OSU Saturday Notebook

Saturday saw Ohio State invite the students in for practice, and several jumped at the chance to see the Buckeyes up-close and personal. FOXSportsNEXT was on hand to watch the action.

The action on the field was intense, but make no mistake, this wasn't the final scrimmage in the fall before the season opener. Not sure what was revealed that most fans aren't already aware of, but here are some of today's notes.

- From a recruiting perspective, the Glenville-Three of Marcelys Jones, Marshon Lattimore were on hand, and seemed to be extremely comfortable around the staff. Smith and Lattimore had their parents alongside, which is usually a sign that means business. I expect all three to be signing with Ohio State next February.

- The Buckeyes are in on several top offensive linemen, and have two committed in Jones and Kyle Trout. In viewing film only, my favorite offensive line recruit would be Alex Bookser, and he was in attendance with his parents. There was a contingent from Detroit Cass Tech, including Joshua Alabai and Mike Weber. The Cass Tech people almost seem at home at Ohio State now, thanks to the efforts of Urban Meyer and Kerry Coombs, and it's almost unbelievable to observe. Jabril Peppers was also there.

- Lonnie Johnson had to reschedule his visit, and we are now digging to see if Ohio State cancelled this visit. Johnson was coming with his family to commit to Ohio State, and he might have been told that visit should not occur. This also happened with his planned announcement last January.

- On the field, you really can't draw too many conclusions from what was seen today, and it was a snapshot, not the full movie. I did want to mention five players on each side of the football, and who impressed me the most:

- Warren Ball gets mentioned first, simply because his name has not been mentioned much lately. He looked great running the football, blocking for Braxton Miller, and also caught the ball. I think Ball will get garbage time in the opener this season, and probably rip off 100-yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He could be the starter this season if need be, and Ohio State would be just fine. He's THAT talented.

- If anyone would have something to say about that it would Brionte Dunn. The reports I've gotten to date indicate Dunn has had some spectacular moments this spring, and I was impressed by what I saw today. He looks faster and more confident in the system, and if given the chance, Dunn could also start this season and Ohio State would not miss a beat.

- It's not exactly throwing the ball on the road in the fourth quarter trailing by six at Wisconsin, but Braxton Miller looked great throwing the football today. They hit a couple deep ones where the ball was thrown right on the money, and Miller also was accurate throwing the short stuff to Jeff Heuerman in the middle of the field. His arm strength, throwing motion, footwork, accuracy and quickness delivering the football were all much better than we've seen so far. If this is who he is, Braxton Miller will win the Heisman Trophy this season.

- People have remarked at how much bigger Heuerman is this year, and it is definitely noticeable. He caught the ball well today, and hung on a couple times after taking shots from defensive backs. I like Marcus Baugh a lot, but Heuerman looks faster as well, and could be a passing game threat as a third option-type.

- Devin Smith had an amazing over the shoulder catch today, and made a couple nice catches on plays that weren't easy to make. After seeing way too many drops last year, Smith needs to be more of a consistent player this season and not just a deep threat. His hands are too good for him to have the drops he's had, so it has to be concentration. The hope is that another year of maturity takes him to the next level, because his talent is pretty special.

- Adolphus Washington had a few good moments today, but most of them were when he lined up outside against Chase Farris, so it's tough to judge what we saw. But Washington made the plays he needed to make, and looks to be primed for a breakout year. His body looks fantastic and he should be ready to take over for Johnny Simon as a player they can move around on the line.

- Noah Spence is ready to go, and nobody can really block him when he's coming off the edge. We have to see if he can hold up over 60 plays during the course of a game, but as a pure pass-rusher he's pretty special. He is on the smallish side for a defensive end and the worry is can he hold up against the running game, but he is a fantastic athlete.

- Josh Perry looks as physically ready to play as anyone on the defensive side of the ball, and he moved well. There weren't a lot of plays for him to make today, but he sticks out with his size, speed and athleticism. There's no reason he shouldn't be a star at Ohio State before he leaves. He was the best linebacker out there today without Shazier being available, and it's not even close. I watched Curtis Grant and David Perkins a lot today and didn't see anything that stood out.

- Michael Bennett is another impressive athlete on the defensive line, and they're a better team when he's healthy and on the field. I like him better inside, but he can be like Simon and be moved around. He's certainly not tiny, but his strength is quickness and explosion. I think Bennett can be disruptive at tackle as long as his opposite tackle plays strong and occupies blockers. He is a key to this line.

- Doran Grant had an impressive practice today, and appears to be ahead of Eli Apple and Cam Burrows by quite a bit. Grant should no worries staying ahead of Burrows and/or Apple, but those two should be able to take the backup jobs away from Armani Reeves and Adam Griffin. The two freshmen corners got a lot of time today and certainly look the part. For Grant, he looked comfortable in coverage and played the football well in the air. He has a chance to be really good.


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