1. Top Ten 2016 Recruits in Ohio and likelihood Ohio State lands each? 2. Tight End Situation? Is Kierre Hawkins going to get left out because Farrell was offered first? Your thoughts on that. -BuckeyeL
BG: Our top-11 would be four-stars Jake Hausmann (probable Buckeye). Tommy Kraemer (possible Buckeye). Liam Eichenberg (possible Buckeye). George Hill (Buckeye commit). Tyler Gerald (Buckeye commit). Prince Sammons (Buckeye). Brendan Ferns (Buckeye). Jonathon Cooper (Buckeye). Demario McCall (Buckeye). Ethan Tucky (Buckeye if offered). Justin Layne (Buckeye if offered).
BG: I love Kierre Hawkins as a prospect, but YES, I believe the probable commitments of Jake Hausmann and Luke Farrell have him on the outside looking in.
The RB position....what's going on here at the end of camp now? Been hearing Rod has really come on and has been lights out, but then there is EZE who was the favorite coming into this season. Who gets the first carry Saturday in Baltimore? Thanks Bank! -buckeyefan05
BG: Tough call on the first carry and the probable order, mainly because of the injury to Ezekiel Elliott. I know they like Curtis Samuel a lot, and we have heard great things out of Rod Smith so far. Brionte Dunn has also been mentioned as having had a good camp. I think Zeke is their guy going forward, but for now let's go with Rod Smith for some "senior magic" against Navy.
Bill, I hate hyperbole, but man is the potential there. So, can Joey Bosa be the best defensive lineman at The Ohio State University ever? -BuckeyeBacker.
BG: I agree with you 100% on the hyperbole, but my initial guess would be that Bosa's first season as a Buckeye definitely has him on the watch list. Because the defense was so bad last season, Bosa gets a little bit overlooked, but I think he can challenge for All Big-Ten first team this year, and possible All-American status either this season or next. What could hurt him as the "GOAT" would be the 99% certainty of only playing three years at Ohio State, but he can certainly accomplish a lot in those three seasons.
Bill -You've weighed in with your preseason prediction for Ohio State. I'm curious to hear how you feel about Bama. They're replacing a lot as well, granted they seem to recruit at a different level. Humor me a little with a prediction on their W/L forecast. Thanks -southcampus.
BG: First off, wrap your arms around Nick Saban winning three national titles for Alabama in the past five years. Then remember that Ohio State has won one national title in 40 years. You're never going to hear me denigrate Saint Nick, but I do think they're in a similar situation as Ohio State with too little experience at several key spots. I think Bama slips back a little to the rest of the SEC, much like I see OSU doing in the Big Ten. I think at the end of the bowl season, Alabama will have three losses.
Has the ship sailed for Kilby-Lane? -BucksNLions.
BG: Yes it has. It's tough to call Florida kids to northern schools early in the process, and I know that better than anyone. But, Ohio State certainly had this one as close to wrapped up as possible, but a family member nixed things.
Why doesn't OSU have an issue with the detailed looks that Ross Fulton provides? -victor64.
BG: They really are very insightful looks. I would only be guessing, but I would think Ohio State would see them as educational for football fans, but not anything that opposing teams could use to beat them. There would also be nothing they could do to stop them even if they thought they were harmful. This isn't Russia, is it Danny? It isn't Russia.
More likely: Defense finishes as a top 15 scoring defense. Offense finishes as a top 15 scoring offense. -aginnandaginn.
BG: Now that's a great question. Because of the respect I have for Chris Ash I'm going to say defense, but I don't see them finishing in the top-15 of either category. I see a decline on the offensive numbers, but I do see the defensive numbers getting a lot better.
Don't understand the up and down (mainly down) reports on Devin Smith. Realistically, what should be expected out of him this year? -victor64.
BG: First off, I really like Devin a lot personally and have since the first day I met him as a high school sophomore. He has a ton of talent, and I don't think too many would argue that point. For whatever reason, Dev just hasn't developed the way I thought he would. The zone-read offense is tough for outside receivers to get a lot of balls thrown their way, and Ohio State has mainly used Smith as a deep threat. I hope he finishes off this season in fine fashion and goes out with a lot of yards/catches/touchdowns, but I'm not real optimistic all that happens, but I'm sure hopeful.
Bill- How does this class finish? -buckeyeinlakeland.
BG: In terms of overall ranking, a lot depends on landing highly-rated recruits like Torrance Gibson, Damien Harris, Christian Kirk, Drew Richmond, Josh Sweat, and the like. It's a good class right now, with the potential to get into the top-ten if things fall right and they close strong.
Does Cardale Jones stay with the team now that Barrett has beat him out? Does his negative behavior surprise you? -victor64.
BG: I think Cardale HAS to stay with the team, because he's only one snap away from taking all the snaps this season. Braxton coming back has to be a big blow to him, but that's life. He should battle J.T. Barrett on a daily basis, and beat him out. If he can't beat out Barrett this year, and Braxton comes back next year, it might be time to look around. I don't think now is that time.
BG: Regarding negative behavior, we all have to understand how much work these players put in and how much is riding on getting playing time. You can read all the time about "team players", but 99% of these guys would rather start on a 6-6 team, than be a backup on the undefeated national champions. They all have the NFL as a goal, and you have to be on the field to get that chance.
Odds of Miller starting the 2015 season or going pro. Assuming he's 100%. -Grant87.
BG: Braxton is a real favorite of mine, and his injury could be a blessing in disguise for him. Next year, I believe he comes back at 100%. I believe the wide receiver positions will be better than they are now, and same with the runningbacks. The offensive line will have a year to get guys like Jamarco Jones and Demetrius Knox ready to go, and weed through the rest to determine the prospects from the suspects. I think he has to come back, put his dream on hold for a year, and dominate college football as a healthier, smarter quarterback.
How do you honestly feel the Defensive back 7 will do this year with a new scheme, and are the coaches and players on that side of the ball really all on the same page. Quantify the improvement you think we will make it terms of our pass defense (for example top 25, top 50, etc.) -FunkyBuck.
BG: I would describe my thoughts as cautiously optimistic for the back-seven to be a lot better than last season. Realistically, how could they be worse? The defensive staff was a weird mix the past few seasons, and although folks might not admit it, I think Chris Ash owns this defense 100%. I've said for a few years that he is the best young defensive mind in the country, and these guys are going to be deferring to him, whether it's Luke Fickell or Larry Johnson. Ash was brought here for one reason, and that is to get this pass defense up to par. We saw Everett Withers being asked to move on, and Kerry Coombs reassigned. This is Big-Boy Ball, and I think Urban has given Ash the keys to the defense to run it the way he sees fit. I would also add that Ash's philosophy would be in concert with how Urban wants to play defense, while the Fickell/Withers/Heacock scheme would not fit at all.