5 things to know about Ohio State’s potential NFL draft picks

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 12:25 PM

Ohio State’s Malik Hooker celebrates an interception against Bowling Green on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Ohio State’s Malik Hooker celebrates an interception against Bowling Green on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Ohio State football doesn’t figure to match last year’s showing at the NFL draft, but it is shaping up to be another year for Urban Meyer and his coaching staff to crow about. 

Here is what you want to know ahead of the 2017 draft in Philadelphia: 

1. Pro Football Focus has seven Buckeyes in its top 300 prospects: Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, Curtis Samuel, Raekwon McMillan, Pat Elflein and Noah Brown 

Lattimore and Hooker are considered first-round likes while Conley was thought to be a potential first-rounder as well before potential legal troubles came to light this week. 

RELATED: Gareon Conley subject of sexual assault investigationConley denies accuser’s claims 

Last year, 12 Buckeyes were drafted, including five in the first round. 

2. When it came to sending cornerbacks to the NFL, Ohio State was tough to beat in the 1990s and early part of this century. 

The Buckeyes enjoyed a stretch where nine of 10 starting corners were drafted (from Marlon Kerner and Shawn Springs in 1994 through Chris Gamble and Dustin Fox in 2003). 

After a bit of a lull, Meyer and Kerry Coombs have restored that tradition as Lattimore and Conley could make it five in a row and eight of the last 10 if they are both picked over the next three days. 

Ohio State assistant coach Kerry Coombs says he will do whatever it takes to see Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore get drafted

3. Assuming Elflein is drafted, he will be the second offensive lineman selected in as many years, joining Butler High School graduate Taylor Decker, who was a first-round pick of the Detroit Lions last year. 

Elflein would be only the second interior lineman from Ohio State drafted since Doug Datish went to the Falcons in the sixth round in 2007. 

SEARCH every player ever drafted from an Ohio college

The last Ohio State interior lineman drafted higher than the fifth round was Nick Mangold, who was a first-round pick of the New York Jets in 2006. 

4. If the Bengals take a player from Ohio State, it will be for the first time since drafting Reid Fragel in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. 

If they take a Buckeye earlier than the sixth round, it will be for the first time since Middletown graduate Jeff Cothran in 1994.

SEARCH the entire Bengals draft history

They tapped Cothran in the third round — the same year they chose fellow Buckeye Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson of Dunbar with the No. 1 overall pick. 

(They chose Dan Herron in the sixth round in 2012.) 

5. The Browns have not chosen an Ohio State player since since wide receiver Brian Robiskie in the second round in 2009. 

The only other Buckeye drafted by the Browns this century is tight end Darnell Sanders (fourth round, 2002). 

SEARCH the entire Browns draft history

The Browns have drafted 32 Buckeyes since 1952 while the Bengals have taken 17 players from Ohio State since the franchise was founded in 1968. 

The Steelers, who were founded before both Ohio teams, have drafted 22 Buckeyes, including six since 2010. 

SPORTS TODAY: NFL draft day thoughts on the Bengals, Browns and Buckeyes plus ESPN followup 

Nebraska walk-on event ‘everything and more’ for defensive end Ryan Schommer

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:20 PM

Ryan Schommer-Nebraska recruiting

Nebraska coach Scott Frost and his staff took the first step Wednesday evening to grow the Huskers’ walk-on program. Frost, alongside associate athletic director for football Matt Davison, and current and former players, hosted a two-hour #HomegrownNebraska event for in-state walk-on prospects that immediately sounded like a big success overall.

For preferred walk-on defensive end Ryan Schommer from Norfolk (Neb.), it was exactly what he hoped it would be.

“It was everything I expected and more,” Schommer told Land of 10. “It was a lot of information from different staff, and we got to talk to Coach Frost at the end. The majority of it started off with a dinner. After that, Matt Davison was a big part of it. He was the host, I guess you could say. He told his story a bit and then talked about other walk-ons from the past who were great players that even played in the NFL. We got to hear their stories. Joel Makovicka talked to us a little bit about what a great opportunity it was to even be in that room.”

The event also included current Huskers Chris Weber, Luke McNitt, Tyler Hoppes and Cole Conrad. All four have their own unique walk-on stories, which Schommer said was great to listen to.

“They talked about their walk-on journeys, which were all different,” Schommer said. “Hoppes went to Wayne State first and then came. McNitt went to UNK and then to Nebraska. We got to hear that side of what it could be like.”

The players also opened it up for questions, which Schommer said he was more than ready for. He was curious about the players’ goals moving from high school to college. Schommer took note of Weber’s reply.

“Chris Weber said his goals in high school were just to get the attention of the Nebraska coaches,” Schommer said. “He knew one way to do that was to get a 4.0 and he was academically attractive in that regards. He spoke about that and then also shared how he took care of things on the field.”

When the event concluded, Frost took players aside to talk one-on-one. Schommer knows the schedule Frost has been on this week with Peach Bowl preparation in Orlando with Central Florida and recruiting for Nebraska, but the Huskers’ new coach was fully invested Wednesday evening.

“It was pretty special,” Schommer said. “I talked to him on Sunday on the phone. Listening to him, you can tell he was a little tired but it was really special that he was going out of his way to have a conversation on the phone. And today he took me into his office to talk. I was really appreciative of him going out of his way. You can tell he’s a busy man but he’s making the most of it.”

