Ohio State Football Notebook: ‘My nickname is Burt’

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Iron Sharpening

When Ohio State freshman running back Master Teague looks around the running backs room, he sees three veterans with experience, including two 1,000-yard rushers.

It’s not exactly the kind of lineup that makes a true freshman think he’s going to get a whole lot of playing time.

According to Teague, however, the competition ahead of him is exactly what he wanted.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “I think we all are talented, and we can learn from each other, help each other grow. I just want to be the best player I can be. That’s the main goal I have is to be the best I can be and learn from the older guys and get better and contribute.

“Hopefully I can contribute to the team. They just tell me every day I’m getting evaluated so I just want to be the best I can be, listen to the commands. They’re helping me out a lot, just getting acclimated.”

What’s In a Nickname?

If the OSU running back room is crowded, then consider the quarterback room confusing.

This spring, the Buckeyes will return quarterbacks named John, Ross, and Chuck.

“John,” of course, is the name given to Joe Burrow by J.T. Barrett because Barrett’s first name is Joe and he couldn’t allow a second Joe at quarterback. “Ross” is Dwayne Haskins, who was given the name by Burrow because, to paraphrase, it was the worst name that Burrow could think of. “Chuck” is Tate Martell and he got his name last winter by strength coach Mick Marotti for some reason.

And since the Buckeyes have a new quarterback on campus in Matthew Baldwin, it was only a matter of time before he was handed down his nom de guerre.

So what is Baldwin’s new name?

“That’s a funny system. I don’t know if I’m a big fan of it yet,” Baldwin said. “But yeah, I have been given a nickname. I don’t know if I’m supposed to say it.”

Come on. Just say it. Sayyyyyyy iiiiiitttt.

“My nickname is Burt,” he said. “I didn’t get it either. I can’t wait until I’m the old guy giving the young guys names. But I can’t call any other QBs by their nickname. I have to say their actual name, but I’m Burt to everyone.”

Student Becoming the Teacher

The Buckeyes are replacing five defensive linemen from last season, which means new leaders will have to step up. One of those leaders is defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones, who opted to return for a fourth season.

He understands the role he has now stepped into and he appreciates the responsibility that is now on his plate. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, he had some tremendous leaders in front of him showing him how to get the job done.

“Oh yeah, because I’ve been playing with those guys for two years,” he said. “I’ve been the younger guy for two years. With them being here, it has helped me a lot because I can take on where they left off. I’ve learned a lot from them. They’re going to help me guide these guys. Even though they’re gone, we still keep in contact.”

Home Sweet Home

Greg Schiano was the subject of rumors and reports over the last month as many expected — and reported — that he would be leaving for the New England Patriots.

Ultimately, that never happened and now Schiano is back at Ohio State with a one-year deal worth $1.5 million.

Speaking to the media last week, he was asked about all of the rumors. Rather than talking about where he was supposed to go, however, he talked about where he still remains, and why he still remains there.

“Well, you know, I made it kind of a personal policy of mine never to discuss other jobs than the one I have,” he said. “But in general, I can say after the season there were opportunities both in college football and in the National Football League, but at the end of the day, my family, myself, we love it here. It’s a tremendous group of people at the university and town, and this has become home. So, you make those decisions as a coach and keep moving.”