NFL career, until the ‘roids started to rage!
Ken-Yon Rambo – Never as good as we thought he was going to be, but still an explosive receiver who had a few years in the pay-for-play league.
Reggie Germany – Fabulous body but a really poor work ethic, he became the poster boy for all that was wrong in the Cooper era, but still had his moments on the field, if not in the classroom.
Michael Jenkins – A great money receiver during his college days, his NFL career has been okay, but greatly hampered by poor quarterback play in Atlanta.
Drew Carter – Big and fast, his OSU days were marred by injuries, but he is still playing on Sundays.
Santonio Holmes – Another really fast guy who had some fabulous
highlights in his Buckeye days, and is continuing to produce big-time for
the Steelers.
Teddy Ginn Jr. – Has anyone ever looked faster with the ball in their
hands?  TGII has another gear, and as he learns more about playing wideout, he should have a long NFL career.
Anthony Gonzalez – Probably underappreciated because of Ginn, he is a
pure receiver and showed it in his rookie season in the big leagues.

Wow!  That’s quite a list, isn’t it?  And I left out a few pretty good
receivers along the way.  Of course, we have two more in the making right now, in the law firm of Brian & Brian (Robiskie and Hartline).  Add all
that up and you’ll see that Ohio State has been pretty close to Receiver U.
in the past couple of decades.  Sorry Woody, it’s a long way from “Only
three things can happen when you throw the ball and two are bad!”  And with the way Tress is recruiting we aren’t going to see tis come to an end any time soon.  Now if we could just use those tight ends a little more…

 
 

Drew Thurman (12:39 pm)

Here at the Silver Bullet we thought we would put aside our normal posts, and focus on Father's Day that is upcoming. Dads for many years have had to put up with terrible gifts such as ties, dress slacks, and shoe shine kits. It is time that this should change for Buckeye fans, so we have a list of 5 great gifts to receive on Father's Day. So print this list off if you need to and give it to your family! Please enjoy... 

#5 - Buckeye Helmet Fathead

This gift looks great for your Buckeye room. Instead of more feminine decor, you can take over the walls! You can find it at The Buckeye Corner for $79.00.


#4 - Year Subscription to Bucknuts 

Any Buckeye fan would love this gift. This allows you to get the inside recruiting information and also receive the Bucknuts Magazine. Packages are available at Bucknuts starting at $89.95 annually.


#3 - Grill Topper

The Grill Topper is great for tailgaiting, and it allows you to have the Buckeye logo on your grilled meat. As pictured it runs for $49.95 on TheGrillTopper.com!


#2 - Buckeye Recliner

What dad doesn't want to relax on gameday? This seat is the ultimate recliner for any Buckeye fan! This is available at The Buckeye Corner, and costs $699.


#1 - Tickets and Travel to USC Game

Of all the gifts, this is far the best one. Packages are available at Bucknuts, and start $1325 for air travel and game tickets.