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Urban Meyer talks QBs, which position worries him more this spring at Ohio State

Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 2:29 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 2:29 PM

Urban Meyer oversees the start of the seventh spring football season at Ohio State since he became head coach.
Urban Meyer oversees the start of the seventh spring football season at Ohio State since he became head coach.

Ohio State kicked off spring football Tuesday morning, and the first question should have been of no surprise to anyone.

Here are seven things to know about the Buckeyes getting back on the field for the first time since beating USC in the Cotton Bowl.

1. Of course, the quarterbacks came up first.

With J.T. Barrett’s career over, coach Urban Meyer is going to have to choose a new starter.

Sophomore Dwayne Haskins and junior Joe Burrow split reps with the first team while redshirt freshman Tate Martell was also in the mix.

“This is going to be trying to do the best we can to make sure that we have equal opportunity to compete,” Meyer said.

RELATED: Who are Ohio State’s top 10 quarterbacks of all time?

2. NCAA rules could add a twist to the quarterback battle.

Meyer acknowledged the fact Burrow could graduate this spring, transfer and play immediately elsewhere is relevant to when and how the coach handles his decision.

“We try to be as transparent with you guys without getting too nose-deep into our meetings but the answer is probably yes,” Meyer said when asked if that would be a consideration, noting he would rather see them continue competing into the fall if one is not a clear winner in the spring.

“My first obligation is Ohio State. But not far below that is the player and the family. And so, yeah.” 

Joe Burrow (10), Dwayne Haskins (7) and Tate Martell (18) are in the mix to be Ohio State's starting quarterback in 2018. (Ryan Donnelly/Land of 10)

3. Does Josh Myers have a new position?

A five-star recruit from Miamisburg who redshirted last season, Myers was seen working with the second team offensive line on the first day of spring drills.

The somewhat surprising part that the powerful guard prospect was playing center.

Meyer said he is in the mix at that position along with senior Brady Taylor, juniors Matt Burrell and Josh Alabi.

They are vying to replace Billy Price, who won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center last season. Ohio State’s Pat Elflein took home the same honor a year earlier. 

RELATED: Price injured at NFL Scouting Combine

“I think I'm more stressed about center (than quarterback),” Meyer said. “I think when you have quality players going at it there's no stress at all. When you worry about who is going to be your center, that's my focus -- I think we'll be fine at quarterback. Who is it going to be? I don't know, but I know they work really hard and I see not two but three guys that think they should be the quarterback.

So I spend more time at the positions that -- I don't know who is going to be our center.” 

A look at the offensive line on the first day of spring practice 2018 at Ohio State. (Ryan Donnelly/Land of 10)

4. Who is healthy?

Shoulder surgeries will sideline linebacker Dante Booker, offensive guard Michael Jordan, receiver K.J. Hill and cornerback Jeffrey Okudah for all of spring practice.

All four are expected to be ready to go when preseason camp rolls around. That includes Booker, who was the subject of a report last week he intends to graduate and transfer.

Meyer was not happy about that story being published, noting he first heard of it when Booker’s mother called him “nearly in tears” to ask about it.

“His plan is to be an Ohio State Buckeye,” Meyer said, “and I’d rather people leave him alone, let him go be an Ohio State Buckeye, work as hard as he can.”

5. What about the offensive line?

Brandon Bowen, who was the starting right guard until breaking his leg halfway through the season, is still working his way back, but Meyer was unclear about if he will be able to practice this spring.

With Price and starting left tackle Jamarco Jones having graduated plus Bowen and Jordan sidelined, the offensive line figures to have a lot of moving parts this spring.

On day one, the No. 1 unit consisted of (from left to right) Isaiah Prince, Malcoln Pridgeon, Taylor, Springfield native Demetrius Knox and Thayer Munford, Prince was the starting right tackle the last two seasons while Knox was the starting right guard last year after Bowen went down.

The second-team offensive line from left to right was Alabi, Burrell, Myers, Wyatt Davis and Kevin Woidke.

Taver Johnson is back as CBs coach of the Buckeyes, who have had three consecutive starters at that position taken in the first round of the NFL draft.

6. Who will lead? 

Overall, this will be a pretty experienced team as only 16 letter-winners were lost from the 2017 Big Ten championship team that beat USC in the Cotton Bowl. 

