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Scarlet Sunrise: Can Ohio State’s defensive backs rebound after rough 2018?

Jeff Okudah-Ohio State football-Ohio State Buckeyes-Ohio State-Buckeyes
Cornerback Jeff Okudah should have a big year for Ohio State in 2019. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Can Ohio State’s defensive backs rebound after rough 2018?

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise! Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Defensive backs bouncing back?

The Friday question of the day explored what the Ohio State secondary needs to do to get back on track. Here’s part of what Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward said:

The Buckeyes were probably due for a bounce-back season no matter what thanks to all the experience returning on defense. But freshening up the scheme, bringing new techniques to the practice field and absorbing Hafley’s energy should speed up that process. That could be a scary thought for opponents trying to throw on Damon Arnette, Jeffrey Okudah and Shaun Wade at cornerback with Brendon White and Jordan Fuller patrolling at safety.

“They’ve done a great job recruiting here, they have,” Hafley said. “Whether it’s a four-star, five-star, three-star, they’ve got good players. I’m very grateful for that and I’m excited to coach those guys. I can’t wait for training camp.

“I just try not to think [about last year], because then I’m kind of judging somebody for what they had done without knowing what they were told to do. Again, I’m not knocking anything that happened, because I know those were really good coaches. So, I gave guys a clean slate, we started the workouts, the Mat Drills, then we got into some fundamental drills and some spring football, so I just went from there. I’m very excited.”

The talent in reserve has the Buckeyes even more fired up about the future. But it’s the short term they’re going to be judged on, and Ohio State has more than enough to once again put the best secondary in the country on the field.

Ohio State looking good for Clark Phillips

If Kelee Ringo and Elias Ricks are removed from the equation, the Buckeyes don’t have to go far down the list to find Clark Phillips, the country’s fourth-ranked cornerback and a player who has become the highest-level of priority since Hafley was added to the coaching staff. Hafley has grown his relationship with the La Habra (Calif.) standout quickly and completely since Ohio State offered him in January.

The national recruiting analysts have taken notice, too. The crystal ball for Phillips is 100-percent in favor of the Buckeyes, and they’re the favorite to land him after he makes his official visit to Columbus over the June 21 weekend. Cal shouldn’t be discounted, but Ohio State appears primed to land Phillips and suit him up opposite of Lejond Cavazos, the lone defensive commitment to this point in 2020.

Be sure to check out Birm’s full story on defensive back recruiting,

Ohio State extends Greg Beals

Ohio State baseball was in rough shape heading into the postseason, with an RPI of 135. After winning the conference tournament, through, coach Greg Beals is getting an extension. The Buckeyes announced Friday that Beals has been given a three-year contract extension.

“We appreciate Coach Beals and the leadership he brings to the Ohio State baseball program with our student-athletes, alumni and the entire state of Ohio,” Shaun Richard, senior associate athletics director for sport administration at Ohio State, said. “He led a young, talented ball club to a championship season and another NCAA Regional appearance this spring. We look forward to him continuing to push this program as we strive to achieve the next step in advancing to a Super Regional and beyond.”

Counting down

  • Big Ten Media Days: 41 days
  • Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic (season opener): 85 days
  • Ohio State at Michigan: 176 days

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Ryan Ginn

Ryan Ginn has covered Ohio State football and recruiting since 2013, having done so previously for Buckeye Sports Bulletin and He is currently a student at Tulane Law School and resides in New Orleans, La.

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