Captain's Corner: Spring Game Draft

After being hired, Jim Tressel brought a neat new tradition to Ohio State with the spring game draft. Every year, the seniors split up and draft the underclassmen they want to play on their team. In this week's Captain's Corner, Jerry Rudzinski talks about what makes the spring draft so valuable.

While Jim Tressel has brought many great ideas to Ohio State – I mean truly innovative ideas – I have a tough time finding anything more creative than the spring game draft. How simple! How impactful!

What better way to find out what receiver has the toughest routes to predict…just ask the cornerbacks. While a coach is watching whether the QB makes the pass against a certain coverage, only the defensive players know what quarterback has eyes that are easy to read. I don't care about size, sometimes a smaller fullback can deliver a more painful block. I'm convinced not every fullback's head is equally hard after running into them during my years at OSU. Player XYZ on the defensive line may look sloppy, but he has a way with his hands that the linemen just can't block.

Maybe even more important though than the little things seen on the field is the psyche of the players. Confidence is good. Arrogance is not good. Not everyone can be the best linebacker on the team, and that may come as a surprise to some of these blue-chippers. Not everyone can be the most impressive offensive lineman in a Buckeye uniform. Draft day will determine who the top honors go to. Back to the weight room and film room big shots.

Lastly, seeing who is popular is not a bad thing. There is very much an emotional element to leadership. A player might say, "I'm not following him because he treats me like dirt," or "I don't respect that person because he treats people the wrong way…I don't care how strong or fast he is." On the flip side, there's also "I have this guy's back because I know he has mine." Or "I've seen that guy at the 6:00 AM workouts, I want him on my team next fall."

Carmen Ohio after games, the jersey scrimmage, bringing a senior on the weekly call-in shows, etc…the list goes on and on. I still rank the spring game draft as high as any of them.

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