However, stalwart leaders Barrett, Price and defensive linemen Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes and Sam Hubbard are among those who are gone. 

“When you leave this place better than when you came in, that's something else,” Meyer said. 

“And I just see Josh Perry gets treated like he owns this place because he does. And Jalyn Holmes and Tyquan. Who else? Denzel Ward. Just see good people that have really built this program. J.T.'s obviously one of them.”

7. When is the spring game? 

Ohio State fans can get a look at the 2018 for the first time April 14 when the Buckeyes hold their annual spring game. 

Former Buckeyes Malcolm Jenkins and Ryan Shazier are scheduled to serve as honorary coaches for the game. 

Jenkins is coming off winning his second Super Bowl ring, this one with the Eagles, while Shazier is on the mend after a scary spinal cord injury in Cincinnati last December left him unable to walk. 

Ohio State Spring Game

Saturday, April 14

Kickoff: Approximately 1:45 p.m.

Tickets: $5 general admission; $15 reserved

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Bruns’ late heroics leads Marion Local in D-IV state semifinal win

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:14 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 5:16 PM

Marion Local junior Nathan Bruns addresses a 56-54 defeat of Pandora-Gilboa in a boys high school basketball D-IV state semifinal at OSU in Columbus on Thu., March 22, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Nathan Bruns scored Marion Local’s final five points as the Flyers edged newcomer Pandora-Gilboa 56-54 in a Division IV boys high school basketball state semifinal on Thursday.

The win sends Marion Local (24-4) into Saturday’s D-IV state championship at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center against Willoughby Cornerstone Christian (21-7) at 10:45 a.m. Cornerstone advanced with a 51-41 defeat of Berlin Hiland in Thursday’s opening D-IV semi at the Schott.

»RELATED: Springfield standouts on All-Ohio teams

»RELATED: Wayne, Trotwood players picked for All-Ohio

That sets up a rare shot at a state championship double-double for the Flyers. The Midwest Athletic Conference power also won a D-VI state football championship last December.

Scoreless in the first half, Bruns scored 15 points in the second half to lead the Flyers to their 12th straight win. None were more crucial than his last five.

»RELATED: Rams’ opposing coach, ‘They’re crazy athletic’

»RELATED: Ahrens, Barhorst earn top D-IV boys honors

Tyler Mescher’s 17 points led Marion Local in scoring. Trailing by two, he missed two free throws with 2:11 left. However, Bruns snared the rebound, hit a field goal and converted a free throw for a 3-point play that would give the Flyers the lead for good, but not without some anxious moments.

Following a steal, Gilboa was in great position for a final shot, but missed. Bruns rebounded the miss and converted two free throws.

»RELATED: Trotwood-Madison back to final four

»RELATED: Boys state final four pairings

Ahead by three, the Flyers deliberately sent Jared Breece to the line with 5.2 seconds left. He converted the first to account for the final score. On the second he bashed off the rim, but the play was ruled dead. Marion Local successfully inbounded the ball and the celebration was on.

Drew Johnson had a game-high 24 points to lead Pandora-Gilboa (26-2), including 19 in the first half. Breece added 16 points.

»RELATED: Moeller bumps Wayne off tourney trail

»RELATED: Springfield coach, “we’ll be back”

Marion Local will be shooting for its third boys state basketball title, joining the 2003 and 1975 Flyers’ teams. It also is Marion Local’s fifth state final four. It was the first final four for Pandora-Gilboa, out of the Blanchard Valley Conference and Putnam County League.

Cornerstone Christian 51, Berlin Hiland 41: Michael Bothwell, the D-IV state player of the year, scored 22 points in leading the Willoughby power. This is the second final four for the Patriots, who won a D-IV 

state title in 2016. Hiland finished 23-6.

»RELATED: Boys regional results

»RELATED: Girls state final four results

• Upper Arlington senior Dane Goodwin was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association on Wednesday. The son of former University of Dayton hall of famer and Capital men’s coach Damon Goodwin, Dane averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Bears.

A four-year starter, he initially verbally committed to OSU but signed with Notre Dame after Thad Matta resigned with the Buckeyes.


