Monday Musings: Does new OSU QB commit mean more than it seems?

Ohio State had a big weekend with a verbal commitment from Tate Martell, the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the country according to scout.com.

He gives Urban Meyer two recruits from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman HS in as many years and two quarterbacks in the 2017 class. The 5-10.5, 203-pound Martell would seem to be a different type of prospect than the 6-4, 225-pound Danny Clark of Akron Archbishop Hoban. 

Scout’s Bill Greene offers some interesting analysis of Martell’s commitment here (premium).

Previously, Greene has noted that Ohio State quarterback recruiting of late has been going in a particular direction, and that would be pass-first prospects. That includes Clark, 2014 Ohio Mr. Football Joe Burrow and four-star 2016 signee Dwayne Haskins. These guys are all reputed to be good athletes but not runners of the caliber of J.T. Barrett, Meyer’s first quarterback recruit at Ohio State. 

Clark has been committed to Ohio State since he was a freshman at Massillon, but of course he’s free to look around between now and National Signing Day in February. IMG_0229.jpg

Numbers are tight for what is shaping up to be yet another elite class for Meyer at Ohio State, but would the coach be fine with signing two quarterbacks?

Perhaps so. If he does, he would do so in a way reminiscent of Jim Tressel’s approach in the second half of his tenure in Columbus.

Though he was generally considered a pro-style offensive coach, Tressel showed a willingness to adjust to his personnel on a year-to-year basis. After Tressel found great success with Troy Smith, he made a point of having both a dropback-style quarterback and a scrambler in the pipeline at all times if possible (this also gave the scout team some versatility).

Is that what Meyer is doing here, or has he simply recruited over Clark? Only time will tell, but it could also be another piece to the puzzle of Ohio State’s evolving offense.

Although he is among the godfathers of the spread-option offense, Meyer has mentioned multiple times the attack has been lighter on the option part since he got to Columbus. It was more of a cross between pro-style and single wing under Braxton Miller, and fairly pro-stylish during the 2014 postseason run to the Big Ten and national championships under Cardale Jones. Although Jones had some key scrambles and a handful of read option/inverted veers were thrown in to keep the defense honest, the bulk of the success of the running game was thanks to Ezekiel Elliott and the offensive line operating the “power” play and its variants.

Meyer reiterated this midway through last season as the offense moved in fits and starts under Jones then shortly afterward re-installed Barrett as the starter and brought back more of the option rather than continue with the pro-style evolution.

How much this all had to do with the transition from offensive coordinator Tom Herman to Ed Warinner is up for interpretation and speculation, but it also fit the personnel on hand at the time as opposed to what Herman had to work with the year before.

With Barrett back but the star tailback gone, Ohio State could go a couple of directions this fall. Will the offense fall even more heavily on the quarterback’s shoulders, or will they redouble efforts to bring back the more aggressive passing game Herman exploited with Jones’ arm and more established receivers?

Should be interesting…

Meanwhile, I knew if I started up a daily (so far!) general sports blog eventually I’d get to write about groin taps.

Bonus: Groin taps directly related to Ohio sports and even tangentially related to Ohio State!

It would seem to me the NBA got it right in this situation.

LeBron James committed a punchable offense when he by all appearances intentionally stepped over Draymond Green in Game 4, but actually punching him is still illegal and thus has consequences.

So, if I understand this correctly, the league gave James a technical fouls and Green a flagrant foul. By definition both of those actions seem warranted. James taunted Green, and Green made unnecessary physical contact with James.

As a matter of procedure, Green was then suspended.

Are we all caught up here?

While I agree if we’re comparing incidents, the kick of Stephen Adams seemed worse, but that’s really beside the point.

Not surprisingly, people who can’t think came up with the wrong conclusion.

I love a good conspiracy theory (and I’m not above thinking I’ve seen a game or two that looked rigged to inject some drama to a series), but I also like to be logical. In this case, there is a perfectly logical explanation for the course the league took… so that’s probably what happened… 

That James and Green are the two involved here is interesting because both could have great individual stories if they could just stay out of their own way.

LeBron seems like a hell of a nice guy, but he also has a tendency to say dumb things at the wrong time. He’s also pretty bad at hiding when he flops, and he flops too much for my taste. And of course there’s “The Decision,” which doesn’t forever brand him as a bad guy does count as a permanent mark whenever we go about looking at his judgement.

Also it’s interesting that he doesn’t seem to command the same kind of respect many superstars seem to have gotten over the years, be it from officials (I really do think he gets fewer “superstar calls” than anybody near his level has in the 20-plus years I’ve been watching the NBA closely) or opponents. I don’t know if it’s deserved or where it comes from, but it seems to be there for whatever reason. I suppose it could be as much the people around LeBron being less respectful as it is something he’s done. 

And Green, a college star who seemed to have no sure position in the NBA but has become an integral player on a great team would be the type of underdog America loves if he weren’t so fond of blatantly breaking the rules in bush league ways on a regular basis….

I wrote already that I liked the way the Reds started the draft, and it’s hard to find fault in how they ended it. While I thought they were in desperate need of some elite (or at least potentially elite) hitters, stockpiling pitching never hurts, and it appears that’s what they did. 

The top three picks all appear to be ready to sign quickly and begin their pro careers in Billings (Rookie level) imminently. Doug Gray of RedsMinorLeagues.com speculates infielder Nick Senzel and catcher Chris Okey could quickly move on the Dayton (low-A) while outfielder Taylor Trammell could spend a good while in rookie ball as he is coming out of high school in Georgia…

In case you were wondering (and this sorting tool on MLB.com is dependable), the Reds drafted two players from Ohio: Boston College left-handed pitcher Jesse Adams (Toledo St. John’s High School) and Patrick Riehl, a right-handed pitcher from Mars Hill University (Lucasville). 

Two Ohioans were picked in the first round: The Blue Jays took Pitt RHP T.J. Zeuch (Mason) and the Padres selected Kent State LHP Eric Lauer (Grafton Midview). Ohio State outfielder Ronnie Dawson (Licking Heights) went to the Astros in the second round….

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