Monday Morning Kickoff: Learning, Flunking, Seeking and Wooing
By Tony Gerdeman
* I'm not sure how you've been spending your pent-up winter break, but Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller decided to spend some of his break in San Diego with noted quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Whitfield, who has stated in the past that he charges players $200/day for his services, may be the most sought-after private quarterback coach in the country.
He has worked with Colts' rookie Andrew Luck, Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, and the Chargers' Phillip Rivers. He has also helped out current college quarterbacks E.J. Manuel of Florida State, Clemson's Tajh Boyd, Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, and Landry Jones, whom Whitfield visited on Oklahoma's campus.
So, without a bowl game to practice for, and football skill instructions from an Ohio State coach forbidden by the NCAA, Miller sought out a guru's help.
Whitfield tweeted some pictures (@georgewhitfield) of the work that he was doing with Miller, citing issues like "chaos mechanics", which both Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman have cited as a major concern.
Whitfield tweeted that Miller's focus would be "consistency and organization", and also that "it's one thing to escape, but how fast can you re-set yourself once you've escaped?"
Things seemed to have gone well because he also tweeted that he really respected Miller's drive, and that "the Buckeyes are in great hands!"
Making up for missed coaching this winter is going to be a concern for every Buckeye, but at least Miller eased some of those concerns with this most recent workout.
* News broke on Sunday via Dieter Kurtenbach of the Sun Sentinel that Duron Carter, former Ohio State and former Alabama receiver, is now also a former Florida Atlantic receiver, as he has left the university. AL.com is reporting that he did it with the intent of entering the NFL Draft.
Carter, the son of former Ohio State All-American Cris Carter, played for the Buckeyes in 2009, finishing with 13 receptions for 176 yards and one touchdown. Those are also his FBS career numbers, because he never managed to see the field with Alabama or FAU.
Carter finished his Ohio State career academically ineligible, missing the Rose Bowl and spring football in 2010 before withdrawing from school and enrolling at Coffeyville Community College.
After Coffeyville, he transferred to Alabama, where he finished the end of the 2011 season as well as spring football on suspension. From there he went to Florida Atlantic, where he worked with the scout team before leaving the team late in the season to focus on academics.
It's been a long road for Carter, whose last catch in the FBS came in OSU's overtime win against Iowa in 2009, but at least now he will finally get his crack at the NFL, which is likely the only reason he went to college in the first place.
College isn't for everybody, the NFL is for even fewer.
* If there is no further attrition for the Buckeye football team, then there is room for 22 signees in the 2013 class. However, there will still likely be attrition via transfers or dismissals, both of which are likely already known by the coaches.
It's not a stretch to think that the 2013 class could push towards 25 signees this season. The Buckeyes are currently sitting at 19 commits, with room for three to six more.
With the offers still out there, it's pretty clear that they are expecting to go above the 22 commits that they currently have room for, which should tell you that there is still more attrition to come.
For instance, the Buckeyes are solid leaders to land three defensive players, and they appear to still be looking to land three offensive players.
Five-star linebacker Mike Mitchell will make his decision on January 5th at the Army All-American Game, and the Buckeyes are a heavy lean. Ohio State is also believed to lead for four-star linebacker Trey Johnson out of Georgia. Then there is also Glenville safety/linebacker Chris Worley, who is expected to be in the class as well.
We can't forget five-star Georgia safety Vonn Bell, who was recently visited by Urban Meyer and Everett Withers. Obviously, there will be room for him somewhere if he wanted to sign.
That's four defenders who all supposedly have a spot if they want it.
Offensively, five-star receiver James Quick out of Kentucky is down now to Louisville and Ohio State, with Louisville as his long-standing (slight) favorite. There is also four-star Cleveland receiver Shelton Gibson, who may have grade issues that keep him from being a Buckeye initially. But if he has the grades, it would seem that there is a spot for him.
There is also the fact that Ohio State is still scrambling for a quality offensive lineman, and if they can get a commitment from one of them, they would apparently have room for him somewhere.
If everything goes perfectly for the Buckeyes, they would land all seven of the spots that they are still very much after. That would put the class at 26, and would require one early enrollee to be back-dated, which they do have room for.
When was the last time everything went "perfectly" for any school on signing day? Basically, the Buckeyes won't be landing all seven of their targets, because that just doesn't happen.
The two biggest question marks are Bell and Quick. Bell is apparently torn between Alabama and Ohio State, and battling for a kid from the South against the King of the South is a tough gig.
Quick, who was recently named Kentucky's Mr. Football, has had Louisville as his leader throughout his entire recruiting process, even after his Ohio State visits. He recently cut his list down to two, dropping Kentucky among others.
Despite Quick's steady leanings towards the Cardinals, I get the feeling that there is a slight possibility that the Buckeyes might pull this one out, though admittedly it might call on a black helicopter or two. Talking to a Kentucky insider, he believes that Quick waited to cut Kentucky from his list until after he won the Mr. Football Award, because he knew that his chances would be seriously diminished if he already cut out the state school.
When I hear that, I see a kid who knows how to play the political game. So is Louisville his constant leader because that's his hometown and he doesn't want to have to deal with spurning them any earlier than he has to, or is Louisville his constant leader because that's where he actually wants to play?
There is tremendous pressure on Kentucky kids to stay local, and they feel that pressure every day. Is Quick just telling people what they want to hear right now, or is he telling them what is indeed real?
Until I heard about the Mr. Football theory, I would have said that he is being 100% honest. However, this still feels like an eventual Louisville win for me.
* Everybody knows that most everyone at ESPN "hates" the Big Ten, but on Sunday I found out that another major media personality does as well – former wrestling superstar Jake the Snake Roberts.
Roberts tweeted all of his bowl picks this weekend and had the gall to pick the Big Ten to go 0-7.
Don't worry, though, because he also picked Washington to beat Boise State – about 18 hours after Washington had already lost.
Who does the Master of the DDT have winning it all, you ask? Notre Dame, of course. He refers to them as "my boys".
Jake the Snake providing college football picks gives me a great idea with regard to ESPN eventually replacing Lee Corso in the near future. How great would a rambling wrestling-like promo from The Ultimate Warrior (who is still alive) be during Gameday's picks segment? Or maybe instead of Corso's signature head gear pick, Hulk Hogan could tear off his shirt to reveal the jersey of the team that he is picking.
I'm sure Ric Flair would love to do a segment on the campus social life at each Gameday stop as well.
"I give Gainesville my highest grade of 10 Woos!"
Basically, I just want more old wrestlers and less current Gameday stars.
Also, everybody would refer to Chris Fowler as "Mean Gene".
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.