Thursday’s D-IV semifinal results

Willoughby Cornerstone Christian 51, Berlin Hiland 41

Marion Local 56, Pandora-Gilboa 54

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National sports site highlights UD St. Patrick’s Day crowds; police presence

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 4:31 PM

Police in riot gear dispersed a large crowd that gathered on Lowes Street in Dayton during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations Saturday March 17, 2018. Steve Maguire/Staff
Staff Writer
Police in riot gear dispersed a large crowd that gathered on Lowes Street in Dayton during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations Saturday March 17, 2018. Steve Maguire/Staff(Staff Writer)

While crowds throwing rocks and clogging the streets during St. Patrick’s Day didn’t amuse the administration at the University of Dayton, Barstool Sports found the events amusing enough to put a story on its site.

Headlined “Riot Police, A Running Of The Gingers And Girl Scout Cookies: University Of Dayton Absolutely Dominated St. Patrick's Day Weekend,” the story made light of the disturbances on March 22 that led to police in riot gear to respond.

Writer “Intern Jack Mac” congratulated Flyer students and their rowdy behavior: “Big weekend for a lot of schools. Nevada, Kansas State, Florida State, Texas A&M, etc. all dominated America’s March Madness attention. There was one school that didn’t participate on the court but does deserve a huge round of applause for their performance off of it: University of Dayton.”

The story included a number of embedded tweets: 

One interesting note from Mr. Mac, he discovered an Instagram video of a Girl Scout selling cookies among the throngs of UD students in the streets. 

Barstool Sports has stirred controversy over comments its writers and podcast hosts often make of female television sports reporters. ESPN had slotted Barstool with a one hour interview show until Sam Ponder, the NFL Countdown host, blasted the site and ESPN for allowing Barstool on the channel. Ponder was a frequent target of inflammatory language and anger on the site. 

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Atlantic 10 loses another high-profile coach

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:12 PM

Rhode Island's Dan Hurley on being picked first in A-10

For the fourth time since 2015, the Atlantic 10 has lost one of its most successful coaches.

Connecticut announced the hiring of Dan Hurley on Thursday. He spent six seasons at Rhode Island, compiling a record of 113-82 and leading the program to the A-10 tournament crown in 2017 and the regular-season title in 2018. The Rams reached the NCAA tournament his last two seasons after missing the big dance in his first four seasons.

» RELATED: A look at Dayton’s 2018-19 roster

This wasn’t unexpected news. Dayton students teased Hurley about leaving for UConn when Rhode Island visited UD Arena in January. The Rams lose four senior starters from a team that finished 26-8.

Here’s a glance at the other recent high-profile coaching losses by the conference:

2015: Shaka Smart left Virginia Commonwealth for Texas after leading the Rams to the A-10 tournament title in his final season. He spent six seasons at VCU and finished with a 163-56 record, making the NCAA tournament his last five seasons.

» LOOKING BACK: Celebrating fourth anniversary of Dayton’s win over Ohio State

2017: Dayton’s Archie Miller took the head coaching job at Indiana after six seasons with the Flyers. Dayton shared the A-10 regular-season title in 2016 and won it outright in 2017. He was 139-63 in six seasons at UD and led the Flyers to the NCAA tournament in his last four seasons. Dayton finished 14-17 in the first season for Anthony Grant.

2017: Will Wade replaced Smart and took VCU to the tournament in his only two seasons. He left for LSU after the 2017 season. His final record at VCU was 51-20. VCU finished 18-15 in the first season for Mike Rhoades.

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Dayton recruit finishes high school career among top 40 scorers in Ohio history

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 12:48 PM

Dayton Flyers recruit Dwayne Cohill

Dayton Flyers recruit Dwayne Cohill finished his high school career with 2,182 points. That ranks 31st in Ohio history, according to the Ohio High School Basketball Association record book.

Cohill’s senior season ended when Holy Name High School lost 74-66 to Bay in overtime a Division II district final Saturday. He had 28 points in his final game.

» RELATED: Cohill looking forward to playing for Flyers

In 24 games, Cohill averaged 22.6 points per game. He shot 62.6 percent (161 of 257) from 2-point range, 42.0 percent (34 of 81) from 3-point range and 78.5 percent (117 of 149) from the free-throw line.

Cohill averaged 2.9 assists and 2.2 turnovers per game, plus 3.3 steals and 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shot.

Cohill will be one of at least two new recruits to join Dayton’s roster. Junior college recruit Jhery Matos is the other. Dayton has one scholarship open because of Xeyrius William’s decision to transfer.

Interview: Dayton Flyers recruit Dwayne Cohill

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