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.
Justin Fields named starting QB
Justin Fields is going to be Ohio State’s starting quarterback. This news should come as no surprise given that it has been inevitable ever since the Buckeyes risked the departure of two quarterbacks at an already thin position in order to put Fields on the roster. To take on that kind of risk, the reward has to be pretty darn good.
Short of losing a limb, Fields was never going to lose the job to someone who couldn’t start for Kentucky. However, there’s still value in making someone earn something, which is why Ohio State coach Ryan Day didn’t annoint Fields the second he walked onto campus and Tate Martell walked off. What was annoying for most people — the make-believe idea that there was a chance Fields might not start — could end up helping out the Buckeyes in the long run if having to work toward that declaration made him sharper.
At any rate, the good news is that storyline is gone and we no longer have to spend time pretending to wonder about an outcome that is 100 percent certain. The actual season can’t start fast enough, but it’s almost here.
Paris Johnson speaks on Birminology
After months of back and forth on the recruiting trail, 5-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson is locked in with the Buckeyes and sees an end to the whirlwind that has been the last eight months. He’ll enroll at Ohio State in January, something he’s able to do now after making a difficult decision to leave Cincinnati St. Xavier so he could graduate early.
In this week’s edition of Birminology on Lettermen Row, Paris Johnson explains his thought process when it comes to that transfer, talks about why Ryan Day and Greg Studrawa’s approach was surprising and refreshing, opens up about why he didn’t see himself at Georgia or LSU and a whole lot more.
Ohio State No. 5 in AP Poll
Ohio State will begin the season No. 5 in the country according to the AP Poll voters as the preseason version was released on Monday.
The Buckeyes were again projected as the best team in the conference after back-to-back conference championships. Ohio State rival Michigan checks in at No. 7 after generating some offseason buzz as a challenger for the top spot in the league. There are seven Big Ten teams ranked by the media to begin the season. Clemson took the top spot, followed by Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma.
Najee Story continues to talk with Ohio State
It’s been about six months since Ohio State offered Solon (Ohio) 2021 defensive end Najee Story and though the 6-foot-4, 240-pound lineman didn’t commit to the Buckeyes quickly as many suspected he would, he has continued to grow his relationship with Larry Johnson and the Ohio State staff.
“I have been staying in contact with Larry Johnson,” Story told Lettermen Row. “We just keep building the relationship and he tells me to keep in touch. He tells me that I’m going to be great when I get to 100-percent and I just need to keep working.”
Story is, he says, close to full speed after breaking his leg during his sophomore season. He worked out a camp with the Buckeyes in June and that allowed Johnson his first chance to work closely with him. Since then, Story has continued to move towards full health and says he’s seeing the changes in his body and quickness.
That’s go0d news for Solon and bad news for Solon opponents that line up across from Ohio’s sixth-ranked 2021 prospect. When he’s able to, Story says he plans to get to Columbus for a visit or two this season. He also wants to visit Notre Dame at some point and says that if things go well, he’d like to make a college decision sometime toward the end of the year.
For more on Ohio State recruiting, check out the Monday edition of Dotting the ‘Eyes.
Ohio State names seven captains
Ohio State football named seven captains on Monday. Here’s the list of leaders for the 2019 squad:
- LB Tuf Borland
- DE Jonathon Cooper
- RB J.K. Dobbins
- SAF Jordan Fuller
- WR K.J. Hill
- WR C.J. Saunders
- DE Chase Young
Fuller and Borland were both captains on Ohio State’s 2018 team, but the other five players are first-time captains. It’s a little surprising to see an Ohio State team field a team without any offensive linemen as captains, but the Buckeyes will have four new starters on that unit.
As for the size, I think it would mean more if only 3-4 players were captains (as has been traditional in the past), but Urban Meyer was clear about his reasons for expanding that number and it seems like Ryan Day is of a similar mind.
New episode of Lettermen Live
This week on Lettermen Live presented by Byers Auto, Austin Ward, Tim May and Birm were at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for Ohio State head coach Ryan Day’s press conference. The guys broke down Justin Fields as the starting quarterback, key position battles and how the depth chart looks to be shaking out.
- Ohio State vs. Florida Atlantic (season opener): 11 days
- Ohio State at Michigan: 102 days
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