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Last updated: 06/30/2014 2:21 AM
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Football
The-Ozone Mailbag: The "Jersey" Edition
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Don't worry, this week's Mailbag has nothing to do with Rutgers, and my intention is that it never will.

It's been four weeks since our last Mailbag because there really isn't that much to talk about during the summer that we haven't already talked about before. But since it's been so long this time, you've probably forgotten everything already, so who cares if we rehash it, right?

Actually, I wouldn't even remember if any of this is rehashed. I'll assume it's not.

Do I know how to sell a Mailbag or what!?

How long before we retire #10? - BuckSchott

This has always been an interesting situation to me. If you had asked me in December of 2006, I would have told you that Ohio State was probably trying to get it retired before the BCS National Championship Game. Once that fiasco went down, however, Troy Smith's chances of a quick jersey retirement went down with it. Eddie George was the most recent Heisman winner to have his jersey retired, and he had to wait until 2001. That's six seasons after he finished playing. Smith has already passed seven seasons. With his recent return to Ohio State a year or so ago before leaving for the CFL, it would appear that things are softening. How much longer? I think it will be done within the next five years.


Which Jersey numbers is OSU going to market this year? - Zero Dimension

I checked with Ohio State and was told that they have submitted the jersey numbers that they intend to market to Nike, and those numbers should be known to the public in a couple of weeks. Obviously #5 will be one of them for completely random reasons having nothing to do with Braxton Miller. Another random number could be #97 for no reason in particular. What other completely random numbers could we see? Maybe #2, because that's always a good one to sell. I'll be interested to see if #15 randomly pops up. There really is only one definite random answer, and that is #5 because it's obviously totally random. Don't expect to see #63, however, because no matter how random they are, numbers in the 60s just aren't that glamorous.


Just how good is Navy's QB Keenan Reynolds? - silverbullets

More rushing yards first game of season: tOSU or Navy? (no need to ask about passing yards) - riss

Navy talk in June, gotta love it. How good is Keenan Reynolds? Well, they say he's better than Ricky Dobbs, and all Dobbs did against the Buckeyes was throw for a season-high 156 yards and rush for 83 yards in 2009. He accounted for four touchdowns against a defense that finished fifth in the nation in total defense and scoring defense. So what could Reynolds accomplish against a brand new defense playing its first game together? That's the real question. In his last six games a season ago, he scored 20 rushing touchdowns. He scored three or more touchdowns seven times last season. Reynolds rushed for 1,346 yards in 2013, scoring 31 touchdowns. He's a 55% passer in his first two seasons, which is also pretty good for Navy. He'll be a handful, but if they can stop him on the ground, then it really won't matter what he does anywhere else.

Who will rush for more yards in the game? I'll take Ohio State. I think Navy will have to rush for 280 yards to have a chance of topping the Buckeyes, and I don't see that happening right now. And OSU is just as likely to rush for 380 yards as Navy is 280, so even if the Middies hit 300 yards, that's still no guarantee.


Stories you are and are not looking forward to this Summer. - Buckeye Ho Tep

I am so tuned out of this Ed O'Bannon lawsuit that they may as well air it on Lifetime. I have no desire to get into it, write about it, talk about it, or continue answering this question about it. A story that I am looking forward to this summer? Does OSU's preseason camp count? Because if so I'm going to enjoy watching the cornerback battle unfold, as well as the one at middle linebacker.


Using the Zodiac, who will get the first touchdown of the season? - BuckTheWorld
It will be Jeff Heuerman from 37 yards out on a play action. Sorry for the spoiler.


Throwing a handful of paperclips, rubber bands and pocket change on the table...will the recruiting class be top 5? - HINYG8
I was thinking that if the Buckeyes can land Justin Hilliard, Damien Harris and Josh Sweat, then they'd almost certainly be a lock because of the five-star status of each player. However, Georgia signed three five-star prospects last season per the 247Sports Composite and they finished eighth. Ole Miss signed four in 2013 and also finished eighth. And since I don't really have Sweat in this class, I'll have to say that the Buckeyes will be close, but will fall just short. They'll have to do it based on the strength of their four-star players. I have seen projections where the Buckeyes do finish in the top two, however. Of course, that's as dependent upon the rest of the nation as it is Ohio State.


I love the research you put into your work. Which player in the next year has the potential to be the best ever? - @wvabuckeye
I take it that "best ever" means the best Buckeye at his position ever, and that's how I'm going to answer it. As a testament to how overlooked Braxton Miller is, my first thought through my eighth thought was Joey Bosa. But the answer is obviously Braxton Miller because he is already arguably the best Buckeye ever at his position. If he stays healthy, he is very likely to become the all-time leading passer in school history and second in rushing. That's both astonishing and ridiculous. It's astoculous.


With the addition of Ash and the young talent in the back seven how do you see our pass D playing out? Predict B1G ranking? - @loigeoff_1 
When talking about pass defense ranking, I tend to ignore passing yards because there are several variables for giving up yards, and only one of them is having a bad passing defense. I'll stick with pass efficiency defense, since that's a more even-handed way of looking at things. Last year the Buckeyes finished 11th in the Big Ten in passing yards allowed and ninth in pass efficiency defense. There will be improvements in both categories this season because if there isn't then Urban Meyer will be looking for some new coaches. A year ago Iowa was second in the conference in pass efficiency defense. Are you telling me that the Buckeyes don't have Iowa talent on their roster? The new scheme is supposed to be the cure all, but the players still need to make the plays. I can see them being in the top four somewhere.


Assuming Michigan's Jabrill Peppers and Dontre Wilson will be nickel/slot for the game, who wins that key battle? - @nickstohl

I like this question because it's along the lines of something I'm planning on working on later this summer. What are the best matchups on the Buckeyes' schedule this year? This is certainly one of the more intriguing battles to watch. While some would answer this question with an obvious pick of Dontre Wilson because Peppers is just a freshman, you'll have to remember that Peppers will no longer be "just a freshman" in late November. That being said, Wilson won't be "just a sophomore", he'll be a veteran who should be tremendously comfortable in his role in the Ohio State offense. Peppers will win a few battles, but I expect Wilson to win that war. Though Peppers would only have to win the right battle to be remembered forever.

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