Oh Mickey You’re So Fine
Whenever a new assistant coach comes to Ohio State, they are surrounded by things to be impressed by. The facilities, the talent, the coaching staff, and the recruiting base are all lauded.
Another area that usually gets an emphatic mention is the strength staff and strength coach Mickey Marotti. Coaches catch up quickly on how far the veterans have come under Marotti and how much they have changed.
Every new coach has been impressed by Marotti’s work, but he was hardly a new face for co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.
“I’ve worked with him eight years at Notre Dame, three years at Florida and there’s not a better strength coach in America,” Mattison said.
“This guy works the players at the top level of how you have to work to get good. He’s cutting edge always on what’s the best thing to do. And then he works them extremely hard and they listen to him and they believe in him and he’s got their back. This guy, he gives every single thing he has to this team and that’s why the players have improved.”
Give Yourself a Chance
The landscape of college football changes almost daily now because of the transfer portal.
Just yesterday, Illinois may have landed their 2019 and 2020 starting quarterback when former Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters announced that he was joining Lovie Smith’s Illini football program.
Ohio State has seen their quarterback room completely transformed by the transfer portal and it is still a process that programs are adapting to as it comes.
No other position in football is like quarterback, which is why OSU quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich understands the fluidity of the position.
Still, he would like to see more players stick it out a bit longer.
“It makes you appreciate different types of student-athletes, especially the ones who put the university first,” he said. “That attitude of unselfishness is so important to have at every position, not just quarterback. I know we try to single out quarterback because it’s different, but it’s really not. All of your players need to have that team-first attitude.
“That’s what you’re trying to attract, but at the same time I’m a guy who transferred myself. I was a quarterback. It’s come full circle. I get it. I think you have to give yourself a chance. Most teams are only going to play one quarterback and that’s just the nature of competition.”
With 1,453 yards rushing as a true freshman in 2017 and 1,053 yards last season as a sophomore, Ohio State running back JK Dobbins is on the precipice of becoming the Buckeyes’ second three-time 1,000-yard rusher.
He would join Archie Griffin, who is currently the lone member of more than one club.
On the verge of possibly playing in his last season with the Buckeyes, Dobbins doesn’t like to think about his legacy, but when Griffin’s name is mentioned, it is special.
“Yeah, I mean whenever you bring that up it’s like Archie Griffin… wow that’s a two-time Heisman Trophy winner, he’s a legend here,” Dobbins said. “So yeah, you think about that stuff. But me right now, I’m just getting better day by day. At the end of the season, we’ll see if I got 1,000 yards or 2,000 yards we’ll see.”
Dobbins said he is not approaching this season as if it will be his last. And when asked if he had any goals in mind, he said he did not, until he was asked if the 2,000 yards rushing he mentioned was actually possible.
“I do,” he said. “Yeah, that’s a goal.”