Buckeyes host BTN at Wednesday’s practice

Jody Victor: Here is some great Buckeye football news from OSU.edu and OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Day 3 at Ohio State’s fall camp included another acclimation practice in the afternoon in front of close to 100 media members and support staff as the Big Ten Network was on campus for its annual preseason look at Ohio State football.

BTN studio hosts Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Dave Revsine enjoyed practice on an overcast, albeit lovely day at the country club of college practice facilities, the Harmon Family Football Park at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Herbstreit also on campus: Lead ABC/ESPN college football analyst and former Ohio State quarterback Kirk Herbstreit stopped by the facility to check out the Buckeyes. After practice, while coach Urban Meyer, Tom Herman, Braxton Miller and Chris Ash stopped by the BTN set, coaches Luke Fickell and Ed Warinner met with the writers and reporters on the indoor practice field.

Ball sidelined: Sophomore running back Warren Ball missed practice and was wearing a protective boot after he injured a foot during Monday’s practice. Ball’s absence leaves coach Stan Drayton with three running backs who have lettered: senior Rod Smith and sophomores Ezekiel Elliott and Bri’onte Dunn. Talented freshman Curtis Samuel does have a spring drills in his rearview after he enrolled into classes at Ohio State in January.

New on the roster: There are some new names on the Buckeyes’ 105-man roster: running back Jeffie Johnson, from Hilliard; former Ohio State wrestler Kosta Karageorge, a defensive lineman from Columbus; offensive lineman R.J. Morris, from Naperville, Ill.; offensive lineman Michael Pruni, from Dover, Ohio; and receiver Isiah Williams, from Dayton.

Up next: The Buckeyes have a single practice Thursday afternoon. The team moves into its fall camp home midmorning: the Hyatt Place Columbus.


Jody Victor

125th season of Ohio State football commences

Jody Victor: Here is some great Buckeye football news from OSU.edu and OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 125th season of Ohio State football kicked off today with the first practices of the 2014 fall camp season. Third-year head coach Urban Meyer (24-2 at Ohio State and with the highest winning percentage – .837; 128-25 – of any active major college coach with at least 10 years of experience) put his 13th team through a morning practice for the newcomers and a late afternoon practice with the veterans.

There were 38 players – scholarship and invited walk-ons – in the morning practice that included a number of collegiate veterans, namely offensive lineman Chad Lindsay, who came to Ohio State this summer after graduating from Alabama, and Jeff Greene, a wide receiver who arrived last season from Georgia Tech but had to sit out the season. All 23 of the scholarship true freshman also practiced in the morning except for January enrollees Raekwon McMillan and Johnnie Dixon.

Braxton’s back: As Mayer said, Braxton Miller was back at quarterback for the Buckeyes after missing all of spring drills after having shoulder surgery. Miller enters his senior season as a contender and possibly a leading contender for all of the major national awards, be it most outstanding performer, most valuable player and/or outstanding quarterback. Miller currently holds nine school records and he could break no less than eight more in 2014.


Jody Victor

B1G Football Media Days Coverage

Jody Victor: Here is some great Buckeye football news from OSU.edu and OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

CHICAGO — The Big Ten kicked off the 2014 football season Monday afternoon at the Hilton downtown Chiacgo with day one of the annual Big Ten Media Days to preview the upcoming campaign. All 14 schools were in attendance with nearly 600 credentialed media members from around the country.

Buckeye seniors Braxton Miller, Jeff Heuerman and Michael Bennett represented the Buckeyes along with head coach Urban Meyer, who met with reporters and network TV partners for about 6 hours.

Miller, the reigning two-time Big Ten offensive player of the year, was chosen as one of 10 Players to Watch by conference media members. Media do not vote on a preseason champion or player of the year.

Players and coaches will be back at it Tuesday morning with more interviews, photo shoots and autograph sessions followed by the Kickoff Luncheon, which will be hosted by ESPN’s Rece Davis.

Click the links above to view photos from day one and to view Urban Meyer’s opening press conference and transcript.


Jody Victor

No sweat! Buckeyes chill out at water park

Jody Victor: Here is some great Buckeye football news from OSU.edu and OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

COLUMBUS, Ohio- The members of the Ohio State football team spent Wednesday afternoon chilling out at Columbus’ local waterpark: Zoombezi Bay. On a splendid 75-degree day in Ohio, the entire team took part in activities that included:
•Individual and multi-person water slides;
•Side-by-side, or perhaps slide-by-slide, water races;
•Floating on inner-tubes down a lazy river; and
•Splashing around in the wave pool.

After enjoying this watery-world – and judging by the smiles, everyone absolutely enjoyed the day – the players headed over to coach Urban Meyer’s residence for a barbecue dinner featuring ribs, hamburgers, cheesy potatoes, pasta salad and chips.

Now that all of the scholarship players on the team are in Columbus attending classes and training with strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti, the activities represented one of the first full-team building opportunities outside of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

The student-athletes have had numerous bonding activities within their position groups already, including some visiting a ropes course, some battling at paint ball and some water skiing. In addition, all the position groups are involved in community service projects this summer.

The Buckeyes are down to their final two weeks of conditioning work with Marotti and his staff before the start of fall camp on August 4.

Today, however, was just for fun.


Jody Victor

Drew Rucinski Makes MLB Debut

Jody Victor: Here is some great Buckeye baseball news from OSU.edu and OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Former Buckeye Drew Rucinski made his Major League Baseball debut Thursday night, pitching the ninth inning of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s 15-6 win over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The right-hander becomes the fourth Buckeye to play in the big leagues this season, joining Eric Fryer, JB Shuck and Nick Swisher.

“It’s awesome,” Rucinski told Angels.com of the promotion. “I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity. I found out [Wednesday] night in Tulsa. They told me to pack up and come here. Baseball’s crazy. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m just thrilled to be here.”

Prior to his promotion, Rucinski was 7-4 with a 2.35 earned-run average in 17 starts at Double-A Arkansas. A Texas League All-Star and Texas League Pitcher of the Week in June, Rucinski had struck out 85 and walked 28 while allowing opponents to hit just .235.

Rucinski, who signed a free-agent contract with the Cleveland Indians in 2011, pitched for the Rockland Aviators of the independent Frontier League in 2012 and 2013 before signing a free-agent contract with the Angels last August. He earned second team All-Big Ten honors and ranked fifth in the Big Ten in earned run average as a senior in 2011. Rucinski went 5-3 with a 2.95 ERA and 53 strikeouts in a team-high 82.1 innings pitched as the Buckeyes’ Friday night starter. He ranks 16th all-time at Ohio State with 22 career wins and 15th with 257.1 innings pitched.


Jody Victor