Schommer also respects Frost’s decision to coach UCF in the Peach Bowl. He sees it as a testament to the coach’s relationships with his players.

“I think something he’s big on is the family part of it and being unified,” Schommer said. “If there’s no unity throughout and even afterwards, that relationship wasn’t as strong as he intended it to be. I can tell he has a strong bond with every player he coaches, just like Coach [Tom] Osborne had a bond with him. I look forward to developing that relationship with him.”

In Schommer’s conversations with Frost so far, they’ve discussed his position at defensive end. From the sounds of it, that’s exactly where Frost wants Schommer to play for the Huskers. It works out well too, because that’s where Schommer wants to stay as a player.

Beyond that, Schommer’s appreciation for Nebraska and Frost has only grown in the last few weeks. He’s looking forward to what the future will hold, and got to experience a little of that Wednesday evening.

“I’m thrilled. It’s been a dream of mine for most of my life,” Schommer said. “I wasn’t always positive that football would be the sport for me. I was thinking basketball because I was tall and I could score points, but football took a turn and I opened my eyes up to other ideas. While I’ve always been a fan of Nebraska, once football became the sport and that was decided, I guess you could say I’m 100 times more a fan right now. It’s good to know my family and my sister will be able to share this experience with me.

“I’m just so grateful.”

The post Nebraska walk-on event ‘everything and more’ for defensive end Ryan Schommer appeared first on Land of 10.

Centerville gets defensive, stalls Springfield revival

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 10:58 PM

Centerville jr. Alexis Hutchison scored 11 points in a 71-35 defeat of visiting Springfield in a girls high school basketball game on Wed., Dec. 13, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Resurgent Springfield came to Centerville on Wednesday night loaded with a great start to the girls high school basketball season and the area’s most celebrated freshman. That was enough to geek up the Elks.

“The difference was we worked and fought and didn’t give up,” Centerville junior Alexis Hutchison said after a decisive 71-35 defeat of Springfield.

»POWER SHIFT: Lineup changes impact GWOC girls basketball

»RELATED: Girls basketball power rankings

»RELATED: Boys basketball power rankings

It was the first GWOC National East win for Centerville, which won its second straight game, improved to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the division. Sam Chable led the Elks with 13 points, Hutchison added 11 and Jasmine Broner 10.

Springfield (4-2, 1-2) was by eight points apiece from Makayla DeArmond and Naomi Hookfin. Wildcats’ celebrated freshman Mickayla Perdue was held to a season-low seven points. She came into the game averaging a GWOC-best 25.6 points and had scored 40 in a season-opening defeat of Yellow Springs.

“We defended her well,” said Hutchison.

Springfield won just three games last season. The Wildcats snapped a 79-game divisional losing streak by defeating Miamisburg 60-56 last Saturday. Springfield’s previous divisional win was a 36-34 defeat of Wayne way back on Dec. 16, 2009.

Miamisburg is in the GWOC National West and Springfield in the National East, but crossover games in the same conference count toward divisional standings.

Centerville hosts Beavercreek at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Springfield is at Fairborn at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

LSU basketball outlasts Houston, wins shootout 80-77

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:01 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. — Behind a 10-0 second half run and dazzling offensive performances from forward Aaron Epps and guard Tremont Waters, LSU pulled off its biggest and most impressive non-conference home win of 2017-18.

LSU defeated Houston 80-77  Wednesday night, improving to 6-2 on the year while knocking Houston to 8-2. Epps led the way with 26  points on 8-of-12  shooting with 16  rebounds, while Waters added 17  points and 6  assists in 39  minutes. Sophomore point guard Skylar Mays showed off his versatility as well, scoring 18 points with 9 rebounds and 2  assists.

LSU jumped out to a hot start, opening the game on a 16-5 run where Epps had 10 points in the first 4:10 of the game. Houston steadily battled back, knocking down 8 first-half 3-pointers on the way to a 38-37 halftime lead.

In the second half, the Tigers opened up with some of its strongest defense of the season, holding Houston scoreless as the LSU offense broke out into its 10-0 run. From there, LSU benefitted from taking away Houston’s offensive possessions and lengthening its own. The Tigers forced 11  turnovers in the second half alone and scored 14  second-chance points in the period.

Waters sealed the victory with a blocked 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining.

LSU dominated Houston in the paint, outscoring the Cougars 38-18. Epps was a huge factor in this. The senior posted career highs in both points and rebounds Wednesday night while fellow senior forward Duop Reath was uncharacteristically quiet, scoring 5 points with 2  rebounds.

The free-throw line was also LSU’s friend Wednesday. Though the Tigers started slow, not attempting a free throw deep into the first half, the Tigers went 17-for-20 from the stripe with Epps going 8-of-9.

What’s next for LSU basketball?

LSU returns to action Saturday afternoon for a home matchup versus Stephen F. Austin. Action is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. CT and will be televised nationally on the SEC Network. Internet users can find a stream of the game through WatchESPN.

Report: LSU plans to hire Los Angeles Chargers’ James Cregg to be new offensive line coach

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 10:56 PM

LSU is expected to lose offensive line coach Jeff Grimes. And it appears the Tigers are already lining up a replacement.

According to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and Sports Illustrated, LSU plans to hire James Cregg as its new offensive line coach. Cregg is currently an assistant offensive line coach for the Los Angeles Chargers of the NFL.

This is a breaking news report that will continue to be updated.