More scrimmage thoughts

Here are some more thoughts from Charles on yesterday's scrimmage, including some thoughts on Brandon Mitchell, Stan White, and more.

With Steve keeping statistics and putting out a quality write up of the scrimmage, I will offer my general impressions on the day.

Fans might be gratified to know Lydell Ross, Brandon Schnittker, Donte Whitner, and Marcel Frost all came out onto the field without the dreaded yellow jerseys.

Sian Cotton was indeed present at the scrimmage. Those who follow recruiting recall that Cotton was considered a suitable prospect to play both offensive and defensive line at the college level. It might mean nothing, but he stood in street clothes among the Scarlet clad defensive linemen during drills.

Brandon Mitchell seems to have secured a place on the first team defense for now. He lined up as the safety with the 1's once again. Unless Everett, Salley, or Whitner impress the coaches between now and August 30, Brandon looks like he will be the starter. If nothing else, he is clearly the man to beat right now.

The value of the experience Todd Boeckman is garnering cannot be overemphasized. Coming to camp and being with the team has essentially given him a head start on the role of college quarterback. By the time he enters camp next fall (as a true freshman and 2004 signee), he will already have a multiple college classes (preparing him as a student first and athlete second), a full fall camp, four weeks of games (including meetings, practice, and film review), a full spring practice, and summer conditioning under his belt. Nor does this begin to address the bond he will be able to start creating with his future teammates. Aside from all of that, Todd showed some nifty moves when forced to scramble on one play today. When I talked to Tim (his coach and father) and Todd this winter, Todd was disappointed that a leg injury had limited his mobility during his senior season. I can see why. While he will not soon be mistaken for a Mike Vick, Boeckman did show that he will not be as easy to bring down as some might (falsely) assume.

Stan White continues to see time as an H-Back. Do not be surprised to see the coaching staff use Stan this year, even once the fullbacks are both full go. Stan brings some flexibility to formations that could allow the Buckeyes to confuse a defense during the game and give opposing coordinators and players more to prepare for during the week before they meet Ohio State.

I continue to be high on the early performances of several of the freshmen. Brandon Maupin, David Patterson, Curt Lukens, Ashton Youboty, Ira Guilford, Marcel Frost, and Louis Irizarry in particular all appear to be adjusting to the speed and physical nature of college football quite well. Who will redshirt and who will play is (as always) a coaching decision, but in watching the freshman class as a whole – I have seen no evidence of any wasted scholarships. That is great news for all concerned. For fans it means their team has a bright future with talented young men manning positions on both sides of the football. For coaches, it means that they are doing a fine job in talent evaluation, and they will be able to run a broader base of personnel packages and create mismatches. For the players, it means that they will not suffer being surrounded by vastly superior players that will keep them on the bench for four long years.

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