It’s Who You Know
When Ohio State was able to sign 5-star offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere earlier this month, it was one of the best recruiting coups of the 2018 cycle.
Landing a top-flight prospect out of Tampa certainly wasn’t unheard of, as the Buckeyes have had plenty of success in the Tampa area over the years. And Ohio State did have an ace in the hole, but they still had to work and play their entire hand.
“My son’s played with him,” said OSU defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. “I actually coached him in high school. So I had a preexisting relationship with Nick, which gave us a little bit of an in. But he was being recruited by the top schools in the country and Nick is a very deep, smart guy. And he was going to examine everything.
“So it wasn’t going to be, ‘Oh, because I know the Schianos, we’re going to Ohio State.’ He was picking what was best for his future. Am I confident when I’m involved in those things? Because I have a great institution to put out there, you feel better than if you didn’t. But when you’re battling against the people we were battling, you just work as hard as you can and hope the chips fall your way.”
Best Friends Forever
Every time Urban Meyer has added a new defensive assistant coach to his staff, that new addition has talked about what a great room of defensive assistants he was now working in.
And working so many hours together, those coaches are bound to become close. That’s why when Kerry Coombs left for the Tennessee Titans, Greg Schiano first thought about the friend who was moving on before acknowledging the void that had been left behind.
“First off, I respect and really enjoyed working with Kerry Coombs,” Schiano said. “He’s a man’s man. A really good football coach, but he’s become a very close friend. So that part of it is always sad. That happens in our profession. You stay in touch but it’s not the same as working with each other. He’s an excellent coach, so he’s going to be hard to replace. He’s an excellent recruiter, he’s going to be even harder to replace.”
The Buckeyes will enter the 2018 season with national title aspirations. Despite the loss of significant starters on both sides of the ball, there is still plenty of talent on board. Junior defensive end Nick Bosa believes there is enough talent to reach their ultimate goal.
“No doubt. My class is starting to rise to the top of the depth chart,” he said. “You’ve got Dwayne looking like he’ll be the quarterback, I don’t know. But I just feel like we have a lot of talent and at every position we have a lot of guys coming back. All the receivers are coming back, two running backs that could start anywhere. I think it’s going to be definitely a good shot this year.”
It Was a One-Armed Man
Mike Weber had a very frustrating and injury-filled season last year. A sketchy hamstring helped limit him to just seven carries in the Buckeyes’ first four games.
Once the hamstring started feeling better, Weber then injured his wrist, and then had to deal with that for the rest of the season.
“I hurt it, I think the Nebraska game. I just played through it,” he said. “There’s a few ligaments in there that aren’t together.”
How did it affect him?
“I couldn’t use it,” he said. “I basically was playing with one hand. It got better as the season went along. What really helped me was the bowl season. We had that long break and it helped me a lot.”
Weber will enter the spring with a healthy wrist and healthy hamstrings, and it will be the first time he’s been completely healthy in a camp since last spring.
Needless to say, expectations remain very high for Weber in 2018.