breaking news

Northwestern School District holds safety and protocol meeting

Early signing day complicates job for Ohio State coaches

Buckeyes waiting to see who leaves early for NFL Draft


Fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes will spend the next month waiting to see which underclassmen enter the NFL Draft. Defensive end Sam Hubbard, cornerback Denzel Ward, wide receiver Johnnie Dixon and hybrid back Parris Campbell are among those who could leave early.

Waiting for these decisions is an annual tradition for a program that has seen eight players selected in the first round in the last two years alone, the best two-year stretch in school history.

» RELATED: Quarterback derby begins when Cotton Bowl ends

For Ohio State coaches, January will be an important time because they’ll want to know how many roster spots they need to fill. The early signing date in December complicated matters.

The coaches had their busiest December ever. Sometimes only five or six coaches were at practice, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said, because the rest were on the road recruiting. Now January could be hectic, too.

“I never worked like that in December,” said Meyer on Thursday in Dallas in the final press conference before Friday’s Cotton Bowl. “Normally you’re recruiting, getting things ready for January. You have a couple official visits and you move on. It was every night in that plane somewhere, and you’re trying to squeeze in those official visits. We did very good. I’m very pleased with who we got.”

» COTTON BOWL: Thursday’s press conference highlights | Faces of the Cotton Bowl | Preview | Storylines

As for the next month, Meyer said, “We’re still having those conversations: What do you do in the month of January? I imagine it’s going to be mostly junior recruiting. I imagine most teams have two or three (spots). I think we have maybe two spots left; that’s it.”

Southern California coach Clay Helton called it a guessing game and a juggling act. Like the Buckeyes, his program competes for the best players in the country. Some won’t make their decisions until February.

“You have to do a great job of not worrying about filling out numbers,” Helton said, “and saying, ‘Hey, the midterm signing date, let’s go sign all 25 guys.’ You better get the best players for you and your group. I thought when you look back at what we were able to accomplish this past signing period, I’m very happy with it. We were able to get the guys who we felt, one, fit our systems but they’re extremely talented individuals. We’re still leaving ourselves numbers to be able to go compete for the best of the best come February. Those guys are still out there and still on our radar and there are battles that we need to win.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

NFL Draft: Bengals take Price with the 21st pick
NFL Draft: Bengals take Price with the 21st pick

The Cincinnati Bengals continued the rebuild of their offensive line by selecting Ohio State center Billy Price with the 21st pick in the NFL Draft tonight. Price suffered a pectoral injury at the NFL Combine, but all indications are he will be ready for training camp. ›› Jay Morrison’s 7-round mock draft for the Bengals He will...
Browns fans selling shirts honoring Baker Mayfield flag plant at Ohio State
Browns fans selling shirts honoring Baker Mayfield flag plant at Ohio State

Baker Mayfield caught some criticism from Ohio State fans for planting the Oklahoma flag in the middle of their field, but now some football fans in Ohio are celebrating that moment with t-shirts. Mayfield went No. 1 overall to the Cleveland Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft. There’s bound to be some crossover between...
2018 NFL Draft: Arkansas center Frank Ragnow selected No. 20 by Detroit Lions
2018 NFL Draft: Arkansas center Frank Ragnow selected No. 20 by Detroit Lions

Arkansas center Frank Ragnow has been selected No. 20 overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2018 NFL Draft. Ragnow is a 6-foot-5, 312-pound Minnesota native. He was a three-year starter for the Razorbacks, playing both guard and center. During his time in Fayetteville, he never allowed a sack while seeing action in 42 games with 33 consecutive...
Old Josh Allen tweets about AJ McCarron’s wife, Katherine Webb
Old Josh Allen tweets about AJ McCarron’s wife, Katherine Webb

Things could get awkward in the Buffalo Bills’ quarterback room. The Bills selected former Wyoming star Josh Allen with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday, despite having signed former Alabama standout AJ McCarron to a  two-year, $10 million contract in March. While the battle at quarterback...
2018 NFL Draft: Green Bay Packers draft Louisville’s Jaire Alexander in first round
2018 NFL Draft: Green Bay Packers draft Louisville’s Jaire Alexander in first round

The Green Bay Packers have begun rebuilding their secondary. Green Bay first traded down and then moved back up in the first round to select former Louisville defensive back Jaire Alexander with the No. 18 pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Coming into the draft weekend, Alexander was projected as a late first or early second-round...
More Stories