The Ohio State football season begins in less than two weeks and there is no shortage of emerging storylines from Buckeye camp.
It was announced Sunday night that John Simon, Etienne Sabino, Garrett Goebel, Jordan Hall and fullback Zach Boren will be this year's captains. To me, the only mild surprise in the group is Goebel. He does not receive much attention, but it is obvious that he is highly thought of by his teammates. Goebel is a blue collar type that just goes about his business in a workmanlike manner. I am happy to see him get some notice.
I was able to watch all four of the All-Access shows on ESPNU last week and also saw the Big Ten Network special on the Buckeyes. Several things jumped out to me while watching those shows. Number one, the pace of practice was impressive. There is very little down time and there is constant instruction.The intensity level is extremely high. Defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs seems to be constantly shouting. I wonder how he is able to keep from losing his voice.
It is easy to see why Urban Meyer wanted Tom Herman on his staff. Herman, who will be the co-offensive coordinator, has an innovative offensive mind and seems to relate extremely well with his quarterbacks. He is intense at times, but also likes to joke around with his players. He likes to quote movies. Herman would be a fun guy to play for.
A player that really seems to be making strides is Carlos Hyde. At one point in the final All-Access episode, Meyer told Hyde "You are a different dude 34." Hyde then absolutely destroyed running backs coach Stan Drayton as Drayton held up a pad for a drill. Meyer enjoyed the moment with a long laugh. Herman also praised Hyde during the BTN special, saying that Hyde has completely turned around his attitude since the new staff arrived on campus. With Jordan Hall out, I think Hyde is going to put up some big-time numbers early in the season.
It also appears the offensive line is coming around. Meyer stated early in the spring that the group was not functional, but has changed his tune. He seemed impressed with the offensive line's improvement during his BTN interview.
It sounds like the offense got the better of the defense during Saturday's scrimmage. I see that as a good sign. I expect the defense to be very good. If the offense is having success against the first-team defense, that is a signal that the Buckeyes' offensive attack has come a long way since its ugly showing in 2011.